February 2004 Personalities:
Kathleen Q. Abernathy - Republican US FCC Commissioner; Lee Abrams - Chief Programming Officer, XM Satellite Radio; Jonathan Adelstein - Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Michael Anderson - (3) - CEO Austereo; Max Armstrong - farm reporter for WNG-AM, Chicago; Sue Arnold - UK Observer radio columnist; Edward G. Atsinger III - President and CEO, Salem Communications, US;Gene "Bean" Baxter- Bean of Los Angeles KROQ-FM (Kevin and Bean) morning show; Tony Bell - managing director, Southern Cross Broadcasting Australia; Ralph Bernard - executive chairman and former chief executive UK radio group GWR; Edith Bowman -(2) - BBC Radio 1 host; Bubba the Love Sponge -(Todd Clem) -(2) - former Clear Channel host (fired); Mark Byford - BBC Acting Director-General; Leon Byner - (2) - Adelaide 5AA morning host (Suspended following cash-for-comment allegations) ; Mike Carlton - Sydney 2UE breakfast host; Angela Catterns - ABC 702, Sydney, breakfast host; Joseph P Clayton - President and CEO, Sirius (Satellite Radio); Simon Cole - chief executive, UBC Media, UK; Roe Conn - Chicago WLS-AM afternoon co-host (Hosting show solo from January 2004 after contract talks with co-host Garry Meier stalled); Shane Coppola -President and CEO, Westwood One, US; Michael J. Copps - (4) - Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Sara Cox - BBC Radio 1 drive time host; Anthony Cumia - Anthony of US Opie and Anthony show - cancelled August 2002; Rick Cummings - Emmis radio president; Ian Dickens - chief executive, UK Digital Radio Development Bureau; Lewis W. Dickey Jr. - chairman, president, and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media, US; Paul Donovan -(3) - U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Randy Dotinga - (2) - radio columnist, North County Times (California); Chuck DuCoty- vice-president and general manager, Emmis' WKQX-FM, Chicago; Robert Feder - (3) - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; David J. Field - President and CEO Entercom, US; Prof. David Flint --(2) - chairman, Australian Broadcasting Authority; Gary Fries - (2) - President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, US; Edward O Fritts - President and Chief Executive Officer, US National Association of Broadcasters; Ralph Guild - Chairman and CEO, Interep, US radio sales and marketing company; Peter Harvie -executive chairman Austereo; John Hogan - (4) - President and CEO, Clear Channel Radio; John Humphrys -BBC Radio 4 Breakfast show presenter; Terry Jacobs - (2) - Chairman and CEO, Regent Communications, US; Dean Johnson - Boston Herald media writer; Alan Jones - (2) - Sydney 2GB breakfast host; Zemira Jones - president and general manager, WLS-AM, Chicago; Vernon Kay - BBC Radio 1 host; Henry Kelly - UK LBC drivetime host and former UK Classic FM breakfasthost; Mel Karmazin - (6) - Viacom President and COO; Jason King - JK of UK JK and Joel duo; Katherine Lanpher - former Minnesota Public Radio host, joining Al-Franken as co-host of planned US liberal talk network; John Laws - (2) - Sydney 2UE morning host; Andrew Levin - Clear Channel Executive Vice President for Law and Government Affairs and Chief Legal Officer; Alfred C. Liggins III - (2) - president and chief executive, Radio1 Inc (US); Rush Limbaugh- (3) Conservative US talk-show host; Christopher Lydon -former host of "The Connection" on US Public Radio; Kelvin MacKenzie - -chairman and chief executive of U.K. Wireless Group which owns TalkSport; Kevin Marsh - Editor, BBC Radio 4 "Today" breakfast show; Mark Mays -(3) - President and Chief Operating Officer, Clear Channel Communications; Randall Mays -executive vice president and chief financial officer, Clear Channel (US); Sen. John McCain- (2) - Republican Senator for Arizona; Garry Meier - Chicago WLS-AM afternoon co-host (taken off air after contract talks stall); Scott Mills - BBC Radio 1host; Graham Mott - Group General Manager Radio, Southern Cross Broadcasting, Australia; Colin Murray -(2) BBC Radio 1 host; Robert F. Neil - President and Chief Executive Officer, Cox Radio, US; Annika Nyberg - (3) - President of the World DAB Forum; Michael O'Keeffe - chief executive Broadcasting Commission of Ireland; Hugh Panero - president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio; Roger Parry - chief executive of Clear Channel's international arm; A. Jerrold Perenchio - Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Univision (US); Michael K. Powell - (2) - Chairman, US Federal Communications Commission; Mark Radcliffe - (2) - Mark of BBC Radio 1 Afternoon Mark and Lard show- moving to Radio 2; Robert Rabinovitch - president Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Sumner Redstone - chairman and Chief Executive,Viacom (US); Marc Riley -(2) - Lard of BBC Radio 1 afternoon show Mark and Lard- moving to BBC6 Music; Ted Rogers -- president and CEO, Rogers Communications, Canada; Bill Rose -- Arbitron Internet Broadcast Services Vice-President and General Manager; Joel Ross - Joel of UK JK & Joel duo: Scott R. Royster - chief financial officer, Radio One Inc. US; Kevin Ryder- Kevin of Kevin and Bean morning show on KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Orion Samuelson - farm reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago; Bob Shennan - Controller, BBC Radio 5 Live; Gary Slaight - President and CEO, Standard Broadcasting, Canada; Howard Stern - (2) - US shock jock; Farid Suleman -Chairman and CEO Citadel; Tom Taylor - editor of M Street's US radio trade journal Inside Radio; Robert Templeton - former President of Newfoundland Capital Corp broadcasting division (Resigned); McHenry Tichenor Jr - President Univision Radio; Walter F. Ulloa - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Entravision; Rep Fred Upton - (3) - Michigan Republican, House Telecommunications sub-committee chairman, and prime drafter of Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004; Johnnie Walker - veteran British DJ; Joan Warner - (3) - CEO, industry body Commercial Radio Australia; Harvey Wells - Newsweb vice-president and radio group manager, formerly with Infinity in Chicago: Rod Zimmerman -senior vice president and market manager of Infinity's Chicago stations;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

February 2004 Archive

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January 2004 - March 2004
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 February comment - Straws, camels and regulators - has the US lost its marbles over a breast? We consider what regulation concerning indecency makes sense and would be legal in the US in First Amendment terms.
RNW January comment - Suggests that convergence in media is a delusion when it comes to programming since human senses have not changed even if the signal if just a data stream en route to the eyes and ears.
RNW December comment - Looks at our wish list for 2004.

2004-02-29: Last week was yet another where regulatory news in the US was dominated by the continuing whiff of indecency and hypocrisy but elsewhere the regulators were mainly concerned with more routine matters.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), as well as advertising new commercial licences for Brisbane and Sydney (See RNW Feb 24) has also issued terms of reference for its investigation into the disclosure of commercial agreements involving DMG's Adelaide 5AA host Leon Byner (See Licence News Feb 22).
In essence the investigation will look into all of Byner's commercial interests that were disclosed to his station and were passed on to it by its general manager following "extensive" internal enquiries that had led him to conclude that Byner "in the past has entered into commercial arrangements with various people and entities (including Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison)" that he had not disclosed to the licensee."
The ABA says that it will look at whether Byner or an associate was party to a "commercial agreement" as defined in its Disclosure Standard, whether the licensee had complied with its obligations in relation to any such agreement and to formulate and implement programmes to ensure compliance, whether the licensee had breached the conditions of its licence and if so what action should be taken.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has been involved in a number of routine licence actions including, in order of province:
*Renewal of the licence for the English-language radio network for the purpose of broadcasting the baseball games of the Toronto Blue Jays originating from CJCL Toronto, from 1 March 2004 to 31 December 2004.
*Renewal of the licence of CKEY-FM Fort Erie and its transmitter CKEY-FM-1 St. Catharines, from 1 March 2004 to 31 August 2004.
Also in Ontario, the CRTC denied an application for a frequency change; contour change and power increase from 33 watts to 800 watts for the transmitter CJTK-FM-1, North Bay, of Christian music station CJTK-FM, Sudbury.
Approval of change to authorized contours of the new ethnic FM radio station in Montréal authorized in July last year.
There was nothing of radio significance from Ireland and in the UK the only radio-related activity from Ofcom was the release of its latest programming complaints bulletin (See RNW Feb 27).
In the US, where most attention was devoted to matters of broadcast "indecency", the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced latest station numbers showing a further growth in radio; it was also involved in a number of other enforcement actions relating other matters.
In Tennessee it denied an appeal by Coffee County Broadcasting, Inc., of Manchester, related to failure to maintain a presence at the main studio of WMSR-AM during normal business hours for which it had issued a USD 7,000 penalty notice.
Coffee had appealed on the basis that it had taken steps to remedy the matter, of financial hardship, and past history but the FCC noted, as usual, that the first was no justification for a reduction, found financial documentation provided did not sustain the second point, and noted a prior notice of violation. It confirmed the full penalty.
More fortunate was Florida pirate station operator Josue Alusma from Naples whose penalty for operating the station was reduced from USD 10,000 to USD 500.
He had argued for a reduction on the gourds that he thought the operation of the station was legal and on financial hardship grounds. The latter grounds were accepted but not the former.
Previous ABA:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:

Ofcom web site:
2004-02-29: Mexico's leading radio broadcasting company Grupo Radio Centro, S.A. de C.V. has announced final quarter 2003 net income down 90% on a year earlier to MXN 12.2 million (USD 1.1million) on broadcasting revenues down 26.4% to MXN 205.6 million (USD 18.6 million); it put the decline down mainly to a reduction in the advertising expenditures by political parties during the two quarters.
For the full year Grupo Radio reported net income up 2.6 times to MXN 60.4 million (USD 5.5 million) on broadcasting revenues up 11.7% to revenues MXN 825.1 million (USD 74.6 million); it attributed the increase mainly to higher political advertising in connection with the congressional elections that took place on July 6, 2003. Broadcasting income for the year was up 28.1% to MXN 331.5 million (USD 30 million).
Previous Grupo Radio:

2004-02-29: Washington Redskins fans contacting the Washington Post over the decision by Infinity's WJFK to drop Frank Herzog as the team's play-by-play are almost unanimously against the move according to the paper.
Herzog, who became the Redskins' play-by-play voice in 1979, was teamed two years later with Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen; he is to be replaced by Larry Michael. The decision was made by the station - the Redskins, who signed a five-year deal with WJFK in 2001, have no say concerning on-air talent.
Station manager Alan Leinwand told the paper, "We're at the point in the evolution of Redskins radio where we needed Larry to be involved in all aspects of Redskins programming. It's a tough decision. Frank is a great guy and a great broadcaster but Redskins fans can continue to count on a great broadcast.
Herzog told the paper he was told by Leinwand the reasons for the move were saving money and "more important they thought it was important for the continuity of their sports department that the guy who reports on the Redskins all during the week do the games on Sunday."
He added, "I've got a lot to be thankful for. I've called three Super Bowl championships, 498 consecutive games over 25 years and it was a great run. I'm still a good broadcaster. If I want to find another play-by-play job, I'd like to think someone might want to hire me."
The paper also reported that local broadcasting sources said the station almost made the switch several years ago to get a younger, fresh voice in the broadcast, but that Jurgensen persuaded management not to break up the popular team.
Michael, who is also to become sports director for WJFK, will remain a senior vice president of syndication company Westwood One, for whom he handled play-by -play on NFL and college games: He said, "For the last month or so, I was asked by the station to increase my responsibilities and try to take the entire Redskins package to another level."
"We're hoping to improve it, expand it and generate more interest in the broadcast. We're going to do more on draft day and training camp coverage; we're going to expand on what we've done.
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
Washington Post report:

2004-02-28: As US broadcasters continue to come under pressure over broadcast indecency Howard Stern again on Friday attacked Clear Channel's decision to drop his show and mocked its Radio CEO John Hogan for his apology to a House sub-committee on Thursday, asking "Apologize for what? This is stuff we do everyday."
Stern noted that he had not been fined recently by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and said Clear Channel had dropped his show so Hogan could look good before the lawmakers.
He also attacked Clear Channel for saying it had dropped him because of use of the term "nigger", saying, "Clear Channel has tons of Rap stations, and I'm sure the word nigger is used on those."
There appeared to be some good news for Stern from Infinity, however, with company executives saying they had no plan to drop the show from their stations.
Stern had attended a dinner with Viacom president and COO Mel Karmazin on the evening that Clear Channel dropped his show and said Karmazin had voiced support for him but said he had received 4,000 emails about him, most from the conservative American Family Association.
Stern didn't seem certain of his future though and ended his Friday show with the comment that he would "reconvene on Monday, if there's still any stations that still want to carry us."
In Florida, Todd Clem - Bubba the Love Sponge - has now issued a statement about his dismissal by Clear Channel on fan site BubbaArmy.
In it he writes that he is "deeply saddened and confused by the actions of Clear Channel this past Monday evening. I have been a dedicated and valued employee of Clear Channel for the last 12 years."
He continues, "I understand the pressures forcing Clear Channel to act in the manner that it has. These pressures still trouble me since I have always striven to be a responsible broadcaster and entertainer. The success of my shows, my deep involvement in the community and significant support of many charitable initiatives fully attests to that belief."
He ends by quoting conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh who said, "We're in the free speech business. It's one thing for a company to determine if they are going to be party to it. It's another thing for the government to do it."
Todd says he's evaluating his options and an update on the site suggests he is considering a move to satellite radio whose subscription services are not covered by the same rules as terrestrial broadcasters.
The update notes that deals are still in place with XM and stations in Wichita, Kansas, and Fort Myers, Florida, but that Clem has no studio from which to broadcast or uplink to distribute the show. It concludes, "If you want to hear Bubba again, we need you to let XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio know. Any positive words of reinforcement you could provide would be immensely appreciated."
Clear Channel has also come under attack from AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) for saying its new contracts would include clauses that make on-air staff pay when the company is fined by the FCC.
In a statement it said, "The responsibility for complying with FCC regulations rests with the employers. Our members aren't responsible for programming the stations and they don't hold a station's license to broadcast on the public airwaves."
"It's completely inappropriate and unprecedented for a broadcast company to shift the burden of complying with FCC regulations onto the backs of its employees."
…"What's truly indecent about this situation is how big media is trying to absolve itself of complying with FCC regulations by making its employees pay fines that are only levied because of management's programming decisions."
Previous AFTRA:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Bubba the Love Sponge:
Previous Hogan:
Previous Karmazin:
Previous Stern:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
BubbaArmy web site:

2004-02-28: UK Commercial radio "finished 2003 on a high note with double-digit growth across all forms of revenue in the final quarter" according to the UK Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB): In all, commercial radio had revenues of GBP 165.5 million (USD 305.9 million) in the quarter, up 12.7% on a year earlier and the fastest rate of growth recorded by RAB since 2000.
For the full year, UK radio revenues grew by 6.8% on 2002 compared to a 1.6% growth rate for TV advertising to total GBP 601 million (USD 1.1 billion).
RAB notes that the increase was driven by "leading FMCG advertisers such as P&G and Lever Faberge, both of whom doubled their radio spend in 2003" and Simon Worthington, Head of Communications Planning at Initiative Media, commented of Lever Faberge's increase "radio has provided an additional and powerful dimension to support brand objectives."
Broken down, final quarter national revenues were up 10.8% on a year earlier and topped GBP 100 million (USD 185 million), local was up 16.1% to a record GBP 44.5 million (USD 82.2 million) and
Sponsorship & Promotions grew worth 15.2% to top GBP 20 million (USD 37 million).
RAB Client Services Director Michael O'Brien commented, "The Q4 numbers show a very positive end to 2003. Radio is leading the way out of the downturn as marketeers increasingly turn to radio, attracted by its clearly demonstrated effectiveness at building awareness and driving sales."
The figures compare with an increase of 1% on 2002 for the full 2003-year in the US and a decline of 1% in the final quarter (See RNW Feb 4)
Previous RAB- UK:

2004-02-28: Arbitron has announced that it is to end its weekly and monthly Internet Ratings from the end of March although it says it plans to "offer a revised service for Internet broadcasters designed to be better aligned with the needs of the market."
No details were given of the plans but Bill Rose, vice president/general manager, Arbitron Internet Broadcast Services, said, "We will continue to document the size and growth of the Internet broadcasting audience through our Internet studies as well as offer consumer lifestyle and shopping data from Scarborough Research. Plus, we plan to offer custom research solutions to help bring Internet broadcasting into advertisers' media plans."
Arbitron was not specific in its news release about the exact reasons for its decision but Pierre Bouvard, president of Arbitron New Ventures, said the company remained "committed to the Internet broadcast business and continue to believe in the viability of this medium and its long-term market potential."
"However," he added, "the investment needed to sustain the current method would have been far greater than the revenue potential for the service. By revamping our services, we hope to provide better value for our customers and a reasonable return for our investors."
In a letter to clients of the service Rose gave more details, talking of the problems of scalability" of the system and noting that the current system depends on tallying every record of tuning in client's server files.
The growth of the audience was greater than we had anticipated, and the investment required to engineer our systems to accommodate that increase is far more than what we believe the market would bear," he wrote.
Rose also said the MeasureCast technology, whose main metrics are of the number of listeners and the time spent listening to a station, did not provide adequate demographic information of the kind that media planners needed to justify including Internet Broadcasting in their expenditure and went on to promise "more complete ratings and media planning solutions," including audience demographics, geographical location, and more traditional metrics like "reach."
He also suggested that the new service could resemble Arbitron's service for satellite radio with such metrics as Average-Quarter Hour (AQH) and cumulative audience for key age and sex demographics and market sizes.
RNW comment: Since all those providing streaming services presumably has records of the numbers who tune in and how long they are listening, the service they really need seems to us to fall into two distinct areas. One is an independent verification of their statistics to give credibility -as is provided in the UK by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) for newspaper and magazine sales. The second is a way of providing the kind of extra information that diaries - or electronic metering - give about audience demographics. Because of the mass of information to be handled we cannot see this being a practicable proposition if all the available information is to be sampled and are thus led to the conclusion that what is needed is some statistically valid system of sampling the audience so that much less processing is needed.
In this area, Arbitron's expertise in attracting diary keepers and ensuring a proper sample of people prepared to wear its Portable People Meter (PPM) should presumably enable it to develop a similar roster of people prepared to allow their PCs to keep a log of the channels they tune to and then send the data (presumably automatically via the Internet) to Arbitron.
For those who have broadband the process would seem to be simpler and more practicable than for anyone who listens via a dial-up and we can foresee some problems with workplace listening, which in some cases could breach company rules and to which a blind eye may be turned at the moment; this could hardly apply if information is to be sent to Arbitron.
Clients, however, may well be asking why Arbitron didn't see this one coming and have some form of service available for when they terminated the current service rather than at some ill-defined or undetermined future date.

Previous Arbitron:
Previous Rose:

2004-02-28: US satellite radio companies Sirius and XM are about to launch their local traffic and weather services with Sirius for once commencing the service first albeit only in two markets, New York and Los Angeles.
The Sirius service for these two markets begins tomorrow with 18 other markets to follow by the end of March whilst XM is to begin its service on Monday for 15 major markets; it is to add Boston at the start of April and five more cities later this year.
The services will also differ with XM's "Instant Traffic and Weather" information from Traffic Pulse and The Weather Channel being on specific channels for each city whereas Sirius, which will take information from The Weather Channel and Westwood One's SmartRoute Systems, Inc., will broadcast its information on a single channel.
The services are likely to elicit further complaints from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) , which says they are an "appalling back-door attempt" to get round regulations limiting them to national services only (See RNW Jan 9).
Previous NAB:
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM:

2004-02-28: Canadian privately held company Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. has gone to the British Columbia Supreme Court to block the CAD 7.5 million (USD 5.7 million) sale of Seacoast Communications Group Inc.'s news/talk C-FAX AM and music (hits from the 80s to today) CHBE-FM to CHUM that was announced last month (See RNW Jan 27).
Pattison says in a filing that it entered a deal in December, 1997, running for 15 years, that gave it certain "rights of first refusal'' if Seacoast elected to sell the Victoria operations and that it remains willing to purchase the stations. It wants the courts to allow it to exercise its claimed rights or award damages.
Seacoast is headed by broadcasting veteran Mel Cooper who told the Toronto Globe and Mail he agreed to the sale because it would allow him to retire after 52 years in the radio industry and because it was in the best interests of the company's employees and the local community.
Commenting on Pattison's move he said, "I guess Jimmy didn't feel it was a good deal for him,'' and added that he believes 74-year-old billionaire Jim Pattison wants the Victoria stations because they would fill in the "missing link" for an existing chain of radio stations in other major centres in British Columbia and Alberta. He said he didn't think the lawsuit would affect his friendship with Pattison.
CHUM vice-president Peter Miller told the paper his company had no knowledge of Pattison Industries' "purported interest' in the stations until after a definitive agreement was signed in January and that Seacoast would have been obliged to disclose any valid right-of-first-refusal while CHUM was doing its due diligence. He added that CHUM accepted Seacoast's contention that no such agreement exists.
Previous CHUM:
Toronto Globe and Mail report:

2004-02-27: Howard Stern summed it up succinctly with the comment "Fear Channel" after Clear Channel had suspended his show from the of its six stations that carried it, describing the action as "consistent with its Responsible Broadcasting Initiative."
"After assessing the content of [Tuesday's] Howard Stern show, Clear Channel worked with local market managers to take swift and decisive action," its statement continued before quoting Clear Channel Radio president and CEO John Hogan as saying, "Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content and Howard Stern's show blew right through it."
"It was vulgar, offensive, and insulting, not just to women and African Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency. We will not air Howard Stern on Clear Channel stations until we are assured that his show will conform to acceptable standards of responsible broadcasting."
The programme that led to the action included an interview with Rick Salomon, who was taped having sex with hotel heiress Paris Hilton in a video widely available on the internet.
In the programme according to a transcript Stern commented on Salomon activities including vaginal and oral sex and asked if he had anal sex with Hilton.
He also asked about others involved with Salomon including Drew Barrymore with whom, according to Salomon, he had sex when he was 20 and she was 15.
Stern on his show also had a caller who according to the transcript asked, "Ever bang a famous nigger chick? What do they smell like? Watermelons?"
On his show on Thursday when he reacted to Clear Channel's action, terming them "Fear Channel", and said of the racist comment, "A caller used the N word, and I hung up on him." [RNW question - what happened to all the delay systems that Stern has complained about in the past?]
Stern also spoke of "the last days of The Howard Stern Show", a comment that may come to haunt him if pressure from some groups is maintained.
Amongst them was the American Family Association (AFA), which issued a call for Mel Karmazin, President and COO of Viacom, whose Infinity Radio produces the Stern Show, to "immediately fire Howard Stern for violating Infinity Radio's new 'zero-tolerance' policy for indecent broadcasting."
AFA chairman Don Wildmon said, "If Karmazin is serious about cleaning up his company, firing Howard Stern is the only option. Howard Stern cannot be controlled by Karmazin or anyone else."
He added that if Stern weren't fired he'd ask his members to start filing official indecency complaints with the FCC against Infinity-owned stations.
The AFA also posted the transcript of the show with a heading, "WARNING: The following material is offensive."
So far there has been no statement from Infinity, which in 1995 paid the largest cumulative Federal Communications Commission (FCC) penalty to date of USD 1.7 million, for various violations by Stern's radio show.
Other radio companies however seem to also be drawing up new policies on broadcast indecency including Emmis Communications that, according to the Indianapolis Star, is preparing its own "zero-tolerance" policy on the matter.
Its radio division president Rick Cummings told the paper they wanted the policy to be "carefully thought out" and added "We've told all of our people, 'Look, just don't be "blue" anymore. You can still be controversial, you can still be edgy.' "
He said there seminars are planned for on-air personalities and managers and noted that all the indecency fines that the company had been found liable for related to the Mancow's Morning Madness show on WKQX-FM in Chicago.
The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has also announced plans to hold an All-Industry Summit to address topics related to responsible programming (See RNW Feb 12) and in Fort Lauderdale Greg Reed, general manager of the Beasley Broadcasting stations told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he has instituted a new indecency policy that clearly spells out what can't be said on the air.
The paper notes that Beasley's WQAM carries the "often raunchy Neil Rogers Show" and quoted Reed as saying, "Neil has been very cooperative. He knows the situation in Washington and has no problems with what we're doing."
Rogers was one of the few to openly come out on air and attack the current mood. He suggested that everything said would now be subject to scrutiny by the FCC and Congress and described Clear Channel's firing of Bubba the Love Sponge (See RNW Feb 25) and suspension of the Stern show, "This is a total copout, knowing that their feet would be held under the fire by the lunatic Congress."
Clear Channel's stations - in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida, Rochester, New York, San Diego, California, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Louisville, Kentucky - that have dropped Stern now carry fairly neutral comments with links to the official Clear Channel statement.
WTKY - Real Radio 104 - has a home page line "Information about what's happening with the Howard Stern Show, FCC and Clear Channel" that links to a statement by SVP Programming
Clear Channel Radio Tom Owens saying, "We regret the circumstances that have forced Real Radio 104.1 to temporarily cease broadcasts of the Howard Stern Show."
"The content of Howard Stern's program is not in compliance with Clear Channel's content standards. Until the program provider makes those adjustments, we will be unable to air the Howard Stern Show."
Hogan in his testimony to the House Telecommunications Subcommittee on Thursday described the Bubba the Love Sponge Show that led to the imposition of a record USD 715,000 indecency penalty on Clear Channel as tasteless and vulgar and unrepresentative of Clear Channel.
He added that he was "ashamed to be in any way associated with Bubba The Love Sponge Clem's words. More than anything else, I am embarrassed by Bubba's broadcasts."
Hogan also said he was opposed to licence revocation hearings related to indecency offences saying that the penalty would be disproportionate and the threat would force the company to contest any allegation of indecency because of the high stakes involved.
RNW: Courtesan Mandy Rice-Davies remarked on denials by Lord Astor of her allegations concerning house parties at his then home Cliveden at the time of the Profumo scandal in Britain, He would say that, wouldn't he?" [The Oxford English Dictionary of Quotations shortens this to "He would, wouldn't he?"] -- The same comment could well be applied to many of Hogan's comments.
In particular his comment concerning fighting the charges on every occasion should in our view be treated with utter contempt. Whilst we don't go along with the current climate, which we regard as ill thought through, some of the transcripts we have seen show US hosts clearly going beyond the lines set by the FCC albeit in our view this did not include the now infamous Opie and Anthony Sex for Sam case.
It seems to us that it is the responsibility of the managements of all companies - including those in broadcasting - to act within the law and we would much rather see a case where there are requirements as in most countries for broadcasters to keep tapes (or hard disc recordings) of output and then have cases considered on clear evidence than the current system.
The call that seems likely to gain acceptance is not for automatic revocation of licences but for hearings and that is the place at which the proportionality issue should be properly tested. We would have thought only the most egregious breaches were likely to go get any way towards a revocation.

We'd also note that in financial terms dumping the Stern Show is a cheap shot for Clear Channel - it only airs on less than half-a-per cent of Clear Channel's stations and the action puts rival Infinity into the fiting line.
Previous Beasley:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Cummings:
Previous Emmis:
Previous FCC:
Previous Hogan:
Previous Karmazin:
Previous NAB:
Previous Stern:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
AFA web site - links to call for Stern dismissal and transcript:
Indianapolis Star report re Emmis:
South Florida Sun-Sentinel report:
WTKS web site - links to comment on Stern show suspension:

2004-02-27: In more US radio results Salem has reported a strong final quarter performance, Regent a strong full year one, and Cox, has beaten expectations.
Salem had a strong final quarter in 2003 with net broadcasting revenue up 12.8% on a year earlier to USD 45.8 million and net income of USD 2.1 million (Nine cents a share) compared to a loss of USD 0.7 million (3 cents a share) in 2002 when it had a USD 1.9 million loss from discontinued operations related to the sale of WYGY-FM.
Station operating income (SOI) for the quarter was up 24.9% to USD17.8 million and EBITDA increased 35.7% to USD13.0 million; excluding the impact of discontinued operations for 2002, Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2003 increased 13.4% to USD13.0 million. Same station net broadcasting revenue and SOI increased 11.7% and 26.1% respectively in the quarter.
For the full year, Salem had net broadcasting revenue up 9.1% to USD170.5 but reported a net loss of USD0.7 million (3 cents per diluted share), compared with net income of USD14.0 million (59 cents per diluted share, for 2002.
Salem notes that net income for 2003 included a loss (net of an income tax benefit) of USD4.0 million as a result of the early retirement of USD100.0 million of the company's 9.5% senior subordinated notes whilst included in net income for 2002 was a USD16.0 million gain from the sale of WYGY-FM.
Same station net broadcasting revenue and SOI for 2003 increased 8.3% and 17.3%, respectively, as compared to 2002
Commenting on the results Salem President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III, said, "On a same station basis, our fourth quarter station operating income growth of 26.1% matches the best quarterly financial performance we have achieved since going public in 1999. This is especially significant given the difficult year that the radio industry experienced in 2003."
" Our 12.8% revenue growth was fuelled by our start-up and developing stations, which continue to achieve strong growth. In particular, our contemporary Christian music stations grew robustly achieving 30.0% revenue growth and 197.1% growth in station operating income."
"Looking ahead to 2004, we continue to focus on driving our start-up and developing stations to maturity. Their performance, combined with the consistent and stable performance of our block programming business, provides Salem with a business model featuring both growth and predictability."
Regent had full year 2003 net broadcast revenues up 14.5% on 2002 to USD80.6 and net income of USD5.7 million for the year (12 cents a share) compared with a reported net loss of USD6.5 million (15 cents a share) in 2002.
In its final quarter however net broadcast revenues decreased 1.8% to USD21.0 million but it had net income of USD1.5 million for the quarter (3 cents a share) compared with a reported net loss of USD3.9 million (8 cents a share) a year earlier.
Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs said Regent had "made great strides in 2003, enhancing the growth potential of our station group through both operational improvements and strategic acquisition."
"Specifically, we delivered impressive growth in revenues, which grew 14.5%. This performance reflects our commitment to maintaining investment in our developing properties while improving the leadership position of our market leading stations. We also greatly enhanced our new markets by utilizing station swaps with other radio operators to improve our station group as a whole on very attractive financial terms."
"Looking ahead," continued Jacobs, " we are entering 2004 in a very good position. We have a healthy mix of start-up, developing and mature radio properties clustered in attractive middle and small-sized markets."
"With the economy on the upswing, we look forward to capitalizing on the improving advertising environment and delivering impressive results for the coming year."
Cox reported revenues for the final quarter down 1% to USD 106.8 million but net income was up 20% to USD 20.7 million (17 cents a share): For the full year revenues were up 1% to USD 425.9 million with net income up 45% to USD 66.6 million (66 cents a share).
President and CEO Robert F. Neil said Cox was "pleased to report record 2003 results in a difficult advertising environment."
"We effectively managed our business in the short-term for the benefit of the long-term, keeping our expenses down while still investing in our station brands," he continued. "During 2003, it was the strength of these local brands that not only fuelled net revenue growth that outpaced the revenue growth in the markets in which we operate, but also led to strong free cash flow growth for the year."
Looking ahead he said Cox was optimistic and expected "full-year revenues to be up in the mid-single digits over full year 2003. "
"While we expect first quarter revenues to be positive," he added, we face difficult comparisons in the near term given our very strong performance last year. For example, in January of 2003, our revenues were up almost 11% compared to 6% revenue growth for the industry."
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2004-02-27: Extra competition, notably from DMG's Nova network, which topped the latest ratings in Sydney (See RNW Feb 26) has resulted in a 20% fall in revenues to AUD 123 million (USD 95 million) in the six months until the end of 2003 for Austereo and although net profit was up 4.1% to AUD 25 million (USD 19.5 million) this represented an 8.4% fall from continuing operations.
Despite the fall, Austereo delivered an upbeat report, highlighting EBIT of AUD 41.7 million (USD 32.2 million), ahead of its projections in December and then noting that this was down 9% "achieved in an extremely competitive and crowded market."
Chairman Peter Harvie commented that ratings in the period had provided " clear evidence of our determination and successful programming in dealing with competition."
"At the same time, " he continued, "our share of advertising revenue increased and we continue to punch above our weight."
CEO Michael Anderson commented on programming: "In the six month period, Austereo maintained its strong FM position in every market. During this time, comprehensive plans were developed for new generation of programming. We have continued to pro-actively respond to the evolving market."
Anderson did not say how much of the company's 3.5% increase in costs during the period was down to marketing to combat DMG, which has spent heavily on talent and promotions for its stations.
Austereo said its joint-venture operations in Canberra and Newcastle had record sales levels and its ventures in Malaysia and Greece continued to trade well. It said its UK operation, UKRD, was in recovery growth and looking toward revenue improvement.
For the full year it continues to forecast earnings before interest and tax in the region AUD 68-72 million (USD 52.5- 55.5 million).
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2004-02-27: In marked contrast to the much larger numbers of complaints included in bulletins by the Radio Authority and Broadcasting Standards Commission, whose duties it took over along with those of other regulators, fewer than 20 complaints concerning broadcaster programming standards have been listed so far this year by the UK regulator Ofcom.
In three bulletins so far it has listed one "significant intervention" concerning an explicit TV channel, cases involving eight broadcasters where complaints were upheld - one of them a radio case, seven that were resolved including one radio case, and one complaint that was not upheld.
The radio complaint upheld involved Dream 107.7 in Chelmsford, Essex, and related to the use by a presenter- who had asked if they were off air - of the term "fucking cunt" in an early evening programme: Ofcom accepted that it was clear the language was not intended to be broadcast but said the production failure was serious and put the station in breach of codes.
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2004-02-27: The latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released show MUSICMATCH retaining its hold on top station spot and AOL Radio@ Network doing the same for the top network spot. There were no changes in the top five ranks, both station and network.
For the week to February 8, 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 (*Non Commercial) - TTSL 950,830 (940,756); CP - 309,726 (306,639). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: Contemporary Christian K-LOVE (Non commercial) - TTSL 315,132 (297,288); CP 39,947 (36,768). Up from third with higher listening and reach.
3: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM (Commercial) - TTSL 291,483 (314,087); CP - 60,741 (66,137). Down from second with lower listening and reach.
4: Country format AOL Top Country (Commercial) -TTSL 271,146 (230,716); CP 106,431 (60,159). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
5: Smooth Jazz AOL Smooth Jazz (Commercial) - TTSL 246,572 (203,924); CP - 53,809 (41,987). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to February 8 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network (Commercial) - TTSL - 6,124,864 (5,350,006); CP - 1,547,903 (1,530,806). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: LAUNCH (Commercial) TTSL - 4,692,881 (4,094,599); CP - 987,898 (939,166). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. (*Non Commercial) TTSL - 2,442,561 (2,421,855); CP - 571,527 (568,761). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network (Sales Network) TTSL - 724,086 (738,109); CP - 107,673 (109,473) - Same rank with lower listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio (Commercial) TTSL - 484,195 (526,244); CP - 85,331 (93,220) - Same rank with lower listening and reach.
Arbitron does not now rank Content Delivery Networks (CDN) alongside other networks but does report on them; for the week the top Content Delivery Networks were Live365 with TTSL 2,846,972, up from 2,820,576and StreamGuys with TTSL 635,139, up from 632,971.
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2004-02-26: As the political tide runs against the broadcasters, Clear Channel has joined Infinity in announcing a "zero tolerance" policy on broadcast indecency.
Announcing its new "Responsible Broadcasting Initiative" that it says will "make sure the material aired by its radio stations conforms to the standards and sensibilities of the local communities they serve", President and COO Mark Mays said the company was "serious about helping address the rising tide of indecency on the airwaves."
As well as the new policy that will include company-wide training and automatic suspensions for anyone that the FCC alleges has violated indecency rules on the air, Clear Channel is also to write into all contracts with on air talent a provision to force them to share "financial responsibility" for any penalties.
"If the FCC accuses us of wrongdoing by issuing a proposed fine, we will take immediate action," Mays said. "We will suspend the DJ in question, and perform a swift investigation. If we or the government ultimately determine the offending broadcast is indecent, the DJ will be terminated without delay."
Clear Channel radio president John Hogan, who testifies today before the House Telecommunications Subcommittee hearing on the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004, added," If a DJ is found to be in violation of FCC rules, there will be no appeals and no intermediate steps. If they break the law by broadcasting indecent material, they will not work for Clear Channel."
Regarding changes to contracts to make talent pay when there are fines, he said," From now on, every contract that Clear Channel enters into with on-air talent will include this provision. While that won't relieve Clear Channel from our responsibility as a broadcast licensee, we believe it will have a significant deterrent effect on indecent content."
Clear Channel has also re-iterated its call for a "Decency Task Force" and volunteered to fully participate with other representatives of the broadcast, cable and satellite industries to develop an industry-wide response to indecency and violence in the media.
"In our view, industry-developed guidelines should be as effective as Government-imposed regulations without running afoul of the First Amendment protections that we all respect," said
RNW comment: If Hogan and Mays on reading a few transcripts of material that has aired can defend the broadcasts, we'd like to see them do so. If they can't there are many words for them and their past committment to standards, none complimentary.
In addition, in view of the returns Clear Channel (and others) have made from broadcasting material that is clearly beyond the bounds for most communities at times - and their attitudes when caught but enforcement was less strict - we find it difficult to feel any sympathy whatever for them.
We don't defend staff who push things to far but for them to end up fired and then having to pay up whilst out of work - we'd like to see details of exactly what the clauses are going to insist on - seems over the top.
Indeed in view of the limitations on employment for anyone fired by the large groups, we'd say there is an arguable case that enforcing any clause of this kind on top of a dismissal makes them arguable unfit to hold licences because of abuse of their power.
Again in your dreams, but the idea of Clear Channel getting too greedy with the DJs and then losing everything does have an appeal. And we can't really see that the US would be much poorer without them since we're sure there'd be takers for the frequencies who might not delight the accountants as much but would probably serve their communities just as well or better.
Putting Clear Channel down doesn't seem such a bad idea compared to kicking ex-staff when they are down.

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2004-02-26: DMG's Nova has finally managed to move to the head of the Sydney station ranks in the latest Australian ratings from the AC Nielsen McNair survey that show it pushing Austereo's 2-DAY into second place: Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB was down to third with ABC 702 fourth and Southern Cross Broadcasting's 2UE dropping from fifth rank to seventh.
In the Sydney breakfast slot Alan Jones took a 15.3 share and put 2GB back in the top slot with Angela Catterns for ABC 702 falling to second with a 12.4 share, down from 12.8. 2GB's commercial talk rival 2UE, with former drive time host Mike Carlton in the breakfast slot was down to sixth equal from third as its share fell from 9.9 to 7.0.
Nova benefited in the breakfast slot from changes at 2-Day, where the trio of Judith Lucy, Peter Helliar and Kaz Cooke has taken over from Wendy Harmer. Its share dropped from 8.9 to 8.0 with Nova's breakfast team of Merrick and Rosso being the main beneficiaries and increasing their share from 8.1 to 11.9
2UE also lacked the consolation of a morning slot lead as John Laws' show lost share l from 11.0 to 9.0 and it dropped from first rank to fourth behind leader Nova with 12.3, 2-Day with 10.5 and 2GB with 10.2.
In drive time Nova increased its share from 10.6 to 12.8 and took the lead, pushing Richard Glover from ABC 702 to third place with a share of 9.5, down from 12.1 behind 2-Day, which moved from third to second with share up from 10.5 to 12.1.
Despite the Nova success in Sydney, Austereo Chief Executive Officer Michael Anderson produced the usual bullish comments, starting with a countrywide view:" Austereo has had a great first survey for 2004. We have once again confirmed our leadership across Australia and we and our listeners are enjoying the early success, strength and chemistry of our new shows across Australia."
"We look at these results and say the implementation phase of our aggressive new two-year strategy is right on track."
Regarding the Sydney result he was reticent about 2_Day apart from expressing satisfaction with the new breakfast show that he said was "meeting expectations" and added that they were "happy with Triple M's performance" and drawing comparison with the Triple-M success in Melbourne where formats new to Sydney had been in operation for longer.
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: SAFM - same rank with 20.4 (23.1); Mix 16.6 (11.4) - up from fourth; 5AA -14.1 (16.6) - down from second; *5MMM - 13.1 (12.8) - fell from third to fourth:
*Brisbane - B105FM - same rank with 18.4 (18.0); Triple M with 14.0 (13.2) - up from third; NEW 97.3 FM with 13.6 (14.2)- down from second:
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.2 (16.2); Gold with 11.5 (10.2) - up from fourth; Fox FM with11.0 (12.7) - down from second; * ABC 774 with 10.7 (11.8) fell from third to fourth; Nova fell from fifth spot to sixth with 8.3 (10.0).
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM same rank with 21.9 (20.7); All New 92.9 with 11.6 (12.2)- same rank; ABC 720 with 11.1(10.1)- same rank; *Nova moved up to fourth from sixth as its share rose from 8.8 to 9.5
** Sydney - Nova with 11.8 (9) - up from fourth; 2-Day with 10.4 (9.8) - down from first; 2GB 10.3 (9.7) - Down from second equal;
*ABC 702 9.1 (9.7) - fell to fourth from second equal and 2UE lost share - from 7.7 to 7 and fell from fifth rank to seventh.
In another comment on Australian ratings, Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner considered a "recent trends" report by Nielsen Media Research that looked to the future in noting the increase in listening by the younger generation in Australia.
"The figures show that people aged between 18 and 24 increased the time they spent listening to radio in the first survey period for this year by one hour and 46 minutes to nineteen hours and 36 minutes a week - up from seventeen hours and 50 minutes in survey one last year," she said.
"This is indicative of a trend over the past few years which shows that commercial radio continues to gain in popularity among younger listeners - which is great news for the industry."
"Today's young people love radio because it complements a faster-paced lifestyle and it is also the most interactive and immediate medium."
"Younger audiences, particularly the under-25s, have access to new technology and mobile phones, and they have taken very quickly to interacting with their favourite radio stations and DJs via email and SMS to request songs, have their say or enter competitions."
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2004-02-26: In further details of its reshuffling, BBC Radio One has announced that Vernon Kay, who joined the station in October last year (See RNW Oct 14, 2003), is to take over the late morning weekend slot from Edith Bowman and Colin Murray, who are moving to take over the weekday afternoon slot on the channel from Mark and Lard (Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley) who are moving to BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music (See RNW Feb 20). Their last show is on March 26th and Kay begins his new show on March 27th.
The channel also says that Scott Mills' Saturday show is to be replaced by a new Sports show headed by The Breakfast Show's 'Comedy' Dave and Mark 'Chappers' Chapman from The Sara Cox show with Mills hosting an extended Sunday show running from 1300-1600 and taking in the 1500-1600 slot formerly hosted by Kay.
Mills is also to host the weekday BBC Radio 1 afternoon show from late May when Sara Cox goes on maternity leave with Bowman then taking over his Sunday show.
In early August JK and Joel, who were recently signed from Emap Manchester station Key 103 (See RNW Jan 17) will take over the Saturday 1300-1500 and Sunday 1300-1600 slot.
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2004-02-26: Top rated Los Angeles talk host Renan Almendarez Coello "El Cucuy de la Tarde'' says he has been suspended by Univision after he walked out of his show on KSCA-FM on Friday to show solidarity with colleagues upset over negotiations with station managers about pay and working conditions.
He told the Associated Press he had "always been for the cause of the poor and the weak people, and in this particular situation, all that I did was to react to the tears and suffering of my crew."
He added that the station was airing highlights of previous shows and had suspended all the show personnel without pay.
"My crew has been asking for salary improvements for years and never got the consideration that they deserve."
Also in Los Angeles, Ryan Seacrest launches his new breakfast show, "On Air With Ryan Seacrest," on Clear Channel's KIIS-FM today.
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2004-02-25: Clear Channel has fired Todd Clem - "Bubba the Love Sponge", its WXTB-FM (98 Rock, Tampa)-based host whose show broadcast material in 2001 that last month led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose record indecency fines of USD 715,000 against the company - it topped the amount up to USD 755,000 with an extra USD 40,000 for four public file violations (See RNW Jan 28).
The news was broken in comment by WXTB General Manager Dan DiLoreto in comment to Clear Channel's News Talk WFLA-AM. He said the contract had been ended for all the Florida Clear Channel stations that carried the show.
In a statement on the decision later he said the company recognized "the importance of understanding and airing content that is consistent with the standards and sensibilities of the local communities we serve."
He was backed up by Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan who said the company supported the local manager's decision to drop the show.
Clear Channel acted speedily in removing signs of "Bubba" from the WXTB web site, which when we last checked listed no breakfast show host; it also took down the Bubba web site that it hosts.
It slipped up however with for some 12 hours with some of its sites including the show's syndication site and some station sites - when we checked on Tuesday morning the syndication site was up, WJRR-FM (Real Rock 101.1, Orlando) listed Bubba as "now playing" and WRQC-FM (Real Rock 92.5, Fort Myers) listed the show with a link to the non-working Bubba site.All had removed links when we checked in the evening.
The only non-Clear Channel affiliate, Fly 92.7 in Wichita, Kansas, still listed the show and carried details but its Internet stream did not produce anything when we tried. The show is also still listed by XM on Channel 152.
RNW comment: As a reflection of the standards of Tampa, we would note that the most recent ratings for the market showed the show in first rank in the 12+, 18-34, and 25-54 demographics.
And as a reflection of Clear Channel's understanding of local standards and sensibilities, we would ponder any link between the decision to drop the show and the penalty recently proposed relating to broadcasts that dated back to 2001.
Then as a reflection of Clear Channel's openness, we would suggest anyone who cares to check the company's web sites would find it mighty difficult to find a mention of the matter.
The logical conclusion is that the accountants have calculated that the likely financial risks of keeping the show as it is or its ratings value if censored to meet the current climate of outrage, however synthetic, in the US, mean that overall the profits wouldn't justify any opprobrium or penalties that might come Clear Channel's way.
There might have been a Damascene conversion amongst the local managers that has received backing from the top; we'd think it more likely the decision was influenced from the top and not through any strong empathy with the experiences of St Paul.

