July 2003 Personalities:
Kathleen Abernathy - Republican US FCC Commissioner; Jonathan Adelstein - (3) -Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Michael Anderson - chief operating officer, Austereo; Sue Arnold - (3) - UK Observer radio columnist; Mitch Bainwol - chairman and chief executive, Recording Industries Association of America (RIAA); Simon Bates - UK Classic FM broadcaster; Rep Howard Berman (California Democrat who has called for anti-trust investigation of Clear Channel); Ralph Bernard - executive chairman UK radio group GWR; Adam Broadbent - chairman, Emap (UK); Maggie Brown - UK Guardian writer; Mark Byford - Director, BBC World Service and Global News; Chris Campling -- UK Times radio columnist; Steve Carney - Los Angeles Times reporter on media; John Cassaday - President and CEO, Corus Entertainment, Canada; Bob Collins- director general, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ (Stepping down Oct 2003); Shane Coppola -President and CEO, Westwood One, US; Michael J. Copps - (5) - Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Sara Cox - BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ; Lord David Currie - chairman British media regulator, OFCOM; Steve Dahl - Chicago WCKG-FM afternoon host; Gavyn Davies - (2) - BBC chairman; Paul Davies - Group Operations Director, Capital Radio, UK; Katie Derham - London LBC Sunday host (leaving); Lewis W. Dickey Jr. -(3) - President and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media, US; Paul Donovan - (2) - U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Greg Dyke - (3) - Director General British Broadcasting Corporation; Chris Evans -(2) - former British broadcaster and former radio mogul; Robert Feder - (3) - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; David Field - President and CEO Entercom, US David H. Fiske - Director of the Office of Media Relations for the US Federal Communications Commission; Eddie Fritts - President and Chief Executive Officer, US National Association of Broadcasters; Don Geronimo - US radio host ( Don of "Don and Mike"); Cathal Goan - Director-General designate Irish state broadcaster RTÉ; Ian Greenberg - President and CEO of Greenberg family owned Astral Media Inc, Canada; Krishnan Guru-Murthy - London LBC host; Joel Hollander -President and COO, Infinity Broadcasting; Big John Howell- Chicago DJ, hosted oldies and country shows; Paul Jackson - programme director, Virgin Radio, UK; Dan Jiggetts - Chicago sports host (leaving The Score); Alan Jones - Sydney 2GB breakfast host; Mel Karmazin - President and COO, Viacom; Henry Kelly - former UK Classic FM breakfast presenter (dropped from show June 2003)- hired by LBC; Howard Kurtz - Washington Post media writer; Andrew Levin - (3) - Clear Channel senior vice president for government affairs; Rush Limbaugh- Conservative US talk-show host; Ron Liddle - former editor of the BBC 'Today' breakfast programme; Kelvin MacKenzie - (2) - -chairman and chief executive of U.K. Wireless Group; Rafe Mair - veteran Vancouver talk-host; David Mansfield - (4) - chief executive Capital Radio, UK; Lowry Mays -(4) Chairman and Chief Executive,Clear Channel, US; Mark Mays - President and Chief Operating Officer, Clear Channel Communications; Randall Mays -chief financial officer, Clear Channel (US); Sen. John McCain- Republican Senator for Arizona (proposer of various broadcast-related bills); Gerry McCarthy - UK Sunday Times writer on Irish Radio; Stephen B. Morris - President and Chief Executive Office,Arbitron, US; Erich "Mancow" Muller - Chicago-based U.S. '"shock-jock"; Jane O'Hara - managing director, UK radio ratings organisation RAJAR; Kenneth J. O'Keefe - former Infinity Executive VP, Eastern Region and former President and Chief Operating Office of Clear Channel Radio; Michael O'Keeffe - (2) - chief executive Broadcasting Commission of Ireland Mike O'Meara - US Host ( Mike of "Don and Mike"); Hugh Panero - president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio; Roger Parry - chief executive of Clear Channel's international arm; John Pearson - chief executive, Virgin Radio, UK; Michael K. Powell - (6) - Chairman, US Federal Communications Commission; Keith Pringle -Managing Director, 95.8 Capital FM, London; Sumner Redstone - chairman and Chief Executive,Viacom (US); Hilary Rosen - Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); Jonathan Ross - British broadcaster; Michael Savage -(3)- right-wing US talk host; Heather Shaw - Executive chair, Corus Entertainment, Canada; Jeff Smulyan - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Emmis Communications, US; Chris Tarrant - (4) - UK Capital Radio breakfast show presenter; Billy Tauzin- R-La., chairman of the House Commerce telecommunications subcommittee; Markus Tellenbach - (3) - CEO, SBS Broadcasting, SA; Andria Vidler - former managing director, Capital Radio, UK (left in shake-up) : Johnnie Walker - veteran British DJ; Joan Warner - CEO, industry body Commercial Radio Australia; Roland White - UK Sunday Times columnist;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

July 2003 Archive

Prime Radio Stations
Streams are
Real Audio in
all cases: Some have Windows
as well.

ABC, Australia
Streams list:
Radio Australia
News stream

ABC, Anerica
(Links to audio)

World Service:
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World Service bulletins

World Service
Business Reports
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Radio 1 stream:
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WORLD NEWS RADIO (on-demand audio reports)

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June 2003 - August 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 July comment - More of what - or is the technological fix a pipedream? Is technology that could potentially add thousands of broadcast channels a move forward or a delusion without the political will to give access to the airwaves?
RNW June comment - our view of new US media regulations introduced this month.
RNW May comment - Public v Private Interests- considers whether current regulation, copyright and patents has become skewed in favour of the private rather than public interest and whether all should be subjected to regular re-evaluation, as US media regations now are by law.

2003-07-31: Entercom has reported second quarter profits to the end of June up 19% to USD 19.1 million with per share earnings up 16% to USD 0.37; same station revenues for the quarter were up 2.8% to USD 107 million but overall revenues were down 0.8% to USD 107.6 million as a result of divestitures of stations and contracts.
Entercom free cash flow was up 9% to USD 34.2 million; like the per share earnings, these were record second quarter results for Entercom.
It also noted that it had finally completed its previously announced acquisition of radio station KWOD-FM in Sacramento, California from Royce International Broadcasting Corporation and had also assumed sales and programming responsibilities for KWJJ-FM and KOTK-AM in Portland, Oregon from Fisher Communications, Inc. on June 1 as part of an agreement to acquire the two stations for USD 44 million.
Commenting on the results, President and CEO David J. Field said Entercom was "pleased to continue our strong performance in the second quarter, delivering record-breaking results despite the disruptive impact of the Iraqi war and the tepid advertising environment that dampened industry results."
"We continued to gain significant revenue share within our markets and grew our Free Cash Flow and earnings per share by 9% and 16%, respectively," he added " We also were able to enhance our competitive position during the quarter by acquiring additional stations in Portland and Sacramento, enhancing our strong positions in those markets, and by further strengthening our industry-leading balance sheet."
Looking ahead, Entercom is predicting third quarter net revenues of USD107 to USD109.5 million, equating to same station growth of 2% to 4% with earnings per diluted share of USD 0.38 to USD 0.40 compared to USD 0.31 in the same quarter of 2002.
Entercom shares ended Wednesday almost unchenged - down 14 cents to USD 46.35
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2003-07-31: UK Capital Radio, which is widely expected to lose Chris Tarrant, its breakfast host at London flagship Capital FM, when his contract runs out at the end of the year is attempting to lure BBC Radio 2 host Jonathan Ross into the spot according to the UK Guardian.
The paper quotes Ross's agent Addison Cresswell as saying that Capital has made approaches to Ross "three or four" times, adding, "There is no hiding the fact Chris Tarrant is going at Christmas. They are bound to be sniffing around the top talent and Jonathan has got one of the highest rating shows. Plus Chris is a big fan of Jonathan."
"Jonathan has a contract with the BBC until next July and we don't break contracts - but what happens after that, I don't know. We're in the middle of discussions with the BBC over his deal."
Capital radio has said it will make an announcement concerning the breakfast show by November; last year it was hit hard by uncertainty over whether Tarrant would stay.
Capital earlier this week announced a management re-shuffle (See RNW July 29) that was seen by many as likely to be linked to the likelihood of a poor showing in the latest UK ratings that are to be released today and resulted in a fall in its share price.
It has approached a number of names as possible replacements for Ross, most recently, according to reports, Kiss FM breakfast Bam Bam who rejected its offer (See RNW July 24).
RNW comment: If nothing else, it looks as if agents of top names at other stations will now start suggesting that their stars have been approached , even if only as a negotiating ploy. The list may become interesting.
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2003-07-31: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) looks as if it may be the first out of the starting gates with a legal challenge to the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) media regulations issued last month.
It is to go to a Federal Court to argue against the FCC's switch from a contour-based definition to one based on Arbitron's markets, arguing that this is "arbitrary and capricious."
The NAB argues that the Commission could have fixed more blatant anomalies produced under the old system by amending its contour-based definition but has instead chosen a route that will create unnecessary uncertainty.
NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said the change has created a lot of unwanted "chaos" and is like changing goal posts in the middle of the game. The NAB suit is also to ask for loosening of the TV duopoly rule.
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2003-07-31: San Francisco public broadcaster KQED, which earlier this month warned its employees of likely cuts (See RNW July 13) has gone further than expected, eliminating 11% of its jobs, and cutting employees working week to 36 hours and reducing their pay by 10%.
According to an AP report in the Mercury News, this will save the San Francisco broadcaster some USD4.2 million in the 2004 fiscal year. The cuts involve nine people being laid off, another five accepting buyout deals and 17 vacant positions being eliminated to leave a total of 234 employees.
The stations says it had to make the decision because of a reduction in corporate giving but adds that it will not cut programming.
KQED president and chief executive Jeff Clarke said that giving from individual listeners and viewers was still strong, but KQED was receiving less money than expected from large donors such as corporations and foundations.
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2003-07-31: Indian domestic media groups are asking the country's government to set a uniform cap for foreign investment in print, television or radio of 26%.
Acting collectively as Indian Media Group, they issued a statement asking for a regulatory authority to be set up to administer the policy and handle all complaints. The move was made following controversy of an application by News Corporation's Star News for uplinking permissions that no other foreign media organisation has been permitted and over its involvement in FM station Radio City (See RNW July 18).
The group, which included Times Group, Punjab Kesri, Zee, Indian Express, India Today, NDTV, Sabe TV, and Dainik Bhaskar, said Indian media was capable of competing head-on with foreign and players and welcomed competition but at the same time said media groups should remain under the control of domestic companies.
To ensure this it wants 51% of the equity in any media organisation to be held by one Indian family or group and also asks that foreign media should operate under Indian law as regards tax and other guidelines.
''The foreign media must comply in both letter and spirit with the Indian rules, laws and regulations,'' the group said in its statement.
India has already set up a panel to look at the questions of foreign investment in FM radio stations to be set up under the second phase of their licensing in the county. The panel will also consider whether commercial FMs should be able to broadcast news, which is currently prohibited and the feasibility of a commercial broadcasters being licensed to operate non-commercial stations carrying social content.
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2003-07-31: Clear Channel's Florida talk station WTKS-FM, Orlando, is to start charging for its stream according to a posting on its web site.
The rate proposed is USD 4.99 per month and Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN) notes that it learned in April that Clear Channel was considering a move to covering its streaming costs through subscription.
It says a posting in an online newsgroup by its VP/Technology Brian Parsons included the suggestion of "bundling access to all CC News/Talk/Sports station streams and possibly also bundling Premiere Networks programming (Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, etc.)."
He told RAIN that Clear Channel had not yet finalized plans for subscription but said that when a syndication deal for the station's 'Monsters of the Midday' ended, there were former listeners who were outside WTKS's range who were still interested in it.
In response to online suggestions that the charge was high for what was being offered, Parsons agreed that something more had to be provided to justify the fee.
RNW Note: A number of Premiere's syndicated shows, including Limbaugh's, are already subscription-based, so we cannot really see these being bundled.
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2003-07-30: Clear Channel has reported second quarter profits up 5.5% on a year ago at USD 251.3 million (USD 0.41 a share) including pre-tax gains of USD 41 million (4 cents a share) from early debt retirement; but for this its earnings would have been flat at 37 cents a share excluding pre-tax gains of USD21 million in 2002 relating to asset sales and a litigation settlement.
Overall revenues for the quarter were up 6.6% to USDD 2.32 billion but on a pro-forma basis were almost flat, rising from USD 2.23 billion to USD 2.24 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA (revenue less divisional operating expenses and corporate expenses) - was up 1% to USD 632.9 million but pro-format EBITDA was down 1.5% to USD 622.9 million
Radio revenues were the weak point for the company - down 2.1% to USD 970.6 million and down 2.6% on a pro-forma basis to USD970.2 million; by comparison outdoor revenues were up 20.1% to USD 569.2 million (on a reported basis -pro-forma outdoor was up 3.9% to USD 519.7 million) and entertainment was up 9.2% to USD 675.9 million (Pro-forma increase was 3.4% to USD 644.7 million).
Radio EBITDA was down 1.7% to USD433.7 million (pro-forma down 1.8% to USD434.2 million), outdoor EBITDA was up 7.2% to 154.8 (pro-forma was down 1.7% to USD 147.5 million) and entertainment EBITDA was up 9.8% to USD 56.6 million (pro-forma was up 4.4% to US53.6 million).
Clear Channel said its radio revenue declines came from weakness in local spot sales, small market revenues, the Company's national syndication business and non-traditional revenues, which includes the loss of revenue resulting from its cessation of business with independent promoters.
Commenting on the results, which were in line with analysts' expectations, chairman and CEO Lowry Mays said, "Our second quarter results reflect our ability to execute our business strategy in a challenging economic environment. We are especially proud of the performance of our local management teams this quarter, as their focus on serving the needs of their communities was the foundation of our success. We believe that we are very well positioned for future growth."
President and COO Mark Mays added, "Our second quarter results were driven by operating improvements across many of our divisions. We delivered significant free cash flow and continued to focus on strengthening our balance sheet and investing in our future growth. We are seeing a gradual improvement in the economy and are looking for a stronger second half as the environment improves. We remain focused on increasing shareholder value by serving the needs of our communities, employing the best people and providing the highest quality products and services that deliver results for our customers."
CFO Randall Mays said that "despite a tough economic environment, free cash flow increased 21% for the second quarter and is up 27% for the first half of 2003" and also noted that debt had been cut by USD 660 million during the quarter.
He added that the company believed it was " appropriate, given the significant amount of free cash flow that the company generates, that we return a portion of those profits to our shareholders and consequently announced last week the initiation of a quarterly dividend."
Looking ahead, Clear Channel says that it expects third quarter EBITDA to l increase in the mid to high single digits compared to third quarter 2002 on both a reported and pro forma basis.
For the full year, the Company expects both reported and pro forma EBITDA growth in the mid to high single digits with resulting free cash flow growth in the mid to high teens.
Clear Channel shares, which were up 1.4% in early afternoon trading, ended Tuesday down just over half-a-per-cent at USD 40.25.
Also reporting was Jefferson Pilot, which described its communications division results as "excellent". Its radio and television division increased profits by 10% to USD 11.6 million in the quarter with broadcast cash flow up 5% to USD 23.1 million.
Overall Jefferson Pilot reported earnings for the quarter before realized investment gains up 10% to USD 140 million (89 cents a share).
In Europe, SBS Broadcasting SA, which recently acquired Radio 1 Norge AS in Norway and Radio 2 A/S in Denmark from wholly owned subsidiaries of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and from Norsk Aller AS (See RNW July 18), reported "exceptional second quarter" with station revenues up 14% to Euros 154.9 million (USD 177.7 million) and station operating income up 125% to Euros 23.6 million (USD 27 million).
Overall, however, SBS SA profits of Euros 16.2 million (USD 18.6 million) were down 9%.
Commenting on the results, CEO Markus Tellenbach said, "SBS had an exceptional second quarter, recording our sixth consecutive quarterly increase in operating income performance, as we posted substantial improvements across all financial metrics, despite the lacklustre advertising environment in Europe."
"…our operating leverage has continued to strengthen, highlighted by our station operating cash flow margin of 21%, an increase of 41% from the second quarter 2002. We are very pleased to have realized the benefit of our revenue increase, having converted 68% of incremental revenue to operating income over the year."
"Our television stations are increasing their viewing shares, while our radio group will strengthen its position as the leading operator across Scandinavia, following the completion of recently announced transactions in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. With our diverse portfolio of broadcasting assets, improved station performance and profitability, we are well positioned to drive our business as the advertising industry improves and we remain committed to further strengthening liquidity and reducing debt."
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Previous Lowry Mays:
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2003-07-30: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has named Republican veteran Mitch Bainwol, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to succeed Hilary Rosen as its chairman and chief executive.
Bainwol, who recently started his own consulting firm, takes over his post from the beginning of September; Rosen, who stepped down from the post at the start of July after six years, has remained a consultant with the organization and has also become a commentator for CNBC. She announced in January that she was to step down (See RNW Jan 24)
Bainwol has little experience of the music industry but has political connections that his predecessor lacked. Roger Ames, CEO of Warner Music Group, commented in a statement, "Mitch brings to the RIAA the consummate insider's understanding of political nuance in Washington." "I'm confident he has the ability to clearly communicate the issues and challenges the music industry faces and to partner effectively with the computer, consumer electronics and music publishing businesses to help us address those issues in all appropriate forums."
His appointment comes at a time when the industry, dogged by falling sales, has launched a campaign of legal attacks on file-swappers and is currently involved in large number of subpoenas seeking the names of people it thinks have been involved in swapping music; under US copyright laws, offenders can be fined from USD750 to USD 150,000 for each copyrighted song exchanged.
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2003-07-30: British tourists are to be given hundreds of thousands of personal radio receivers to help establish a commercial channel for British holidaymakers being launched in Spain according to a report in the UK Times.
The paper says that Holiday FM, a joint venture with Capital Radio, which is providing most of the content for the station, has already broadcast successful test transmissions in a number of Spanish resorts and is also on the Hot Bird satellite.
Capital content, delivered by satellite to stations in Spain, will be supplemented by local material for broadcasts to the holidaymakers.
Holiday FM managing director Tim Foster told the paper, "With 58 million trips abroad by UK residents last year there is a clear demand for a great English-speaking radio station which feels and sounds like home."
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2003-07-30: Ibiquity has announced further developments in digital radio in the US with Crawford Broadcasting's 50,0000 watts Urban Contemporary/Hip-Hop WPWX-FM in Chicago now broadcasting using its HD Radio system and Christian station KFUO-AM, St Louis, becoming the first station in Missouri to broadcast in digital.
Clear Channel introduced the system at its Chicago Smooth Jazz WNUA-FM and Urban Adult Contemporary WVAZ-FM in May.
Previous iBiquity:

2003-07-29: US radio giant Clear Channel could well end up benefiting under new US media regulations rather than being hit harder by them than its rivals according to a Wall Street Journal report by Anna Wilde Mathews.
The article says that the "grandfathering" provisions in the changed regulations will mean that Clear Channel can hold on to "onto just about every station it rolled up under the old rules… Yet competitors say the tougher new standards will make it harder for them to replicate Clear Channel's potent collection of stations."
(RNW note - An exception may be in San Diego, where Clear Channel has increased its market clout through deals with Mexican-based stations (See RNW July 14))
The article quotes Cumulus President and CEO Lew Dickey as saying, "All (the FCC) did was further entrench them, and gave them more running room. "
"It makes it more difficult for the rest of us to line up and compete against them on a national level."
He was backed up by Clarke Brown, chief executive of radio operations for Jefferson-Pilot Corp. in Greensboro, N.C., who said Clear Channel "should be very pleased. ... They're already in a maximum position. This is going to disallow almost anyone from achieving clusters like Clear Channel's in many markets."
Clear Channel, which has already publicly opposed the changes, disagreed and its senior vice president for government affairs, Andrew Levin, said the company "had much more latitude under the old rules than we do today."
The Journal notes that the new rules may present purchasing opportunities because of the change in a radio market definition away from signal contours to Arbitron market definitions l this could mean that, whereas under former regulations a powerful signal covering more than one market could limit purchases in all markets, the new rule could allow purchases in adjacent markets because they are considered separately.
According to analysis by BIA Financial Network, says the report, Clear Channel may be able to buy as many as five strong stations in Trenton, N.J., where currently Clear Channel has none, and two more than the four it owns in Wilmington, Del.
Previously, it says, radio experts took the view that the reach of Clear Channel's Philadelphia stations restricted the company in Trenton and Wilmington but Levin disagreed and said that is could have made more purchases under the old roles by reconfiguring signals to control overlap with nearby clusters.
The Journal also gives some details from an analysis by Bear Stearns Cos. That said only around 215 stations, fewer than 2 percent of the commercial stations in the top 285 markets, were currently "noncompliant," meaning the current owners couldn't acquire them under the new rules.
Of those, 82 are owned or partially operated by Clear Channel, about 6.7 percent of its stations; the publicly traded company with the next-highest number is Cumulus, with 17, or 6.4 percent of its total, and Viacom Inc. with four, or 2.2 percent.
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2003-07-29: UK Capital Radio has announced a management shake-up aimed at improving the performance of its flagship Capital FM in London whose ratings have been slipping.
A team is to be set up to try and increase Capital FM's audience; it will be headed by Group Operations Director, Paul Davies and in addition management for the Capital FM network is to be split into two teams, one for Capital FM and the other for stations outside London.
Capital Group Programme Director Keith Pringle, the group's most experienced programmer, moves over to take up the newly created position of Managing Director, 95.8 Capital FM and will work with Capital FM Network Marketing Director Carl Lyons, in a drive to increase listening figures.
Capital FM Network Managing Director Andrea Vidler is leaving the company and John O'Hara is appointed as Regional Managing Director Capital FM Network. He will be responsible for the network's market leading stations outside London.
In addition, as part of the wider restructure, Andy Johnson is appointed Head of Group Programming and Ric Blaxill is appointed Creative Director.
Capital Chief Executive David Mansfield commented in a statement, "Our mission to win back listeners to our flagship station is a significant challenge. Not surprisingly I have given our most senior people the task. Capital in London still enjoys commercial brand leadership and it is critical we distance ourselves further from the competition. We have the strongest brand name, a format that allows us to have the flexibility we need in music and presentation and a great team of people capable of achieving success"
Capital says it will make a further announcement about the future programming and marketing strategy of the station in early Autumn and our plans for breakfast in November, a statement that is likely to further fuel speculation that current breakfast host Chris Tarrant is likely to leave the station when his contract expires at the end of the year.
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2003-07-29: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael K Powell has publicly defended the Commission new media rules in an Op-Ed in the New York Times "New Rules, Old Rhetoric".
In it he complains that the tone of the debate has grown increasingly shrill but there is "a distressing lack of consensus, and even some basic misunderstandings, over exactly what problem Congress is trying to solve."
Stressing the importance over the debate in terms of First Amendment concerns and the value to be given to diversity of viewpoints and the government role in promoting competition and encouraging local control of media, Powell says the change will not mean that US media becomes significantly more concentrated.
Powell points out that although it is said that "five companies control 80 percent of what we see and hear" the companies concerned own only a quarter of US broadcast, satellite and cable channels bur have their audience because people want to watch them and adds, "A competitive media marketplace must be our fundamental goal, but do we really want government to regulate what is popular?"
He also says that pressure to restrict ownership is motivated more by the wish to control content than concern about concentration and points out in relation to the national TV cap that cable companies can exceed it and that it does not affect the number of stations owned but the number of people who can be reached and comments on the oddity that "so-called local affiliate groups own many more stations nationally than the networks."
Powell also points out that, for the first time, cable TV had a larger prime-time audience than free TV for the first time last year and adds that "If they can reach more of the market, broadcasters will be able to better compete with cable and satellite."
He ends up by commenting on the complexity of the issue and the information gathered by the FCC and concludes, "Let's have a national debate, but let's keep it in focus."
RNW comment: Whilst Powell's case seems persuasive it is noteworthy as much for what is left out as what is included. His piece ineluctably suggests to us that the US needs a new debate about what services media should actually provide and then the creation of a fresh framework rather than proceeding as has been done so far, which has been far more about reconciling past and current media environments within a similar regulatory framework to that of the past but with less restriction.
Such a re-evaluation could well lead to more significant changes but at least it need not be corralled in a framework that, at the moment, seems mainly to be conducted in terms of easing existing regulations rather than meeting a societal aim. It's something we'll be thinking about and on which we would welcome comment.

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2003-07-29: UK SMG has announced that former Virgin breakfast DJ Chris Evans has paid it GBP 7 million (USD 11.4 million) in a "full, final cash settlement " following judgement in the case Evans had brought against it claiming GBP8.6 million (USD 14.2 million) in damages following his dismissal by Virgin.
Evans lost the case last month (See RNW June 27) and was subsequently ordered by the judge to pay GBP 1 million (USD 1.6 million) towards SMG's costs (See RNW July 3). The judge had also ordered an inquiry into damages sustained by Virgin because of Evans behaviour.
SMG has welcomed the end of the matter and its Corporate Affairs Director Callum Spreng in a statement said the payment covered "all costs and damages."
Evans has not commented on the matter but had commented to the News of the World Sunday newspaper," "It's only money. I still have it in the bank. I don't miss any sleep over it. I can afford to lose it."
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2003-07-28: Two issues, both from the US, dominated coverage of broadcasting in the print media over the past week: One was the US House of Representative vote that by an unexpectedly large majority opposed the lifting of the US cap on TV ownership and the other was the revelation by talk show host Tom Leykis of the woman who has accused basketball player Kobe Bryant of rape.
In both cases, the stories are not necessarily as they seem.
As far as media regulation is concerned, we have already commented sceptically about why the TV cap is attracting political action but cross-ownership is not (See RNW July 23).
According to an editorial in the New York Times, "Wrong Battle on TV Diversity", The whole fight to keep the networks from owning too many stations is actually last year's, or last decade's, battle. The networks themselves are now struggling players in a new communications environment in which a vast majority of Americans no longer get their TV signals from the airwaves. If Congress has a genuine interest in keeping a tiny number of corporations from controlling most of TV's content, it should establish limits on the amount of programming controlled by the cable giants and tighten rules that bar the distributors from discriminating against their competitors' products.
It like other newspapers in general did not make much comment about cross-ownership (in which it admits a vested interest) but did go heavily on the political implications for President Bush.
In terse fashion, Times columnist William Safire, a conservative opponent of the loosening of regulation commented that the President was "backing into a buzz saw" over "media giantism."
Safire commented on widespread concern about increased power for those he termed the "Four Horsemen of Big Media - Viacom (CBS, UPN), Disney (ABC), Murdoch's News Corporation (Fox) and G.E. (NBC)" and noted, "Reflecting that widespread worry, the Senate Commerce Committee voted last month to send to the floor Ted Stevens's bill rolling back the F.C.C.'s anything-goes ruling. It would reinstate current limits and also deny newspaper chains the domination of local TV and radio."
The Horsemen, he commented, "were confident they could get Bush to suppress a similar revolt in the House, where G.O.P. discipline is stricter".
They have failed so far and Safire commented that if Bush opted for a veto, he could "risk suffering an unnecessary humiliation."
In the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz in his media column commented that the "Bush administration's attempt to allow the big media conglomerates to control even more of the television market has sparked something of a rebellion on the Hill" and added, "The whole thing smells like a corporate giveaway, allowing big networks (who are licensed by the government in the "public interest," a very old-fashioned concept) to extend their reach."
"If this is anything like the deregulation the radio industry won a few years back, we could end up with the equivalent of a handful of companies playing the same tired songs."
In Media Life, editor and publisher Gene Ely extended the personalization of the issue to Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael K. Powell, writing, "Michael Powell got his comeuppance yesterday when the House of Representatives voted to roll back the Federal Communication Commission's ruling last month to lift network ownership caps to 45 percent of the national market" and continuing "The FCC chairman could well be in for a second comeuppance."
Ely argued that Powell's stance was a rational one in terms of the diversity of US media but ignored "entirely public perception of the nation's media conglomerates. And the perception is that they already have way too much influence in our lives."
"Ignoring that political reality was a mistake on the part of Powell," continued Ely, "and the question now is whether Bush will make the same mistake or, with an eye to gaining reelection, side with the increasingly powerful constituencies demanding the rollback."
He suggested that Bush's political interests would not be served by a veto and commented, " While Powell was very articulate in his defense of the easy caps, his forum was nearly always among an audience who could understand what's essentially a theoretical argument, whether they agreed with it or not."
In New York Magazine, Michael Wolff went into conspiracy theory, suggesting that President Bush had "a pass on weapons of mass destruction" because of an accommodation with media owners.
The latter, he says, realize news is a dying business and need something to transform their futures.
"So is it a conspiracy?" asks Wolff. "Is that what I'm saying? That the media-acting in concert-took a dive on the war for the sake of getting an improved position with regard to the ownership rules? Certainly, every big media company was a cheerleader, as gullible and as empty-headed-or as accommodating-on the subject of WMDs as, well, Saddam himself.
"But conspiracy wouldn't quite be the right word."
"Negotiation, however, would be the right one. An appreciation of the whole environment, the careful balancing of interests, the subtleties of the trade (at this point, the ritual denial: "There was no quid pro quo")." In other words business is business he might have said rather more succinctly.
Wolff may well be exaggerating the degree to which there were any understandings, albeit certainly such deals would not be beyond organizations such as News Corporation, and in the radio world the issues of the removal from the air of the Dixie Chicks following anti-Bush comments by their lead singer would seem to potentially add weight to the idea.
Certainly the writers of two letters to the Los Angeles Times thought so. Both make similar points.
In one Rob Henshie comments, "While I expect comments about "revisionist history" from President Bush, I do not expect to read a version of revisionist history in the L.A. Times. As a critic, Robert Hilburn is certainly entitled to his opinion ("Dixie Chicks Once Again Rule the Roost, July 21). However, I take issue with many of his comments regarding the Dixie Chicks and "the incident" that led to an unfortunate national scandal…"
"Thousands of country music fans" did not spontaneously pick up the phone and call radio stations to have them pull Dixie Chicks songs. These 'protests' were the result of mandated bans from the corporate offices of radio conglomerates."
"At the local level, overzealous DJs (or those too scared to protest for fear of being fired) organized call-ins and, worse yet, public destruction of CDs. Is this what makes this country great? "
"Minor league struggle? Nonsense! An apparently organized effort to silence those who dare to speak out is not something to be taken lightly."
He is backed up in a letter by Ruben Ramos who writes, " Robert Hilburn says, 'Whatever their intent, the Chicks seemed to be putting their minor league pop struggle on a level with some of mankind's great civil rights movements'."
"Whatever situation arises that challenges our right to free speech and censorship is always a major struggle. When a whole nation responds to a person or group, it can hardly be called minor. It saddens me that you felt their words were 'ludicrous.' I felt otherwise."
Finally the issue of the naming by Tom Leykis of the woman who accused basketball star Kobe Bryant of rape, an action that most print media have not followed and of which they in general disapprove.
In the Los Angeles Times, Bob Baker suggests that the reason in part is to do with the effect the Internet is having on other media and then details the paper's own policy and some arguments for and against the idea of naming rape victims.
(RNW comment: We really can't see in ethical terms how the fact that something is posted on the Internet should free other organizations from their responsibilities, especially as in this case the wrong woman was named on some sites and, were they traceable, those running some of them could justifiably be facing a lawsuit and bankruptcy.)
Another report in the paper, by Larry Stewart, seems to adequately evaluate the real interest of sports talk radio in noting that XTRA Sports next week will place 40 billboards around Los Angeles that read: "KOBE: What's Next? Just Listen."
Stewart notes of the station's hosts Steve Hartman and Mychal Thompson that they have gone overboard all week.
"Thursday, Hartman and Thompson were comparing hearing about Bryant being charged to hearing about John Kennedy being assassinated, Ronald Reagan being shot, the O.J. Simpson chase and 9-11," he writes.
"It's all getting out of hand, and making matters worse is that much of what is going out over the public airwaves is inappropriate for children and offensive to many adults."
RNW comment: More to the point we'd suggest that to anyone capable of minimal thought what is said may attract interest but in terms of adding to any debate will be mainly drivel.
And finally from the Chicago Sun-Times and sports columnist John Jackson, "For the most part, the media have reported this story in a responsible manner, respecting the privacy of the alleged victim while not unfairly declaring Bryant guilty before the case comes to trial."
"Unfortunately, all it takes is one bozo to give everyone in the media a bad name, and Tom Leykis, a radio talk-show host based in Los Angeles, decided to fill that dubious role this week when he began using the name of Bryant's 19-year-old accuser on the air. The only thing more despicable than his actions is the explanation of why he decided to throw out all standards of journalistic decency."
''We're told that rape is violence, not sex, and if that's true, there's no reason she should feel shame or embarrassment,'' Leykis told Reuters news service, adding that he felt it was unfair to name Bryant and not his accuser.
Jackson ends by writing, "Since Leykis seems to be OK with voicing theories without facts, here's another one: I believe Leykis' use of the accuser's name has little to do with fairness and everything to do with getting some free publicity for his radio show."
That may be unfair and certainly there is a real issue to debate although we'll give heavy odds that debate will never really take on US commercial talk radio: Maybe Leykis is genuinely a bozo. What we would argue is difficult to dispute is that his show gets anywhere through deep reasoned argument. It isn't what his listeners want!
Previous Columnists:
Previous Kurtz:
Chicago Sun-Times - Jackson:
Los Angeles Times - Baker:
Los Angeles Times - Letters re Dixie Chicks.
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Media Life - Ely:
New York magazine - Wolff:
New York Times - Media diversity editorial:
New York Times - Safire:
Washington Post - Kurtz:

2003-07-28: Former BBC radio DJ and TV host Noel Edmonds is to return to radio after a 20-years absence as a stand-in presenter on Johnnie Walker's Radio 2 drivetime show for two months from August 4.
Walker, who announced on air last month that he had cancer (See RNW June 7), is undergoing treatment for the disease and Edmonds commented, "This is a bittersweet experience. I am a huge fan of Johnnie's and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.
It's a great opportunity and I'm very excited to be back behind the mic, at the country's most listened to radio station."
Edmonds began his radio career in 1968 at Radio Luxembourg, moving to BBC radio in 1969 and then to BBC TV.
Previous BBC:
Previous Walker:

2003-07-28: The latest issue of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Inside the ABC" magazine highlights the success of the corporation's Triple J network in developing the talents of Australian pop musicians.
Since it began its "Triple J unearthed " project in 1995 it gas visited 43 regions of Australia and "unearthed" 82 bands including names such as Grinspoon, Killing Heidi and Endorphin.
Commenting on the station's approach, Triple J Marketing Manager Louis Rogers said, 'one thing we constantly try to offer our listeners is experiences that they can't get anywhere else being interaction with bands, artistic expression and communication of every kind.'
As well as audio, Triple J is joining up with ABC New Media, Film Victoria and the South Australian Film Commission to offer individuals or teams AUD 15 -20,000 (USD 10=13, 000), depending on where they are based, to produce a music video clip for one of the Triple J Unearthed competition finalists.
Winning bands receive a prize package which includes recording time with Triple J music producers, their track played on air, an opportunity to perform in a live concert event with a major Australian headline act and an audio and digital postcard about them to feature on Triple J and their website.
The magazine talked to members of Tasmanian five-piece band from Launceston, the Dead Abigails, who were one of the winning bands from the state about the way they had benefited.
Drummer Randall Stafford said that it was hard to build up a huge fan base with a population of no more than 70,000 in Launceston adding, "There's no doubt that winning Unearthed has provided a kick-start to the band's career. "
"Radio play in Australia is why you do it, that's what it's all about! We're on radio at the moment - people are now conscious of who we are and it's been great to be affiliated with Triple J - it's been a real leg up for us."
Previous ABC, Australia:

2003-07-27: Yet again the politics, about which we continue to report as they develop, concerning new Federal Communications Commission media regulations were the main regulatory story of the week: Elsewhere there was a reasonable level of routine radio activity.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has announced that it is to advertise for bids for a new commercial FM licence for Adelaide in late August with an auction expected in late October; the licence is to be the first allocated in a series of major city licenses to be auctioned.
After Adelaide, the process for allocation of new Brisbane and Sydney licences will commence in February next year with auctions proposed for April an then for Melbourne where the process is due to start in May next year with the auction proposed for August.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has again renewed a significant number of licences as well as approving a number of amendments.
In order of province they included:
New 13,000 watts English language country format FM in Olds.
Renewal of licence of CKIK-FM, Calgary and its transmitter CKIK-FM-2 Banff, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIRK-FM, Edmonton, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJCA -AM, Edmonton, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKNG-FM, Edmonton, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJOK-FM, Fort McMurray, and its transmitter CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island,until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJRX-FM, Lethbridge, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFRV-FM, Lethbridge, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKSA-AM, Lloydminster, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFMY-FM, Medicine Hat, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHUB-FM, Red Deer, until August 31, 2010.
British Colombia:
Renewal of licence of CKNL-AM, Fort St. John, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIFM-FM, Kamloops and its transmitters CIFM-FM-2 Clearwater, CIFM-FM-3 Merritt, CIFM-FM-4 Clinton, CIFM-FM-5 Barriere, CIFM-FM-6 Cache.
Renewal of licence of CJNL-AM, Merritt, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFNI -AM, Port Hardy and its transmitter CFPA-FM, Port Alice, until August 31, 2010.Renewal of licence of CKKN-FM, Prince George and its transmitters CKKN-FM-1, McLeod Lake, and CKKN-FM-2, Mackenzie, until August 31, 2010.
Creek/Ashcroft, CIFM-FM-7 Pritchard and CIFM-FM-8 Chase, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFBV -AM, Smithers and its transmitters CHBV-FM Houston and CKBV New Hazelton, until August 31, 2010.
Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to increase the power of CBUX-FM Vancouver, from 287 watts to 1,280 watts.
Renewal of licence of CJOB-AM, Winnipeg, until August 31, 2010.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Decrease in the power of CKXX-FM, Corner Brook, from 47,000 watts to 40,000 watts
Northwest Territories:
Renewal of licence of CJCD-FM, Yellowknife and its transmitter CJCD-FM-1 Hay River, until August 31, 2010.
Nova Scotia:
Renewal of licence of CKTO-FM , Truro, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKUE-FM, Chatham, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHUC-AM, Cobourg, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFMX-FM, Cobourg, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFBK-FM, Huntsville, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKKW-AM, Kitchener, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFPL -AM, London, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CICX-FM, Orillia, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFGX-FM, Sarnia, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHKS-FM, Sarnia, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHOK -AM, Sarnia, until August 31, 2010.Renewal of licence of CHRE-FM, St. Catharines, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHTZ-FM, St. Catharines, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKOT-AM Tillsonburg, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKOT-FM Tillsonburg, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHOW-FM, Welland, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKLW -AM Windsor, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIDR-FM, Windsor, until August 31, 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKNX-AM, Wingham, until August 31, 2010.
Extension until 20 September 2004 of deadline to commence operation of new developmental campus radio station in Shawinigan, Quebec
The CRTC has also issued a public notice, with an intervention deadline of August 27, concerning a number of licence applications including:
British Colombia:
Application to add low-power 40 watts FM transmitters at Sun Peaks to broadcast the programming of CKBZ-FM and CIFM-FM, Kamloops.
Manitoba: - Application for contour change and power decrease from 100,000 to 63,700 watts for CJZZ-FM Winnipeg in relation to transmitter relocation.
Ontario: - Application for the renewal of licence of CFHK-FM St. Thomas.
Quebec: Applications for the renewal of licences for:
CIHA-FM, Baie James (formerly Radisson), CIHQ-FM Champion Camp and CIGA-FM Camp LG2
Applications for the renewal of licences for CBFA-FM-1, Manouane; CBFA-FM-2, Obedjiwan; CBFM-FM, Mistassini and CBFW-FM, Wemindji, Québec
CJAB-FM, Saguenay (previously Chicoutimi).
Yukon Territory: -Application for renewal of licence of CFWY-FM, Whitehorse, and change of programming received by satellite from that from CBF-AM Montreal to that from CBUF-FM, Vancouver.
Ireland was quiet on the radio front and fairly quiet in the UK, where the Radio Authority has indicated that it is minded to approve Sunrise Radio's purchase of Mean Country AM in London (See RNW July 24).
It has also issued its assessment of the award of the new FM licence for Buxton and the High Peak in Derbyshire to High Peak Radio, which was competing against four other applicants (See Licence News, April 13).
It noted that the applicant had strong local roots and had "established a high level of recognition locally as a result of carrying out a series of five trial broadcasts in the area." It also commented, "This local commitment is enhanced by the involvement of board members with direct experience of starting up small-scale radio stations. Members considered that the business plan presented in the application was realistic, containing reasonable audience forecasts and prudent local revenue estimates. Members noted that the group had existing relationships with many local advertisers through its previous broadcasts, many of whom had written letters of endorsement to the Authority."
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has again been involved in the political conflict over its new media regulations as we have been reporting; it was also involved in a number of penalties for Emergency Alert System (EAS) regulations (See RNW July 22).
It also fined a Florida pirate, reduced again but refused to rescind a penalty on Radio One Inc, and cancelled one on a Pennsylvania FM (See RNW July 23).
In Texas, it has ordered Waller Broadcasting's KOOI-FM, Jacksonville, to show cause why it should not be reclassified from Class C to Class CO to permit the establishment of a first station for Converse, Louisiana.
KOOI currently operates with a power of 100kw from 447 metres height above average terrain (" HAAT"), below the Class C minimum of 451 metres. Waller now has the option of applying for a construction permit to increase the antenna height to the required Class C minimum or above.
The FCC, which in the week issued its report on the current total of broadcast stations in the US (See RNW July 23), has also issued its report on the assessment and collection of regulatory fees totalling USD 269,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
The fees are mandated by Congress and, although they agreed with the collection, the two Democrat Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael J. Copps entered caveats about the methodology used to determine the actual fees.
Noting that the FCC should develop systems that link the fees to the benefits received, Copps commented that the Commission "merely relies on across-the-board proportionate increases from the previous year's schedule of fees" , a point re-iterated by Aldelstein who added, "I am concerned that the Commission's approach to regulatory fees does not truly recover the costs for regulatory activities on a service by service basis. "
Previous ABA:
Previous Adelstein:
Previous Copps:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
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CRTC web site:
FCC web site :

UK Radio Authority web site:
2003-07-27: Veteran US public radio broadcaster David Brown, currently senior producer of Minnesota Public Radio's business program Marketplace, is to take over as host of the programme next month when David Brancaccio, who has hosted the show for a decade, leaves to become co-host with Bill Moyers of US Public TV's NOW series.
Brancaccio joined Marketplace in 1990 as a freelance reporter based in San Francisco, opened its London bureau and became the Los Angeles-based host in 1993; he plans to continue contributing to the programme. His last show as host of the Los Angeles-produced show will be on August 22.
In a news release he commented, "I often brag that 'Marketplace' is the best gig in broadcast journalism." "The honour of serving a huge audience of smart people is one that I leave with enormous reluctance. This new venture is an opportunity to explore a new beat, politics, in a different medium, television. I assure you it is only a coincidence that 'Marketplace' is currently running a series about career choices entitled 'Starting Over.'"
Previous MPR:

2003-07-27: Vancouver host Rafe Mair who was fired last month (See RNW June 11) after 19 years with Corus station CKNW-AM following a clash over his refusal to conform to the company's employee behaviour code has now been hired by a rival.
Mair has announced on his web site that he is to start with 600 AM on September 2, commenting, "I'm specially pleased to, essentially, be working with the Jim Pattison Group where I started my radio career nearly 23 years ago. I very much enjoyed working with Jimmy whom I consider a personal friend and am delighted that he decided to recoup his investment, so to speak! "
Mair, who was being paid around CAD 300, 000 (USD 220,000) a year by CKNW, was represented in his negotiations by Vancouver broadcasting icon Red Robinson, who was 600 AM's first operations manager when it came under Pattison's ownership.
Mair was the top-rated morning host in Vancouver when at CKNW and commented of the new show "The Rafe Mair Show will, of course, feature the morning editorial at or around the usual time and we will encourage lots of listener reaction."
CKNW has yet to announce who will fill Mair's slot.
Previous Corus:
Previous Mair:
Mair web site:

2003-07-26: Clear Channel is the subject of two anti-trust investigations a US congressional committee has been told.
The revelation was made by Department of Justice (DoJ) antitrust chief Hewitt Pate when asked about the matter at a House Judiciary Committee by California Democrat Congressman Howard Berman, who complained that Department attorneys had failed to follow-up on complaints he referred to them more than a year ago (See RNW Jan 24, 2002), saying he was "extremely dissatisfied with DOJ's apparent unwillingness to initiate any kind of investigation into these serious allegations."
Pate said the DOJ had made "significant efforts to find additional evidence" and had held "a number of interviews".
"The Clear Channel matter is one of importance to us," he added. "We have an open investigation and we're going to continue to pursue that."
Clear Channel has strongly denied the allegations and Andrew Levin, its senior vice president for government affairs, said the company was confident it would escape censure. "When you run a big company, engaging in complex transactions, inquiries of this sort become fairly routine," he said in a statement.
"We are co-operating fully with all DoJ requests and we are confident the DoJ will find, as it has in the past, that our company is managed with the highest degree of integrity."
Previous Berman:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Levin:

2003-07-26: Helped by a rise in advertising revenues, Toronto-headquartered Corus Entertainment has reported a profit of CAD 12.3 million (USD 8.82 million)-CAD 0.29 per share - in its fiscal third quarter to the end of May, a turnaround from a loss of CAD 1.8 million (USD 1.3 million) in the same quarter of 2002.
Revenues were up slightly at CAD 155.3 million (USD 110 million) compared to CAD 154.9 million (USD 111 million) a year earlier but radio revenues were up 6% to CAD 60.1 million (USD 43.1 million) whereas TV revenues fell by 1% to CAD 75 million (USD 53.8 million); radio and TV EBITDA were each up 6% to CAD 18.3 million (USD 13.1 million) and CAD 27.2 million (USD 19.5 million) respectively.
Corus noted that radio earnings growth was limited by new copyright payments made in the quarter and added that excluding the new copyright payments, Radio EBITDA grew by 11% in the quarter.
CEO John Cassaday commented, "We continue to be satisfied that an ad recovery is underway and we're on track to deliver on our (pretax earnings) target for the year."
"Radio and our adult-targeted television properties all grew nicely in the quarter. Revenue in our kids' television business was soft but this was primarily due to timing-related shifts in advertiser spending."
Executive Chair Heather Shaw said they were "very pleased with the results this quarter, particularly our strong growth in net income...The Company continues to demonstrate its ability to assess the marketplace, adjust to changes and achieve its targets. The third quarter growth across all business divisions gives us some positive momentum for the balance of the year."
Previous Cassaday:
Previous Corus:

2003-07-26: Arbitron has reported that its cash incentive scheme for the return of diaries has improved response rates in its spring survey this year where it has been implemented but the consent rate - a measure of willingness to take part in surveys - has continued to decline.
The company says the average radio survey response rate in the Top 10 radio metros for Spring 2003 was 29.0%-equal to the Spring 2002 measure for the same markets: in these markets, Arbitron offers diary keepers in black and Hispanic households an additional cash bonus for returning a completed diary.
In markets ranked from 11 to 25, where no such incentive was offered, survey response rate declined from 33.0% in 2002 to 31.2% in 2003.
The consent rate declined by 2 points in the top ten markets and by 3.1 in the 11-25 markets.
Arbitron is now testing the impact of a cash incentive on the consent rate.
Previous Arbitron:

2003-07-26: Stockholders of Australian WorldAudio Limited, which went public in June last year and is building a national AM radio network using narrowband licences have voted overwhelmingly to support the raising of AUD 7 million (USD 4.64 million) to be used in part to speed up the network's rollout.
The licences use frequencies between 1606.5 and 1705 kHz that had formerly been used for military purposes; in all some 270 licences were sold for nominal fees to more than 50 companies including four national licensees who have Australia-wide rights if they can acquire enough local licences to build a national network.
The funds will be raised through the issue of convertible notes to Nighcam Pty Ltd. To rise up to AUD 3.5 million (USD 2.32 million) and the issue of up to 35 million new ordinary shares to raise the same amount.
WorldAudio's Radio 2 station is currently broadcasting in western Sydney and test broadcasting in Melbourne, with test broadcasts due to start soon in Brisbane.
WorldAudio has plans for the rollout of up to 31 sites and its CEO Andrew Peter Thompson said the stations would "give WorldAudio a national radio network with a potential reach of over 10 million in population and will place WorldAudio to take full advantage of the future industry conversion to digital broadcast technology."
WorldAudio has requested an extension to its deadline from the Ministry of Communications to be fully operational by November this year or risk losing its licences; its chairman Peter Solomon told shareholders that even if the extension was refused negotiations under way with New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ would enable it to roll out 13 more licences.
The company is still having problems attracting advertising but says it should reach cash-flow break-even by the end of this year. Its latest figures showed an operating loss of AUD 730, 000 (USD 484, 000)in the three months to the end of March.
Previous WorldAudio:
WorldAudio web site:

2003-07-26: Yet again MUSICMATCH retained its top station spot and AOL the top network ranking in the latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released.
The ratings now list whether organizations sell audio or video commercials, as opposed to banner or pop-up adverts, or not.
This is reflected below with those that do not carry commercials being distinguished.
For the week to July 13, Arbitron'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 507,716 (452,613); CP - 168,413 (159,393). Same rank with higher listening and reach. (No Commercials)
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM - TTSL 323,679 (304,282); CP - 58,540 (56,285). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
3 AOL Top Pop (Internet-only) Top 40 - TTSL 275,238 (231,263); CP - 174,432 (150,991), Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: AOL Top Country (Internet-only) Country format- TTSL 269,326 (214,598); CP - 108,320 (89,128). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
5: Smooth Jazz format AOL Smooth Jazz - TTSL -254,645 (213,613); CP - 59,337 (50,454). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to July 13 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network - TTSL - 5,991,891 (5,066,014); CP - 1,561,809 (1,398,454). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: LAUNCH TTSL - 2,499,368 (2,065,413); CP 625,890 - (552,232). Up from second with higher listening and reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL - 1,589,055 (1,419,870); CP - 390,172 (369,556). Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network TTSL - 1,138,984 (964,751); CP - 122,632 (117,238) - Same rank with higher listening and reach. (Sales network)
5: Warp Radio TTSL- 786,015 (688,264); CP - 127,618 (121,118) - Same rank with higher listening and reach. (Sales network).
Previous Arbiton Internet Broadcast Ratings (Month of June)
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Weekly Ratings (Correction by Arbitron):

2003-07-25: Aided by strong performances from its cable, TV and video businesses, Viacom has reported a 21% rise in second-quarter profits to USD 659.6 million on revenues up 10% to a record USD 6.42 billion.
Radio was a weak spot with revenues down 3% to USD 551 million and cable networks the top performer with revenues up 22% to USD 1.35 billion.
Radio operating income was down 5% to USD266 million compared to a 33% increase to USD 493 million for the cable networks operations. Entertainment also performed badly with a 1% drop in revenues to USD 920 million and a 36% fall in operating income to USD 72 million.
Viacom has revised its full-year operating income prediction from mid-teens percentage growth to double-digit growth.
It said that its radio advertising revenues had been up 3% in the quarter but this had been more than offset by lower ancillary revenues including income from management services provided to syndication company Westwood One: These fell from USD 38 million a year earlier to USD 16 million in the quarter.
The radio division remains high margin, although this slipped one point to 48%.
Commenting on the radio performance to analysts Viacom President and COO Mel Karmazin said he was "guardedly optimistic that radio is seriously heading back" following changes recently made at the division.
Karmazin noted that over the past three months radio revenues had gone from a 1% fall in April to a flat month in May and an 8% increase in June with current July pacings ahead of last year.
Karmazin commented of the overall results, "Nearly every major business segment turned in an outstanding performance in the second quarter of 2003, which enabled Viacom to deliver the best second quarter in its history…Looking ahead to 2004, Viacom is exceptionally well positioned to benefit from a robust upfront advertising market, a significant increase in political advertising and the return of the Super Bowl to CBS next year."
Chairman and Chief Executive Sumner M. Redstone commented of the results, "Our record second quarter, with double-digit operating income growth in four major business segments, builds on the momentum we gathered in the first quarter of 2003, which was also a record period for Viacom."
"Spread across both advertising-based and non-advertising businesses, this strength once again highlights the fundamental growth attributes of Viacom's assets, our ability to consistently deliver superior results, and our ability to seize growth opportunities both internally and externally."
Viacom has also opted to pay a dividend for the first time - of 6 cents a share payable on October 1 - and Redstone said this highlighted the company's "financial strength and flexibility" including the "ability to generate significant amounts of free cash" and an "impeccable balance sheet."
"We believe that the unique combination of these attributes, including a quarterly cash payout," he continued, "will make Viacom an even more attractive investment to an even broader range of investors who share our confidence in the Company's long-term growth potential."
There were similar words from Clear Channel chairman and CEO Lowry Mays about its declarations of a quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share, also payable in October. It's the first quarterly dividend paid by the company - in fact the first dividend since a one-off three cents a share payment in 1989 - and Mays said its declaration demonstrated confidence in "the company's long-term growth opportunities and financial strength."
Mays also noted that federal tax laws on dividends had recently been "improved."
Clear Channel shares ended Thursday up 2.9% at USD 40.65 and Viacom was up 4.1% at USD44.72.
In other US radio business, Cumulus has confirmed its completion of its acquisitions of two Nashville FMs from Gaylord for USD 65 million in cash (See RNW July 23) and also of four stations in Huntsville, Alabama, from Athens Broadcasting Company in a share deal (See RNW April 3). It was already operating all the stations under local marketing agreements.
Cumulus is reported to be trimming staff at the Nashville stations with some 15 staff being ousted including WWTN-FM Program Director Doug Kellett and Production Director Bruce Sherman.
Not going to completion is Magnum Radio Group's USD 4.33 million sale of six stations to Mid-West Family Broadcasting (See RNW March 11).
Both groups have agreed to dissolve the deal, blaming the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) June 2 rule changes, which it says would have affected grants required for the stations' transfer.
Dave Magnum commented that had the applications, which were amongst those put on hold when the new rules were issued, been filed a few weeks earlier the transfers would probably have been granted and then grandfathered in.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Cumulus:
Previous Karmazin:
Previous Lowry Mays:
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Previous Westwood One:

2003-07-25: In a 400-21 vote, the US House of Representatives has voted to block new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) media regulations that would allow one company to own TV stations reaching 45% of the US population; the size of the majority puts the White House in a dilemma over its suggestions that President Bush would use his veto to force through the new rules.
The vote came after frenzied lobbying by large media groups and congressional aides said News Corporation lobbyists had helped to circulate a petition, endorsed by the house leadership, saying that those signing it would vote to sustain a veto.
Attached to the petition was a set of talking paints said to have been prepared by Disney and Viacom.
Viacom, which owns CBS, and News Corporation, which owns the Fox network, each already have more stations than permitted under the former 35% national TV cap and could be forced into costly divestitures.
NBC, owned by GE, has just under the cap and Disney stations reach some 24% of the US population.
The petition failed to attract anywhere near the third of members needed to support an override.
The vote itself vote would stop the FCC funding the introduction of its new limit for one fiscal year but there are suggestions that the size of the majority may embolden its supporters to try for a permanent ban.
Previous FCC:

2003-07-25: Leading Mexican radio group Grupo Radio Centro, S.A. de C.V. has reported broadcasting revenues in the quarter to the end of June of MXN (Mexican pesos) 255 million (USD 28.2 million), a 40% increase on a year ago; for the first half of the year revenues were up 44.8% to MXN 443 million (USD42 million).
The group, which operates 14 radio stations, 11 of which are located in Mexico City, attributes the increase primarily to political advertising in connection with Mexico's congressional elections in June.
Broadcasting income for the quarter was up 144.6% to just under Ps 125 million (USD 11.8 million) and overall company net income, after provision for tax and employee profit sharing, was MXN 54 million (USD 5.1 million); For the same quarter of 2002, Grupo Rado made a net loss of MXN 41.4 million (USD 3.9 million) and thus made no such provisions.
For the half-year, broadcasting income more than quadrupled from MXN 50.3 million (USD 4.8 million) to MXN 202 million (USD19 million) and overall net income was MXN 61.8 million (USD 5.85 million) compared to a 2002 loss of MXN89.8 million (USD 8.5 milli
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2003-07-25: The AOL Radio Network in its first month in the Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings went straight to the top network rank and also had two stations in the top five stations; one of them, its smooth jazz station was in fourth place but Jazz FM, previously third, fell to 13th.
The top five stations for June were (May figures in brackets):
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 1,938,314 (1,496,382); CP 545,748 (487,937). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin Radio - TTSL 1,048,651 (1,333,140); CP 172,559 (218,303). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
3: AOL Top Pop - TTSL 964,246; CP 451,783. First month in ratings.
4: AOL Smooth Jazz - TTSL 954,519; CP 154,173 First month in ratings.
5: Classical format WQXR-FM - TTSL 944,008 (964,874); CP 87,086 (92,103). Down from fourth with lower and reach.
** Jazz format Jazz FM fell from third to 13th with TTSL down from 974,017 to 702,212 and CP down from 89,698 to 71,717 and News-Talk WLS-AM fell from fifth to ninth although TTSL rose from 752,632 to 763,392' its CP was down from 76,956 to 75,358.
The top five networks for June were (May figures in brackets):
1: AOL Radio Network - TTSL 21,679,740; CP 3,515,790. First month in ratings.
2: - TTSL 10,962,524 (13,518,061); CP 1,567,685 (1,926,027). Down from first with lower listening and reach.
3: Yahoo LAUNCH - TTSL 9,816,571 (13,289,183); CP 1,450,801 (1,824,513). Down from second with lower listening and reach.
4: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 6,547,106 (5,758,968); CP 1,275,972 (1,235,573). Down from third despite higher listening and reach.
5: Adsertion TTSL 4,891,470 (5,106,624); CP 330,835 (345,892). Down from fourth with lower listening and reach.
* WARP Radio fell from fifth to sixth with TTSL down from 3,413,544 to 3,314,842 and CP down from 471,870 to 386,957.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast monthly ratings:

2003-07-24: As the US House of Representatives debates on the Federal Communications Commission's new media regulation rules, speculation has increased that a move to overturn the increase of the TV network ownership cap to 45% from 35% through denying funds for its implementation may be approved and US President George W Bush has indicated he would veto the legislation if it is passed by both houses of Congress.
The measure has already been approved in the Senate but had been expected to fail in the House where it had been strongly opposed by Louisiana Republican Representative Billy Tauzin, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The House has rejected an amendment that would also have overturned the loosening of regulations on newspaper-broadcaster co-ownership and on the number of TV stations that could be owned in a market.
On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Michael K Powell defended the new regulations saying in a statement that said the Commission was "confident" in its decision.
"We created enforceable rules that reflect the realities of today's media marketplace. The rules will benefit Americans by protecting localism, competition and diversity," added Powell.
He added on the matter of the cap, "Our democracy is strong. It is not threatened by half a percent. It would be irresponsible to ignore the diversity of viewpoints provided by cable, satellite and the Internet."
Opposing his view, Democrat Commissioner Michael J Copps, told the Senate Commerce Committee that the FCC in its June 2 vote had made the "wrong" decision in terms of public interest; Copps also said that he intended to hold a series of town meetings to give concerned citizens the opportunity to express their views on whether their local radio and television stations are serving the public interest and should have their licenses renewed.
Copps referred to "so-called 'postcard' renewals after a minimal review and no public outreach to local communities."
He told the committee, "Most people do not even know that they can challenge the renewal of a local radio or television station if they believe that the station is not living up to its obligation due to a lack of local coverage, a lack of diversity, excessive indecency and violence, or for other concerns important to the community."
Copps and Commerce Committee chairman, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain have suggested possible reductions of the licence term from eight years so as more frequently review community service actions by broadcasters.
RNW comment; Acting on a variant of the old saw, "Follow the money", the logical comment on this issue if "Follow the votes." In those terms local broadcasters generally have much more clout than a network in terms of their effects on the re-election prospects of a Senator or member of Congress and we thus tend to feel that the 35% TV cap - favoured by local broadcasters (and the National Association of Broadcasters) but opposed by the media giants - may well be renewed.
The easing by the FCC of other restrictions in terms of local cross ownership are more generally supported by local media and thus there is likely to be a different balance here since the support comes from consumer and community groups who have nowhere to go with their opposition if there is bipartisan support for retaining the FCC rules on these matters.