In another story that relates to the whole question of shock-jock broadcasts and that could bode badly for Erich "Mancow" Muller in Chicago as well as a number of his fellows, Robert Feder in his Chicago Sun-Times column comments on the five-year crusade against Mancow and his show by David Edward Smith and his Chicago-based Citizens for Community Values.
His complaints led to penalties of USD 28,000 being levied against Emmis last week for broadcasts on Muller's show, also in 2001.
Since 1999, Smith has filed a total of 66 complaints against Muller but he told Feder, "The whole Mancow project isn't about targeting one particular shock jock. The idea was -- and is -- to draw attention to the indecent material being broadcast on the public airwaves and bring a greater awareness to the prevalence of broadcast indecency."
In comments on material aired on other shows in the city that have not been targeted Feder writes," One major flaw in the FCC's enforcement procedures is that they rely on citizens to submit tapes or transcripts on suspected indecency."
"So while Smith goes after Muller with a single-minded vengeance, other shows in the market -- from the puerile and titillating morning show of Kevin "Drex" Buchar on WKSC-FM to the sophisticated Karen Hand and Dr. Kelly Johnson's "Private Lives" on WCKG-FM -- often air material that's far more sexually explicit than anything heard on "Mancow's Morning Madhouse."
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2004-02-25: Clear Channel has posted 2003 results that show full year profits up 58% to USD 1.15 billion (USD 1.85 per diluted share) on revenues up 6% to USD 8.93 billion but notes that had it not been for around USD 727 million in pre-tax gains related to its investment in Univision, the sale of an investment in American Tower Corporation and the early extinguishment of debt, and some USD 15 million in asset impairments profits would have been USD 726 million (USD 1.17 per share) compared to 2002 figures before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of USD 725 million (USD 1.18 per share).
For the final quarter of 2003 its revenues were up 4% to USD 2.29 billion producing net earnings of USD 187 million, up USD 3 million on a year earlier but 30 cents per share each year.
The figures were below expectation and the markets reacted negatively with Clear Channel shares ending Tuesday down 2.1% at USD 42.92
Radio revenues were down 1% for the final quarter at USD 967 million compared to a 14% increase for outdoor to USD 615 million and a 6% increase in entertainment to USD 597 million. For the full year, radio was down 1% to USD 3.7 billion, outdoor was up 17% to 2.18 billion and entertainment was up 8% to USD 2.65 billion.
Clear Channel put down most of the radio decline down to weak local advertising but also cited discontinued sports broadcasting rights, cessation of business with independent promoters and a revenue decline in the Company's nationally syndicated radio business. In the top 50 markets it says Clear Channel Radio was able to generate a 1 percent revenue increase, primarily behind the relative strength of national advertising compared to local advertising.
Putting the usual positive spin on things Clear Channel President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Mays said, "Our record 2003 results highlight the strength of our business model and the high free cash flow characteristics of our businesses."
"Our focus on profitable revenue streams enabled us to deliver earnings per share of USD1.85 for the year. In addition, during the year we significantly strengthened our balance sheet, reduced debt by approximately USD1.8 billion, and instituted a dividend for shareholders. Looking ahead, Clear Channel is ideally positioned to capitalize on an improving economic environment and we are excited about our growth prospects in 2004."
At the company's conference call, Mays repeatedly ducked questions on details of current pacings although he spoke of "sequential" monthly improvement since November and said he expected radio revenues to be up between 3% and 5% in the first quarter of this year.
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2004-02-25: Australian group, RG Capital Radio controlled by Reg Grundy has reported net profit in the half year to the end of 2003 up 18% to AUS 6 million (USD 4.7 million) on revenues up 8.6% to AUD 36.7 million (USD 28.6 million).
The company, which is strongest in Australia's regional east coast and Tasmanian markets, says increased competition had pushed up promotional costs but they were still controlled tightly. It says it is meeting and dealing well with the impact of competition and is looking for acquisitions in areas such as Newcastle where it can add value.
For the first quarter of this year it says things are slower but it is still experiencing "solid growth" and chairman Tim Hughes said they "were encouraged that the positive trend has continued into January and February."
He added that growth over the past two years had been "driven by strong domestic tourism and retailing down the east coast of Australia."
Managing Director Rhys Holleran commented that the majority of its markets had shown good growth over the previous year. Referring to the impact of new licences on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast he said this had been as anticipated and "overall any slight pull back in these markets has been offset by growth in other markets across regional Australia."
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2004-02-25: The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has approved Capital Radio's acquisition of urban contemporary Choice FM, which operates two FM licences in London plus a network of five digital radio licences in London, the North West, Yorkshire, North East and the Severn Estuary, with an additional West Midlands service on offer to it.
Capital had acquired a 19% stake in Choice for GBP 3.3 million (USD 5.6 million) in October 21 with an option that allowed it to acquire the remaining 81%; this was exercised in November last year at a price of GBP 12 million (USD 20.4 million) (See RNW Nov 20, 2003)
Capital's Strategy and Development Director Nathalie Schwarz said they were delighted with the decision, the first concerning radio made by the OFT since last year's Communications Act came into force.
"Choice is an excellent investment for Capital and one that complements our existing portfolio of stations in London," she added. "We believe that Choice has significant opportunities under its existing formats to grow its audience across London and the UK and look forward to announcing completion of the deal."
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2004-02-25: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that as of the end of last year the US had a total of 26,613 licensed broadcast stations, an increase of 194 on the figure at the end of June, 2003.
Of this total 13,563 were radio licences, up 145 on the previous total and within the radio total there were 4794 AMs - down nine, 6217 commercial FMs - up 28, and 2552 educational FMs - up 126.
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2004-02-24: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has invited applications for new commercial FM licences in Sydney and Brisbane; they have a reserve price of AUD 1 million each but with competition expected to be heavy they are expected to fetch much more with estimates ranging around AUD 80-100 million (USD 62-77 million) for the Brisbane licence and around AUD 100 million (USD 77 million) for the Sydney one.
Applications have to be in by midnight on March 22 and amongst those likely to be in competition are DMG Radio, APN News & Media, Rural Press, RG Capital and Gold Coast radio group Hot Tomato.
DMG, which has created its Nova network on the back of winning bids in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, is expected to be particularly keen on the Brisbane licence. It has a share of a licence in Brisbane, but as with its Perth licence share the Brisbane station in jointly-owned with ARN (a joint venture between APN News and Media and Clear Channel International).
ARN manages the Brisbane station while DMG operates the one in Perth and thus DMG is still without a Nova outlet in the city.
A further new commercial FM licence - for Melbourne - is to be auctioned later this year.
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2004-02-24: Entercom has reported final quarter 2003 profits up 16% to a record USD 21.8 million (42 cents a share) on revenues up 3% to a record USD104.6 million with full year 2003 in profit before accounting changes to the tune of USD 71.8 million (USD1.39 a share) compared with a 2002 loss of USD 83 million (USD 1.67 a share).
President and CEO David J. Field said Entercom was "are pleased to report record financial results for 2003, particularly under the difficult economic conditions that hindered all advertising-based media subsequent to the commencement of the Iraqi war last year."
He continued, "We are optimistic on our outlook for 2004 based on positive external and internal factors, led by the recovering economy, growing business confidence, improving station ratings, and continuing enhancements in our operating capabilities and execution."
For the first quarter this year Entercom says it is expecting same station net revenues to increase 3 - 5%, with station operating expenses increasing 3%, giving net income in the range 21-23 cents compared to 18 cents a year ago.
At Entercom's conference call, Field described current pacings as disheartening but said he expected improvements later in the year providing the US economy as a whole remained healthy.
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2004-02-24: According to the UK Sunday Times - owned by News International, which also owns part of The Wireless Group as well as Sky satellite TV in the UK - the discomfiture of the BBC when the Hutton report led to the resignations of chairman Gavyn Davies and Director-General Greg Dyke led to celebration at Britain's commercial radio groups.
It quoted one un-named (we're not sure why as the comment is hardly that contentious and Wireless Group chairman Chief Executive Kelvin MacKenzie has made more antagonistic comments) radio executive as saying, "A real opportunity has been presented by this and it could not have come at a better time for us. The BBC needs to be put back in its public-service box."
The paper then quoted Kelvin MacKenzie as attributing a rise in listening to BBC London as possibly due to cross-promotion on the BBC1 TV channel (RNW comment: Any ex-Murdoch executive ought to be an expert on cross-promotion!) and adding that he estimated this from "commercial advertiser would cost me £1m a week and which no other radio station could afford."
"The sooner we privatize these taxpayer-funded shysters the better," he said, also commenting, "As far as reach goes, there could be as much as a 20% increase if the BBC was reined in. For example, I am not sure what public-interest purpose the Radio 1 and 2 stations serve. They should not be funded by the licence fee."
The paper also quotes another un-named another senior executive as saying that the BBC should be catering for music tastes that are not mainstream and adding that there was anger that Radio 2, which used to be targeted at the over-fifties, is trying to attract the younger audience that is so vital to the commercial broadcasters.
The paper also says digital radio could be another force for growth in commercial radio because it has a higher share of the digital spectrum than the BBC with anticipated consolidation also generating growth - it comments, "This year promises to be the one when radio's big four - Emap, Capital, Chrysalis and GWR - become three."
Roger Parry, chairman and chief executive of Clear Channel International based in London, also accepted that there would be consolidation of the major groups but was more cautious about the timescale: "Logically, in three or four years the four (big radio groups) will become three because as it stands there is one too many," he said. "How we get to that situation is open to question. But I envisage that there will be a certain amount of asset swapping. That is what happened in the United States."
Chrysalis chief executive Richard Huntingford said he foresaw three phases in consolidation: "
"The first act will be intra-UK and will involve the juggling of radio assets. We saw the first scene last month when Emap took Scottish Media Group's stake in Scottish Radio," he said.
"The second act," he said, " could see some serious cross-media involvement" and he suggested that the new ITV plc would be looking to grow and added "a big radio acquisition would certainly be an option for them."
Finally, he thought, in two or three years an American media company would enter the market.
RNW comment: Although self-interest would in our opinion be no stranger to MacKenzie or Murdoch we'd not put much value on their commitment to public interest, public service, or indeed truthful reporting.
We see increasing evidence of a case against the BBC being fuelled by self-interest, being in some cases presented in a very one-sided manner, and regrettable little overt opposition to those involved.
We're fairly sure that if the British public were given a free choice between keeping the BBC and simply closing down any operation involving Murdoch and MacKenzie the latter two would be out of business but regrettably the public don't have the same capabilities when it comes to putting pressure on the politicians in terms of sticks and carrots - who was it who described an honest politician as one who stayed bought?