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2003-07-24: Veteran Denver radio personality Harold "Hal" Moore has brought an age discrimination lawsuit against Infinity's oldies KXKL-AM, which fired him in August last year, and Infinity radio itself.
63-years-old Moore, who was one year into a five-year contract when he was sacked, had been hired from KCKK-AM to co-host a new morning show, Hal and The Coach, with Rick Marshall.
He had made an initial age discrimination complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in April gave him the option of suing the station within the next 90 days.
His current suit calls for an award of lost wages and benefits, reinstatement and emotional distress damages and alleges that he was fired in breach of his contract because he was the station's only full-time on-air personality who was outside the target demographic age group of 25 to 54 years.
Moore says he was told by a relatively new program director that he lacked "chemistry" between him and his co-host; he adds that he was not given any time to change his performance and says that the only criticism he received related to his supposed "lack of energy".
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
Rocky Mountain News report:

2003-07-24: Montreal-headquartered Astral Media and Toronto-headquartered CHUM have both reported strong results in their third quarters running to the end of May.
Astral did far better; its profits were up 43% to CAD 20.2 million (USD 14.7 million), or CAD 0.36 per share, from CAD 14.1 million (USD 10.3 million) a year earlier and revenues were up 21% to CAD 126.5 million (USD 92 million).
It attributed the improvements to strong results from its specialty-TV operations - overall TV revenues were only up 12.3% to CAD 92.5 million (USD 67.3 million) - and radio, where revenues, boosted by acquisitions and excluding assets held for disposal, were up nearly 155% to CAD 25 million (USD 18.2 million); radio EBITDA, also excluding assets held for disposal - which showed a loss of CAD 39 million (USD 28.4 million), was up 225% to CAD 8.6 million (USD 6.26 million).
Commenting on the results, President and CEO Ian Greenberg said, "We have again demonstrated a very solid financial performance overall this quarter with our Television and Radio groups leading the way"
"With continued strong growth in the number of pay TV subscribers of 13.7% year-over-year and advertising revenue growth of 38% in the third quarter, the Television group continues its solid performance."
"Radio also had considerable success in the quarter with continued organic revenue growth of 13% and, with the inclusion of the stations acquired from Telemedia, an overall revenue increase of 153%. The Outdoor Advertising group's performance is consistent with lower growth rates in the industry as a whole, reporting increased revenues of 3% for the quarter."
Greenberg added that the group remained confident it would meet its targets for the full year.
CHUM profits for the third quarter were up 37.5% at CAD 9.9 million (USD 7.2 million)- CAD 0.85 per share) on revenues that rose 8.1% to CAD 143 million (USD 103.9 million).
TV revenues were up 10.1% to CAD 109.6 million (USD 79.6 million) and radio was up 6.8% to CAD 30.6 million (USD 22.2 million).
Radio EBITDA was up 29.6% to CAD 28.6 million (USD 20.8 million) compared to a TV increase of 14.7% to CAD 22.6 million (USD 16.5 million); looking ahead CHUM said radio prospects for 2004 were uncertain and it expected a more modest increase than in 2003 although its stations were "well-positioned to take advantage of any improvement in market conditions."
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2003-07-24: The future of yet another US college FM is in doubt, with a possible sale to be discussed next month.
The station concerned is WNCW-FM, the station of the Isothermal Community College in Spindale, North Carolina; it has a valuable signal from its transmitter at Clingman's Peak on Mount Mitchell, which, together with translators mean it can be heard in five states and includes urban centers such as Asheville, Charlotte, Knoxville and Greenville.
According to the Ashville Citizen-Times, interest in the station has been expressed by contemporary Christian music station WAY-FM, which offered USD 1.3 million, and also by Wake Forest classical station WCPE-FM and Charlotte Christian music station WRCM-FM. In addition an Asheville-based group of businesses called Preserve WNCW said it would also be interested in buying the license.
A special meeting of the College's Board of Trustees is to be held on August 12 to hear College President Bill Lewis present his report on the station.
The draft report, prepared by Lewis and Director of Administrative Services Stephen Matheny, outlines eight options ranging from allowing the license to lapse (effectively ruled out) through to the ultimate options to continue to operate the station or sell it.
Ashville Citizen-Times report
College draft report on WCNW (115kb PDF):

2003-07-24: UK Guardian Media Group (GMG) has reported pre-tax profits of GBP 36.9 million (USD 60 million) in the year to the end of March, more than thrice that of the previous year when they were GBP 9.8 million (USD 15.8 million).
Newspaper division revenues, the company's core, were up from GBP 331.3 million (USD 534.8 million) to GBP 376.1million (USD 607 million), and its operating profits rose from GBP 20.1million (USD 32.5 million) to GBP 26.5million (USD 42.8 million).
Revenue at GMG's radio division, which includes Jazz FM, rose from GBP 8.2 million (USD 13.2 million) to GBP 21.6million (USD 35 million) and its operating loss was flat at GBP 4.3million (USD 6.9 million).
The group has a potential dilemma over plans to take complete control of Trader Media Group in which it currently has a 48% stake; such a move would cost around GBP 500 million (USD 807 million), within reach of GMG which has no debts and cash in hand of some GBP 168 million (USD 271 million) but it could hamper any radio acquisitions that might now become possible following passage of new media legislation in the UK this month.
Also in UK radio business, the Radio Authority has made a preliminary public interest finding that would allow Asian station Sunrise Radio, which broadcasts on the AM band in London, to go ahead with its GBP 1.5 million (USD 2.4 million) for Mean Radio Holdings Ltd, which operates country station Mean Country that is also on a London AM frequency. The authority is now seeking comment on the matter.
If the deal goes through it will be seen as a welcome reprieve for Mean whose accounts to December last year showed it on the books at a value of GBP 300, 000 (USD 484,000); it had a net loss for the year of GBP 119,000 (USD 192, 000) and a turnover of only GBP 2,000 (USD 3,200).
Still in London, the UK Guardian reports that Kiss FM breakfast host Bam Bam has opted to stay with the Emap station and rejected advances from Capital Radio, which had made a GBP 1 million plus (USD 1.6 million plus) offer for him to move.
The paper quotes a Capital spokeswoman as saying that Bam Bam was among a number of people it had talked to against a background there current breakfast host Chris Tarrant's contract ends at the end of this year.
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Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Guardian report on Bam Bam:

2003-07-23: The US Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America have described the Federal Communications Commission's Diversity Index as "an intentional distortion of market analysis driven by a desire to allow more media consolidation"
It argues that the Index, which "plays the central role in determining where to allow newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership mergers to take place" is "fundamentally-flawed".
Consumers Union Director of Advocacy and Public Policy Gene Kimmelman said the Index, "makes a mockery of meaningful antitrust and competitive market analysis for the sole purpose of allowing media giants to grow larger. This index is so nonsensical that it finds the New York Times to be a less meaningful source of news about New York than the Multicultural Radio Corp."
The report's author Mark Cooper, Director of Research for the Consumer Federation of America, commented, "The FCC cooked the books to come up with the result they wanted-and the books aren't even half baked."
…."Incredibly, the Diversity Index never considers the actual market share of media outlets. The FCC decided to ignore the audience of the individual media outlets that will actually do the merging and swapping."
As a result of this fundamental methodological flaw, the FCC's Diversity Index produces bizarre results that do not reflect media market reality.,"
He then gives three examples, saying that In New York City, Shop at Home TV and the Dutchess Community College TV each has more weight than the New York Times, In the Tallahassee area in Florida, the Thomasville Tribune with daily circulation just under 10,000 per day is given equal weight with the Tallahassee Democrat, whose more than 50,000 daily circulation puts it at almost two thirds of the daily circulation and notes that the Thomasville Tribune is given twice as much weight as the local CBS affiliate, which has over 50,000 viewers a day, and that in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the Fox affiliate, Peak Media, is given twice the weight of the NBC and CBS affiliates, even though both NBC and CBS have over four times the viewing audience of Fox.
Cooper's study, "Abracadabra! Hocus-Pocus! Making Media Market Power Disappear With the FCC's Diversity Index" also accuses the FCC of contradicting its own arguments in preparing the index.
It says that in justifying the decision to abandon the prohibition of newspaper-television cross ownership, the FCC repeatedly cited market shares and measures of the influence of outlets, but in applying the Diversity Index, it refused to consider these factors.
The consumer organisations argue that the index underestimates concentration of media markets because its simple voice count approach under-weights the market effects of cross-ownership by the largest players in the market and over-weights small and non-commercial outlets, while its valuation of different media types vastly overstates the importance of radio stations, weekly newspapers and the Internet.
Previous FCC:
Consumers Union/Consumers Federation report (115 Kb PDF):

2003-07-23: The UK Londis group, which has some 2,240 stores, has signed up to an in-store radio service from Newsagents Radio, a service from Storm Digital Broadcasting, according to a report in the UK Telegraph.
The service will be distributed by satellite to Londis stores for whom a live daily service is being created comprising pop music, news, weather, sport interspersed with adverts and brand promotions.
Newsagents Radio, says the paper, claims a 6% increase in sales for outlets who take its service; the report ads that some four-fifths of shoppers go into stores not knowing exactly what they want and are thus more susceptible to advertising than in other locations.
It notes that in-store services are used by a wide range of organisations with some specific one-off uses for other than promotional purposes such as a Christmas broadcast from the Archbishop of Canterbury that was broadcast in Wal-Mart-owned ASDA stores five years ago.
It aalso notes that DJs from Virgin megastores' in-house broadcasts have succeeeded in moving on to mainstream stations.
UK Telegraph report:

2003-07-23: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that as of the end of June the US had a total of 26,419 licensed broadcast stations, an increase of 53 on the figure at the end of March.
Of this total 13,418 were radio licences, up 35 on the previous total and within the radio total there were 4803 AMs - down one, 6189 commercial FMs - up thirty, and 2426 educational FMs - up 26.
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Previous FCC station numbers:

2003-07-23: Gaylord Entertainment Company has announced the completion of its USD 65 million cash sale of its two FM stations WSM-FM and WWTN-FM, to Cumulus Media, which is also managing advertising sales for its country WSM-AM station.
Gaylord is to use the funds in connection with various purposes including the construction of the Gaylord Opryland Texas Resort & Convention Center and the renovation of the Grand Ole Opry House; it says it is committed to development of WMS-AM, its "cherished icon of country music and key distribution channel for the Company's Grand Ole Opry content."
Also completed is the Big City Radio sale of Chicago suburban station, WVIV-FM, the former WXXY-FM, Highland Park, to HBC Illinois, Inc., an affiliate of Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation.
The USD 32.9 million deal was originally announced in January (See RNW Jan 3) at which time the deal was structured so as to transfer the licence to Superior Broadcasting of Chicago but Hispanic would programme the station.
Later this was amended to a direct sale (See RNW May 9) with Big City selling non-licence assets for just under USD 30 million with the balance to be paid when the licence was transferred as has now happened.
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2003-07-23: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 penalty to a Florida pirate operator, reduced penalties totalling USD 21,500 imposed on Radio 1 Inc to USD 8,000 and cancelled a USD 7.000 penalty on a Pennsylvania AM.
The USD 10, 000 penalty went to Everald Oliver Brown of Orlando; he had been issued with a notice of the penalty in March but had not responded.
The Radio 1 penalties related to a total of ten offences by WBOT-FM, Boston and had already been reduced from USD 22,000 (See RNW Aug 16 2001) and had then been further reduced to USD 9,200 in October 2002 through elimination, following presentation of new evidence, of a USD 10,000 penalty imposed for failure to maintain a public inspection file and a reduction of other penalties on the basis of a past history of compliance (See Licence News Oct 20, 2002).
Following further representations by the company, which said it had acted in good faith to comply with Emergency Alert System regulations and had ordered equipment to fix a fault prior to its inspection, the penalty has been trimmed by a further USD 1,2000 to USD 8,000.
Cancelled was a USD 7,000 penalty issued to WOYK Inc. licensees of WOYK-AM, York, Pennsylvania, for failure to maintain an adequate tower fence.
The penalty had originally been proposed when an inspection showed a gap in the fence around an antenna but WOYK had argued that in fact a portion of fence had become secured only at the top and middle sections to a warped fence post, thus creating a gap of only six to 12 inches (150-300 mm). It said access could only be gained by breaking down the fence or climbing over it. It also said that it had fixed the fence within 24 hours of being told of the problem. The FCC accepted the company's statement and cancelled the penalty.
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2003-07-23: Arbitron has issued a correction to its Internet Broadcasting network ratings for the week to July 6 (See RNW July 18); they include Launch, which disappeared from Arbitron's Internet rankings the previous week (See RNW July 11) but is now back in third rank, pushing MUSICMATCH down to fourth.
The new figures (previous figures in brackets are:
1: AOL Radio@ Network - TTSL - 5,066,014; CP -1,398,454 No correction.
2: - TTSL - 2,218,237; CP - 432,470 No correction.
3: LAUNCH TTSL - 2,065,413; CP - 552,232 - absent from original ratings.
4: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL - 1,419,870; CP - 369,556. Down from third as a result of LAUNCH's inclusion.
5: The Adsertion Network TTSL - 964,751; CP - 117,238 - Down from fourth.
* Warp Radio TTSL- 688,264; CP - 121,118 - Down from fifth to from sixth.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:

2003-07-22: A report in Time Magazine says that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael K Powell has told confidantes he would like to leave the job by fall (autumn); it adds in parenthesis that "Powell has denied he's leaving soon".
Time also reports that three of his four top staff members have put out job feelers and suggests as most likely successors either Rebecca Klein, head of the Texas public-utility commission and formerly on the staff of Governor George W. Bush, or Republican FCC commissioner Kevin Martin.
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Previous Powell:
Time Magazine report:

2003-07-22: BBC World Service dramas next month will span the continents with dramas from Africa, India and the USA.
The Service's Play of the Week will feature a double-bill of prize-winning plays from Africa on Saturday August 2-- K-Street by Andiah Kisiah, which won first prize in the recent African Performance competition and examines the way in which two poorly paid policemen in Kenya react to the temptations of corruption and The Engagement by Sefi Atta, which won the second prize in the same competition. It is set in Nigeria and deals with traditional Yoruba wedding that falls into disarray when the bride learns the truth about her philandering fiancé.
On August 9, the Service will feature "The World is Smaller", an evening of dramatic performances and readings recorded live at the Café Royal in London to mark the 70th anniversary of World Service drama.
The following Saturday, the play will be "Walk Right By Me", starring Gary Oldman; written by first time writer Christopher C Harris it tells the story of Warren (Oldman) who lives alone and becomes captivated by an ex-dancer.
On August 23, the play is "The Darker Face of the Earth", set on a slave plantation in pre-Civil War South Carolina; it is being broadcast to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade Abolition and transposes the Oedipus myth to the plantation.
The final play, being broadcast on August 31 will be The Guide by Indian author R.K Narayan; it tells the story of shopkeeper and resourceful tourist guide Raju, who takes a rollercoaster ride through life when he falls in love with the beautiful dancer Rosie.
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2003-07-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a penalty of USD 8,000 on a Puerto Rico licensee for failing to install Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment but reduced from USD 8,000 to USD 5,000 a penalty for EAS violations earlier imposed on a California station.
The USD 8,000 penalty was imposed on Southern Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WENA-AM, Yauco, Puerto Rico, for failure to install EAS equipment; it had failed to respond to a notice of apparent liability issued in March.
The penalty that was reduced was imposed on Rotijefco, Inc, licensee of KZBN-AM, Santa Barbara, for failure to maintain operational EAS equipment and failure to log the status of the non- operational equipment.
KZBN had appealed on various grounds including past record and the fact that it was having its equipment repaired but did not deny operating for more than 60 days without the equipment and not applying for an extension of the period.
The FCC reduced the fine to USD 6,5000 on the basis that the fault had been identified and the equipment sent for repair and cut it further to USD 5,000 on the basis of a past unblemished record. It held that figures provided to justify a reduction on financial hardship grounds indicated that the USD 5,000 penalty should stand.
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2003-07-21: Consolidation and conflict with public interest was again making its appearance in cover about radio in the papers last week, this time on both sides of the Atlantic as the UK government's Communications Bill finally became law.
In the US, Conservative columnist William Safire took another dig at big media in his New York Times column Localism's Last Stand.
In it he contended that the giants got a surprise when their lobbying efforts failed to defeat a Senate vote about the national TV cap; it was a different story though on cross-ownership where he commented, "Sen. John McCain, told me, 'The fix is in on cross-ownership.'"
The Senate vote on the cap according to Safire was "was only a skirmish about half the battle, and that only about delaying the funds for the F.C.C.'s misbegotten action by a year. "
In similar light, in the UK, Matt Born in his report in the Telegraph on the passage of the Communications Bill said that those who had been concerned about its effects remained unhappy with their main concern "whether there has been too much emphasis on promoting competition and too little on protecting consumers."
The plurality test that was inserted into the bill - a stronger amendment was narrowly defeated - in the House of Lords, reports Born was felt by some peers as "not going to be sufficient to maintain media diversity. "
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell insists, he said, " that the Bill has struck the right balance between business interests and those of consumers" but he noted that the UK Guardian had referred to " an invitation to nail a jelly to the wall, if ever there was one."
"Critics warn," wrote Born, "that politicians cannot always be relied upon to protect the public interest - especially when media barons are involved."
Moving away from politicians, but in a sense not from consolidation, in the Guardian, Rory McLeod, director of the National Broadcasting School, launched a different attack, this time on the what he termed "Radio's insistence on hiring non-executive directors with little or no media experience", something he added was, "part of a vicious circle of mismanagement that blights the industry."
The problem, he said, was one not of the big players but smaller independent ones: "It's the same old story: lousy management to begin with; station sold to small radio group; lousy management again; station sold to big group."
"I happen to believe that radio licences are both a privilege and an opportunity. But often the privilege is being abused and the opportunity wasted as a result of a monumental shortage of management skills at board level. And, sadly, dependent upon this army of unqualified non-execs are the livelihoods of hard-working, committed employees and their families - not to mention listeners and advertisers."
McCleod suggested that when the new regulator Ofcom took over it should make the radio management expertise of non-executive directors a priority, quizzing applicants about the matter.
… "operating companies should be required," added McLeod, "to report annually on their training activities, top to bottom, and, as a licensing condition, be required to meet certain standards."
"I contend," wrote McLeod, " that more than 80% of non-executive directors in new commercial radio stations know squat about the business. They have no idea which questions to ask when recruiting managers, have no idea which measurements and indicators to use when monitoring performance, and have little idea what the competition - radio and the rest - is doing. And as for the important bit, content, well, hold me down! "
Based on his comments, McLeod might have some views on Chris Campling's column in the UK Times in which he commented on the increasing numbers of ex football (soccer) players who are adding to their crusts by "embracing the world of expert analysis via the spoken media."
After giving details of various exponents, Campling concluded "I don't know about you, but I find this work experience for men who've had one career an edifying example to other spheres where youth is all. Imagine what vengeful fun battered and bruised victims of the pop-music industry could have. Professional footballers used to become pub landlords once they hung up their boots but now they invade the airwaves."
In the Sunday Times, Campling's colleague Roland White was also drawing comparisons between soccer and radio, this time in reference to the search for a new controller for BBC Radio 2 - someone who will have to take over from an incumbent who certainly has radio management expertise..
"At first sight," Campling wrote of the post, "this must seem like a wonderful opportunity, but it's actually more like taking over Manchester United from Sir Alex Ferguson."
"The current controller, Jim Moir, has taken ageing, arthritic Radio 2, with its dodgy hip and its embarrassing tendency to forget people's names, and administered frequent doses of HRT. The result is that Radio 2 is feeling half its age. Moir has pulled off one of the hardest tricks in the media business: he has kept his older listeners while attracting new ones by the people-carrier-load."
Finally what in the end radio is all about -what listeners hear: Which is as good a cue as any for some encomiums from Sue Arnold in her Observer radio column.
One came for a production of Romeo and Juliet on BBC World Service, of which she commented, "Never was love at first sight more convincing, passion more tangible or vows exchanged with such sincerity as here. It had the urgency of the Leonardo DiCaprio version but none of the gimmicks."
And of Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 (Both programmes are still for the moment available for a little loner on the Internet ): "...Talking of George Foreman, the former world heavyweight champion gave Desert Island Discs a much-needed boost after Barbara Taylor-Bradford. She may be a best-selling novelist but, my god, she's boring."
"I knew I'd like George as soon as I heard him choose Rossini's overture to William Tell because it was the soundtrack from The Lone Ranger. "
"The Foreman family was so poor that none of the children had lunch to take to school. To save face, George carried a lunchbox with an empty bag inside. When lunchtime came, he pretended he'd already eaten his sandwich. For that, George, I'm going to buy one of your fat-free grills. You may be a multimillionaire but you're all heart."
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2003-07-21: Seattle-headquartered Fisher Communications is to restate its financial results for last year with the effect based on preliminary unaudited results of increasing its loss by around USD 60-85 million after taxes; it also expects to reduce the net loss for the first quarter of this year by around USD 20 million but increasing its as a result of adjustments related to the sale of its Georgia television stations.
The restatement relates to impairment of goodwill under Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142 (FAS 142): Fisher had initially concluded there was no impairment of goodwill when it adopted FAS 132 but says the restatement was necessary after its independent auditors reversed their previous concurrence that there was no impairment.
The changes do not affect Fishers previously reported revenues, cash flows, or results from continuing operations (See RNW April 25).
Previous Fisher:

2003-07-20: Last week was one that saw a large number of licence renewals in Canada, Ireland and the UK, although Australia was quiet. In the US, the political contest over the FCC's new media regulations continued.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has again been fairly active with licence renewals and changes.
In order of province they included:
Renewal of licence of CKBA-AM, Athabasca, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHFM-FM, Calgary, and its transmitter CHFM-FM-1 Banff until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFAC-AM, Calgary, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHMN-FM, Canmore, and its transmitter CJMT-FM-1, Banff, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHED-AM, Edmonton, Brantford, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIBQ -AM, Brooks, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKDQ -AM, Drumheller, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFBR-FM, Edmonton, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJYR-AM, Edson and its transmitters CKYR-AM, Jasper, CKYR-1-AM, Grande Cache and CFYR-FM, Whitecourt, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJCM-AM, Grand Centre, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKVH-AM, High Prairie, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIZZ FM Red Deer, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKWA-AM, Slave Lake, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKSQ-AM, Stettler, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHLW -AM, St. Paul, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKKY-AM, Wainwright, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFOK-AM, Westlock, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIYR -AM, Westlock, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKJR -AM, Wetaskiwin, until 31 August 2010.
British Columbia:
Renewal of licence of CKBX-AM, 100 Mile House, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFLD-AM, Burns Lake and its transmitter CHLD-AM, Granule, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFLD-AM, Burns Lake and its transmitter CHLD-AM, Granisle, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJDC-AM, Dawson Creek and its transmitter CJDC-1-FM, Tumbler Ridge, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKRX-FM, Fort Nelson, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHRX-FM, Fort St. John, and its transmitter CHRX-FM-1, Dawson Creek, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHNL-AM, Kamloops, and its transmitters CHNL-1, Clearwater, CHNL- 2 FM Sorrento, and CINL-AM, Ashcroft until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKRV-FM, Kamloops, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIOR-AM, Princeton, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIRX-FM, Prince George, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHTK-AM, Prince Rupert, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CJFW-FM, Terrace, and its transmitters CJFW-FM-1, Kitimat, CJFW- FM-2, Prince Rupert, CJFW-FM-3, Sandspit, CJFW-FM-4, Masset, CJFW-FM-5, Burns Lake, CJFW-FM-6, Smithers, CJFW-FM-7, Houston and CJFW-FM-8, Hazelton, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFTK-AM, Terrace, until 31 August 2010.
New 151 watts transmitter in Prince George for CBU-FM, Vancouver, to rebroadcast the CBC Radio 2 national service; this transmitter is currently operated by the Prince George Community FM Stereo Society for the same purpose and is being relinquished by the Society.
New Brunswick:
Renewal of licence of CFXY-FM Fredericton (formerly CKHJ-FM), until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIKX-FM, Grand Falls and its transmitter CJCJ-2, Plaster Rock until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CHSJ-FM, Saint John, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKPC-FM, Brantford, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKPC-AM, Brantford, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKX-FM Brandon, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKLY-FM, Lindsay, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKSL-AM, London, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CFPL FM, London, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKDX-FM, Newmarket, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CIXK-FM, Owen Sound, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKQM -FM, Peterborough, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKTB-AM, St. Catharines, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKWW-AM, Windsor, St. Catharines, until 31 August 2010.
Renewal of licence of CKNX FM, Wingham and Centreville, until 31 August 2010.
Approval of power increase from 350 watts to 1,100 watts for CFIE-FM, Toronto, changing the Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. station from Class A to Class B1.
Approval of power increase from 53 watts to 64 watts for CHAA-FM, Longueuil
Approval of power increase from 53 watts to 64 watts for CHAA-FM, Longueuil
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has signed four ten-year licence renewals including one with contemporary hit station FM104, the first renewal under the Commission's renewal process that began in December 2001.
FM104, which has nearly 200, 000 listeners daily, is the top-rated Dublin station with particular dominance with adult audiences up to 35.
The other licence renewals were for Galway Bay FM, Mid-West Radio and Clare FM.
In the UK, the Radio Authority was also active with licence renewals including 12 licenses automatically renewed because they are providing services on the relevant digital multiples.
These were:
Belfast AM - Downtown Radio (SRH)
Northern Ireland FM - Downtown Radio/Cool FM (SRH)
Crawley & Reigate AM - Classic Gold 1521 (CGDL)
Edinburgh FM - Forth One (SRH)
Edinburgh AM - Forth 2 (SRH)
Humberside FM - 96.9 Viking FM (Emap Performance)
Humberside AM - Magic 1161 AM (Emap Performance)
Norwich AM - Classic Gold Amber (CGDL)
Nottingham/Derby AM - Classic Gold GEM (CGDL)
Teesside FM - TFM (Emap Performance)
Teesside AM - Magic 1170 (Emap Performance)
Wolverhampton/Shrewsbury & Telford AM - Classic Gold WABC (CGDL)
It also announced that it has received two applications for the re-advertised Dumfries & Galloway licence in Southwest Scotland. They were from existing licensee Southwest Sound Limited, which offers a mix of adult contemporary and chart music and from DG Radio Ltd, which is proposing a full service station.
In Carmarthenshire, following analysis of the transmission proposals of the applicants, the authority has concluded that the application by Carmarthenshire Sound Ltd. would be incompatible with the Government's proposed new ownership concentration limits which are expected to be in force by the time that this local licence would be granted, and Carmarthenshire Sound Ltd. Has withdrawn its application.
The Authority has also announced that after a preliminary determination of public interest tests, the applications from Capital Radio (West Midlands) Ltd and The Storm (West Midlands) Ltd, in which GWR Group plc has a controlling interest, for the new West Midlands FM licence would not be against the public interest. It is now asking for comments on the applications, which were among 11 made for the licence (See RNW May 14).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) successfully went to the courts to get backing for payment of a USD 10,000 penalty levied against a Florida pirate operator (See RNW July 16); it has also put a low-powered FM in South Carolina off the air following complaints from WGVC-FM, Greenville, after it had moved its tower to the suburb of Greenville.
Oldies WGCV was purchased by Barnstable Broadcasting Inc. in February last year for USD 4 million from Sutton Radiocasting Corporation, subject to approval of the transmitter move and an upgrade from a Class A to a Class C3 that led to a power increase to 25kv from 6kw.
The FCC, not content with putting 71-watt LPFM WFBP-LP off the air because of the commercial station power increase also refused an application from it to change frequencies.
WFBP-LP Station founder and President Frank Patterson is reported by Christian Community Broadcasters to be considering legal action over what he termed an "atrocity".
His consultant, Leo Ashcraft of MBC consulting, is quoted as saying, "What happened to WFBP-LP could happen to any LPFM. It's important that the LPFM community support Mr Patterson as he enters into this battle with the Goliath FCC. This should be a policy setting case with the commission once everything is said and done and can either spell further protections for LPFM or lock in these rules that threaten to take away your voice anytime a full power broadcaster wants to expand."
RNW comment: As so often the essential question here seems to be one of the degree to which it is the public interest that one party should have precedence over the other? In view of the recent report by the Mitre Corporation of its LPFM study, we wonder exactly how serious the interference really is? Should it be serious, a fair solution would be a thorough examination of the possibility of allocating another frequency to the LPFM.
If it is not, in our view a just settlement would be to rescind the commercial upgrade - a severe penalty financially but one that would concentrate remarkably the minds of other commercial stations that in future were minded to complain of LPFM interference after an upgrade. It won't happen but it would be in the public interest if it did.