Previous BBC:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Chrysalis:
Previous Huntingford:
Previous MacKenzie:
Previous Parry:
Previous Wireless Group:
UK Sunday Times report:

2004-02-24: Clear Channel has appointed John T. Tippit, formerly vice president, finance and strategic planning for Clarke American Inc., to the newly created position as senior vice president, strategic development.
In the role he will oversee Clear Channel's strategic planning and development and executive vice president and CFO Randall Mays said Tippit had the "experience, knowledge and leadership skills to step into this important position."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Randall Mays:

2004-02-23: Our view of opposition from the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to low power FM - community radio as it would be called in Australia and Canada where it operates successfully and will be called in the UK - is, as we indicated yesterday (See Licence News Feb 22) that it is fuelled more by the potential loss of a few dimes than any genuine concern about interference or indeed by much public spirit.
The same would appear to be true in the UK to a degree as illustrated by the first item we chose for our look at print comment on radio over the past week.
In an article headed "Commercial radio fears community rivals" Dan Milmo in the UK Guardian reported on plans to allow community radio in the UK (See RNW Feb 18). and the concerns from commercial companies.
"Community radio is a sensitive subject for commercial broadcasters, who fear that the new services, although well-meaning, will take advertising revenue," he wrote.
Milmo then said that James Bethell, the strategy development manager at Capital Radio, had said the group understood the benefits of community services but warned that the funding issue [Current plans would allow revenue from advertising although this could be capped]still posed a threat to small commercial broadcasters.
"Ofcom has not resolved the crucial question of how it will be funded, and we are particularly concerned on behalf of smaller stations that there is protection for people with existing businesses," said Bethell.
Milmo also cited GWR group public affairs director Simon Cooper as saying the new stations had to be strongly differentiated from local broadcasters and also saying that the regulator had to develop a digital strategy for the services, commenting, "The long-term question is how do we get them on to digital radio in the future? We have to make sure we allocate spectrum that will allow them to be on digital radio."
Digital radio may well be the future but for some countries it is certainly a distant one and that would appear to be the case in Ghana if a careers article by Kitty Melrose in the UK Telegraph is anything to go by.
She notes that one student Gavin Campbell, who spent three months as a volunteer at English-language news and talk radio station Choice FM, one of some 50 stations in the country, found some significant deficiencies.
"They had computers, but half of them didn't work. They had internet connection, but held together by a safety pin. You could write a wonderful report but you wouldn't have enough paper to print it out." he says.
"It was chaotic - but an absolute challenge. Within seconds I was assigned to the business desk. I cast aside lingering memories of a BBC newsroom and decided to learn fast."
He also commented about being thrown in at the deep end: "Quite often we'd be seconds away from a bulletin, and nobody would be behind the mike," he explains. "And so I'd suddenly find myself dragged into the studio as 'International Correspondent'. It would be: 'So Gavin, tell us what you know about Osama bin Laden and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and is there any link between the two?' I'd be sitting there shaking, but at least I never once thought I was wasting my time."
He and his girlfriend Kirsty Hemming, who was with him at the station, ended up long hours but with the satisfaction of their own hour-long Saturday slot, which rounded up all the latest international news. "That was a real test of our skills and initiative because we were given so much freedom. It was amazing but also scary. We were even heard in Germany," said Gavin.
RNW comment: Unfortunately no indication is given in the article of the accuracy and judgement involved in the programmes, something we have to consider significant. On the other hand bearing in mind how many TV and radio reports in the US are cases of correspondents regurgitating a prepared script put together from agency material the pair could well have done as good a job!
We'd also note that the cost per head of the trip was around USD 4000, certainly not peanuts for a student who had to work to pay their own way, never mind university costs.

On however to the US and the topic that seems to be getting the Puritans aroused, namely broadcast indecency.
In our reading on this matter we noted an Associated Press- Ipsos survey showed some four fifths of Americans thought it a waste of time to investigate the revealing of Janet Jackson's breast on CBS TV although more than half thought it had been in bad taste. Less than a fifth thought the matter to be one of illegality and amongst those between the ages of 18 and 29 nearly half said the Jackson incident was neither illegal or in bad taste.
The figures would appear to be one in the eye for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael K Powell and his fellow commissioners and amongst those we noted weighing in against him was Anthony Cumia, Anthony of the Opie and Anthony duo whose show was axed after the Sex for Sam stunt in St Patrick's cathedral in New York.
Commenting on the duo's web site, Cumia wrote, "I watched the entire Broadcast Decency Enforcement hearing the other day on CSPAN. It went on for about 8 hours and by the time it was over I had to fight the urge to run head first into my television set."
…" You may ask 'what was the noble mission of these proceedings?' To protect the American people…from Janet Jackson's right breast. It doesn't stop there though. Apparently we need protection from just about everything that airs on TV and radio."
…" Wait a minute. We are talking about a ¾ second long clip of a partially covered breast here, right? Ok. Sorry, with a congressional hearing and denials of prior knowledge and claims of responsibility I was getting this confused with Watergate or the Pentagon Papers or the Challenger explosion or 9/11 or ANYTHING besides a ¾ of a second clip of a partially covered breast on TV."
There was more of the same; particularly a section directed at House Committee member Heather Wilson the Republican representative from New Mexico.
Cumia writes, "Ms. Wilson told the room how her family "is real restrictive about television watching" and how her 4th grade son had to ask for "special permission" to watch the Super Bowl. Special permission? Gee, thanks mom! With utter disgust on her face and in her voice she told everyone how even before halftime she had to hear about "The farting horses" making reference to one of the commercials that aired. This was a great opportunity for her to take a well-rehearsed jab at how Madison Ave. aims its humour towards 4th graders. Wow, farting horses. Get to your fallout shelters people! What the hell is this country coming to?"
…"Listening to this bullshit story was making me sick. It's a story. She made this crap up. I was a 4th grade boy once. I know how 4th grade boys react to these things. They laugh. That's all. They talk about it with their friends and laugh their asses off… The fact of the matter is things like the Janet Jackson breast shot doesn't offend children it offends some of the parents. For years, people who said they were offended by radio or TV shows were told to turn the dial and shut up. Those people smartened up. Now they complain in the name of America's children so you can't argue the point or you're some kind of kid destroying child-hating monster. "
We think Cumia has a point as he also did in comments on the Sex for Sam case: "We were within the FCC guidelines during that broadcast. For those who don't know by now there was no "steamy sex" broadcast from St. Pats as some of you might have read. There was no "pew rocking sex" broadcast live by Opie and Anthony as was reported in the press. There was no "blow by blow description of sex broadcast from St. Pats" as was also reported. What was broadcast from St. Pats? Hold on to your hat's here it is: "We're in St. Pats and he's doing the balloon knot…This is what was broadcast from St. Pats. That's it. No really, that's it."
…" This is why, as Mel Karmazin said during the hearing, Infinity has not paid the St. Pats broadcast fine and will continue fighting it. It was not indecent as it was broadcast. The idea behind that show was tasteless and awful and offended people's faith and morality but the broadcast itself was not indecent and that's what the FCC is supposed to be looking at."
He concludes, "This is far from a protection issue. This is a morality issue. A few people want to push their idea of what is good and right on everyone else. Unfortunately the majority of the people are also the quietest. No one ever writes letters or makes phone calls to tell a company or the government they don't feel one way or another about something and few people write or call to say they are fine or pleased with something that happened. This is the vast majority of the population."
"89 million people watched the Super bowl. The FCC received about 200,000 complaints against the halftime show. That amounts to .2 percent. Yes, that is point two percent. Since when does a .2 percent disapproval of something hold any weight? Could you imagine going to a show with 500 people and having one person at this show tell the manager that he was offended and doesn't think it's good for the other 499 people to see the show? Anyone in his right mind would tell the guy to get lost. He's .2 percent of the audience. You wouldn't consider shutting down based on that one complaint. But that's what's happening because the rest of us don't make a peep."
RNW comment: We rather agree here as well. And, apart from First Amendment issues when it comes to subscription services, we'd add that if FCC commissioners and the lawmakers aren't bright enough to draft the rules properly and are then incapable of understanding what has been passed into law they should buy some duct tape and wear it whenever near a microphone - and then resign and let those a little more professional do the drafting!
And finally in comment on the issue of broadcast decency, on to Randy Dotinga's Static Column Awards for Radio, the SCARs, in the North County Times.
He gave the "Tell It Like It Is" award for speaking the truth about the radio world instead of playing it safe to KPBS general manager Doug Myrland.
Among Myrland's comments: " "A few dirty jokes on the radio are not going to undermine the underpinnings of society. Reasonable people, whether they're Democrats or Republicans, know that. Why really waste your time unless there's something to be gained politically?"
As Dotinga comments, "Someday, Myrland's big mouth is going to get him in big trouble. But until that time, we can all enjoy the words of wisdom from a guy who must have skipped that CEO class on how to talk without saying anything."
After which on to some recommendations for listening over the next week and also a heart-warming programme we picked up by chance last Monday - it is still on the BBC Radio 4 Listen Again web site but not for long.
The Lost Children of Possum Trot is a remarkable story of some 70 adoptions by the Bennett Chapel Missionary Church community in the small predominantly black east Texan community in Shelby County.
We would probably find philosophical disagreement with some of the good people involved but if even a tenth of what was reported and said is true they are surely Good People.
Still with the religious but some who don't always deserve positive description were featured on US National Public Radio (NPR) on Sunday's weekend edition that carried a report, to quote the programme's own description "on the history of passion plays -- the dramatic performances recounting the suffering of Christ -- and why Jews are concerned about renewed anti-Semitism resulting from Mel Gibson's new film The Passion of the Christ."
Back to the UK and rather than our usual recommendation of BBC radio 4 comedy output (Still worth a listen at 18:30 GMT weekdays with particular reference to Absolute Power on Thursday and the Best of Dead Ringers on Friday) last Tuesday saw "Should we be laughing?" the first of two programmes on the way disabilities are - and should be - treated by comedians.
The series is presented by disabled stand-up comedian and presenter Francesca Martinez and began with a look at the way disabled characters were presented - generally they had fun poked at them - by the non-disabled. That edition is still on the web site: This week's edition at 11:30 GMT will look at the work of disabled comedians.
Before that on the channel at 09:30 GMT is the last of five Subterranean Stories, this one looking at Winston Churchill's secret wartime bunker, hidden in the North London suburb of Dollis Hill and which, after decades of neglect, has recently been opened up by members of the group Subterranean Britannica.
On BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday, in Seven More Days that Rocked the World Stuart Maconie looks at the collaboration between Aerosmith and Run DMC and the release of 'Walk This Way'.
Previous Columnists:
Previous Cumia (Opie and Anthony):
Previous Dotinga:
North County Times - Dotinga:
Opie and Anthony site - Anthony Cumia comments:
UK Guardian - Milmo:
UK Telegraph - Melrose:

2004-02-23: WorldDAB Forum President, Annika Nyberg is to address a session at the 3GSM World Congress currently being held in Cannes on the benefits of Digital Audio Broadcasting to the mobile phone industry including the economics of using DAB for one-to-many broadcasts and the integration of DAB technology in mobile devices.
"The marriage between DAB and the Telecoms industry is inevitable," says Nyberg. "The technologies are perfectly compatible, economically attractive and promise a long and fruitful relationship."
She added that the DAB and mobile technologies were "the perfect match, with a combination of strengths that can present consumers with the ultimate in hand-held devices. Such a device can deliver a range of benefits beyond the audio of pure DAB and the established returns of mobile phones."
As well as audio and basic data services, the development of DMB-T (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting-Terrestrial), using Eureka 147 will enable the delivery of tailored video services to mobiles and DAB receivers
Livetime, a new venture that will deliver music, video and text to a mass market, will demonstrate at the show a prototype handset and service that will enable consumers to buy and interact with content whilst on the move, and others including NTL: Broadcast are developing ideas for the delivery of multimedia content on the move to vehicles, mobile phones, PDAs and other devices.
Amongst technology companies Samsung Electronics is to exhibit a DMB-T prototype that delivers real-time multimedia content in the mobile environment and RadioScape Ltd will demonstrate solutions for digital radio applications including audio, video and data services.
RadioScape has already released details of its new RS250H fully integrated, tri-band micromodule, supporting FM, RDS, Band III DAB and L-Band DAB, that enables handheld radio receivers to be made and used anywhere in the world.
The form factor of the micromodule measures only 52 by 37 by 7 mm and battery life has also been extended as its power consumption is less than 500mW providing up to fifteen hours of use from three AA cells.
In the UK Frontier Silicon has launched a highly integrated module for Band III, L-Band and VHF radios that will enable the first €99 (USD 125) DAB digital radios in Europe. The new tri-band Venice 2 module is fully hardware and software compatible with the Venice 1 module, which powers the majority of DAB digital, radios available today and requires only a power source antenna, display and keypad to create a fully featured digital radio.
For those listening at home, PURE Digital has announced details of its Legato DAB/FM/CD micro system that integrates DAB radio with FM, CD and MP3 playback and includes features that allow listeners to pause and rewind DAB broadcasts and also a record timer lets users record favourite radio shows to a separate recording device such as a MiniDisc or CD-R recorder.
The Legato is to go on sale in summer this year retailing around GBP 350 (USD 650).
Previous Nyberg:
Previous WorldDab:

2004-02-23: Allegations by conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh that his former maid Wilma Cline only went to the police with allegations about his drug taking after the National Enquirer had said they could only publish the story if there was a police investigation have been denied by Cline's attorney Ed Shoat according to the Palm Beach Post.
Limbaugh's site posts a transcript from his Friday show that says, "Those two people first went with their so-called story to the National Enquirer, and the Enquirer said sorry, we can't do that without a police investigation, we're not going to publish this unless there's a police investigation, so these two people then called a lawyer, with Democrat connections, and went to the state attorney and got their immunity, admitting to the state attorney that they had trafficked in nearly 12,000 pain pills, which is an absurd number, but they admit this and get total immunity, and then they go back to the Enquirer and sell their story."
Shoat reacted by telling the paper, "That's untrue. That's a complete lie, completely not true." He said the Clines approached him with their allegations and he took them to authorities…"(The Clines) reported their situation, on their own, voluntarily, with no one looking at them, to the police and the state attorney. And they received immunity for that," he said. "I took them there. That's what they wanted to do. It was the right thing."
Of Limbaugh's allegations that politics were involved he said, "What Democrat connection do I have? He's giving me credit for something I don't have."
Limbaugh also said on his show that state attorney's office in Palm Beach "has issued subpoenas to the doctors in question demanding a list of every employee at every doctor's office I visited, from March to September of 2003."
…" Now, you might say why do they want the names? Because they don't know what they're looking for. They're hoping against - just like they seized all the medical records hoping they'd find something in them to charge me with because of their - their - I don't know what you would call it - incompetence or goofing up by granting immunity to the two people that come to the office and admit trafficking in drugs and who are walking free today."
Previous Limbaugh:
Limbaugh web site:
Palm Beach Post report:

2004-02-22: Over the past week, questions of indecency and obscenity have engaged the attention of the Federal Communications Commission in the US and in Australia another whiff of cash-for-comment is before the regulator.
On a more positive result to us, the FCC has also recommended that third adjacent channel separation requirements for low power FM stations be removed, potentially vastly expanding the scope for LPFM.
Elsewhere radio related action was more routine but at a fairly low level.
In Australia, as well as starting its investigation into allegations of possible cash-for-comment regulation breaches by Adelaide Five AA host Leon Byner (See RNW Feb 16), the Australian Broadcasting Authority has also been involved in varying radio plans in Charleville, Queensland, and Goulburn and Braidwood, New South Wales.
In Charleville it is to make FM capacity available for a new community radio service and also for 4VL-AM, Charleville, in Augathella, Morven, Quilpie, Wyandra, Tambo and Mungallala. 4VL is also to be allowed to operate at a slightly higher power level during daylight hours.
In Goulburn and Braidwood capacity is to be made available for a new 100 watts FM community service in Braidwood and also for an additional national radio service in Goulburn. Braidwood FM Inc, which has been operating under a temporary community broadcasting licence since January 2003, has expressed an interest in providing a permanent community radio service in Braidwood.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been involved in a number of amendments and also an administrative renewal until August of the licence of CKOD-FM, Valleyfield, Quebec.
In order of province decisions were:
Alberta - Approval of contour change for CBCX-FM Calgary as a result of a decrease in the antenna height of its transmitter CBCX-FM-1 Edmonton from 232.6 metres to 193 metres.
Approval of contour change for the CBC's transmitter CBXT-4 Jasper as a result of an increase in the effective radiated power (ERP), from 9 watts to 50 watts, and a change in the effective height above-average terrain of the antenna from 12.4 metres to -55.2 metres.
Newfoundland and Labrador - second extension, this time until 27 February 2005 for Northern Lights Community Radio Corp. to commence operation of a new community station in Forteau.
Saskatchewan - Approval of contour change for transmitter for CBK-FM at Prince Albert as a result of a decrease of the effective radiated power from 24,980 watts to 20,000 watts.
There were no radio licensing decisions from Ireland although the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced a one-year appointment of Mary Ellen Greene as Programme Fund Officer.
The move follows legislation that came into effect in December giving the BCI responsibility to set up and administer a funding scheme through which new television and radio programmes will be supported.
In the UK, Ofcom has announced proposals for the creation of community radio services (See RNW Feb 18).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recommended the removal of third adjacent channel restrictions, imposed after heavy lobbying by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), that severely restricted the agency's low power FM initiative introduced in January 2000.
Its initial plans did not include third adjacent channel protection but by the time the measure came into law in December that year it had been required "to impose third-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements on LPFM stations, and to conduct independent field tests and an experimental program to determine whether the elimination of third-adjacent channel protection requirements would result in LPFM stations causing harmful interference to existing FM stations operating on third-adjacent channels."
Following a report from The Mitre Corporation which carried out the test and subsequent feedback the deadline for which had been extended the FCC has now recommended elimination of the restriction; the move is likely to be strongly opposed by NAB, which had already strongly objected (See RNW Oct 18, 2003).
In its report the FCC notes that early test had shown that "no 100-watt LPFM station significantly degraded the reception of a full-service station at any distance greater than 126 meters from the LPFM transmitter. Also, with the exception of a single anomalous result, no significant LPFM-related degradation to the reception of a full-service station was identified at a distance greater than 333 meters from the LPFM transmitter, a test result based on over 1,400 measurements."
The report says that according to Mitre "even in the worst case, no third-adjacent channel interference between an LPFM station and an existing full-service FM station will exist beyond a radius of 1.1 kilometers around the LPFM transmitter site" and adds that "the Commission's experience with licensing LPFM stations shows there has not been a great demand for licenses in rural areas. Thus, an adverse economic impact on small market stations may not be realized. Additionally, even with modification of the third-adjacent channel separations, there will not be many new LPFM
opportunities in most communities of any significant size."
"… Further, nothing in the record demonstrates that a limit on local radio competition is necessary to protect incumbent broadcasters or that additional competition from noncommercial educational LPFM
stations would cause significant economic harm to full-power broadcasters."
The Commission concludes that to spend an estimated USD 800,000 on phase 2 testing would be wasteful of public money and asks Congress to forego the trial and eliminate the third adjacent channel protection requirement.
RNW comment: So far around 225 LPFM stations have been built with some 670 under construction and around 950 applications pending. We think that any serious problems would already have come to light and are of the opinion that NAB is bleating because the provision of any other options could entice listeners away rather than because of any genuine fears of interference and also rather suspect that much of the reason for this is the heavy advertising load now aired by many stations - which is why satellite radio uses "commercial free" as such a selling point.
That leaves the NAB only with the economic effects argument, which is also taken up by the FCC. We note that Sen. John McCain, who has supported LPFM in the past as giving an alternative voice to that of consolidated mass media, had indicated support for the recommendation. It may yet be that Janet Jackson's breast has produced a climate that aids this measure, in which case the US will have much to thank her for in our opinion.