Previous BCI:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :

UK Radio Authority web site:
Christian Community Broadcasters report on WFBP-LP:
Mitre report on LPFM (4.7 Mb PDF)

2003-07-20: The Austin Chronicle reports what it terms a "striking disconnect" between Austin public station KUT-FM and Maria Martin, former executive producer of Latino USA, National Public Radio's "journal of news and culture," about her departure from the station.
Martin, who founded the show ten years ago, told well-wishers at the programme's tenth anniversary celebrations that KUT had told her that appointment would not be renewed but the station issued a news release just saying that "as the recipient of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Martin is forming her own company, Gracias Vida Productions."
Martin says, she submitted the CPB grant proposal while on leave and as an independent producer and indicated on the application that Latino USA would carry the proposed program.
She says that administrators decided that her method of acquiring the funds was questionable, and she was offered three options: resign, return the funds (at a time when public broadcasting program funding is very precarious), or agree that her method of acquiring the funds was a conflict of interest, sending the project into a miasma of UT red tape. She's decided to not fight her dismissal in hopes that the university will agree to carry the program she produces. If not, the funds are lost and the project will not occur.
KUT director and general manager Stewart Vanderwilt told the paper there were "some factual elements out of sync, hairs not necessary to split" but declined to comment as to why Martin couldn't continue to serve as executive producer [of Latino USA] while producing the new Central American project.
Previous CPB:
Previous NPR:
Austin Chronicle report:

2003-07-19: Although Clear Channel has left consolidation in Scandinavia to SBS SA (See RNW July 18) and last year pulled out of UK radio, it does intend to build a radio empire in the UK according to a report in the UK Guardian.
The way for acquisitions by foreign companies was cleared this week when the government's Communications Bill became law, permitting not only purchases by foreign companies but also significant consolidation in broadcasting.
Commenting on recent remarks by Capital Radio chief executive David Mansfield that a bid from Clear Channel would be unwelcome (See RNW July 10), Roger Parry, chief executive of Clear Channel's international arm, said he was unimpressed and added that other media were far more attractive to Clear Channel at the moment, including expansion in the outdoor advertising market.
"Saying he'd rebuff Clear Channel is a bit like Ann Widdecombe putting out a press release saying she's going to turn down a date with Brad Pitt. She should be so lucky; the invitation's got to come in the first place. I'm delighted that David doesn't want a date with us, but as it happens it wasn't on offer."
(RNW note - Widdecombe is an opposition Conservative Member of Parliament and former ministe r- soon to be a radio host (see RNW July 17) - but neither young nor a classical beauty -- The Widdecombe allusion may be accurate but its hardly politic or diplomatic)
Parry commented on the current valuation of Capital compared to its cash flow and noted that the return was around 4% when he was expected to produce 15% as a clear reason there would no bid and also said radio in the UK was currently too expensive.
"No advertiser is saying we'll spend more money with your billboards if you buy a radio group," he said. " The only reason we would do it [buy a radio company is if it made sense. It's a discretionary deal and when things are discretionary you tend to be pretty conservative on the price."
Parry said Clear Channel would look at an acquisition if invited to make a bid then added "any US acquirer, us or anyone else, would wait until the first round of consolidation is over and see what emerges. But what isn't known is what will happen with the competition legislation. People don't know what the competition authorities' attitude will be to consolidation."
He also took up Mansfield's remarks concerning a culture-clash and said that were Clear Channel to make acquisitions it would run them through local management.
As concerned possible formats, he said it would be interested in music and rolling news stations but not other talk formats in view of the BBC's strength.
Parry concluded by defending Clear Channel's approach to the medium, saying, "We absolutely accept the fact we are a commercial broadcaster. Our success is based on maximising advertising revenue. The part [British radio executives] chose not to hear is that we do that by maximising and delighting listeners - if you don't have any listeners you don't have anything to sell."
The Guardian also reports on a new report on possible consolidation in UK radio now the Communications Act is law: Simon Lapthorne, a media analyst at Arbuthnot Securities, says in it that GWR and Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) are the most likely companies to be taken over.
The reason, he says, it that they are concentrated in particular geographic areas - GWR in the west of England and Wales and SRH in Scotland - which means a takeover would be unlikely to cause problems over competition restrictions.
Lapthorne also noted that the future of GWR and SRH could depend on the attitude of major shareholders DMG and SMG respectively; they each currently have just under the 30% level at which they would have to make a full bid.
On the other hand, Lapthorne said that there would be problems with any tie-ups between Capital, Galaxy owner Chrysalis and Emap, which runs Magic and the Big City network in northern England.
He thought that clashes between the three groups in the north west, north east and London would be likely to lead to a trade of assets that would see only two of the businesses left.
Lapthorne also said building digital interests would be crucial for commercial radio as the technology grew, saying that companies who were the existing major analogue players could not afford to see digital spectrum taken up by competitors.
In the longer-term Lapthorne forecasts interest from US radio groups but only after the dust had settled on domestic deals.
"Ultimately we will see American interest," he said. "But they won't be getting their cheque books out the moment the ink is dry on the royal assent [to the communications bill]."
"Americans would buy for strategic reasons, not for cost saving," he added. "Once they do, it will be the beginning and not the end."
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Chrysalis:
Previous DMG:
Previous Emap:
Previous GWR:
Previous Mansfield:
Previous Parry:
Previous SMG:
Previous SRH:
UK Guardian report on Clear Channel:
UK Guardian report on potential consolidation:

2003-07-19: Toronto-based Rogers Communications has turned a CAD 189 million (USD 137 million) - CAD 0.96 per share - operating loss in the second quarter of last year into a profit of CAD 54 million (USD 39 million) - CAD 0.18 per share - for the same period this year; operating revenue for the period was up 10.4% to CAD 1.18 billion (USD 867 million).
The results include a one-off accounting gain on currency shifts of CAD 116 million (USD 84 million) as Rogers' USD dollar debts were cut by a rise in the Canadian dollar from around 64 cents at the start of the year to 73 cents. Excluding non-recurring items the loss a year ago was CAD 53.5 million (USD 39 million) - CAD 0.33 per share - and the profit this year was CAD 61.7 million (USD 44.8 million) -CAD 0.22 per share.
For the half-year, operating revenue was up 21.1% to CAD 2.3 billion (USD 1.68 billion) and operating profit, excluding non-recurring items was CAD 85.4 million (USD 62.1 million) - CAD 0.28 per share - compared to a year ago loss of CAD 156.8 million (USD 114 million) - CAD 0.88 per share.
Within the figures, Cable revenues were up 10.4% and Wireless revenues were up 13.7% but media revenues only rose 2.9% (to CAD220 million (USD 160 million)); operating profit rises were 19%, 37.4% and 23.3% to CAD 37.1 million (USD 27 million)) respectively.
Rogers said most of the rise in media revenues came from its new multi­cultural television station in Ontario and growth at its Sportsnet service but lower advertising expenditure hit results for its publishing, radio and TV interests.
Previous Rogers:

2003-07-19: Chicago's Achievement in Radio Awards for this year have been scrapped as have similar awards in Boston and Washington according to Nancy Volino, director of communications for the March of Dimes reported in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The awards, established to honour excellence in local radio programming, news, public service and advertising, were organised as benefits for the March of the Dimes, which raises money to prevent birth defects and infant mortality.
Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the decision to cancel the awards luncheon and not solicit entries in the city this year followed complaints about various elements of the awards over the years; he quoted Gail J.H. Wilson, Illinois state director of the March of Dimes, as saying that the decision was based on feedback from the AIR Awards Board of Governors and others.
The event was sponsored by the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland and Wilson said, "The radio community and the March of Dimes have always enjoyed a special, close partnership."
"To that end, we plan to take time to reassess the awards [and] develop other cooperative fund-raising activities with Chicago radio."
Previous Feder:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder column:

2003-07-18: Clear Channel seems to have opted to pull out of European radio operations following a deal in which European commercial broadcasters SBS Broadcasting SA is to acquire Radio 1 Norge AS in Norway and Radio 2 A/S in Denmark from wholly owned subsidiaries of Clear Channel and from Norsk Aller AS in an all-share deal worth Euros 17.5 million (USD 15.5 million).
The acquisitions, which are subject to regulatory approval in Norway, will complete SBS SA's pan-Nordic radio consolidation; Radio 2 A/S, which operates 10 stations in Denmark, and Radio 1 Norge, which operates eight radio stations in Norway, are the second largest commercial radio operators in their respective countries and the deal follows a merger of SBS SA's Swedish radio assets with Bonnier Radio AB to form the largest commercial radio operator in Sweden with a total of 19 stations (See RNW July 17). SBS also operates seven radio stations in Finland.
On completion of the transactions, SBS Broadcasting will operate and control 52 radio stations across the major Scandinavian markets; the three deals have added annual revenues of some 28.5 million Euros (USD 25 million) for the company.
Its CEO Markus Tellenbach said: "The primary goal of SBS's radio strategy is to become the leading radio operator in the Scandinavian region. This transaction represents a significant step towards achieving this goal by completing SBS's Scandinavian radio footprint with entry into the Norwegian radio market, as well as by enhancing our strong position in Denmark."
"We are convinced that the radio business in the Scandinavian markets is in relatively early stages of development and has significant growth potential. In addition, we are well positioned to exploit marketing synergies between our radio and television operations in the region and to aggressively pursue the opportunities that consolidation provides to improve operating performance."
Clear Channel International Radio President Robert Cohen commented, "With a distinguished group of media properties in Scandinavia, including a strong radio presence in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and now Norway, SBS is well positioned to serve listeners, advertisers and the operating staff. "
"The media industry in general, and particularly the radio industry in the Nordic region, will continue to see benefits from consolidation."
"In this particular instance, Clear Channel and Norsk Aller chose not to be the consolidators. Clear Channel will focus on its existing outdoor and entertainment businesses in Scandinavia. Clear Channel's international radio division will focus on developing its radio properties in Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico, and on identifying additional opportunities for growth."
In the US, Arbitron has reported second quarter revenues up 8.7% on a year earlier at USD 61.4 million and net income up 21.2% to USD 8.0 million. Net income per diluted share was up 21% to 0.26 cents
For the half-year, revenues were up 8.5% to USD 132,8 million, net income was up 14.8% to USD 24.1 million and net income per share was up ten cents to 80 cents a share.
President and CEO Stephen Morris commented that in the quarter Arbitron had "once again met our goals for revenue and profitability."
"At the same time," he added, "we continued to make our planned investments in the quality of our core services and in our initiatives for long-term growth."
"Our efforts to commercialize the Portable People Meter (PPM) system continued on several fronts throughout the quarter."
"Working closely with Nielsen Media Research, we are running tests in Philadelphia to improve how we recruit consumers for PPM ratings surveys. In addition to the tests we are operating with Nielsen, Arbitron is operating its own 'proof-of-concept' studies in Philadelphia to demonstrate how the Portable People Meter can be used in other types of marketing research services. We also continue to promote the PPM in international markets."
Morris also referred to response rate problems that have led to criticisms of its ratings, saying, "In the second quarter, we unveiled, as planned, a comprehensive program designed to enhance the quality of our radio ratings service across a number of key areas including response rates."
"These anticipated investments will help us meet the expressed requests of our customers who count on the reliability of our audience estimates for the buying and selling of radio advertising."
Previous Arbitron:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Morris:
Previous SBS Broadcasting:
Previous Tellenbach:

2003-07-18: The Canadian federal cabinet has upheld the country's regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) , over the granting of a Toronto FM licence to Canadian Multicultural Radio (CMR) , a decision that had been challenged by two unsuccessful applicants on the basis that the winning applicant had links to the World Tamil Movement, said to be a fundraising front for the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers guerrilla group (See RNW July 16)
Broadcasts are now expected to begin in the autumn (fall) and CMR's lawyer after the decision commented "There were some loose, unsubstantiated allegations of fundraising activities for the Tamil Tigers."
Station chief operating officer S. Sivakumaran said he was "extremely happy "; he had described the opposition to CMR's winning bid a "smear campaign."
Previous CRTC:

2003-07-18: A row over the activities of the Murdoch-controlled Star Group in India has now led to the filing of a suit being heard by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court concerning the group's activities in FM radio and calling for the cancellation of the licence of Radio City, which is operated by Star.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Lucknow-based writer R K Mishra, reports the Times of India, calls for a stay of all operations of t Radio City.
It says that the Group has floated shell companies to take licences and handle operations for the radio channel Radio City even as it continues to have de-facto control of the FM radio station.
According to the petition, licences granted by the government to Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd. for FM stations in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Nagpur and Patna are classic examples of complete de facto vesting of entire control and management of FM broadcasting in the hands of foreign multinational corporations, in this case of Star India Pvt. Ltd.
This, it says, contravenes the terms and conditions of grant of licence for FM broadcasting under which foreign investors an only hold up to a fifth share.
It also alleges that Star TV group has set up Music Broadcast Pvt. Ltd as a shell company and is controlling the company through Digiwave Infrastructure Services Pvt Ltd. and that the entire funding of Radio City is coming from Star Group, which in addition is also controlling all activities of Radio City.
Radio City's licence is held by a London-based investor but the station is run by Star.
The court directed government counsel to take instructions from the ministries concerned and file a reply within two weeks.
The move comes against a background of increasing concern by domestic media groups about India's media policies and what they say is the circumvention of guidelines by foreign media companies.
The Indian government is already questioning Star about various activities and has also asked for information about the shareholders of the Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS) company; it is also under pressure to look into Star affiliate companies in radio, direct to home (DTH) ventures, and TV operations.
In particular the Star News' satellite uplink that gives Star TV the same access to satellite uplink technology as domestic Indian broadcasters, the only foreign company to have the facility, is involved in a case in Mumbai where it has asked a court to pre-emptively block any attempt to shut it down. This request came after Star TV was given three months in April to reduce its investment in Star News from 49% to 26%, the maximum allowed to foreign investors in an Indian TV news channel.
Star cut the holding by distributing stakes among seven individuals and the Indian government is asking where the shares have ended up.
Previous Indian radio:
Times of India report:

2003-07-18: Chicago public station WBEZ-FM has retained a consultant to look into possible acquisitions so as to be able to give the city two public services, one for news, talk and current affairs and the other for music according to Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The station currently airs news and talk during the day and jazz at night and long-range strategic plans recently approved by the board of directors of the nonprofit WBEZ Alliance calls for addition of a second outlet that would allow both formats to air full-time.
WBEZ president and general manager Torey Malatia said, "Our desire would be to offer more public radio service to the region--more public affairs and more music programming," but added that any such move is still a long way off.
Previous Feder:
Previous Malatia:
Previous WBEZ:

2003-07-18: Yet again MUSICMATCH retained its top station spot and AOL the top network ranking in the latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released; overall at the top end it was a week of lower listening although in some cases more people were online, albeit listening for shorter periods.
For the week to July 6, Arbitron'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 452,613 (477,208); CP - 159,393 (161,384). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM - TTSL 304,282 (319,091); CP - 56,285 (59,173). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
3 AOL Top Pop (Internet-only) Top 40 - TTSL 231,263 (256,184); CP - 150,991 (143,932), Same rank with lower listening and reach.
4: AOL Top Country (Internet-only) Country format- TTSL 214,598 (245,257); CP - 89,128 (84,497). Up from fifth despite lower listening but reach was higher.
5: Smooth Jazz format AOL Smooth Jazz - TTSL - 213,613 (249,331); CP - 50,454 (50,590). Down from fourth with lower listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to July 6 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network - TTSL - 5,066,014 (5,662,124); CP -1,398,454 (1,312,397). Same rank with lower listening but higher reach.
2: - TTSL - 2,218,237 (2,550,242); CP - 432,470 (460,319). Up from second with lower listening and reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL - 1,419,870 (1,552,657); CP - 369,556 (379,556). Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network TTSL - 964,751 (1,130,948); CP - 117,238 (126,371) - Up from fourth with lower listening and reach.
5: Warp Radio TTSL- 688,264 (795,139); CP - 121,118 (128,354) - Up from sixth with lower listening and reach.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:

2003-07-17: The battle to reverse new US media regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the beginning of last month is now well under way.
The latest action came in the House Appropriations Committee, which by a 40-25 vote approved an amendment, put forward by its ranking member, Wisconsin Democrat Rep. David Obey, that would roll back the raising of the national TV ownership cap from 45% to its original 35%.
The amendment, which would have to be renewed every year, bars the FCC from spending money to review mergers that would push a company over the 35% cap.
The move was opposed by the Committee chairman, Florida Republican Bill Young but had broad Republican support.
Obey commented of his measure that it was nothing to do with dollars but was all linked to democracy.
"Information is to democracy what blood is to the body. I think we're in danger of shutting off the blood flow in our democracy," he said.
Another amendment, from Kentucky Republican Anne Northrup that would have extended the action to resurrect the former FCC rule barring broadcasters from acquiring daily newspapers in their markets was rejected by voice vote.
Obey said that while he personally supports the idea of overturning all of the FCC's media ownership deregulation, he felt widening the rollback beyond the cap at this stage would kill the rider altogether and added that he felt the argument had to be made "a piece at a time."
Young in stating his opposition said the White House was likely to veto the bill but his fellow-Republican, Rep Frank Wolf from Virginia, was unmoved, commenting, "I didn't get elected here to be a potted plant, and I don't care what the White House feels about the amendment."
The vote provoked a strong response from Viacom, owner of CBS and Infinity; in a statement it said, "Today the House Appropriations Committee attempted to undo in a single vote 20 months of careful analysis by the FCC… It is unfortunate that the committee chose to ignore a judicial ruling and thousands of pages of hard evidence and public comments that underlie the FCC's modest deregulation of a highly competitive, diverse broadcast marketplace."
The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said it retained its concerns relating to action already taken in the Senate to oppose the rule changes that it was "unlikely, if not impossible" to restore the cap.
US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President & CEO Eddie Fritts' had written to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young and its Ranking Member David Obey , who put forward the amendment on lifting the former 35% national TV ownership cap, asking them to "strongly oppose" any such amendments.
"NAB recognizes that these amendments could take many forms, including 'clean' legislation that would codify the 35 percent national television ownership cap," writes Fritts.
"While NAB does believe 35 percent is the appropriate level for the national television audience reach cap, we have concerns that any ownership amendments would open the window for a whole host of anti-broadcast proposals…While we would ideally prefer a clean 35 percent bill, we are now convinced that is infeasible in the current political and legislative environment."
"As such, we request that the House Appropriations Committee respect the traditional purview of the House Commerce Committee by rejecting all broadcast amendments to the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill."
In the Senate more than a third of Senators signed a petition to employ a little-used fast-track procedure to get an early vote on the matter and in the House, where influential House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (Republican, Louisiana) has opposed any effort to overturn the agency's decision, Democrats on the Appropriations Committee are trying to ad an amendment to the annual FCC spending bill that would deny the agency funding to push through the changes.
In the FCC itself, Democrat Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael J. Copps have continued the fight with the former calling on the Commission to "ix an anomaly that allows greater concentration in small markets" before putting the rules into effect.
Adelstein wrote of the rule, "In an apparent blunder, the FCC's new rules count Minot, North Dakota, as if it had more TV stations than Detroit, Michigan. Many small markets are now considered among the largest in the country."
"I'm asking my colleagues to reconsider the rule changes so we can fix this anomaly before new mergers take place that let a single owner dominate the media in many smaller towns."
The anomaly arose because the old rules related to "independent voices" in a market whereas the new one considers just "stations" and hence inflates the count where the same signal is re-transmitted in a large and sparsely populated area.
Minot has particular resonance with opponents of the new rules because under radio consolidation Clear Channel had acquired all six commercial radio stations in the market and similar fears are now being expressed about TV stations.
Adelstein commented, "Minot, North Dakota, the 155th largest DMA, which has only 4 commercial TV stations, is also treated as larger than Detroit, which has twice as many commercial TV stations as Minot. This is because Minot has 6 non-commercial stations, which are part of statewide public broadcasting networks. So like Sioux Falls, Minot is considered bigger than or on par with more populous areas like Baltimore, San Diego, Las Vegas and New Orleans. "
"Nine is a key number for FCC purposes - if a market has nine or more TV stations, then even the few cross-ownership restrictions remaining after June 2nd are entirely lifted there. By properly counting statewide public TV signals only once, Sioux Falls should only have seven TV stations, and Minot six. The real-world effect is that Sioux Falls and Minot artificially jump into the category that has no cross-ownership restrictions."
Adelstein concluded, "Inadvertent errors like this one are why Commissioner Copps and I fought so hard for public comment. Had the FCC sought public input on the specific changes, somebody would have alerted us to this anomaly and we could have easily rectified it before the vote. The FCC should immediately reconsider and correct this mistake before any mergers are proposed to us. I'm asking each of my colleagues to help fix this."
He and Copps have written to FCC chairman Michael K. Powell to ask for "a vote by the Commission on the question of a temporary stay of our rules to allow the Commission time to obtain concrete public input on the effect of the rule changes and to allow the people's elected representatives in Congress to debate media consolidation."
"In addition," say the duo, "we seek expeditious consideration of any reconsideration petitions that are filed with the Commission once the public has the opportunity to analyze the implications of the rule changes."
"Given the magnitude of this proceeding to our country and our democracy, we believe the right course of action is to ensure that we understand the full implications of our decisions. A stay would provide us the opportunity to obtain concrete feedback to avoid unintended consequences which could be devastating in an area as fundamental and irreversible as media ownership rules."
Previous Adelstein:
Previous Copps:
Previous FCC:
Previous Fritts:
Previous NAB:
Previous Powell:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

2003-07-17: Infinity Broadcasting has announced a restructuring of its radio operations that will see a number of veterans and executives appointed by previous management leave the company.Main beneficiary from the move is 25-year company veteran Scott Herman, who was previously senior vice president/market manager for Infinity Radio New York; he takes on the role of Senior Vice President, Eastern Region and will oversee all Infinity markets on the eastern seaboard, with the exception of New York.
The New York market will continue to report to Infinity president and COO Joel Hollander.
Herman replaces Kenny O'Keefe, the former President and Chief Operating Office of Clear Channel Radio, who was appointed Infinity Executive VP, Eastern Region in December last year (See RNW Dec 5, 2002).
O'Keefe, who was appointed by former Infinity president and COO John Fullam - himself a former Clear Channel Sr. Regional VP - has left the company. Fullam stepped down in April (See RNW April 29) and was replaced by Hollander (See RNW May 16).
Also leaving Infinity is Clancy Woods, who oversaw western markets (with the exception of Los Angeles, which also reports to Hollander) as Infinity's vice president, western region.
No replacement has been announced for Woods and for the moment general managers in the region will report to Hollander.
Brian Ongaro, Senior Vice President, Central Region, retained his post and takes on additional oversight responsibility for San Francisco and Houston markets.
Lower down the ranks Greg Janoff, who previously served as director of sales for Infinity's New York market, has been named Vice President and General Manager of 1010 WINS, succeeding Herman and
Chad Brown, in addition to his duties as general sales manager for WCBS-AM New York, has been named Director of Sales for the entire New York market in succession to Janoff.
In Philadelphia, Don Bouloukos, who previously oversaw central operations for Infinity Broadcasting before leaving the company last fall, has been named Infinity's Philadelphia Market Manager and will also become Vice President and General Manager for KYW-AM and WYSP-FM.
Bouloukos takes over from former Philadelphia market manager Drew Hilles who is also leaving Infinity.
Roy Shapiro, the current Vice President and General Manager of KYW-AM, will stay on to ensure a smooth transition before retiring early next year.
In addition Marc Rayfield, previously director of sales for the Philadelphia market, has been named Vice President and General Manager of WIP-AM.
Commenting on the moves, Hollander said, "With 185 stations, Infinity Broadcasting has become one of the premier radio groups in the country, with a roster of market-leading stations from coast to coast."
"This restructuring will help us better realize our potential and continue to deliver quality radio programming to listeners across the country, while also growing our revenue and advertiser base." "We have assembled a first-class team of radio operators, and I look forward to working with all of them in the coming weeks and months."
Previous Hollander:
Previous O'Keefe:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

2003-07-17: European broadcasting company SBS SA is to merge its Swedish radio operations with Bonnier Radio AB, creating the largest radio group in Scandinavia.
The move will be made by creating a jointly owned company, SBS-Radio AB, which will be owned 51% and controlled by SBS and owned 49% by Bonnier and SBS says the deal, which is subject to Swedish regulatory approvals, is expected to close at the end of next month.
The new company will manage 19 stations in Sweden, reaching more than four fifths of the country.
SBS CEO Markus Tellenbach commented, "This agreement is an important strategic step as we strengthen and expand our radio group in Sweden, the largest Scandinavian market. The merger increases our station portfolio by threefold, giving us the reach and operating scale necessary to reduce costs and drive operating performance."
"We look forward to working with our new partner Bonnier, Sweden's largest media company, in integrating our operations and pursuing the benefits of our highly targeted portfolio of stations."
"With market leading stations across Scandinavia, we remain committed to leveraging our footprint to take advantage of the attractive economics and strong long-term growth prospects of this medium."
Previous SBS SA:
Previous Tellenbach:

2003-07-17: Conservative US talk host Rush Limbaugh is on the move in two ways - in what he does and where he is aired in Seattle.
The occupational move is to ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown where, in his own words, starting in September, he will "will provide a brief opening essay, then interject into the discussion three or four times during the program."
ESPN executive vice president Mark Shapiro as "a great communicator and a fan's fan" described Limbaugh, a self-proclaimed "big fan of the NFL". "His acute sense of what's on the minds of his listeners combined with his ability to entertain and serve as a lightning rod for lively discussion makes him the perfect fit for this new role," added Shapiro. "We want to give fans a voice, and Rush is the person who can do it."
Three years ago Limbaugh was beaten by Dennis Miller in the contest for Monday Night Football's the third-man-in-the-booth job.
The outlet move in Seattle is away from his home for 12 years at Fisher Communications' KVI-AM to Entercom-owned KTTH-AM.
KVI program director Paul Duckworth said it "did everything we could to keep him on KVI" after being informed by syndicator Premiere Networks of its plan to move the show in October.
Previous Limbaugh:

2003-07-17: British politicians Ann Widdecombe, of the opposition Conservativ Party,and Diane Abbott, of the ruling Labour Party, are each to stand-in for a week at Chrysalis-owned London talk station LBC in Nick Ferrari's morning slot.
Widdecombe, who will also host an agony aunt slot, Ask Ann, gets the first run with Abbott following in her footsteps the next week.
Previous Chrysalis:

2003-07-16: North Dakota Democrat Sen Byron Dorgan has now started the ball rolling in the bi-partisan effort to veto the Federal Communications Commission's new media regulations issued last month.
The plan to overturn the new regulations, which are seen as allowing too much consolidation in media, has widespread support in the US Senate but is opposed by the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives.
Commenting on the move, Dorgan said, "Many of us are very concerned about concentration in broadcasting and in the media and the Federal Communications Commission rule moves in exactly the wrong direction."
He was backed up by Republican Sen Trent Lott (Mississippi), who said, "I think the FCC in this case clearly made a decision that's going to lead to more concentration, less diversity, fewer choices in the opportunity for people to view or hear or read what the news or editorial policy is.''
The bill is co-sponsored by Democrat Sens. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Sens. Lott, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and in addition 35 senators signed another resolution that would allow the veto resolution to bypass the committee process.
Even if passed in the Senate, House leaders could refuse a vote but Dorgan said he felt a full vote in the Senate would put pressure on to allow a vote in the House.
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2003-07-16: According to the Vancouver Sun, the Canadian federal cabinet is to decide this week whether to rescind a licence granted to Canadian Multicultural Radio (See RNW April 18) on the basis of allegations that it is linked to the World Tamil Movement (WTM), said to be a fundraising front for the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers guerrilla group.
The station itself denies any such ties and says it is the victim of a smear campaign.
The allegations come as the Canadian government is being criticised for failing to outlaw the Tamil Tigers under Canada's Anti-Terrorist Act.
Allegations of links and that WTM volunteers had gone door to door in Tamil neighbourhoods in Toronto to intimidate Sri Lankans into supporting the licence bid had been put before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) before the licence was awarded but the CRTC said that they had all been rebutted.
CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel said of the "thousands and thousands" of responses to the proposed station, only a few raised concerns about terrorism and the station responded to all the allegations in full.
"We felt there was a competitive process and people were being a little too passionate," he said. "The language of these letters was vague and there was a lot of interventions, most of them favourable."
S. Sivakumaran, the station's chief operating officer, said some of those who complained were supporters of competing bids. The company has tried to track them down to serve them with defamation suits, but has not been able to find them, he said. "I don't even know if some of these people exist."
He added that the station had responded to each of the allegations in detail and will make its written response available after the Cabinet decision is announced.
"It's a smear campaign," he said. "I could sense that, from having looked at these appeals, it's a joint effort by some of the members of our community who did not get the licence and some of these same people wrote support for the other applicants during the application process."
The allegations do not concern members of the radio station team but rather their relatives and friends, he said. "They are trying to say that he's got a friend of so-and-so, he's got a relative. We're in no position to comment about a third party. It's ridiculous....
Previous CRTC:
Vancouver Sun report:

2003-07-16: Chicago afternoon host Big John Howell has left Infinity's Chicago oldies station WJMK-FM, which he joined only in March after 14 years at the company's country format WUSN-FM (See RNW March 14).
According to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times, Howell is leaving without rancour; he told the paper, "No matter how briefly I was there, the fact that I got to work with the legendary Dick Biondi every night made it all worth it. I had a great time and loved every minute of it."
Feder notes that weekend host John Calhoun is taking the spot for the moment but says that Speculation on a successor centres on Chicago radio veteran Fred Winston, a part-timer who's been filling in this week for morning personality John Records Landecker.
Also out from Infinity in Chicago this month will be WSCR-AM (The Score) evening host Dan Jiggetts, whose contract is not being renewed.
His last show will air on Friday July 25 and current late-night host Jonathan Hood will move into the slot the following Monday although the station has not ruled out his returning on a fill-in basis.
Brooklyn-born Jiggetts, the former offensive tackle for the Bears, was educated at Harvard where he was a government and economics major; he was one of the founding hosts at the Score and began his broadcasting career n 1982 at an intern for WMAQ-TV. He will remain a weekend TV sports anchor at WFLD.
Across town, Emmis's WKQX-FM (Q-101), which has been under pressure from Disney-ABC's rival alternative rock station WZZN-FM (The Zone), has fired program director Tim Richards.
Richards had failed to stave off his rival and was also reported to have had a number of clashes with the station's morning star, Erich Mancow Muller.
Previous Emmis:
Previous Feder:
Previous Howell:
Previous Jiggetts:
Previous Muller:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

2003-07-16: The UK Radio Authority has given its blessing to a controversial scheme just launched by Emap's Kiss 100 in London that will give pirate DJs a chance to go legal.
Under the scheme, "Pirate Radio Soundclash", the pirates are being offered a chance to win their own show - the four semi-finalists in the competition will be given two hours of airtime on Kiss.
Listeners will vote for a winner who is to get three-month contract to present a show on the station.
The UK Radio Authority's senior programme and advertising officer Mike Phillips told the UK Independent, "It's a good way to try and lure people away from illegal stations", adding that he hoped other stations would set up similar competitions.
Kiss itself came from pirate roots - it was at one time Britain's best-known pirate station and gave a platform to some of the biggest names in British dance music including Judge Jules, Trevor Nelson, Danny Rampling, and Tim Westwood
Previous Emap:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Independent report:

2003-07-16: A Florida judge has backed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a case in which a Florida pirate operator had refused to pay a USD 10,000 penalty imposed by the agency for operating an unauthorised station in the Longwood, Florida area..
The penalty was originally imposed on Richard I. Rowland in 2001, at which time his equipment was also confiscated, but he refused to pay and the FCC went to the District Court.
Rowland now has to pay the penalty plus costs.
Previous FCC:

2003-07-16: In yet another up to the wire decision, Infinity has agreed a new ratings contract with Arbitron just as the first results from the Spring 2003 ratings have been issued.
The deal is only a one-year contract extension and neither party is commenting on a longer deal apart from saying it is being evaluated.
In July last year Arbitron agreed one-year deals with both Infinity and ABC Radio (See RNW July 16, 2002); before that they had tested the waters with 90-day renewals (See RNW April 19, 2002).
In the previous year, Clear Channel also held out until the last moment before signing a deal running until Fall 2004 (See RNW Aug 7, 2001).
Previous Arbitron:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

Next column:

2003-07-15: As the American public has learned more about new media regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) it has grown to like it less according to a report from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
Public awareness of the new media ownership rules, which are currently being challenged in Congress, has grown significantly since February with 48% of Americans now saying they have heard a lot (12%) or a little (36%) about the issue compared to a February response showing only 26% knew even a little about the plan.
Half of those asked in the latest poll felt the FCC decision would have a negative effect on the US compared to 34% in a February poll whilst those who thought the effect would be positive remained roughly static at 10%.
In addition those most familiar with the FCC rules are overwhelmingly against them - 70% to 6% - and of those who have heard only a little about the rules 57% say their effect will be negative. The ignorant are less concerned - of those who had heard nothing about the rules prior to the interview only 40% expressed concern.
The report also shows Americans in two minds about bias in news coverage in some areas -- when asked specifically if it is better for coverage of the war on terrorism to be neutral or pro-American, 64% favoured neutral coverage but 70% saw it as positive when news organizations take a "strong pro-American point of view" although this figure came down to 62% amongst those who see a pro-American point of view as a good thing.
A narrow majority of Americans -(51% - believed that news organizations generally "stand up for America" but 46% said they believed some news organizations are becoming too critical of America compared to 25% believing they are becoming too pro-American.
Amongst the Fox News audience, nearly half of who describe themselves as conservatives, 65% felt some news organisations were becoming too critical of America compared to 48% of CNN viewers and 45% of network viewers.
Younger Americans are much more positive about hosts of news shows expressing strong political opinions than are older Americans with 58% of those under age 30 seeing this as a good thing whereas only a third of people age 65 and older view this as a positive trend (The report does not break down which age group is more ignorant of news in general).
Previous FCC:
Pew Research web site:
Pew Research report (87Kb PDF):

2003-07-15: The Pacifica Foundation expects to complete its move of headquarters back to Berkeley by the end of this month; until then it is retaining offices in Washington, DC, to where it moved its national headquarters in January 2000 (see RNW Jan 9, 2000).
After the move, which is costing the organisation an estimated USD 200,000 much of which has been offset by extra donations from California, a bureau will be kept at Pacifica's WPFW-FM in the US capital.
Pacifica is featured in the Los Angeles Times in a report by Michael Hiltzik about its Los Angeles station Los Angeles station KPFK-FM that suggests much of the conflict within the organisation could be linked to independent thinking.
It quotes David Fertig, the KPFK local board's representative to the Pacifica network board, as saying, "Pacifica is at the heart of conflict and conflict is at the heart of Pacifica" but then goes on to look at the station's revamped programming schedule that is launched today.
The changes made says the report "reflect the issues underlying the recent power struggle, which was generally framed by participants as a revolt by independent-minded local stations against the authoritarian national managing board, but was really about something else: the inevitable tension between the desire to give even the most marginal community a voice, no matter how faint, and the natural impulse to bring one's political principles to a larger audience."
They include more emphasis on public affairs programming but a more fragmented output with "with small blocks of airtime turned over haphazardly to community and special interest groups on the left that are seen as Pacifica's core constituency."
There will also be an increase in Spanish language output with Spanish-language news from 9 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, followed by 90 minutes of Spanish public affairs programming.
At the same time some of the station's oldest - and more popular programmes - have been cut back or dropped including "Heartfelt Music," an informal mix of bluegrass and folk that had been a Saturday morning fixture on KPFK for 32 years and which ended its run last weekend.
Music programs "Rhapsody in Black" and "Restless Soul" that ran in the morning such as "Rhapsody in Black" and "Restless Soul," are moved to late night and "The Car Show," which has been airing since 1973 has been cut back and moved from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Hiltzik runs through the basic arguments of each camp. On the one side, as well as the feeling that it is important for an alternative voice from the left to be heard on the airwaves there is also the issue of access to them for smaller groups.
KPFK programming director, Armando Gudiño commented, "When I came here, I realized that a good portion of the programming did not reflect the needs and concerns at a local level."
"The station wasn't covering a lot of issues that affect people south of the 10 Freeway" by which he meant minorities. His solution is to give local communities snatches of airtime on an almost ad hoc basis over the next few weeks and then "have the audience respond."
In a message on the station web site he said the moves will broaden the station "in the area of political consciousness, cultural awareness and the empowerment of all communities that contribute to the well being of humanity."
On the other side of the argument are those who think that Pacifica is likely to marginalize itself and become irrelevant.
"I accept the premise that the Pacifica radio mission is political, and it's the only true left-wing voice out there," John Dinges, a Columbia University broadcast journalism professor who has followed the Pacifica wars closely, said.
"But as a radio person I have to ask, is it going to be successful radio by accepting the notion of its political constituency as infinitely split segments of small constituencies? From a radio point of view, that's destined to lower the audience. You listen when your political hobbyhorse is on the air, and when it's not, you're not listening."
So far since ending its internecine strife KPFK has been successful in fund raising with two record-breaking fund drives in the last year, a phenomenon that Gudiño, concedes had less to do with its programming than with "political fervour in the world."
Previous Pacifica:
Los Angeles Times report:

2003-07-15: India's commercial radio industry is lobbying for an independent regulatory body to be set up to oversee the sector, which is soon to see the second phase of the introduction of commercial FM.
At the moment there are 22 commercial FMs operating in 12 markets and there is much dissatisfaction over the current licence fee system that the industry says is emasculating it.
According to a study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) the private FM radio industry in the country has incurred combined losses of 1.2 billion rupees (USD 26 million) in 2002-03, the first year of operations; the study says the only way forward is the government to replace the licence fee system with a revenue-sharing model or another mutually-acceptable formula.
If this is done, FM operators could break-even within a couple of years, according to the study, which gives a total expenditure by the industry for 2002-03 of 1.7 billion rupees (USD 36.6 million) but revenues of only 481 million rupees (USD 10.4 million); overall radio advertising so far is only around 1% of India's total.
In Mumbai (Bombay) it says that the five commercial stations spent 80 crore rupees, 48 million of it on licence fees, but only had 26 crore in revenues.
Previous Indian radio:

2003-07-15: Canadian radio veteran Eddie Allen, one of the original members of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "The Happy Gang" , has died aged 82.
He began his radio career aged 18 when invited by Bernie Manion to be his partner on the Gloom Chasers radio show after which he auditioned successfully as a for the Happy Gang in 1938, remaining with the show until it ended in 1959.
After that he began a new life as the owner of a chain of clothing stores in Toronto that he later sold, subsequently moving briefly to Florida before settling in London, Ontario.
Only one member of he Happy Gang, Robert Farnon, is now left alive.
Vancouver Sun obituary:

2003-07-14: To start our look at print comment on radio this week, we look back at a 1960's BBC programme that is still well worth listening to and, as Sue Arnold in her UK Observer review comments is one of those things that "should never change - they're unique."
The programme is "Singing the Fishing" - the 1960 radio ballad produced by Charles Parker and it initially provoked her to concern about digital enhancement.
" Would digital technology have the same effect on that rich, gravely East Anglian twang as recent computer graphics had on Kate Winslet's thighs?" asked Arnold.
"Besides, if the programme that incomparably captured the romance, the danger and the drudgery of the lives of fishing communities in Yarmouth and the Moray Firth was good enough to win the Prix Italia unenhanced, why tamper with it?"
"I needn't have worried. Singing the Fishing was as intact - at least to my unenhanced ears - as it was when I heard a recording some years ago."
As Arnold commented, "It's the nostalgia, of course. The herring has been over fished, the pits have been converted into archaeological sites and without programmes like this a great slice of our musical heritage would be lost for ever."
At the time Singing the Fishing was made, children's radio was significant on British radio and in the Observer's sister paper, the UK Guardian, Maggie Brown asks if we are "witnessing the rebirth of children's radio?" and if so, why?
"The issue is rising on the political agenda, as a timely Social Market Foundation seminar, The Case for Children's Radio, demonstrated last week," wrote Brown.
"As a sign of the commercial interests now at work, the event was sponsored by Capital Radio, which is trying to win new radio licences and expand into the tweenie market with a pop-led format, Capital Disney."
The new arts minister and former education secretary, Estelle Morris, noted Brown, "clearly sides with those who believe there are sound educational reasons for encouraging speech radio."
"It is crucial, supporters say, for children to gain the habit of listening and concentrating on the spoken word, whether a story, quiz or sports report."
Morris noted that pop radio had kept children listening to radio but argued that they needed choice and speculated "that there was a golden opportunity 'to regain something which has been lost'": radio's ability to educate.
Brown goes on to ask, "But is it really going to happen? The lack of a set of specialist children's radio stations is indeed strange when you contrast it with television."
Looking at what is already on offer she comments on OneWord, AbracaDABRA, BBC Radio 7, and the "token Go For It Radio 4 programme on Sunday evenings."
Brown also comments on one of the UK Radio Authority's Access Radio stations, Takeover Radio in Leicester - and also on the Internet (link below) ; it's a small station run entirely by children from 8-14 - and then goes on to note that they are "13% of the UK population, and clearly have both spending and pester power."
"To commercial radio companies, which have always targeted teenagers, it is starting to look like the last great untapped market," comments Brown. " But they share with the BBC a fear that a whole generation could be lost to alternative media, such as mobile phones with live TV and games."
She also notes that nearly 90% of children between four and fourteen listen to radio each week but that they listen for only half the time adults do and then poses an interesting question: "whether, to succeed, new children's stations must be driven by pop music?"
"Since a whole generation of children have grown up without experience of a speech station tailored to them, it is impossible to know," she concludes.
In the same edition of the paper, Wendy Berliner took a look at Takeover Radio, which is housed in a "beaten-up, low-rise 60s office block facing the traffic on Leicester's ring road."
It's Britain's only full-time children's station and on FM can potentially reach getting on for around half-a-million people in Leicester: It airs music programmes, presented by "young adults" during the school day but at 6p.m. the children take over for a two hour show and at weekends and during holidays the children run everything with an adult present only for security.
Takeover Radio is a spin-off from a Restricted Service Licence that ran for a month in 1996 as community service radio and was started with GBP50, 000 start-up from Graham Coley, operations supervisor for the Co-op by day but a veteran of hospital radio, and his friend Phil Solo, a radio promoter.
"Coley, now station manager at Takeover Radio as well as still working for the Co-op," writes Berliner, "made sure the children were properly trained in techniques so listeners were not just treated to a dose of kids messing around."
"But, equally crucially, the content was left to the kids, which meant the kids who listened could identify with it. The menu was varied and included all kinds of music, a serialisation of a Roald Dahl book, stuff about local drama in schools and local sport, plus a Nerd Zone for computer kids, and pop gossip."
The big move came when the Takeover Radio Children's Media Trust was formed in 2001 and was successful in its bid for one of the new Access licences.
Now, writes Berliner, "The station has 61 child presenters and they are almost eerily competent if Bobby and Lois are anything to go by. Bobby Hawkins, 15, and Lois Davies, 14, present the Wednesday evening show called Pick and Mix. Both have been broadcasting for three years. Their show offers an eclectic mix of all kinds of music - pop, rock, R&B, hip hop, metal - plus rapid-fire chat and live interviews and, sometimes, live sets with local bands. They will also try to solve homework queries and have a competition to find the joke of the week"
"There is no script, the conversation sounds like you are overhearing stuff in a lunch queue at school, and they pop in and out of the studio while music is playing to do bits of research for the next item. They time it to the split second to be back in the studio with the absolute latest on whatever they have just been looking up."
…"The other stations aren't as good because they put on things that they think kids will like but they are adults and they don't know what we like," says Bobby. "We are living it, so we do. We like it relaxed and happy. We speak with people, not to them."
"Lois explains that even old people listen to the show because it's such a good mix of music. Old? "People in their 20s," she says. It's hard to say who exactly does listen to the station because they can't afford to do the audience research. But anecdotally they know that lots of children listen and students at the universities in the city - Leicester and De Montfort."
In the wider world, radio's strength is very much time dependant and, as Paul Donovan comments in his Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times, "The War of The 45-Minute Claim between Downing Street and the BBC proves yet again that radio rules at breakfast, since it was, of course, on Today that Andrew Gilligan's bitterly contested assertion was first made."
Donovan then goes on to comment …" the row threatens to obscure what else is happening on Radio 4's highest-rated programme, which is its remarkable new emphasis on solid journalism. It is the main achievement so far of Kevin Marsh, who took over as editor last November. "
Donovan then quotes Marsh on his approach: "My mission is to put more of the facts in front of listeners, certainly before we move on to comment and argument."
"Today's distinctiveness will always lie in two or three areas - news-making interviews, reporter exclusives and reflecting national controversies - and all I can do is strengthen them. But I do want to put listeners first."
Donovan enters some caveats but overall welcomes the changes whilst his colleague in Ireland, Gerry McCarthy takes up in his Radio Waves column the theme of putting the listeners first.
In his case, McCarthy deals with the topics of "Interviewing celebrities and dealing with a phone-in" and notes that "Some interviewers - Pat Kenny springs to mind - make the mistake of putting themselves on a par with their guests, and imagining that their own thoughts on the topic will be just as fascinating. It isn't so: good interviewers keep themselves in the background, restricting their interventions to a well-timed prod."
In contrast, he comments, "As regular host Joe Duffy knows, Liveline belongs to the listeners. The host's job is to mediate between them, waving yellow cards at those who break the rules, and sending off persistent offenders."
A rather different view is, of course, prevalent in mainstream commercial talk radio in the US where many hosts would appear as much about sparking their own controversies as eliciting information from those to whom they talk
Which of course takes us to Michael Savage, the right wing host whose MSNBC show was dumped after an outburst, which it is almost impossible not to see as homophobic - against a caller; he was also dropped, but only for a very short time, by a few of the 320 stations that take his syndicated radio show.
They included Christian broadcaster Salem Communications' KRLA-AM in Los Angeles, a suspension that elicited a comment notable either for weasel words or an intellectually challenged organisation unless Steve Carney in the Los Angeles Times was misreporting the station's general manager Terry Fahy.
As the comments were in a prepared statement, we assume they were word-by-word correctly reported by Carney: Fahy said of the reports of Savage's comments that if "accurate, are totally unacceptable to this station and its owner, Salem Communications Corp."
In the context, it was pretty clear that the reporting of what was said was accurate - a short phrase like "Get AIDS and die, you pig" in the context is memorable, almost certainly accurately reported and it betrayed a lack of something in Fahy to put in the qualification.
Fahy continued, "We continue to encourage a free and robust exchange of ideas. While we must guard against any reaction that would chill this kind of exchange, we believe that in this instance, Michael Savage has crossed the line. We all make mistakes, and Mr. Savage has clearly made a serious one."
Mike Lofrano, chief operating officer of Talk Radio Networks, which syndicates the Savage show said,"It's never happened on the radio program, nor would it. We're willing to give those assurances{that there would be no recurrence of this kind of comment]."
Which is, of course, a cue to look at the kind of comments previously made by Savage and considered acceptable by a Christian network.
Which is, of course, a cue to look at the kind of comments previously made by Savage and considered acceptable by a Christian network. Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Dave Ford, who notes that Savage is also "Michael Alan Weiner, a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn who received a doctorate from UC Berkeley and has written 18 books on herbal healing" gives some examples.
"The bullying 'Savage' persona, writes Ford, " is rampaging id personified. In his winsome radio universe, this city is 'San Fran Freako,' its homeless people 'living rats.' Single career women over 40 are 'human wreckage in high heels.' Asians are 'little soy eaters,' Chinese people 'little devils' and Koreans 'dog- grillers.'"
"He once suggested that female students at a high school in Marin (Weiner lives in San Rafael) participated in a volunteer feed-the-homeless program in San Francisco because of the titillating thought that they might be raped. 'Savage' once celebrated Yom Kippur a day early by playing tapes of Hitler's speeches to the accompaniment of German military music."
"He has suggested dropping nuclear weapons on China and putting Chinese- Americans who don't sign loyalty oaths into internment camps. He believes that 'radical homosexuals' promoted the 'diversity myth.'
In another San Francisco Chronicle article, Annie Nakao had a dig about the whinging by Savage after MSNBC dumped him.
In an open letter Nakao writes, "Thanks for allowing us to get your take on recent events on your Web site, "
" must say, though, that I was shocked, shocked to read that you, as a result of your rude firing by MSNBC President Erik Sorenson, have crowned yourself with that odious mantle of liberalism: victimhood. But there it was, in print, attributed to you: 'I am a victim.' Michael, how could you? You know, as well as I, that being a 'victim' is just the easy way out for liberals who want to whine about all the bad things that are happening to them. "
"Let's go over what you said in front of the camera. When you asked the caller, Bob Foster, if he was a 'sodomite' and he said yes, you replied: 'Oh, you're one of the sodomites! You should only get AIDS and die, you pig! How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig? You got nothing to do today than to put me down, you piece of garbage? You got nothing to do today? Go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichinosis. OK, got another nice caller here who's busy because he didn't have a nice night in the bathhouse and is angry at me today.'
…" What's really surprising, Michael, was that your rant was provoked by Foster, a well-known Sacramento prankster who clearly delights in ringing your bell. Specifically, Foster had called you, suggesting that "Don and Mike," his favourite radio hosts from Washington, D.C., take over your show so 'you can go to a dentist appointment, because your teeth are really bad.'"
"Now Foster says he hadn't intended to get you fired. He was just looking for 'a reaction.'"
"Isn't that exactly what you do every day? So how come you got stung by a simple provocateur?
"Anyway, I'm glad you say you are sleeping quite well, in fact, you 'snoozed like a lamb.'"
"'Because I believe in freedom of speech,' you said. 'The American people understand what went on." One can only hope that they do indeed, Michael."
To end with, the Savage [we would suggest as in A person regarded as brutal, fierce, or vicious; primitive or uncivilized; A rude person; a boor] current web site comment:"... there was a crank caller or worse, a set-up to destroy me in television orchestrated by unknown interests. Click below and you will see who this person is and that he admits he did it. You will also see that everything I told you about the incident thus far has been absolutely true. I specifically aimed my vitriol at this individual who had insulted me personally. I also thought that the interchange was taking place off the air. As this story unfolds, you will read it here first."
In our case most unlikely. We'll leave it to the Christian audience!
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2003-07-14: US radio giant Clear Channel will have to lose much of its "clout" along California's southern border under the Federal Communication Commission's new media regulations according to the Los Angeles Times.
It notes that under the new rules, Clear Channel will have to either sell some of its seven US-licensed stations in San Diego or cut ties to some of the five Mexican stations with which it is affiliated.
The Times says Clear Channel will probably have to lose four stations and notes its current arrangements have given the company an estimated 44% share of San Diego's $165-million radio market, its largest in any of the largest 20 US cities and around triple that of its nearest rival.
Clear Channel's ploy in taking control of the programming and sales of the Mexican stations, is viewed by local advertisers and rivals as an abuse of a regulatory loophole - the old FCC rules governing a market were based on signal contours but exempted foreign stations whilst the new rules are based on Arbitron markets and include foreign stations counted by the BIA research firm.
"We're really pleased that the FCC took action to close those loopholes. Circumventing the intent and spirit of the rules appears to be unacceptable at this point," Darrel Goodin, chief of rival Jefferson-Pilot Communications' four-station San Diego division told the paper. Goodin said his firm was studying the federal order to determine whether it represented a "clear mandate" to force Clear Channel to sever ties with some stations.
Bob Gavin, president of Gavin & Gavin Advertising Inc., a long-time buyer of ad spots on local stations added, "It would only benefit competition. The possible entrance of a new station owner in the market, he added, would allow for diversity 'of information and thoughts, which is what the airwaves are intended to do.'"
Although "grandfathering" provisions in the new rules allow stations to keep stations they own that are in excess of the new limits they do not cover stations operated under sales agreements and Clear Channel senior vice president for government affairs Andrew Levin commented, "Obviously, we're disappointed in the commission's decision. But we will do whatever it takes to comply with the new rules."
"Why is it a victory in America when the government lets you keep property you already bought?" he added.
RNW comment: Although the original acquisitions are clearly legal under US laws, we would agree with Clear Channel competitors in the market who thought the company had pulled a fast one.
The same in our view is also true in some other markets - Minot in North Dakota is the most widely-cited one.
Iin our view it would not be unreasonable that Clear Channel should have to calculate when making its moves the risks of being held to be "unfit" to hold licences through such acts and subsequently have to justify its overall corporate stance with every licence renewal.
As we have noted before, the jury is still out on the facts concerning Clear Channel's Minot operation where it owns all the stations and when a train carrying ammonia derailed and released chemicals but police could not get an answer from any of the stations in the town to put out a warning for more than an hour; it's not even empanelled yet in the South Carolina case where a former employee is claiming she was fired because of anti-war views, something that is specifically prohibited by state laws.
If the facts come in against them however, it would be our view that there would be a prima facie case to hold Clear Channel to be unfit to hold any licences at all.

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2003-07-14: San Francisco Liberation Radio, a 100-watt unlicensed micro-station that became a voice of the anti-Iraq-war movement is facing probable closure by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after ten-years on air.
It says on its site: "federal agents came and delivered a 'notice of illegal broadcasting'. They were denied entry although they threatened up to a $17,000 fine and time in jail. We have ten days to show them either a permit or "authority" to broadcast."
According to the San Francisco Chronicle the station applied for a license in 2000 under an FCC ruling covering under-100- watt outlets but was told unofficially that there was no room on the radio dial.
Karoline Hatch, a disc jockey at the all-volunteer station said they had never officially heard from the commission, and FCC spokesperson David Fiske could not confirm the application status.
Station employees said engineering studies to search for room on the crowded San Francisco FM band could cost $20,000 -- far above its "electricity-bill-and-rent" budget.
The station suggests the action against it could be because of its political stance but the FCC says that it is simply enforcing rules.
The station is calling for city support, saying, " A free and diverse media is not a thing of theoretical importance; it is an absolute necessity for a healthy democracy! Call your Supervisor! Tell them that this is an issue you care about and they should support a resolution backing San Francisco Liberation Radio 93.7FM and Bay View Hunter's Point Radio 103.3FM against an overbearing FCC with only the health and wealth of Corporate Media at heart!
However their efforts go, the Chronicle comments that the FCC may have enforcement problems finding "someone at San Francisco Liberation Radio to hold responsible. "
"Like many underground radio operations," says the paper, " it has no programmers, playlists or management."
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2003-07-13: Again the main story of the past week was the issue of US media regulation - or rather the politics surrounding it as there was nothing new on the matter from the Federal Communications Commission itself.
Elsewhere there was a steady level of activity although Australia was fairly quiet with only one radio-related decision from the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA). This was to allow an additional transmitter for commercial radio service 3HFM (MIXX FM) to serve the town of Portland, Victoria.
Canada was fairly busy with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issuing a number of licences and amendments and renewing others. In order of province, the decisions included:
Renewal of the licence of CHQR Calgary, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CISN-FM Edmonton, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CKRA-FM Edmonton, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CKYX-FM Fort McMurray, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CHAT-AM, Medicine Hat, until 31 August 2010
Extension until April 30, 2004, of deadline for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to commence the operation of the new transmitter at new transmitter at Edmonton of CBCX-FM, Calgary.
British Columbia:
Renewal of the licence of CJCI -AM, Prince George, until 31 August 2010
New Brunswick:
Extension until April 30, 2004, of deadline for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to commence the operation of the new transmitter at Fredericton/Saint John of CBAL-FM, Moncton.
Renewal of the licence of CHAY-FM Barrie, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CFJB-FM, Barrie, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CFCA-FM Kitchener, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CHYM-FM, Kitchener, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CKGL-AM, Kitchener, until 31 August 2010
Renewal of the licence of CKDK-FM Woodstock, until 31 August 2010
Approval of application to change the contours of CKXX-FM-1 Stephenville from 4 watts to 12 watts, and to change the authorized contours in connection with a transmitter move.
Approval of application to change the authorized contours of CFBW-FM Hanover, following relocation of its transmitter.
Approval of application to increase the power of CHAI-FM Châteauguay, from 50 watts to 100 watts.
Extension until April 30, 2004, of deadline for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to commence the operation of the new transmitter at new transmitter at new transmitters of CBVX-FM Québec, at La Malbaie and Baie-Saint-Paul.
Approval of application to change the authorized contours of -power tourist information service in Wadena, following relocation of its transmitter.
The CRTC has also issued a public notice concerning a number of applications for which the intervention deadline is August 12:
Calgary, Alberta; Richmond, British Columbia, and Hamilton and London, Ontario:- Applications by Standard radio to allow them to broadcast a minimum level of 30% of Canadian musical selections for CKMX-AM, Calgary, CISL-AM, Richmond, and CKOC-AM, Hamilton, and CKSL-AM, London.
- Application for frequency change and power increase from 3,420 to 14,370 watts for CHCD-FM Since, Ontario.
- Application for third extension until October 29 of deadline to commence operation of new country format French-language AM radio station at Saint-Nicolas, Quebec.
- Application for frequency change for CJMC-FM Ste-Anne-des-Monts, Quebec:
- Application for a new frequency for the FM station authorized to replace CKY-AM, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Application for a new AM transmitter at MacKenzie to broadcast the programming of CKDV-FM Prince George, British Columbia.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has now advertised for applications - to be received by September 5 - for community licences in West Dublin, Lucan, Dundalk Town, Roscommon Town, West Limerick, and
Tipperary South West.
The BCI also announced that its Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe has been appointed chairperson of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (see RNW July 12).
In the UK, the Radio Authority has awarded the new Buxton and other parts of the High Peak district in Derbyshire, to High Peak Radio Ltd. against competition from four other applicants (See Licence News, April 13).
It has also It has also awarded the digital multiplex licence for Reading & Basingstoke to GWR subsidiary Now Digital Ltd., the sole applicant. Now Digital is proposing to launch with six programme services, in addition to BBC Radio Berkshire (See Licence News May 25)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now formed an Office of Homeland Security within its Enforcement Bureau to provide support for the homeland security and emergency preparedness responsibilities of the Commission and the Defense Commissioner (currently FCC Chairman Michael K Powell), the agency's Homeland Security Policy Council, and the Chief, Enforcement Bureau.
James A. Dailey, a 31-year FCC veteran, has been named Director of the Office.
It has also fined a South Carolina AM USD 4000 for Emergency Alert System and night power offences but withdrawn a USD 3, 000 penalty on a Cleveland company.
The penalty was imposed on Atlantic Beach Radio's WMIR-AM/Atlantic Beach, South Carolina for failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System equipment and for not properly powering down at night; originally a USD 12, 000 penalty had been levied in June last year but this was reduced to USD 4,000 because of the company's history of compliance, financial inability to pay the original fine amount, and also because it had purchased EAS equipment before the inspection by an FCC agent.
WMIR's manager had explained the station shared an EAS unit with formerly co-owned WKVC-AM, North Myrtle Beach, and also that its transmitter was on an automatic timer, later found to have been damaged, that should have power it down after sunset.
The penalty that was cancelled had been imposed on J. L. Brewer Broadcasting of Cleveland, LLC., licensee of WDNT-AM in Dayton, Tennessee, for failing to register an antenna structure but Brewer
pointed out that it does not own the antenna structure used by WDN.
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2003-07-13: San Francisco public broadcaster KQED is planning cuts that will lead to some jobs going, work hours being curtailed, possibly cutting employees pay by a tenth, or a combination of the two according to a memorandum sent to its employees.
In all KQED, employs nearly 250 people and KQED FM is the most listened to public radio station in the US. It is blaming the cuts on economic woes and says the year has been tough, especially for corporate donations.
The cuts are expected to affect all departments of both radio and TV operations but no details have been given so far.
Staff learned of the cuts in a memo from KQED president and chief executive Jeff Clarke who said the station had three options - staff reductions of 14-16%, fewer staff cuts of 8-10% combined with seven unpaid days off for the current and 2004 fiscal years, or trimming employee working to 36 hours a week - the equivalent of a 10% pay cut - and a limited number of job losses.
Senior management at JQED have already taken pay cuts.
Previous KQED:

2003-07-13: The Metis Nation of Canada has started an Internet radio station to broadcast the music, stories and experiences of Ontario Metis.
It is broadcasting primarily in English but also plans programming in French and various Aboriginal languages.
Metis Nation Ontario President Tony Belcourt commented in a news release, "We've launched this new venture so that we can bring our listeners the sounds and the flavour of our people."
Metis Nation web site:

2003-07-12: US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO Eddie Fritts has reacted to industry comments that his organisation had done a U-turn and opted to drop its opposition to a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule in its media regulations that raises the cap on national TV share from 35% to 45% with a denial that NAB has changed its mind over the cap.
In a statement, Fritts said, "Through amendments in recent weeks, the Senate Commerce Committee has modified S. 1046 [the "Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity & Competition in Television Broadcast Service Act of 2003" introduced in the Senate by South Carolina Democrat Sen. Ernest F. Hollings and Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens] in numerous ways that are unacceptable to the broadcast industry."
"We have previously announced our opposition to that legislation. We would prefer a clean bill that would codify the national television ownership cap at 35%."
"However, in evaluating the current legislative climate, we have concluded that is politically and legislatively infeasible. Therefore, NAB is withdrawing its support for legislation in the House and Senate."
There had been suggestions in US media that NAB, which had seen the four main TV networks leave the organisation because of its support of the 35% cap, had reversed its stance and The Hollywood Reporter said the NAB has been telling lawmakers and interested parties that it would fight any move to reverse the ruling approved last month by the FCC to increase the ceiling from 35%.
The statement issued by the NAB is similar to one issued last month (See RNW June 21).
Previous FCC:
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2003-07-12: A South Carolina host who alleges she was forced out by Clear Channel in April because of her opposition to the war against Iraq is suing the company.
Roxanne Cordonier, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association 2002 Radio Personality of the Year who as Roxanne Walker, was a co-host on the "Love and Hudson" broadcast by WMYI-FM, Greenville, has named the station, Clear Channel, its regional vice president and general manager Bill McMartin, and WMYI program director Greg McKinney in the suit.
The suit cites a state law saying a person cannot be fired because of political opinions and alleges that co-hosts Herriott Clarkson Mungo III, also known as Bill Love, and Hayden Hudson, also known as Howard Hudson, encouraged her to join their pro-war discussions regarding the invasion of Iraq but as war drew closer tolerance for opinions decreased and Love and Hudson belittled her both on and off the air because of her political beliefs.
Cordonier also alleges that she was forced to participate in a pro-war rally and says some Clear Channel officers and directors have financial ties and are loyal to President Bush and his policies.
"I went through hell. I was forced out because I would not comply with their orders to be silent," she told the Greenville News.
Clear Channel said it did not comment on pending lawsuits.
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2003-07-12: Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe, who has been appointed as Chairperson of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA), chaired the EPRA's Board meeting for his first time in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday.
O'Keeffe, who has two years in the post, took over from Greger Lindberg of the Swedish Broadcasting Commission.
In all 44 regulatory authorities from 35 countries are members of EPRA, which was set up in 1995 to allow regular informal meetings of broadcasting regulatory authorities so as to exchange information about national and European media regulation and developments.
Previous BCI:
Previous O'Keeffe:

2003-07-12: Earlier this week we reported UK Capital Radio chief executive David Mansfield's comments saying that the company would fight any bid from Clear Channel because of "fundamental cultural differences" between the companies (See RNW July 10); now Clear Channel has come back and said it isn't interested anyway.
A report in the San Antonio Express-News quotes a Clear Channel spokeswoman as saying; "Clear Channel currently has no investments in U.K. radio stations and has no immediate plans to change that."
Last year Clear Channel sold its UK radio interests (See RNW Nov 7, 2002) but it has said that it would bid for U.K. radio stations if restrictions were lifted and the price was right.
Previous Capital:
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Previous Mansfield:
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2003-07-11: UK Emap's radio stations have performed well in the first quarter of this year but it has done less well with its music TV channels according to its chairman Adam Broadbent, who told investors at Emap's annual general meeting that the group was on target to meet its expectations for the full year.
Concerning radio, Broadbent commented, "Radio advertising has remained strong across the first quarter with our London stations, Kiss and Magic, performing particularly well."
Commenting on any possible bids after the UK Communications Bill becomes law, finance director, Gary Hughes took a different view than that of Capital chief executive David Mansfield who earlier this week rejected the idea of a bid by US giant Clear Channel (See RNW July 10)
"It's not our job as a public company to resist things," said Hughes, who went on to indicate that Emap wasn't really expecting a bid.
"I'm not sure Clear Channel would be in the bidding for Emap as a whole, and we are certainly not putting our radio business up for sale," he said.
Hughes said Emap could be in line to bid for other radio companies but only if the price was right, commenting that the markets believed there was "some mug out there who will pay a stupid price for these assets" and adding that the mug was not Emap.
Hughes said Emap was committed to building up its existing Big City and Magic stations - it has said it will invest GBP 4.8 million (USD 7.8 million ) to support Glasgow's Magic FM if it wins the bid for the new Glasgow FM radio licence and has also entered a Magic FM for the West Midlands licence-and also expanding in digital.
Previous Emap:

2003-07-12: The Metis Nation of Canada has started an Internet radio station to broadcast the music, stories and experiences of Ontario Metis.
It is broadcasting primarily in English but also plans programming in French and various Aboriginal languages.
Metis Nation Ontario President Tony Belcourt commented in a news release, "We've launched this new venture so that we can bring our listeners the sounds and the flavour of our people."
Metis Nation web site:

2003-07-11: Los Angeles radio generated a record USD 100 million plus in revenues in May according to an analysis by the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA).
The figure is the highest ever in US radio - Los Angeles with nearly 60 stations is the second largest market in the US after New York, but is the top market for revenues.
US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Gary Fries commented of the figures, "The fact that Los Angeles generated this unprecedented revenue amount in the middle of the 2nd Quarter substantiates our expectations for overall recovery in Radio in the second half of 2003."
SCBA President Mary Beth Garber said," I want to thank our advertisers for their vision in remaining active through a very challenging economic period.
"It has been our pleasure to serve them and it is with their participation that Los Angeles has become the Number One Radio market in the world."
Previous Fries:
Previous RAB:

2003-07-11: Two BBC World Service journalists -- Palestinian Adli Hawwari, and Iraqi Dr Abdul-Hadi Jiad -- dismissed after the Corporation said it had spent GBP 1 million (USD 1.63 million) defending their claims (See RNW Feb 21)have now started legal proceedings against the BBC governors.
The two have organised a number of protests and also set up their own web site-; they and their supporters came face to face at the Radio Festival in Birmingham this week with BBC director-general Greg Dyke, who has backed their dismissal.
Dr Jiad told the UK Guardian he asked Dyke to "check if I had ever been warned or disciplined prior to my sacking and told him that we had been sacked on unfounded grounds."
Their counsel Imran Khan has issued proceedings demanding to see all the BBC's documentation on the case and their solicitor, Lawrence Davies, wrote to the BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies, asking him to reconsider the corporation's decision to deny the two men an appeal hearing; the latter replied that he was standing by the decision of Dyke and World Service director Mark Byford to dismiss the men.
"We have recovered from the initial demonising onslaught from the BBC," added Dr Jiad. "Firstly because the claims were unfounded and secondly because people up and down the country don't believe their claims. The response from our colleagues, trade unions and other journalists here and abroad has been tremendous."
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2003-07-11: Denver-based NextMedia Group has announced a USD 2.5 million deal to sell KSRN-FM, Reno, Nevada, to Lazer Broadcasting Corp.
NextMedia was required to divest itself of a Reno station in April after it bought KNHK-FM from Citadel for USD 4.25 million (See RNW April 30) and in May it put KSRN into a trust (See RNW May 22).
Previous NextMedia:

2003-07-11: Yet again MUSICMATCH retained its top station spot and AOL the top network ranking in the latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released (we note that the word MeasureCast has become just a mention as in "powered by MeasureCast technology" so have dropped it from our description).
Lower down Virgin was back up the station rankings and in the network ratings Launch, which was third in the previous week is no longer in the rankings, presumably because it is no longer subscribing.
For the week to June 29, Arbitron'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 477,208 (454,760); CP 161,384 (161,634). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM - TTSL 319,091 (233,134); CP 59,173 (52,294). Up from fifth with higher listening and reach.
3 AOL Top Pop (Internet-only) Top 40 - TTSL 256,184 (250,675); CP 143,932 (142,200), Down from second despite higher listening and reach.
4: Smooth Jazz format AOL Smooth Jazz - TTSL 249,331 (247,541); CP 50,590 (50,492). Down from third despite higher listening and reach.
5: AOL Top Country (Internet-only) Country format- TTSL 245,257 (239,762); CP - 84,497 (82,751). Down from fourth despite higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to June 29 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network - TTSL 5,662,124 (5,649,963); CP -1,312,397 (1,307,232). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: - TTSL 2,550,242 (2,614,153); CP - 460,319 (473,449). Up from second with lower listening and reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,552,657 (1,528,716); CP 379,556 (390,638). Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network TTSL 1,130,948 (1,141,705); CP 126,371 (124,641) - Up from fourth with lower listening and reach.
5: Warp Radio TTSL 795,139 (813,323); CP 128,354 (128,345) - Up from sixth with lower listening and reach.
* Launch, which was third the previous week with TTSL of (2,204,253) and CP of (598,519), was absent from the ratings and unmentioned.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:

2003-07-10: UK Capital Radio chief executive David Mansfield has said he would fight any bid from US giant Clear Channel; speaking at the Radio Festival in Birmingham in response to a question from BBC Director-General Greg Dyke about how Capital would react to an approach from Clear Channel he said there were "were "fundamental cultural differences in approaches" between the companies and ruled out even talking about a possible takeover.
Mansfield commented that Clear Channel was driven by advertisers, noting that Clear Channel chairman Lowry Mays said at last year's radio conference last year that his business was all about selling hamburgers and Fords, whilst Capital's "commercial imperative" was listeners and added, "They have said on a number of occasions that they would like to be involved in British radio, but by invitation only. I won't be picking up the phone. Quite frankly, we don't need Clear Channel to help us grow our business."
Mansfield also said that he had no objection to working with US groups, noting its joint venture with Disney in Capital Disney stations.
GWR executive chairman Ralph Bernard also expressed scepticism about Clear Channel building an empire in the UK as it has done in the US, saying that because of content regulation, Clear Channel's approach would not be allowed in the UK.
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2003-07-10: Convergent Broadcasting, which earlier this month added four Texas stations to its stable for USD 6.3 million (See RNW July 4) is spending USD 1.65 million to add four more in Georgia and take its total up to 11.
Being bought from Merchants Broadcasting Co. in the latest deal are Country/Talk WBBK-AM and Country WBBK-FM, Blakely, and Country/Talk WSEM-AM and Hot AC WGMK-FM, Donalsonville; all the stations are in Arbitron's Dothan, Alabama, market.

Previous Convergent:
2003-07-10: A Sydney jury has found against Sydney 2GB breakfast host Alan Jones and his station in the first stage of a case in which the former mayor of the city's Rockdale suburb says he was defamed in comments made by Jones last year.
The jury found that the comments implied that mayor Shaoquett Moselmane had used his position to aid his cousin, a property developer, to gain approval of a development in breach of council guidelines.
The jury also said that Jones had implied that Moselmane used his position to intimidate residents and had allowed the council to demand that the latter put up AUD 30,000 as surety against legal costs if they wished to contest the proposal and that the broadcaster had implied that the conduct made the mayor guilty of corrupt conduct.
Counsel for Jones and 2GB owner Harbour Radio - part of the Macquarie network - conceded that although Jones had not identified Mosleman he was identifiable when Jones made the broadcasts but contended that Jones had a right to raise questions and make editorial comment on a matter of public interest.
The matter has now been adjourned and will go on trial before a judge.
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2003-07-10: Conservative US radio talk host Michael Savage has been suspended by Boston station WRKO-AM in the wake of his comments in which he told a caller to his MSNBC show that he should "get AIDS and die."
Savage, who was dropped by MSNBC (see RNW July 9), was said by WRKO program director Mike Elder to have gone "over the line"; Elder told the Boston Globe that the host was "probably a homophobe in reality" and said that if he re-instated Savage he would make it clear that any similar incident would be grounds for a permanent cancellation.
Savage on his web site laid the blame on a crank caller from the Don and Mike (Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara) Show that is syndicated by Westwood One but the duo said on their show they had never heard of the caller before the incident.
O'Meara added, "Mike O'Meara added that Savage "needs to make this go away as soon as possible. The more he keeps dwelling on us setting up a caller, the more we're going to have to come in here and talk about it."
The caller has been identified as Bob Foster, a Sacramento computer technician who regularly makes prank calls; he told the paper his call had nothing to do with gay issues, but noted that ''if he's making those kind of comments, those aren't right.''
Foster says he was a fan of Savage's show and picked him to get a "reaction" and that the intention "was not for him to get fired" but "to drop the 'Don and Mike' name.' " He said he was now receiving a lot of hate mail.
Despite the furore, the incident is unlikely to seriously affect Savage's radio show according to Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison who told the Globe, "There are enormous differences between radio and television.
''In today's corporate culture, they want ratings and revenue, and they have no shame. If the heat [of a controversy] supersedes the talent, then they fire the talent. If the talent supersedes the heat, they slap the talent on the wrist, pay the fine, and consider that the cost of doing business.
GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Discrimination) had launched a campaign against Savage's cable television show but its GLAAD spokesman Michael Young told the paper no such effort was likely on the radio front. ''Radio is a little different,'' he said. ''They're not positioning themselves as journalistic enterprises.''
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2003-07-09: Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lewis W. Dickey came under attack on Tuesday at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing into radio consolidation for taking songs by the Dixie Chicks off the company's airwaves for a month.
The action was taken after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized US President George Bush during a London concert (See RNW March 21) and at the hearing Committee Chairman John McCain (Republican, Arizona) took Dickey to task over his company's decision to ban the band's music on all its stations.
"I was more offended, or as offended, as anyone by the statements of The Dixie Chicks," McCain told Dickey, "But to restrain their trade because they exercised their right of free speech, to me, is remarkable. It's a strong argument about what media concentration has the possibility of doing."
When Dickey said the action had been a response to a "groundswell" of negative reaction from country fans reported by local stations, McCain pushed him by asking, "Was there a decision from corporate?"
Dickey said there was and McCain responded, "That's precisely the problem. When a local station makes a local decision, that's one thing. That's what localism is all about. But when a corporate decision is made, that's a very serious [concern] and it brings us back to the issue of concentration."
Sen. Barbara Boxer (Democrat, California) went further and suggested Mr. Dickey's decision smacked of Nazism and McCarthyism rather than of free speech.
Dickey himself pointed out that only Cumulus country stations had banned the group and that they had continued to be played on its chart/pop stations but later said that, in view of the criticism, in future he would allow local stations to make their own decisions on such matters.
Dixie Chicks manager Simon Renshaw attacked Clear Channel at the hearing, saying that its Tuscaloosa Program Director Jay Michaels had reacted to Bruce Springsteen's support of the Chicks right to free speech (See RNW April 25) by issuing a warning that implied action would be taken against the singer as a result.
Dickey and McCain were more in tune on the issue of radio consolidation, which both think will harm smaller broadcasters. Dickey said the Federal Communication Commission's new radio rules, which limit the building of clusters, would "prevent future competitors from emerging that will check and ultimately curb the growing power of the unambiguous industry leader, Clear Channel."
Preserving the status quo, he said would strengthen and entrench an incumbent in unfortunate and unintended consequence of the rulemaking decision.
"I am concerned about our continued viability," he continued, "if our hands are tied as we do battle each day with the industry's dominant force. Their tremendous scale gives them an undeniable advantage in the competition for capital, talent and ad dollars."
The hearing also heard from advertising industry executive, John Mandel, co-CEO of media services agency MediaCom, that radio consolidation had pushed up advertising prices
He said ad prices in Atlanta were 155% above what they should be, whilst in New York they were 30% higher, and in Austin, Texas, 95% higher.
Also warning about the effects of consolidation, this time in the Hispanic market where Univision is soon expected to gain approval of its takeover of Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, was Representative Robert Menendez (Democrat, New Jersey). He said that if the deal went through, "virtually all Latinos would see and hear their news and entertainment from a single source."
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2003-07-09: An attempt by rebel Peers to introduce an amendment to the British Government's Communications Bill that would ban newspaper owners with more than a fifth of the market (read Rupert Murdoch's News International) from buying the country's Channel 5 TV has been narrowly defeated by 167 to 137.
The amendment had been tabled by Liberal Democrat Lord McNally despite a compromise, negotiated by film producer and chair of the British parliament's joint scrutiny committee Lord Puttnam, that would require the new super-regulator OF|COM to produce a public interest assessment of any such deals (See RNW July 8).
The Puttnam compromise is strongly opposed by OFCOM's chairman, Lord Currie, who told the Guardian Media Group Lecture at the Radio Festival in Birmingham that Lord Puttnam's amendments had "unbalanced" the regulator's duties.
"A consequence of the Puttnam amendment taken two weeks ago was to put the citizens above the consumer in two areas of OFCOM's work - one is the broadcast area and the other is the spectrum, not in the area of telecoms," said Lord Currie.
"That, from OFCOM's position, is a little difficult because it creates a diverged regulator in a converged world. Right from the beginning [the intention] has been to create a regulator that could take a convergent view that could balance the consumer and citizen where those interests are different. It remains to be seen what parliament will decide on this issue."
Currie warned that the changes could be counter-productive because they increased the chances of legal challenges from companies.
He said the Puttnam amendment placed more emphasis on the wider cultural interests of the citizen, rather than the commercial interests of the consumer, which could "create longer-term difficulties" for the new regulator.
"The evidence that I have is that there could be greater risk of judicial review which will make some of [OFCOM's] decisions a lot more difficult to make," he said.
RNW comment: Currie's views seem to us, if correctly reported, to be profoundly worrying and anti-Democratic in that they seem to suggest that an elected government should give commercial interests, albeit of the consumer, more emphasis than wider cultural interests whereas we feel a government should be fully entitled - and in some areas duty-bound - to consider wider interests.
If the complaint is merely about the problems that may be caused to OFCOM (cost should not be a factor since the government has agreed to pick up the tab for legal costs, then Lord Currie deserves little respect. Either way it's a pity it's too late to dump him!

Also speaking at the Festival was BBC Director-General Greg Dyke who commented on the issue of media regulation and supported Lord Puttnam.
He referred to the speech at the Festival last year by Clear Channel chairman and Chief Executive Lowry Mays as "speech of a red-blooded freemarketeer" but then went on to query whether the UK should go for the same de-regulation road.
"This debate isn't about particular television or radio companies as some people try and present it," said Dyke. "Rather, it's about the sort of regulatory regime we believe would best serve the public interest. "
"I believe that if we go down the road of embracing excessive deregulation, there must be a danger that we're going to slide into a country with a homogenised media and I fear that we will end up with radio stations which are simply in the business of selling products for advertisers where profit is the only motive."
"I'm not anti-commercial. I spent my whole life in the private sector before coming to the BBC. I know what a pain regulation can be… And I'm certainly not arguing for more restrictive legislation here. "
"On the contrary, I believe there is a strong case for fewer rules on both ownership and output. But there is a need to get the balance right."
"Pinning our hopes for this industry on a regulatory free-for-all would be folly."
"That's why I'm pleased our Government appears to have modified its approach to further deregulation in this country."
"The proposed public interest plurality test and commitment to preserving the character of local radio are important safeguards in the Communications Bill. "
"They must be used to protect the interests of listeners and will, I believe, strengthen rather than weaken this industry."
Dyke, who had earlier announced that the BBC is to launch a new Local Radio station for Coventry and Warwickshire, went on to say that radio in the UK was "in pretty good health" and, although he devoted most attention to BBC radio, commented of its rivals "commercial success is also rooted in creative ideas and great content. "
"A certain amount of consolidation in our market may well be the best way to secure that investment in the future," said Dyke, "But I'm sure that Lowry Mays' belief that consolidation will, as he put it, 'work its magic'" for listeners is misplaced."
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2003-07-09: MSNBC has cancelled conservative talks host Michael Savage's Saturday afternoon TV show following comments to a caller that he "should get AIDS and die"; The loss of the show follows Savage's earlier dumping by ABC's KSFO-AM, San Francisco and subsequently by WABC-AM, New York, after a contract dispute. He is now being aired in San Francisco by Clear Channel's KNEW-AM.
The latest episode developed after a caller to the show told Savage he should go to the dentist because his teeth were "real bad", and was then asked if he was "one of those sodomists." After an affirmative response, Savage continued, "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig."
"How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it."
MSNBC hired the host to increase the channel's appeal to right-wingers; his hiring was strongly opposed at the time by gay and lesbian groups because of his stance against homosexuality and Cathy Renna, a spokeswoman for GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Discrimination), said in a statement, "`Michael Savage's latest rant made the clearest possible case for why this kind of behaviour has no place on any reputable news network."
MSNBC itself, which has aired 15 episodes of the show since March this year, said the decision to cancel the show was "not difficult."
Savage, on his web site continued digging: in what he called "the real story", he said the, "Out of nowhere a crank caller from a competitive talk show went from describing his airline horror story to making vicious personal attacks against me. I signalled and thought that this crank caller was cut from the air. His insults continued in my ear piece and I reacted to him personally as an individual who was attacking me to defend myself. "
"Unfortunately, my personal comments to this crank caller were broadcast. In no way did my comments reflect my views of disease and suffering in any way. I have spent my entire life in the field of alternative medicine trying to heal the world and bring comfort to the sick. If my comments brought pain to anyone I certainly did not intend for this to happen and apologize for any such reaction. "
"Let me repeat, this was an interchange between me personally and a mean spirited vicious setup caller which I thought was taking place off the air. It was not meant to reflect my views of the terrible tragedy and suffering associated with AIDS. I especially appeal to my many listeners in the gay community to accept my apologies for any inadvertent insults which may have occurred."
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2003-07-08: The UK Government's Communications Bill that is to loosen media regulations now looks as if is likely to become law later this month following a last-minute agreement in the House of Lords on a compromise about a public interest test for cross-media takeovers.
The UK Department of Media and Sport has now published the final list of government amendments that will be moved on the third and final reading of the bill in the Lords today.
They include changes negotiated by Lord Puttnam, who led a campaign to prohibit a newspaper owner with more than a fifth of the UK market to purchase a national radio or TV channel.
Under the proposals OFCOM, the media super-regulator, is to prepare a report on the public interest ramifications of any major cross-media merger and hand its findings to the competition commission which, should it feel the merger is against the public interest, is to recommend appropriate action to the Trade and Industry secretary who will take the final decision.
The government has also agreed financial backing for OFCOM financially in any legal battle with a company challenging its decisions.
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2003-07-08: Los Angeles public radio station KUSC-FM has gone into partnership with Clear Channel, which is to take over the station's efforts to attract sponsors.
According to the Los Angeles Times, which says some might call it a "deal with the devil", station general manager Brenda Barnes said her marketing staff is too small and has too much turnover to drum up those sponsorships effectively so she has outsourced the job.
KUSC gets a little under a fifth of its USD 5 million a year budget from sponsorships, some USD 400, 000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) , and the rest from member's donations and grants.
Barnes said announcements on KUSC would remain capped at 90 seconds per hour; Clear Channel will get a commission for each sponsor it signs, more for new ones, and KUSC will retain the right to refuse sponsors or messages. Either side can cancel the deal with 60-days notice.
Barnes said, adding that she hopes the arrangement will add about USD250,000 annually to KUSC's underwriting income and added , "It's a small percentage of what we're bringing in. For them [Clear Channel], it doesn't even register. It's not a huge effort for them, but it makes a big difference for KUSC. The bottom line is: Nothing changes for the listener."
The move is obviously good public relations for Clear Channel - a cynic would suggest this is the main motivation - and its West Coast senior vice president Charlie Rahilly agreed it was a chance to be a good corporate citizen.
"It's no secret our company's been banged around in the press," he said, adding, "If we can generate meaningfully higher revenue, their interests are very well served. .. if we can use our resources to help maintain and fund broadcast diversity, that's really going to the heart of it."
As regards concerns that the deal could corrupt KUSC, Rahilly said if someone, "really wants to ensure their public radio station will remain unsullied and viable into the future" he or she should cheer the partnership, which both sides hope will generate enough revenue to allow the station to create its own endowment. "Ultimately, that should provide for the station's survival into perpetuity."
The KUSC deal is not the only one between US public broadcasting and commercial companies: Later this month, National Public Radio (NPR) launches "Day to Day," a weekdays lunchtime show being produced in collaboration with Microsoft's online magazine, Slate, the first such co-operation in NPR's life.
That move raised objections about the intrusion of the corporate world into public broadcasting, and questions as to whether the show could cover Microsoft activities objectively.
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2003-07-08: The row between the British government and the BBC over a report by the Radio 4 Today programme by its Defence Correspondent Andrew Gilligan that cited a senior intelligence source as alleging that prime ministerial aide Alastair Campbell "sexed up" a report on Iraq's weapons in the run up to war looks set to continue after a report by a parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee gave some solace to each side.
The report, The Decision To Go To War In Iraq, in considering a crucial element of the Gilligan report in relation to the suggestion that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes and a flat denial that this element was included on his request, says, "If Mr Campbell is not correct in making this statement, then he and all those who have made similar statements, from the Prime Minister[124] through the Foreign Secretary to the Chairman of the JIC[Joint Intelligence Committee] are in contempt of Parliament. We cannot believe that this is so. We conclude that Alastair Campbell did not play any role in the inclusion of the 45 minutes claim in the September dossier."
The report also says , "We conclude that the 45 minutes claim did not warrant the prominence given to it in the dossier, because it was based on intelligence from a single, uncorroborated source. We recommend that the Government explain why the claim was given such prominence. "
The BBC referred to this comment in saying in a statement, "In particular, we believe the decision to highlight the circumstances surrounding the 45 minute claim has been vindicated.
The government, however has continued to call for an apology from the BBC and the Foreign Affairs Committee has called for a thorough investigation of Gilligan's sources as part of a wider review of links between the media, parliament and security and intelligence agencies.
A statement from BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies, an appointee of the government and supporter of the ruling Labour Party, said," "First, the Board reiterates that the BBC's overall coverage of the war, and the political issues surrounding it, has been entirely impartial, and it emphatically rejects Mr Campbell's claim that large parts of the BBC had an agenda against the war. "
"We call on Mr Campbell to withdraw these allegations of bias against the BBC and its journalists."
He added, "the Board considers that the Today programme properly followed the BBC's Producers' Guidelines in its handling of the Andrew Gilligan report about the September intelligence dossier, which was broadcast on 29 May." Although the Guidelines say that the BBC should be reluctant to broadcast stories based on a single source, and warn about the dangers of using anonymous sources, they clearly allow for this to be done in exceptional circumstances. Stories based on senior intelligence sources are a case in point. "
RNW comment: Our view is pretty much that of the former Today programme editor Rod Liddle, who wrote in his Guardian column, "The War Against Gilligan is 90% confected outrage and 10% personal animus on the part of Alastair Campbell.
Is there anybody in Britain who truly believes that the BBC was wrong to report the comments of a very senior intelligence service source about such a crucial issue? Can you imagine being told, on the record, by one of the country's top spooks that the security services were angry at Campbell's involvement and deciding NOT to report it? You know, "Nah, think I'll keep this one under my hat?" Because that's what the government claims it thinks the BBC should have done. It is, in journalistic terms, quite berserk.
We would also note that the government seems to have found it quite reasonable to highlight in its justification for going to war evidence about a 45-minute state of preparedness that also came "intelligence from a single, uncorroborated source."
We would regard the decision to go to war - and any efforts to gain support for it - are much more serious matters than a journalist's decision to report comment from an intelligence source. We don't think Gilligan invented the quotes and the Prime Minister in this case should be considered right dishonourable.

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2003-07-08: Robert M Batscha, the long-time president of the Museum of Television and Radio has died of cancer aged 58.
A political scientist by training, he became the museum's president in 1981 when it still had its original name, the Museum of Broadcasting.
The museum, founded by CBS TV pioneer William S. Paley in 1975 changed its name in 1991 to tie in with developments such as cable TV and other non-broadcast media.
It held around 5000 titles when Dr Batscha arrived and now has some 120, 000.

2003-07-08: UK Emap is to cut back its online activities and stop selling advertisements on its radio web sites; of these according to the UK Guardian the Kiss and The Big City Network sites will remain largely unchanged but the sites for other stations will be trimmed back and the company's Interactive team will redirect their efforts towards on-air sales and promotions, digital radio, mobile phone content and ticketing for events through the website.
A company spokeswoman said there would be a "handful" of redundancies, saying the web sites would "no longer be a profit and loss operation, and will no longer concentrate on the advertising side, but instead on areas we have identified as bigger revenue opportunities."
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2003-07-07: For this week's look at print comment on radio, we have opted to forget the US regulation debate and go primarily for comment on technological developments starting with the promise of a potential revolution through digital developments that could make literally hundred of stations available within the spectrum that is currently thought of as a scarce resource.
Writing in the Toronto Globe and Mail, David Ticoll starts is column by saying, "Imagine having the kind of choice on your radio that you enjoy when you surf the Internet or walk into a big bookstore. Instead of 40 or so stations, you have hundreds, even thousands to choose from. And, in the same breath of innovation, you get a mobile phone gadget with free calling and Internet access."
"Both these ideas are just around a corner or two, though it will take a combination of market push and gutsy government policy to make it happen. There will be big-time winners and losers, and the potential losers include incumbent telecom titans and media moguls. This debate about "open spectrum" wireless is already engaged in the United States, and it's time we got into it here."
What makes the development potentially possible is the fact that, at any instant, most of the spectrum is not in use and thus it is possible, by dividing an audio stream up into packets as is done with Internet data; by combining this technique with the ability to move from frequency to frequency (spread spectrum) - with the software keeping track - it is possible to cram much more into existing channels than is currently done. By using mesh networks signals can also jump from one wireless device to another.
The ideas themselves are not that new - as Ticoll points out," Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr invented spread spectrum technology during the Second World War as a way to send signals that were hard to intercept. Mesh networking is also in common use by the U.S. military, which needs mobile communications in zones that lack phone companies."
"The overnight success of Wi-Fi's home, office and retail hotspot wireless networking," he adds, "proves that "open spectrum," as it's called, is in our midst and that people want it."
He admits there's a lot to work through -" All the pieces work, but they have never been deployed on a large scale. And it's a bit early to say that millions of people will be able to simultaneously tune in to every little open spectrum radio station."
"But history has proven time and again that innovation trounces obstacles in unpredictable ways. Relying on the doubts of vested interests -- like media companies facing new competition and network providers facing disintermediation -- is not a safe bet."
Ticoll also says "Open spectrum requires a new round of government and private sector initiatives," suggesting there's a strong case for just that.
Already up and running, of course, are digital radio, Internet radio and satellite radio and in the Mercury News Mike Langberg suggests the last is finally ready to "hit the road."
When Sirius and XM launched, he says, their receivers were too expensive and inflexible and only now are units becoming available that can easily be move between automobile and home.
Both the services now offer "plug and play" units removing the limitation of original units that were conceived of as being limited to automobile use.
Langberg comments about that, "If you're paying a monthly subscription fee for radio, then you should be able to listen in the home or when riding in another family car, without having to pay for another receiver and a second subscription."
"P&P is the answer. The receiver comes in a small package, no bigger than a Walkman tape player, that snaps in and out of a cradle. Car cradles get their power through an adapter plugged into a cigarette lighter and have a small antenna that attaches to the roof with a magnet, while home cradles use AC power and an antenna on a small stand. Both have audio output jacks for connecting to a car or home stereo."
He runs through some of the models available (favouring XM's current range) and due out soon and laments the current limitations on battery-powered equipment - as well as some of the potential reception problems - before commenting on the rival services: "In my mind, the decision between XM and Sirius comes down to cost vs. commercials. XM is less expensive (USD 9.99 per month to USD 12.95), but 36 of its 70 music channels run a few commercials every hour. Sirius has no commercials on any of its 60 music channels. Both services, however, include commercials on the news/talk/sports side."
"XM also tends to sound more like regular radio, with live announcers who provide a setting for the music. Sirius uses pre-recorded announcers, who talk less frequently and convey less personality."
In the UK Sunday Times, Paul Donovan leaps straight into technology in his Radio Waves column.
"Everywhere you look - and listen - radio is being transformed by digital technology<" he writes.
"It is not just digital television - Sky and Freeview - although that is where stations such as Oneword and Smash Hits now get most of their listeners."
"It is not just DAB digital radio, which has banished crackle and doubled choice for so many of us, and employs by far the easiest sets to use that have ever been invented (with yet more models from Goodmans and Roberts this month). Vital as they both are, the real revolution is on the Internet. "
"I get regular e-mails from a woman who listens to Radio 2's Mike Harding at her home in Phoenix, Arizona - not when it goes out here, but at a time to suit her. Thousands of people in this country, also, use the "listen again" facility on the BBC's website to hear their favourite shows in the same way."
After running through some details of Internet listening - and the way in which e-mail and text is providing more feedback than phone calls to many stations, Donovan goes on to note, "The latest way in which radio fans are using the internet is for protest. Various dissidents, quite separately, have over the past month launched unofficial websites targeting their favourite classical-music stations - and gathered lively communities of like-minded listeners."
Two sites he mentions are, which was set up by Lawrie Packer, a retired university lecturer in medieval French, and a Los Angeles-based webmaster, Mark Sealey.
"Friends of Radio 3, comments Donovan, "is erudite, passionate in a very English way, and indispensable for anyone interested in great music. Though warm in spirit and full of useful links, it is highly critical of the Radio 3 controller Roger Wright's embracing of world music ("global pop"), jazz and light tunes. It urges Radio 3 'to promote itself confidently as a champion of core classical music and the high arts'."
The second is, which was created by a 41-year-old Nottinghamshire businessman, Neil Cross, who was outraged by the way Henry Kelly was summarily dumped as Classic FM's breakfast host.
In the end, suggests Donovan, such sites usually only have a marginal effect, but he concludes, "they do remind programme bosses that they need to explain themselves. And they show there is now a worldwide dimension to the ability of listeners to make their voices heard.
In the UK Times, Paul Connolly, first pays tribute to the BBC for its "BBC's commitment to new pop/rock music" and adds, "Without Radio 1 and the digital channels 1Xtra and Radio 6, the only music those outside the footprint of London's Xfm would hear would be the homogenised horror of commercial radio's output."
He then has a dig at the Corporation for its "obsession with live music" and makes the point with reference to its (over) long coverage of some recent festivals that the events are about an experience not just music.
"How can you possibly replicate that atmosphere - dare I say "vibe" - via the radio medium? " he asks. "Instead what you get is lots of live music that sounds terrible on radio - any gig-goer will tell you that what sounds terrific when you're actually at a show sounds awful over the radio."
Connolly of course has a point but not everyone can get to a particular festival and in some cases a broadcaster certainly gets access that most members of the public could never approach.
That was certainly the case of Edward Stourton's Missionaries (BBC Radio 4 and still for the moment available on the web site), a programme included in Sue Arnold's radio review in the UK Observer.
It examined whether " as many have suggested, Bush views his presidency in missionary terms - a crusade against the non-Christian as much as against the axis of evil."
"The single most important development in US politics over the past 25 years," says Arnold, "is the gradual retreat of the established Episcopalians of New England and the advance of southern Baptist revivalism whose new conservative disciples, like Dubya, enthusiastically profess their faith in public. One satirist described him as a born-again teetotaller who renounced JD (Jack Daniel's) for JC."
"During his election campaign and in the run-up to the Iraq war he decreed that the lions should be thrown to the Christians, and inspired marching songs that went: 'We're the fundamental television preachers of the land/ With a message, alleluia, hear it well/ We're not endorsing candidates, we take a neutral stand/ So vote for Bush or else you'll go to hell.'
"Everyone prays in Washington these days. There's a White House prayer group, a Senate prayer group and a CIA prayer group who spy on the FBI prayer group. "
Maybe so, maybe it's all sincere with no links to hopes of career advancement; time of course will tell if the prayers are efficacious.
The prayer brigade certainly hasn't however, so far proved efficacious in removing from the airwaves much that they consider objectionable around the world. In the US, the issue had another airing from Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J Copps last week (See RNW July 5) but the issue is one in many countries, even those where restrictions keep off the airwaves much that would be broadcast in the UK.
In the Sydney Morning Herald, in an article headed, "Have TV and radio gone too far?" Sue Javes looks back to the "permissive '70s" when " the ABC's youth radio station Double J outraged parents when it launched with Skyhooks' You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good in Bed. Not long after, Bob Rogers was sacked twice from Sydney radio for letting the f-word go to air.
Going forward, and today she writes ," . In the post-punk world, it's difficult to shock anyone. C--- has become the new magic word. Triple J had a talkback discussion about its use and Channel Nine's Sex and the City devoted an entire episode to it."
Javes runs through a number of examples of attitude changes but makes an interesting comment re radio,"… under-40 radio stations have turned away from shock tactics, favouring humour and slice-of-life material instead. Ostrow's Triple M sex show didn't rate and research suggests women in particular will turn the dial if they hear coarse language or material unsuitable for their children."
She then quotes Austereo's network programmer, Jeff Allis as saying, "We tell our presenters using coarse language is a cheap way to get laughs. "It shouldn't be necessary to swear. It doesn't add any value to a joke and there's no longer any shock value."
Tell that to Deminski and Doyle! Or OR OR
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2003-07-07: In a look at UK Capital Radio, the UK Sunday Times says that it wants to dispel the perception that it is just a London radio station but also owns a number of regional stations.
"Yes, we started here 30 years ago but we are now far more than a London-centred company," comments chief executive David Mansfield, who admits that publicity about whether Capital FM breakfast host Chris Tarrant would remain with the company - he has now re-signed until thee end of this year- and poor figures for the station have gained most media attention.
The Tarrant show pulls in a fifth of the London commercial breakfast show audience but there is a drop-off after it.
"The key is carrying it through the day and we are not doing that well enough at the moment," says Mansfield who added, "Thirty years ago we were the only show in town. We need to regain lost ground in London. We should be able to get back to more than 10% (of the London audience) again (RNW Note: Capital had just over 8% in the latest ratings)."
In advance of expected UK radio industry consolidation when the British Government's Communications Bill becomes law, Capital is seen as a possible target for a bid but Mansfield says this is now what it wants.
"If we felt we were being marginalised and the industry was going away from us, it would be a different story," he added. "If the company did have approaches, we would treat them respectfully, but we are not seeking suitors. Instead, we are in the mood for acquisitions."
Mansfield will have to concentrate on improvements and acquisitions in major metropolitan areas but also speaks of trying to fill "white space" around the country that does not yet have a Capital presence- East Anglia, most of Wales and southwest England- but where the potential for a revenue boost in these areas is thought to be small.
He says he is happy with the current structure of the company: "We don't have anything we don't want to own. We have an open share register and we don't have one dominant shareholder. We also do not have any shareholders on the board. That is a good position to be in."
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2003-07-07: UTV (Ulster Tekevision), which already owns Lite FM in Dublin and local stations Treaty Radio in Limerick and County Media in Cork seems likely to enter the bidding for the new Dublin and County FM licence, among four new licences announced last week by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) (See Licence News July 6).
The matter is on the agenda for the company's board meeting in Dublin today.
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Previous UTV:

2003-07-06: The main regulatory actrivity over the past week was the publication by the US Federal Communications Commission of its report and order for new media regulations (See RNW July 3 ).
Elsewhere, apart from Australia where there was nothing of note in radio terms, there was a steady flow of activity with Canada leading the way.
There, the main news from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was the refusal to allow Astral Media to dispose of its AM station in Quebec and CFOM-FM Quebec City to a subsidiary of Quebecor Media (See RNW July 4); it was also involved in the issue of eight new licences for the province on the same day and a number of other new licences over the week.
In order of province, the CRTC's main activities were:
Regina and Saskatoon - extension until April 30, 2004, of deadline to commence operation of new transmitters for CKSB-FM Winnipeg.
Nova Scotia:
Charlottetown and St. John's - Extension until April 30 next year of deadline to commence operation of new transmitters for CBAX-FM Halifax.
Approval of new English- and Chippewa/Ojibway-language native Type B 420 watts FM in Kettle Point.
Paris and Windsor - extension until April 30, 2004, of deadline to commence operation of new transmitters for CJBC-FM Toronto
New licences issued -
Montréal - New French-language 900 watts FM with jazz and blues format.
Montréal - New French language 10,000 watts, day and night AM with nostalgia radio format.
Montréal - New ethnic 141 watts FM, primarily for the Greek Community but also offering word beat and international music for the Armenian, Croatian, Serbian, Russian and Filipino communities.
Montréal - New Aboriginal 1,000 watts FM station, part of the AVR network with programming primarily in English and French but also in Aboriginal and other languages. The applicant must submit a proposal for an alternative frequency within ix months
Sherbrooke - New French language adult contemporary FM that will be part of the Rythme FM network. This will have a 1,650 watts transmitter in Sherbrooke and another 360 watts transmitter in Magog.
Sherbrooke - New French-language 1,300 watts FM with a classic, soft and new rock format.
Sherbrooke - Lac-Brome - approval of a new 800 watts English-language Type A community FM principally broadcasting in English but also with French and German programming; the approval is subject to the applicant submitting a proposal within six months to use an alternative frequency.
Trois-Rivières: New French language adult contemporary 43,050 watts FM that will be part of the Rythme FM network.
The above licences were issued after the CRTC considered 21 applications for new stations and five licence-amendment applications that were technically mutually exclusive with new licence applications for Montréal, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Saguenay. It decided that for the moment the Saguenay region could not support a new commercial station.
Other Quebec decisions included:
Dolbeau, - Extension until April 30 next year of deadline to commence operation of new transmitter for CBJX-FM Chicoutimi.
Matane, Sept-Îles and Rivière-du-Loup -- Extension until April 30 next year of deadline to commence operation of new transmitters for CBRX-FM Rimouski.
Mont-Laurier - Extension until April 30 next year of deadline to commence operation of new transmitter for CBFX-FM Montréal.
Montréal - Approval of new 90 watts transmitter for CBME-FM Montréal. This was needed to improve reception of the National English CBC Radio 1 network in a number of communities; the frequency proposed would be second adjacent with the Greek language community station approved but both parties had agreed to accept interference from the other party's station.
Trois-Rivières - Approval of frequency change, power increase from 4,386 watts to 9,300 watts and transmitter relocation for CBMZ-FM, Trois-Rivières,
Trois-Rivières - Approval of frequency change, power increase from 4,326 watts to 66,700 watts and transmitter relocation for CBF-FM-8.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced plans for further development of Dublin radio services following consultations that have identified four suitable frequencies that can be made available following changes to frequencies used by existing services.
One of these would cover Dublin City and County on 105.2MHz, another Dublin City and part County on 94.9 MHz, and a further two frequencies city-wide coverage for Dublin on 107.2MHz and 107.6 MHz.
The changes would involve frequency moves for East Coast FM (NW Wicklow transmitter) from 94.9 MHz to 99.9 MHz; for Dublin South FM from 104.9 MHz to 93.9 MHz; for Phoenix FM from 105.2 MHz to 92.5 MHz; for Tallaght FM from 107.2 MHz to 99.1 MHz; for Beaumont Hospital Radio from 107.4 MHz to 89.5 MH; and for Mater Hospital Radio from 107.6 MHz 89.5 MHz.
BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe commented about the new licences, for which applications have to be submitted by September 12: "The Commission is open to suggestions on the nature of the services to be provided. It will however, take into account the type of service to be provided and is asking interested parties to set out the rationale for the service they propose to provide, together with a statement of how such a service will add to the diversity of services already in existence throughout Dublin city and county"
The BCI also held its awards ceremony for its New Adventures in Broadcasting Scheme (See RNW July 3).
In the UK the Radio Authority received 13 applications for the new Glasgow FM licence in Scotland (See RNW July 2); it also published its assessment of the award of the new FM licence for Helensburgh in Argyll & Bute to Castle Rock FM Dumbarton Ltd against competition from Peninsula FM Ltd. (See RNW Licence News June 15).
In its assessment, the Authority noted that the winning applicant is the licensee for Dumbarton, whose existing coverage area is contiguous with Helensburgh and commented that the group was "able to rely on an experienced management team and has demonstrated sound funding arrangements and a proven record of cost control."
It also noted that the applicant's "programme proposals were realistic and achievable, although they would encourage the establishment of links with the media community of Helensburgh in order to strengthen the programming contribution from that area.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released of the full report and order for its new media regulations (See RNW July 3) but the issue is still under active political consideration and the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on radio-industry consolidation on Tuesday (July 8).
The release was accompanied, as we have already reported, by separate statements from all five Commissioners, with both Democrats dissenting from the majority decision.
More than 250 pages long, the report and order covers all the main issues raised about the need for the changes and the majority's justification for what they have proposed.
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UK Radio Authority web site:
2003-07-06: Irish state broadcaster Radio Television Éirann has named Cathal Goan as its new Director-General; Goan, who formally takes on his new role in October, joined RTÉ in 1979, initially working with RTÉ Radio as a Producer and Senior Producer.
He moved over to TV in 1988 and is currently Managing Director of RTÉ Television.
Announcing the appointment, the Chairman of the RTÉ Authority, Patrick J. Wright, said that Goan will be Director-General Designate with immediate effect and will continue in his current role in order to ensure a smooth handover from the current Director-General Bob Collins.
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2003-07-06: Chicago is to formally honour long-timeradio host Steve Dahl for 25 years service to Chicago Radio today by presenting him with an official "acknowledgement."
The award will be made before his Silver Anniversary Special Free Concert that will feature Elvis Costello & The Imposters with special guest Alice Peacock.
Dahl, who moved to Chicago from Detroit in 1970, is currently afternoon host at WCKG-FM and has worked at WLUP-FM, the now defunct WLUP-AM, and WLS-AM and FM.
Previous Dahl:

2003-07-05: US Spanish-language network Telemundo, a subsidiary of General Electric Co.'s NBC, has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to delay a decision on Univision's USD 3 billion purchase of Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation.
Telemundo VP said their concern was putting such a large amount of "market clout under one tent" concerned them - Univision owns 50 TV stations and would be adding 63 radio stations if the deal goes though. He added, "It limits the diversity of viewpoints."
The deal has already been passed by the US Justice Department subject to conditions including a reduction in Univision's holdings in Entravision, but still has to be approved by the FCC.
Entravision itself has sold its newspaper El Diario/La Prensa for USD 19.9 million to a private investment group as part of its policy of concentrating on core radio, television and outdoor business.
The New York-published paper is the oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the US and will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year.
Previous Entravision:
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Previous Hispanic Broadcasting/Univision:

2003-07-05: The Canadian radio industry is in a healthy state and continues to generate steady profits according to the latest data from the Statistics Canada agency.
Profits before interest and taxes were 15.9% of revenue in 2002, almost unchanged from the previous two years, with FM stations achieving a 24.3% margin compared to a 6.8% loss for AM stations; in 2001 AMs had lost 4.6%.
English language stations continued to generate higher returns -16.4% margin compared to 15.2% for French stations - and large-city stations did better than those in smaller marker s-18.8% margin in the five largest metropolitan areas compared to 13.2% for those outside these markets.
Overall growth, however, slowed, with revenues up 2.7%, compared with 4.4% in 2001 and 5.3% in 2000.
Employment in the industry was up but only marginally to 9,410 in 2002, after two years of relatively strong growth.
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Statistics Canada web site:

2003-07-05: Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J Copps has again gone on the warpath over indecency in US broadcasts: in a letter to L. Brent Bozell III of the Parents Television Council, he gave the FCC an "F" grade "for the job it has failed to do in enforcing the statutes that exist to curb indecency."
In his letter Copps repeats writes, "The Commission puts too much of the onus on listeners to prove violations of the law, and when - once in a great while - some infraction is actually found, our fines don't represent even a slap on the hand."
"And we've never taken a license away from those who repeatedly peddle smut and violence to our children. Indeed, we didn't even send a recent WKRK-FM, case containing some of the worst material I've ever read, to a license revocation hearing!"
(RNW note: The FCC issued a record USD 27,500 fine against the Viacom Detroit station for comments on its Deminsky and DOyle show -- see RNW April 4)
He also notes " The "Opie and Anthony" case is still outstanding after nearly a full year, and other complaints that I have been urging our Enforcement Bureau to investigate have been pending even longer."
((RNW note: Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) were taken off the air and subsequently fired in August last year following the sex in St Patrick's Cathedral row (See RNW Aug 24, 2002)).
Copps says that to get action Commissioners not staff should take responsibility, saying, "...we need to have a Commission commitment to do the job in the first place. Absent such a leadership commitment, nothing will ever get done. That means having accountable Commissioners, not the staff, make these decisions."
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Previous FCC:

2003-07-05: MUSICMATCH retained its top station spot and AOL yet again retained the top network ranking in Arbitron-MeasureCast's latest Internet ratings just released; two of the regular top five stations plunged downwards, Classical format WQXR-FM to seventh and Jazz FM to 12th.
For the week to June 22, Arbitron-Measure Cast'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 454,760 (445,658); CP 161,634 (156,732). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: AOL Top Pop (Internet-only) Top 40 - TTSL 250,675 (195,324); CP 142,200 (68,697), Up from seventh with higher listening and reach.
3 Smooth Jazz format AOL Smooth Jazz - TTSL 247,541 (209,691); CP 50,492 (33,783). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: AOL Top Country (Internet-only) Country format- TTSL 239,762 (189,529); CP - 82,751 (41,585). Up from eighth with higher listening and reach.
5: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM - TTSL 233,134 (207,999); CP 52,294 (48,277). Down from fourth despite higher listening and reach.
* Classical format WQXR-FM fell from second to seventh with TTSL of 223,181, up from 222,870 and CP of 31,277, up from 31,030 and Jazz Format Jazz FM fell from fifth to 12th with TTSL of 174,088, down from 198,372 and CP of 26,632, down from 26,373.
The top five networks for the week to June 22 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network - TTSL 5,649,963 (4,529,786); CP -1,307,232 (680,495). Same rank with significantly higher listening and reach.
2: - TTSL 2,614,153 (2,574,425); CP - 473,449 (473,177). Up from second with higher listening and reach.
3: Launch - TTSL 2,204,253 (2,957,618); CP - 598,519 (638,919). Down from second with lower listening and reach.
4: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,528,716 (1,523,068); CP 390,638 (381,114). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
5: The Adsertion Network TTSL 1,141,705 (1,219,036); CP 124,641 (125,518) - Same rank with lower listening and reach.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast weekly ratings:

2003-07-04: In a spell of deals in the US, Cumulus has announced agreement to add two more stations, Qantum has completed the purchase of 29, and in smaller deals Convergent is buying in Texas and Lakeshore Media has completed its purchase of a Florida duo.
The Cumulus purchase is a USD8.1 million cash and stock purchase of WPKR-FM and WPCK-FM in the Appleton-Oshkosh market in Wisconsin from Midwest Dimension, Inc.
Up to 70% of the price can be paid in Cumulus stock and its Chairman and CEO, Lew Dickey, termed the acquisition " a very attractive and strategic fill-in which solidifies our position in the Appleton-Oshkosh market."
Cumulus has already begun operating the stations under an LMA.
The Qantum deals that have been completed total some USD 114 million; they are the previously announced purchase of Root Communications' 26 stations for USD82 million (See RNW Mar 6) and also three stations in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts, area -- WCIB-FM, WRZE-FM and WPXC-FM - from Makkay Group Broadcasting for just under USD 32 million.
In Texas, Convergent Broadcasting is spending USD 6.3 million in cash to enter the Corpus Christi market with the purchase of four stations from Pacific Broadcasting. They are Classic Rock KPUS-FM, Gregory; Rock KCCG-FM, Ingleside; Modern AC KKPN-FM, Rockport, and KTKY-FM, Taft, which is currently dark.
The Lakeshore completion is its USD 4 million purchase of WSOS-AM and FM in St Augustine, Florida.
In Chicago, Clear Channel, which already has five FMs and an AM stations, is bidding to add a seventh. It has applied for a construction permit in Berwyn to add a new signal at 1690 AM but has made no decision concerning format, call letters, or transmission site.
In other business, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now started the 180-day clock ticking again on its review of Univision's USD 2.95 billion acquisition of Hispanic Broadcasting.
The FCC had stopped the clock in January pending review of documents and consultations with anti-trust authorities and Media Bureau head Kenneth Ferree said in a letter that "Although the commission seeks to meet the 180-day benchmark, its statutory obligation to determine whether an assignment or transfer serves the public interest takes precedence over the informal timeline."
The Justice Department anti-trust division cleared the deal in March after Univision agreed to reduce its stake in Entravision (See RNW March 28).
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2003-07-04: The UK House of Lords has voted by 115 votes to 99 to overturn a government ban on religious bodies owning national TV or radio stations, potentially allowing major religious groups to bid for one or more of the current three national commercial TV and radio channels in the UK.
The move follows intensive lobbying by religious bodies to overturn the government's position, which is in breach of European human rights legislation, that the ban is justified by spectrum limitations. Religious bodies can - and do - already own local radio licences and many of the short-term restricted service licences (RSLs) issued by the Radio Authority each year are related to religious festivals or occasions.
The British Government has not yet said whether it will oppose the move, contained in an amendment to its Communications Bill, but under current radio regulations that link a station's format to its licence removing the ban would appear unlikely to have a practical effect.
In the UK public sector, the head of the BBC's religion and ethics department has told British church leaders that they need to significantly improve their media capabilities or risk losing airtime.
Delivering the Beckly Lecture to the Methodist conference in Llandudno, Wales, Alan Bookbinder said many from mainstream churches seemed "muted and defensive" but were competing with plenty of other things competing for public attention.
He challenged those of faith "to be bolder and braver, to speak with clarity and conviction above the noise and confusion of purely secular concerns".
Bookbinder noted that producers working on religious output often wondered where talented performers were and added that the BBC was eager to "nurture new talent. To help build their confidence and competence on air. To fill the public space that is available to them."
Bookbinder praises some mainstream religious broadcasters including the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and the Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks but said that more were needed because if the BBC failed to fill the space for religion with strong programmes, religion would "simply lose the space."
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2003-07-04: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has refused on competition grounds to allow Montreal-based Astral Media to sell its AM stations in Quebec plus CFOM-FM Quebec City for CAD12.5 million (USD 8 million) to a corporation to be controlled by Quebecor Media subsidiary TVA Group.
The new group would have been 60% owned by TVA and 40% by Radio Nord Communications.
It has also approved eight new stations for Quebec- four new radio stations for Montréal, three new stations in the Sherbrooke area, including a community radio station at Lac Brome, and one new station in Trois-Rivières (More details at the weekend in licence news)
The Montreal stations include the first all-Jazz station for the city, Couleur Jazz that is to be launched before next year's Montreal International Jazz Festival's 25th anniversary; the winning bid came from festival organizers L'Équipe Spectra and partner Radio Nord Communications Inc., which will own three quarters of the station.
Spectra is to handle programming and Radio Nord business matters for the station.
The Astral deal that was refused followed the imposition by Canada's Competition Bureau of various divestments as a condition of giving approval to Astral's CAD255 (USD164 million) million deal to acquire 19 radio stations from Télémédia (See RNW Sept 4, 2002).
It involved eight AM stations, two digital radio stations, three radio networks and CFOM-FM.
If it had been allowed, Quebecor Media would have owned the Quebec's dominant television broadcaster, biggest cable-TV distributor, largest daily newspaper and leading AM radio station.
Commenting on its refusal, the CRTC said, "These applications raised concerns with regard to concentration of media ownership and media cross-ownership in Quebec."
"The CRTC was not persuaded that the potential benefits that would flow from TVA/RNC's strategy for renewing AM radio in Quebec and from the application would offset the serious concerns regarding concentration of media ownership and media cross-ownership that the application gave rise to."
The CRTC reiterated that Astral Media still has to divest itself of CFOM-FM to a third party not associated with Astral Media.
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2003-07-03: Just one month after issuing its new media ownership regulations, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially released its official (255-page) report and order providing full details of the new regulations.
All of the Commissioners issued individual statements - notes of dissent from the Democrats.
There are no surprises in terms of the regulations themselves as revealed last month (See RNW June 3) but much detailed comment on the context within which they were arrived at.
The report's introduction summarizes well-trodden ground about the requirement on the Commission to conduct its biennial review, the legal context of the review and technological changes that have affected US media since the previous regulations were drafted.
It then says, "In sum, the modified broadcast ownership structure we adopt today will serve our traditional goals of promoting competition, diversity, and localism in broadcast services. The new rules are not blind to the world around them, but reflective of it; they are, to borrow from our governing statute, necessary in the public interest."
Regarding public comment, the report says the Commission "…received more than 500,000 brief comments and form letters from individual citizens. These individual commenters expressed general concerns about the potential consequences of media consolidation, including concerns that such consolidation would result in a significant loss of viewpoint diversity and affect competition."
"We share the concerns of these commenters that our ownership rules protect our critical diversity and competition goals, as they are designed to do, and we believe that the rules adopted herein serve our public interest goals, take account of and protect the vibrant media marketplace, and comply with our statutory responsibilities and limits."
A later section on cross-ownership seems to indicate that the Commission would have no serious problems with biased coverage of events from a broadcaster or with a single media owner in a market.
"… it is hardly surprising," says the Commission, "nor do we find it troubling, that newspaper owners use their media properties to express or advocate a viewpoint. To the contrary, since the beginning of the Republic, media outlets have been used by their owners to give voice to, among others, opinions unpopular or revolutionary, to advocate particular positions, or to defend, sometimes stridently, social or governmental institutions."
"Our broadcast ownership rules may not and should not discourage such activity. Nor is it particularly troubling that media properties do not always, or even frequently, avail themselves to others who may hold contrary opinions. Nothing requires them to do so, nor is it necessarily healthy for public debate to pretend as though all ideas are of equal value entitled to equal airing. The media are not common carriers of speech. "
"Nor is it troubling that media properties may allow their news and editorial decisions to be driven by "the bottom line." Again, the need and desire to produce revenue, to control costs, to survive and thrive in the marketplace is a time-honored tradition in the American media. "
"… to assert that cross-owned properties will be engaged in profit maximizing behavior or that they will provide an outlet for viewpoints reflective of their owner's interests is merely to state truisms, neither of which warrants government intrusion into precious territory bounded off by the First Amendment. To the contrary, we are engaged in this exercise precisely because we seek to encourage the airing of diverse and antagonistic viewpoints. It would be odd indeed if our rules were structured to inhibit the expression of viewpoints or to promote only an accepted set of ideas. In light of the overwhelming evidence that combinations can promote the public interest by producing more and better overall local news coverage, we conclude that the current rule is not necessary to promote our localism goal and that it, in fact, is likely to hinder its attainment. "
In his comment, FCC chairman Michael K Powell re-iterates his oft-made point that keeping the old rules was "not a viable option."
"Without today's surgery," he continues, "the rules would assuredly have met a swift death. As the only member of the Commission here during the last biennial review, I watched first hand as the Commission bent to political pressure and left many rules unchanged. Nearly all were rejected by the court because of our failure to apply the statute faithfully. I have been committed to not repeating that error, for I believe the stakes are perilously high."
Regarding public consultation, Powell writes "… we gave the public over fifteen months of open comment time to assist the Commission in its fact-gathering efforts."
He then goes on to offer an olive branch to the Commission Democrats who pushed for public meetings that he opposed, writing, "Approximately ten public fora were held on the subject, thanks in large measure to the efforts of Commissioners Copps and Adelstein, who could then bring those perspectives to the Commission's internal deliberations."
On the new regulations, Powell's sub-headings summarize his viewpoint: "Local TV and Radio Limits Enhance Competition and Preserve Viewpoint Diversity" and "Cross Media Limits Promote Diversity and Localism" and on the latter he commends the new Diversity Index that he pushed forward.
Supporting Powell, Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy argues in similar vein about the requirements laid upon the commission and the comments, "The defining characteristic of today's decision is balance. As I have said, we have undertaken affirmative steps to retain limits on ownership where they can be shown by actual evidence to promote competition, localism, and diversity."
She concludes, "We have preserved core values by maintaining safeguards to protect against undue concentration, we have altered rules as necessary to respond to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the marketplace since the adoption of our media ownership rules many years ago, and we have provided a rigorous justification with an exhaustive study of the record. Sometimes the facts have led us to strengthen former restrictions; sometimes they have led us to relax them in part. But in all cases our decisions were based on facts rather than fears. That is what Congress' statute requires, that is what the courts require, and that is what the First Amendment requires."
The final Republican on the commission, Kevin J Martin, says that he agrees "with many of the concerns about consolidation and preservation of diversity that have been expressed by my colleagues" but then notes the mandate on the commission to review its rules.
He goes on to support removal of the newspaper-broadcaster cross-ownership ban saying the former rule was "based on a market structure that bears almost no resemblance to the current environment."
He has a dig at over-reliance on the Diversity Index, writing, "I remain skeptical of overly complicated mathematical formulas and the uncertainty they can beget in the marketplace. I therefore appreciate my colleagues' recognition that the diversity index cannot be used in particular transactions."
Dissenting strongly, Democrat Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, comments, "The majority has sealed into federal regulations the most sweeping and destructive rollback of consumer protection rules in the history of American broadcasting."
"The public stands little to gain and nearly everything to lose by slashing the protections that have served them for decades. Allowing fewer media companies to control what Americans see, hear and read will not serve our democracy well."
He goes on, "Now that this document, with its peculiar diversity index and other proposals, will finally become public, I expect media experts, academics, public interest groups, and most of all, the American people and their representatives will find it riddled with contradictions, false assumptions, and outcome-driven thinking. "
Adelstein accuses the Republicans of going "much further than Congress or the courts required" and derides the idea that "efficiency alone sufficiently upholds all the important values that are embodied within localism", commenting, "The public interest means more than just efficiencies and cost savings."
On pleas about the problems of TV, he writes, "One sure sign that over-the-air TV is in real trouble will be when broadcasters start lining up to turn back their licenses. Today, quite the opposite is true" and o n radio Adelstein says, "The most constant refrain I heard from coast to coast was complaints about the homogenization and loss of news coverage and local artists on the radio dial since 1996. "
Defending his stance that the FCC went too far, he says, "Until now, American broadcasting has never been about maximizing bottom-line efficiencies over all else. If efficiencies were all that mattered, Congress could have directed the Commission to award national or regional broadcast licenses. After all, it is hard to contest that the most efficient structure is a concentrated media empire. Think of all the efficiencies if one large company gathered the news for everyone."
Adelstein says the majority decisions were in some cases, "arbitrary, unjustified, inconsistent, or contrary to the public interest."
One example he cites is the problem for minority owners where he feels well-intentioned provisions to aid minority purchases will not only prove ineffective but could also lead to abuse.
"…after only three years, the small business," COMMENTS Adelstein, " can flip the grandfathered cluster to any large radio or media conglomerate. For example, there is little protection to prevent a front company, including an existing small business that forms close ties with larger conglomerates, from buying a cluster and three years later selling it to a large radio owner or media conglomerate. Making this approach so ripe for abuse further diminishes the likelihood that it will serve much of a useful purpose. Real disadvantaged businesses potentially will have to bid against companies that plan to sell to well-capitalized radio giants, raising the price of clusters. Nothing in the Order precludes such an outcome. The ultimate beneficiaries of this approach could be the largest group owners, like Clear Channel, that could add even more grandfathered clusters than they currently control. "
In a separate news release he sums up by saying," When used to serve the public who own the airwaves, our broadcast media can uplift and edify our society, and invigorate our democracy. But free use of the public airwaves only benefits the public to the extent that those who control it are committed to enriching society and not just themselves. If reduced to mere flickering lights or soundwaves solely designed to attract advertisers, our broadcast media won't illuminate much."
In his dissent, the remaining Democrat, Michael J Copps, says "Two very divergent paths beckon us forward."
"Down one road is a reaffirmation of America's commitment to local control of our media, diversity in news and editorial viewpoint, and the importance of competition. This path beckons us to update our rules to account for technological and marketplace changes, but without abandoning core values going to the heart of what the media mean in our country. On this path we also reaffirm that FCC licensees have been given very special privileges and that they have very special responsibilities to serve the public interest."
"Down the other road is more media control by ever fewer corporate giants. This path surrenders to a handful of corporations' awesome powers over our news, information and entertainment. Here we treat the media like any other big business, trusting that in the unforgiving environment of the market, the public interest will somehow magically trump the urge to build power and profit for a privileged few. On this path we endanger time-honored safeguards and time-proven values that have strengthened the country as well as the media."
He then specifically attacks the opportunity given for comment, noting that he and Adelstein had argued - and been turned down in the argument - for "putting the proposals out for comment for a limited period, say 60 or 90 days, so we could get it right, understand the consequences of the new rules (both the intended consequences and those invariably more troubling unintended ones) and let these ideas bathe in the sunshine of national debate. "
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Report & Order: Word (1.52 Mb)| PDF (1.32Mb)
Attachment: Word (1.28MB: PDF (366Kb)
Abernathy Statement: Word (40 Kb): PDF (88Kb)
Adelstein Statement: Word (173 Kb): PDF (255Kb)
Copps Statement: Word (120 kb): PDF (1908 Kb)
Martin Statement: Word (28 Kb): PDF (80Kb)
Powell Statement: Word (95Kb): PDF (168 Kb)

2003-07-03: UK Wireless Group has reported a GBP 20.2 million (USD 33.4 million) loss for 2002, double that of the year before when it got a GBP 22.5 million (USD 37.2 million) boost from the sale of Scot FM; it also said that its national TalkSport station had moved into profit in the first half of this year for the first time ever. Wireless Group revenues were up 1.4% for the half-year.
Chairman and Chief Executive Kelvin MacKenzie bridled at a suggestion from a shareholder that the profit was trifling, responding that it was "better than insignificant"; the figure will be released in September when the group issues its preliminary figures to the end of July.
MacKenzie said the station had been profitable in the six months to the end of June, describing the achievement as a "momentous moment in the history of TalkSport. "
Also in the UK, UBC Media has announced that it has placed a total of 3.5 million new shares priced at 29.5 pence, to raise an additional GBP 1 million (USD 1.66 million) of working capital. In addition, directors have sold 18 million ordinary shares at the same price to institutions; the sales include disposals by directors Matthew Honey and Jennifer Donald that will fund their exercise of 3.6 million and 500, 000 shares at option prices of 1 pence to 1.33 pence per share.
In the US, Westwood One shares dropped around 3.4 on Wednesday - nearly twice that at one stage - to end at USD 32.55 following a warning that it now expects second-quarter revenues to be down a single-digit percentage on last year, when revenues totalled just under USD 141 million. Analysts had been looking for a rise of around USD 2 million.
Westwood said that third quarter business was improving and forecast full-year revenues flat to slightly higher than the USD 550.7 million figure for 2002.
President and CEO Shane Coppola said in a statement, "While our business did not recover as quickly as anticipated in April, our revised full-year guidance reflects the recent turnaround that we are currently seeing in our business in the second half of the year."
Previous Coppola:
Previous MacKenzie:
Previous UBC:
Previous Westwood One:
Previous Wireless Group:

2003-07-03: Former UK Virgin breakfast host Chris Evans has been ordered by the UK High Court to pay GBP 1 million (USD 1.66 million) towards costs incurred by Virgin owners SMG in his failed claim for GBP 8.6 million (USD 14.2 million) for unfair dismissal and loss of share options (See RNW June 27).
Mr Justice Lightman also ordered an inquiry into damages sustained by Virgin because of Evans' breaches of contract when he was its breakfast host; he has allowed SMG to pursue a counter-claim against Evans.
Evans also has to pay his own costs, estimated at around GBP 2 million (USD 3.3 million) and SMG is expected to file for damages around GBP 5 million (USD 8.3 million).
He did not seem over-concerned at the prospect over the weekend, telling the News of the World newspaper after he lost the case, "It's only money. I still have it in the bank. I don't miss any sleep over it. I can afford to lose it."
Previous Evans:
Previous SMG:

2003-07-03: The Australian commercial radio industry has launched a campaign over the next year that will devote AUD 20 million (USD 13 million) of airtime on its stations to persuade advertisers that "radio advertising is twice as effective at reaching audiences throughout the day as TV."
Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia commented, "This campaign is about increasing awareness of the power of radio and underlines to both national and local advertisers that radio is an essential part of the creative and marketing mix."
"We are seeking to increase radio's share of the spend of current radio advertisers and to bring new advertisers into radio. We see good opportunities to grow revenue in the fast-moving consumer goods, youth, finance and banking, real estate and telecommunications categories."
"In many cases advertisers opt for television campaigns when a radio-based campaign would enable them to deliver their messages to more customers more economically and with more frequency and impact," she added.
Some 80% of Australians listen to commercial radio every week and in daytime hours twice as many people tune into radio as to TV but although television and print advertising - both of which were promoted by their own bodies last year - have grown over the past month, radio has remained in the doldrums: In the last month figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed Sydney radio revenues down 2%.
Michael Anderson, chair of the radio industry Brand Committee and chief operating officer of Austereo, said the move was "the biggest brand campaign ever conducted by commercial radio and underpins a sustained and aggressive push by the industry to encourage advertisers to use the medium more often and more effectively."
His company is the market leader in Australia and according to the Sydney Morning Herald is taking new research to advertisers and media buyers to counter an industry view that radio ads lack quality.
Anderson told the paper, "As the market leader, and with the competitors coming into the market, we probably have a bigger case than anyone else to make sure that the [advertising] pie grows," he said. "For us to achieve what we want to achieve, we must grow the pie."
The Austereo research found that many radio advertisements crammed in too much information and often created in a similar way to TV commercials but unlike the latter, where multiple production elements create depth, it said that multiple elements such as music, sound effects and voice could be overbearing.
Austereo has created its own creative division, Heard, to develop radio commercials.
Rival DMG Australia carries fewer adverts and thus avoids some of the "clutter", enabling it to charge a premium.
Previous Austereo:
Previous CRA:
Previous DMG:
Previous Warner:
Sydney Morning Herald report:

2003-07-03: Independence Day, and the weekend holiday, in the US is to be marked with music by the two US satellite radio companies - and for those with a political bent, the BBC will be broadcasting a live interview with former US First Lady Hillary Clinton on BBC Woman's Hour.
The interview will be conducted by presenter Martha Kearney at the start of the programme (0900 GMT); it will also be on the BBC web site for the next seven days.
From Sirius there will be special programming of America's "Favorite Music" from both past stars such as Louis Armstrong to current ones such as BB King and Madonna.
XM offerings will include an exclusive national radio broadcast of Willie Nelson's star-filled 30th Anniversary Fourth of July Family Picnic Weekend concert, an event that began in 1972 in Dripping Springs, Texas as an opportunity for artists to come together to celebrate the day.
This year's concert takes place in Spicewood, Texas.
Previous BBC:
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM:

2003-07-03: The 2003 New York Festivals' International Radio Programming and Promotion Awards announced this week saw the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC ) topping the league for Gold Awards; it won five of the 27 Golds awarded, including Grand Award and UNDPI Golds that also won Golds in other categories.
The four Grand Awards went to ABC Local Radio, Perth, Australia, for the Best News Program or Insert for "Investigative Journalism"; Ben Manilla Productions of San Francisco for Best Entertainment Program for "The House Of Blues Radio Hour-Featuring Marcia Ball"; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for Best Information Program for "A Voice Of Warning"; and EMAP's KISS 100 for the Best Promo Spot for "Smash Hits Chart".
The CBC also won the UNDPI Information Gold Medal for "Afghanistan: The Sky Cries Blood"; the other two UNDPI awards went to Germany's Deutsche Welle (The Silver Medal for "Living With The Past-Rwanda: Searching For Reconciliation And Unity") and ABC News Radio, New York (the Bronze Medal for "September 11th: America's Story"
Other Gold Medals went to:
*Mainstream Media of Arcata, California (The Environmental Gold for "A World Of Possibilities: A Conversation With Diane Wilson"
*Australian Broadcasting Corporation (The Health/Medical Gold for "A Mental Health Odyssey In India-A Four Part Series"
*The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and XM Satellite Radio (The History Golds for "Deep In The Heart Of Texas" and "Black History Month" respectively).
*All Out Productions of Manchester, England (The Human Relations Gold for "Gayz N The Hood")
*Battery Radio of St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada (The Profiles/Community Portraits Gold for "A Little Before Tis Day".
*Scottish Radio Holdings' Radio Clyde (The Religious Programming Gold for "Days That Changed The World").
* Australian Broadcasting Corporation (The Science and Technology Gold for "Science In A Suitcase: Innovation In South East Asia"
*Radio Netherlands (The Social Issues/Current Events Gold for "A Good Life Special: Working In The Shadow Of Violence"
Craft and Technique:
*ABC News Radio, New York (The Sound Gold for "The Day In Sound")
*GWR's Classic FM and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (The Best Writing Golds for Stephen Fry's "The Incomplete & Utter History Of Classical Music" and "Anniversary: A Personal Inventory" respectively).
* Q104-FM, Halifax, Nova Scotia (The Best Music Special Gold for "Q104 Top Ten Weekend").
* South Carolina Educational Radio (The Best Regularly Scheduled Music Gold for "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz" - shared with the Ben Manilla Productions programme that also took the Grand Award for Best Entertainment Programme).
Ben Manilla Productions of San Francisco (The Culture and the Arts Gold for "Loose Leaf Book Company: City vs. Country")
*The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (The Educational Gold for "A Voice Of Warning" that also took the Grand Award).
*XM Satellite Radio (The Morning Drive Time Gold for "Special X-Weirdness")
*Contact Radio, St Louis, Missouri (The Best Human Interest Story Gold for "Through The Eyes Of Love").
* ABC News Radio, New York (The Best Ongoing News Story Gold for "Washington DC Area Sniper").
* ABC Local Radio, Perth, Australia (The Best Special Report Gold for the "Investigative Journalism" programme that also took the Grand Award).
* CJAD 800, Montreal, Quebec (The Best Sports Coverage Gold for "Alouettes Montages").
* Soundprint, Laurel, Maryland (The Best News/Documentary Special Gold for "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off").
& Newstalk 1010 CFRB, Toronto, Ontario And Radio Netherlands (The Ongoing News Story (Longform) Golds for "The World Youth Day Papal Vigil" and "Wide Angle: Mass Graves Of Guatemala" respectively).
*Kansas Public Radio, Lawrence (The Best Comedy/Humour Personality: Local Gold for "Right Between The Ears").
* JazzRadio Berlin, Germany (The Best Jazz Format for "JazzRadio Berlin").
* JazzRadio Berlin, Germany (The Best Online Radio Gold for
*EMAP's Hallam FM & Magic AM, Sheffield, England (The Best Contest Promotion Gold for "Big John's 10k Question"),
* EMAP's KISS 100 (The Best Program ID Gold for "Smash Hits Chart" that also took the Grand Award).
* The Radio Network, Auckland, New Zealand (The Best Programs/Series Promotion Gold for "Pulp Sport Promo")
* EMAP's Hallam FM & Magic AM, Sheffield, England (The Best Station ID Gold for "Eminem Power Intro").
* Radio 10, Buenos Aires, Argentine (The Best Station Promotion Gold for "Independence Day 2002").
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has held its awards ceremony for its New Adventures in Broadcasting Scheme, which was combined with a workshop on programme creation.
The winning entrants were:
*Strand One:
Living with Autism from Clare FM - a snapshot of the lives of the Whelan's from Scarriff Co. Clare, their 5-year-old son Dara who has autism, and his two brothers.
*Noteworthies from Connemara Community Radio -- a series of programmes were linked by the common thread of music in which each programme took an aspect of music and investigated its significance and influence in the social and cultural climate of its respective period.
Strand Two:
The Ryans from Tipp FM -- a Tipperary based soap opera, which involved local writers, local actors and local radio.
The BCI also gave an honourable mention in this strand to Clare FM's entry, "Crafted Contributions", which consisted of a series of ten-minute crafted features to be used as inserts for the station's morning prime time programme.
Previous BCI:
Previous CBC:
New York Festivals web site:

2003-07-02: Emmis has exceeded its guidance and reported revenues up 4.1% on a year ago to USD 142.4 million in its first fiscal quarter running to the end of May, results its chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan described as "the best in the industry -- in both radio and television. "
Its profits, however, were less than analysts had been expecting and Emmis shares ended the day down 5.1% at USD 21.95.
Smulyan told analysts there were clear signs of an "upturn" in radio and TV and that it is to increase spending on radio to accelerate growth although he did not give details of which markets would be targeted.
In divisional terms Emmis TV revenues were up 5.5% to USD 60.3 million, radio was up 2.99% to USD 64.6 million and publishing was up 3.2% to USD17.5 million.
Overall Emmis made a profit of USD 2.6 million compared to a profit a year ago of USD 1.83 million before cumulative accounting changes turned this into a loss of USD 165.6 million; this amounted to a net profit available to common shareholders of 1 cent per share compared to a loss of 1 cent a year earlier before the effect of accounting changes turned this into a loss of USD 3.28.
Smulyan commented, "We are encouraged by the first quarter numbers, and with such strong performance indicators, there is certainly cause for continuing optimism as we look to the second quarter. It is clear that the people of Emmis will set the standard and outperform our peers."
For the second quarter, Emmis is predicting net revenue of USD 157.4 million, USD 75 million from its domestic radio operations, USD 4.4 million from its international radio operations, USD 57 million from TV and USD 18.3 million from publishing. It says that station operating expenses will consume USD 95.2 million of this and corporate expenses a further USD 6 million.
Emmis notes that the figures include USD 4.3 million in net revenues and USD 2.5 million in station operating expenses, excluding non-cash compensation, relating to its USD 105 million acquisition of 50.1% of the LBJS Broadcasting Co. six -station cluster in Austin, Texas, from the family of former US President Lyndon Baines Johnson (See RNW March 4); Emmis has an option to purchase the remaining 49.9% from the Johnson family's partner Bob Sinclair.
In other US radio business, Jefferson-Pilot Communications is selling KSON-AM, San Diego, to Multicultural Radio Broadcasting for USD 7.25 million. Multicultural has already commenced operating the station, a Radio Disney affiliate, under an LMA.
On the financing front, Regent Communications has announced that it has finalized with a banking syndicate and Fleet National Bank a USD 150 million credit facility to replace its existing facility with Fleet.
The new arrangement, a term loan of USD 65 million and revolving credit facility of USD 85 million, runs to the end of 2010.
Previous Disney:
Previous Emmis:
Previous Jefferson-Pilot:
Previous Multicultural Broadcasting:
Previous Regent:
Previous Smulyan:

2003-07-02: Thirteen applications have been submitted to the UK Radio Authority for the new Glasgow FM licence, including bids from all the major UK radio groups. The applicants cover a wide range of formats, including a number that are making proposals that would extend the range of commercial radio in the city.
The applicants are:
*The Arrow: Chrysalis's classic rock bid, backed by The Simple Minds singer, Jim Kerr. Chrysalis already operates the Arrow format as a digital station.
*Base FM: A full-service community-based station to be run by a consortium headed by businessman Brian Murphy. It is a spin-off from KLT Radio, which has held short-term licences in the city, and would be aimed at 18-44 year olds with a broad 'urban' mix of soul and r 'n' b, local and regional news.
* Clyde Asia Radio. A service for the Asian community.
* Glasgow Gold: The Capital bid with its format of hits of the past five decades targeted at the 40-59 year old demographic.
* Glasgow's Magic FM. The EMAP bid, targeting women 35 and over with a mix of soft classic music and contemporary songs in the daytime plus classic soul and rock in the evenings. EMAP originally wanted to bid as Glasgow FM, but the name had been registered by a rival bidder (See below).
*Go-FM: A bid backed by TV presenter Kirsty Walk's company, which has the trading name Glasgow FM Ltd. It would offer a classic and contemporary pop.
*My-FM: A soft adult alternative format targeted at women aged 30 plus.
* Saga FM: Saga's mix, already airing in the English Midlands, of easy music, and news and lifestyle speech targeted at the 50 plus audience.
* Smooth FM: The Guardian Media Group bid offering music, news and information for a "middle-youth" audience.
* The Storm: The GWR-backed bid in association with DF Concerts, which is behind the T in the Park Scottish music festival. It is offering a rock format aimed at a 15-35 audience.
* Sunrise Radio Scotland: Sunrise Radio's mix of music, news and views for the Asian community.
*3C: The Scottish Radio Holdings bid, backed by Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri, which is offering the Cool Country format that SRH operates as a digital brand. The format has won the best country music format award in this year's New York International Radio Festival.
* Virgin FM: SMG's Virgin rock format. The bid is backed by local comedian Billy Connolly.
Previous UK Radio Authority:

2003-07-02: XM Satellite Radio says it ended June with 692, 253 subscribers, having added nearly 210,0000 in the last three months.
Its President and CEO Hugh Panero commented, "The popularity of the Delphi XM SKYFi Radio and the XM PCR combined with the strong rollout in new General Motors vehicles provide a great foundation for growth as we head into the second half of 2003."
The market reacted positively to the news and XM shares ended Tuesday up 12.8% at USD 12.40
Previous Panero:
Previous XM:

2003-07-02: Following 15-months of testing, UK radio ratings organisation RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) has rejected for now both the electronic audience metering systems it has tested, the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) and the Radiocontrol wristwatch.
It says its "principal concern with both meters is that there is no consistency of results in the audiences recorded in terms of meter versus meter, casting doubts over the "perceived accuracy" of meters."
In addition it says that the Radiocontrol audio-meter has limited abilities to distinguish between broadcast platforms such as, for example, "DTV and DAB broadcasts or AM & FM broadcasts if the programming is simulcast"; concerning the PPM it comments on "the cost implications of having to run a large panel-based operation, which, due to the complexity of the radio map, would need to be six times larger than the current BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board Ltd) panel [RNW note - BARB uses 5100 people]."
RAJAR notes that its "remit is to measure all 270 plus UK stations (BBC and Commercial, national, regional and local) on all platforms (AM, FM, DAB, DTV, Internet and mobile) in all places (at home, at work, in the car) for all audiences (male, female, old and young)."
"Both audio-meters were tested to ascertain their suitability for these tasks and neither met the rigorous measurement criteria set by RAJAR," commented RAJAR managing director Jane O'Hara.
"RAJAR strongly believes that whatever "new" tool for collecting data is introduced it must be measurably better than the present system," she added. "However, its decision does not indicate that electronic measurement will never play a part in the survey; the time frame is just 'not yet'." "Meters will continue to be top of RAJAR's agenda and we are to continue working with both audio-meter developers to see if the devices could be developed further."
"It is important to remember that neither audio-meter was originally designed for the UK radio market with its diverse requirements … We have already met and debriefed both Arbitron and Radiocontrol on our test findings and have requested both to undertake some specific work and modifications on their devices so that they may be better suited to RAJAR's objectives in the UK marketplace. We are awaiting their response."
UK Wireless Group chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie, has been championing the radiocontrol system for three years - it t greatly increases the ratings of his TalkSport channel (See RNW Feb 21) thus giving him a vested interest in its success. His group earlier this year signed a three-year deal for its own ratings using the system (See RNW May 30).
He reacted strongly to the RAJAR decision and told the UK Guardian that it was a "disgraceful" one "made by vested interests behind closed doors"; he also described those involved as "charlatans."
"I am considering a lawsuit against RAJAR. After 15 months, the industry that prides itself in technology simply says no to electronic measurement," Mr MacKenzie said.
"My radio station has an audience of 8 million, if measured by electronic measurement, and 2.2 million, if measured by memory, pencil and diary," he added. "These charlatans are costing my business a fortune. I now have no alternative but to consider looking to the courts to get justice for my company - justice that my competitors have denied me."
In what we would consider a typical approach, he asked for RAJAR to produce results of their tests and also went on the offensive about a recent RAJAR error, commenting," "Is this the gold standard that mixed up LBC on FM and LBC News on AM in the last set of RAJAR diary results - a cock up for which RAJAR was forced to apologise only last week?"
RNW comment: RAJAR's board represents BBC Radio, the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) and the advertising industry, and, whatever may be thought about their openness to new technology, we cannot see their reservations being anything but honest reactions to the results of their tests.
We would prefer that they had been published but can understand why there would be reservations about premature release of any tests results, particularly if dealing with a character like MacKenzie. In addition if specific problems that arose related to problems that either of the metering companies was working to overcome but where it considered the related technical details as confidential; In this case a quick call to RAJAR revealed that they had indeed had to sign strict "no disclosure" agreements and we suspect that Mr MacKenzie is intelligent enough to have also obtained this information.
We would quite like to see MacKenzie spend money on a lawsuit in the hope that the result was like that of Chris Evans; Public excoriation and a substantial loss of money, both of which we think would be a just response to his attack.

Previous MacKenzie:
Previous O'Hara:
Previous RAJAR:
Previous Wireless Group:
UK Guardian report:

2003-07-02: The latest complaints bulletin issued by the UK Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) upheld two complaints against radio, compared with one complaint and another partially upheld in its previous bulletin (See RNW June 1).
In all the Commission dealt with 76 complaints, 12 fewer than in the previous bulletin. 18 of these involved radio and the remaining 58, including advertisements and trailers, concerned TV compared with 12 and 76 a month earlier.
There were three fairness complaints compared to four in the previous bulletin, all concerning TV; of these one was upheld compared to one partially upheld in the previous bulletin.
Standards complaints totalled 73, no statements being required in 45 cases. 12 of these were radio cases.
Of the cases where statements were required, 4 involved radio and the rest TV, including advertisements. In addition two cases involving radio - both about swearing in song lyrics - were considered resolved. One concerned a track played in error by Jazz FM and another an unedited Eminem track aired in error by the BBC on The Official Chart Show With Wes Butters.
Nine TV standards complaints were upheld compared to eight upheld and three partially upheld in the previous bulletin.
The two radio complaints upheld concerned:
* A Radio Borders programme in which the presenter suggested that "three Kenyans had committed "sewercide" in an attempt to retrieve a mobile telephone from "an open pit latrine"; the "joke" had been prefaced with a statement that this was "a sad story in the paper".
The panel upheld the complaint, saying acceptable boundaries had been exceeded.
*A Complaint about sexual innuendo on Sara Cox's breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 that was again held to have exceeded boundaries in comments about the use of a microphone and the male anatomy
Previous BSC and BSC Complaints bulletin:
Previous Cox:
BSC web site (Links to report 132 kb PDF).

2003-07-01: In their first interview since a UK High Court judge ruled against former SMG-owned Virgin breakfast host Chris Evans in his GBP 8.6 million (USD 14.2 million) claim (See RNW June 27), Virgin executives have told the UK Guardian that they "don't need Evans."
The judge both condemned Evans and exonerated Virgin and SMG management and Virgin chief executive John Pearson and programme director Paul Jackson, both of whom had been personally attacked by Evans, said they felt "more relief than celebration" about the verdict.
"It's funny because it's a feeling of mixed emotions," said Pearson. "You could almost feel the relief as the pressure was lifted from our shoulders."
Jackson told the paper, "The truth prevailed and everyone can get on with the job." "From the day I joined here, a lot of things have been misconstrued with what happened with Chris Evans and we can leave that behind and get on. Chris Evans' leaving left us in a perilous position from which we've had to have a good look at ourselves."
Jackson admitted that rebuilding the station after Evans and four changes of breakfast host in the subsequent 18-months had been difficult with the court case continuing.
He was accused of plotting to get rid of Evans but says that he met the man only twice and got on well with him both times, adding that his presence at Virgin was one of the main reasons he took the job.
"When I joined Virgin Radio, I fully expected things would be the same and we would be out for dinner, going for a drink and talking things through," said Jackson. " But by that point he was already not talking to anyone here." Despite being accused during the case of plotting to get rid of Evans, Jackson insists that he met the man only twice and got on well with him both times, adding that his presence at Virgin was one of the main reasons he took the job. "When I joined Virgin Radio, I fully expected things would be the same and we would be out for dinner, going for a drink and talking things through. But by that point he was already not talking to anyone here," he says. Last week, his version was exonerated when the judge said he "acted with the greatest tact and sensitivity in his unsuccessful attempts to defuse the situation."
Jackson says that he now believes that things are moving in the right direction and that a policy of persisting with hosts such as Pete and Geoff (current Virgin breakfast hosts Pete Mitchell and Geoff Lloyd, who took over in January - See RNW Jan 6), and slowly promoting them through the schedule, is beginning to pay off.
He maintained that, contrary to Evans claims in courts, he gets on well with Virgin's hosts and that the atmosphere is now one of collaboration.
. "All the DJs we have now understand what we are trying to do and are willing to listen to constructive criticism. We talk things through and constantly want to improve," he said.
Pearson agreed, commenting, "The key thing for us over the next year is to build the breakfast show and we're starting to get that critical response and that's starting to snowball."
While Jackson handles the programming changes he instituted, Pearson now has to look ahead to the expected consolidation in UK radio when the government's Communications Bill is passed.
"I see it as rather like a high stakes game of Monopoly," he said. "At the beginning, everyone will buy up whatever they can get their hands on and then set about swapping the assets that make sense."
Looking further ahead, he hopes that the gradual drift towards digital listening will make Virgin's persistent problem of broadcasting nationally on the crackly AM frequency less of an issue.
As for the breakfast show? Jackson comments, "This is probably the best Virgin Radio ever. What we probably lack is a superstar name but we've got a better overall team," he says.
"We've rebuilt behind the scenes as much as we have on air. The station has much more of a razor-sharp focus. The philosophy of the Evans era was to be a bit haphazard and to do the show and get off down the pub and that worked at the time but we needed a new approach."
And from Pearson, "It's now two years since Chris Evans left and the radio station is now a rejuvenated and fresher place. It doesn't want or need Chris Evans anymore."
Previous Evans:
Previous Jackson:
Previous Pearson:
Previous SMG:
UK Guardian report:

2003-07-01: Two web sites opposed to right-wing US talk host Michael Savage are claiming victory in a domain name dispute in which the Talk Radio Network (TRN) and Savage had attempted to block their domain names -- and
TRN had claimed that somebody searching for information about Michael Savage could unintentionally find the domains rather than that they would type in the additional letters to get to them but ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) ruled that the names were not "confusingly similar"
Both sites make their opposition to Savage crystal clear -- has a banner saying "Michael Savage Spews Hate" and carries a disclaimer saying, "This site is not affiliated with Michael Savage or "The Savage Nation". If you are crazy enough to agree with his despicably racist, sexist/misogynistic, homophobic, anti-immigrant and otherwise hateful rants, then click here to visit Savage's official web site."
Previous Savage:
Michael Savage official web site:

2003-07-01: Clear Channel has launched an advertising-sponsored music magazine Music Guide Live! that is to be distributed free at the company's venues and events sponsored by Clear Channel stations.
The company says that, although there will be synergies, the magazine content will be determined by news in the music industry not whether there is any connection between an artist and the company.
Regional editions of the magazine are to be produced for which local stations can submit stories; local stations are also to be responsible for advert sales.
The magazine is being produced for the summer concert season but special editions such as one for Christmas may also be published.
Clear Channel is also operating a web site.
Previous Clear Channel:
Musicguidelive web site:

2003-07-01: Long-time San Francisco KGO-AM reporter Mary Ellen Geist has become the stations first female morning news anchor.
She joined Ed Baxter in co-hosting the breakfast show following veteran Ted Wygant who has retired to Arizona.
Geist was hired by KGO in 1966 and in 1975 teamed with Jim Dunbar on the morning drive- time shift.
Michigan-born Geist became a full-time reporter for KGO in July 1992 and has won numerous awards including an Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the Polly Klaas case; in 1991 she was a finalist for the California/Nevada Associated Press "Reporter of the Year" Award.
KGO-AM web site:

2003-07-01: Hong Kong talk host Albert Cheng has been formally warned by the former British colony's Broadcasting Authority for interrupting and being rude to government guests on his "Teacup in a Storm."
Cheng, self-made millionaire and self-proclaimed voice of the people, has gone off the air indefinitely and is taking time off in Canada according to the Toronto Star.
Cheng worked in Canada as a business consultant and regarded the country as home for 15 years until the 1980s he made his fortune in Hong Kong on a local Playboy magazine franchise.
The ruling comes as Hong Kong is expected to enact new national security laws -- Article 23 - that outlaw subversion, sedition, treason and other crimes against the state - with more power for police and life prison sentences for many offences. Anticipation of severe laws has led to demonstrations in Hong Kong and international criticism.
"I'm rude and why not? There are no laws that say I can't be rude," 57-years-old Cheng said in an interview. "I'm rude, I interrupt and I'm impolite."
"It's the mentality, the climate of Hong Kong that has changed, The Broadcasting Authority, they are the so-called establishment in Hong Kong. Their mentality coincides very much with Article 23."
The Broadcasting Authority says it acted after receiving 157 public complaints about two broadcasts last April and in its official warning said Cheng had failed to "take special care in the use of language," had rudely interrupted his guests, failed to give them equal time, and harmed their reputations.
Cheng, who once called himself a "mad dog" who barks behind the microphone, concedes says the paper that it may have been in poor taste to compare a local civil servant to a dog and muses, why malign canines for the sins of pigheaded bureaucrats?
"I thought I could say whatever I want, and people treated me as a window of freedom," Cheng said. "I serve as a symbol of free speech. Now, they've broken the window."
Toronto Star report:

2003-07-01: UK Chrysalis has hired Henry Kelly, the breakfast host axed last month by GWR's Classic FM after 11 years with the company (See RNW June 13).
He took over Katie Derham's Sunday show on June 29 and is to host it again next week; the station says they each hope to enter a longer-term relationship.
Derham is leaving LBC next month at the end of her contract to spend more time with her husband and young daughter; her show is then to be hosted by Channel 4 TV News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who previously presented LBC 97.3's breakfast show.
At Classic FM, where Simon Bates took over Kelly's breakfast slot, Mark Forrest has been named to host the drivetime programme formerly hosted by Bates.
Forrest, who previously worked for local stations in the north of England and for Virgin, currently co-hosts the Saturday breakfast show on Classic and hosts a late-night show on Century FM in the Midlands
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