The FCC has also issued or confirmed a number of penalties concerning indecency offences, broadcasting phone calls without permission of the person being spoken to, and for an AM power offence.
The indecency penalties had been imposed on Emmis for material broadcast on the Mancow Morning Madness show in Chicago (See RNW Feb 20) and the AM power decision involved rejection of an appeal by a now bankrupt Arizona station that had not provided necessary documentation (Also Feb 20).
The phone call related penalties both involved stunts by stations at the expense of rivals and in one case a counter-call by the offending company Saga for licence revocation calls to be held about the rival because of the apology and payment it had called for, a claim dismissed fairly contemptuously by the FCC (Also Feb 20)
Previous ABA:
Previous BCI:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:

FCC report on LPFM (133 Kb PDF):
Link to Mitre Corporation LPFM report (4.7 Mb 308 pages PDF)
Ofcom web site:

2004-02-22: Sweden's Parliamentary Committee on Digital Radio has recommended a gradual expansion of the medium rather than rapid expansion or abandoning the idea. After 18 months of consideration it has put forward proposals for gradual expansion by both commercial and public radio; currently on state broadcaster Swedish Radio is involved in digital transmissions - these reach 35 percent of Sweden's population, in the country's three large metropolitan areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, and the northern city of Luleå.
Under the proposal Swedish Radio is allocated the entire capacity of a national multiplex, which has room for 5-7 national channels, whilst commercial radio would be allocated two-thirds of the capacity in the 19 regional DAB ensembles, which would give the opportunity for both local and national broadcasts.
Swedish Radio would receive an extra allocation of 1,5 million Euros (USD 1.9 million) annually - on top of today's 2.5 million euros (USD 3.2 million) for digital broadcasts - for the cost of broadcasts on both DAB and FM networks. As an incentive to begin broadcasting in digital radio, commercial radio stations would be offered lowered licence concession fees of 4.400 euro per year plus a variable component of 4 percent of their advertising revenue.
Swedish Radio Director General Peter Örn said the broadcaster hoped "the government will support the proposal and parliament can pass the necessary legislation by the end of the year, so we can expand our digital broadcasts as early as 2005."
"The transition to digital radio will give listeners access to greater diversity and a wider range of programming, he added. "And Swedish Radio is given better opportunities to meet its public service obligations to the entire audience."
Christer Jungeryd, chairman of the commercial radio industry's branch organization RU (Radioutgivareföreningen) commented, "We are very pleased about the broad agreement reached by the Committee on Digital Radio. We now assume the Ministry of Culture will move forward quickly and we expect a decision by parliament later this year. Then the radio industry will be able to seriously begin developing digital radio from 2005."
Anders Appelqvist, CEO of the industry organization SRL (Sveriges Radio och
) says the proposal from the Committee on Digital Radio sends an important message to receiver manufacturers and consumer electronics dealers.
"We've always believed that a complete range of programs from new and old channels is a precondition for marketing and selling new digital radio receivers," he said. "The committee's proposal creates the necessary commercial conditions, and is a major and important opportunity for us. In principle all of the major brands are in the starting blocks for launching their new receivers. As the roll-out continues, we'll see prices dropping and an increase in receiver penetration."
The proposals received support from six of Sweden's seven parliamentary political parties, with only the Liberals dissenting.

2004-02-22: While most US radio news nowadays is about larger companies small ones still exist and in Indianapolis WKLU-FM - Kool 1.1.9 -maintains the tradition of a small owner in the business for reasons related to satisfaction over and above interest in profit.
Bruce Quinn, featured in a recent Indianapolis Star report, found the frequency to be available, worked his way through the regulations to get the CP, scraped together around USD 250,000 from his family to build it, and although legally blind, broadcasts and does a lot of the engineering work himself.
As "Bruce the Radio Pirate" he's on air around six hours a day playing '60s and '70s songs about which the paper comments "you haven't thought of in years because no other radio station is playing them (or ever played them). Plus, he likes the songs: Frank Zappa's "Po-Jama People"; the Beatles' "You Know My Name (Look up the Number)."
The station is Indianapolis' 18th most-listened-to station according to Arbitron, a tenth that of top-rated country WFMS-FM, and isn't particularly profitable with an annual income of around USD 400,000 but it is debt free and the Quinn family, its only shareholders, say they're satisfied.
Quinn says he gets offers regularly and turned down on of USD 7 million last month, but he intends to keep turning them down. "Where would I go? What would I do?" he asked. "This is what I enjoy doing - being able to play the music you love and making a difference in the broadcasting industry."
Indianapolis Star report:

2004-02-21: Yet more signs have emerged of action by US radio broadcasters to reduce the risk of indecency or obscenity penalties whilst the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and politicians remain on the warpath.
A third hearing is to be held by the House Telecommunications sub-committee on Thursday next week at which the main topic will be chairman Rep Fred Upton's bill that would increase indecency penalties ten-fold.
At Infinity, which is at the centre of the storm because parent Viacom owns both CBS and MTV which were involved in the Super Bowl broadcast and also WNEW-FM, former home of Opie and Anthony and the station involved in the Sex in St Patrick's Cathedral case, stations appear to have eschewed live broadcasts until delay equipment has been installed.
One Infinity feature that has already bit the dust is the regular "Sex U" segment that had been aired on the Kevin and Bean (Kevin Ryder and Gene Baxter) morning show on KROQ-FM; the duo discussed the dropping of the segment at length explaining that Infinity had imposed a "zero-tolerance" policy following the Super Bowl incident.
The station web site does not carry any obvious reference to the policy but the Kevin and Bean pages on Friday included a link to a Drudge report on the bared breast incident that leads off by saying, "Top CBS executives approved a musical skit where Janet Jackson would expose her breast during the MTV-produced Super Bowl half-time concert…" and includes stills of the bared breast and covered nipple.
Previous Kevin and Bean:
Previous Upton:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
KROQ web site:

2004-02-21: Univision has reported profits in the final quarter of 2003 of USD 58.9 million, up 62% on a year earlier on revenues, including Univision Radio, which was acquired September 22 last year, that were up 44% to USD 408.1 million; TV revenue in the quarter was USD 295.0 million, up 12% on a year earlier, and radio revenues were USD 76.2 million. Univision said its radio division had third quarter revenues up 17% on a consolidated basis and 11% on a same-station basis for the quarter.
For the full year, including Univision Radio, the company had revenues up 20% to USD 1.311 billion and net income available to common stockholders was up 80% to USD 155.4 million
Chairman and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio said, "We're extremely pleased with Univision Communications' fourth quarter performance and that the integration of our radio business is progressing smoothly, as expected. We look forward to capitalizing on the new growth opportunities afforded to us as a combined company, as we now have an enhanced capacity to better serve our audience and advertisers."
Univision Radio President McHenry T. Tichenor, Jr. commented, "We are excited about completing our first full quarter as a member of the Univision family. During the quarter, we experienced significant growth, with same station net revenues increasing approximately 11% while the overall radio industry declined 1%."
"Our audience levels also grew substantially during the quarter, with double-digit gains in several key markets. On a market-revenue-weighted basis, our Fall Arbitron ratings were up approximately 9% compared to the summer ratings, and approximately 10% compared to the fall of last year among Persons 12+. We believe these results reflect just the beginning benefits of joining a broad based media platform."
Univision says it expects net revenue in the first quarter to grow by high single to low double-digit percentages with earnings per share to increase 8 or 9 cents from 5 cents in the same period in 2003.
Previous Perenchio:
Previous Tichenor:
Previous Univision:

2004-02-21: For the first time a radio market has topped a billion dollars in advertising revenue in a year according to the Southern California Broadcasters' Association (SCBA) which says the Los Angeles Arbitron metro market took in USD 1.035 billion from its 58 signals in 2003.
This was up from USD 950 million in 2002 and compares with CAD 1.15 billion (USD 860 million) for the whole of Canada in its fiscal 2003.
In terms of categories, automobiles led radio ad spending followed by TV and then communications and public utilities.
Mary Beth Garber, President of the SCBA, commented, More and more advertisers have realized that they can use radio's personal connection with its listeners to promote and sell their products. Radio works."
Previous SCBA:

2004-02-21: Iowa State University's Board of Regents has unanimously approved a request by WOI-FM, State University's public radio station, to bid on bankrupt Osceola station KIIC-FM, a former country station.
The purchase of the station would deliver public radio access to around 44,000 new potential listeners in southeast and south-central Iowa according to the regents who said the cost of operations would be minimal because WOI's existing programming would be used, and Graceland University has expressed interest in helping set up a physical studio in the area.
Warren Madden, the university's vice president for business and finance said Iowa State hopes to come to a financial agreement with the bank KIIC is in debt within a few weeks but the purchase could take months.
WOI general manager Bill McGinley commented to the Iowa State Daily, "It's a long and difficult process" and added, "Having regent support and pretty strong regent support is a good start. We're obviously not done; we still have to navigate the deal."
Iowa State Daily report:

2004-02-21: As holiday channels disappeared it was back to the top for old favourite channels in Arbitron's Internet Broadcast Ratings for January just released. There was no ranking change for networks at the very top where AOL remained in the lead, despite some problems with date that reduced its numbers. In the station ranks, MUSICMATCH was again back to the lead.
The top five stations for January were (December figures in brackets):
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH (non-commercial) - TTSL 3,636,655 (2,998,150); CP 906,452 (792,786). Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin Radio (commercial) - TTSL 1,330,522 (1,209,936); CP 205,336 (167,540). Up from third with higher listening and reach.
3: K-LOVE Contemporary Christian (non-commercial) - TTSL 1,193,427 (1,007,382); CP 91,707 (93,314). Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
4: AOL Top Country (commercial) -TTSL 989,544 (827,722); CP 338,474 (327,559) Up from sixth with higher listening and reach.
5: AOL Smooth Jazz (commercial) - TTSL 966,144 (708,807); CP 338,474 (148,182). Up from ninth with higher listening and reach.
*The two channels that were absent in the December ratings replace two holiday channels - AOL Classic Holiday (commercial) - TTSL 3,206,211; CP 849,840 (378,032) and AOL Pop Holiday (commercial) - TTSL 957,766; CP 326,834.
The top five networks for January were (December figures in brackets):
1: AOL Radio Network (commercial) - TTSL 25,200,912 (26,235,642); CP 4,460,836 (4,530,338). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
2: Yahoo LAUNCH (commercial)- TTSL 15,557,585 (15,554,967); CP 2,556,017 (2,598,710). Same rank with higher listening but lower reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. (non-commercial) TTSL 9,721,080 (9,028,512); CP 1,707,493 (1,638,587). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: Adsertion (sales network) -TTSL 3,314,200 (3,027,913); CP 329,825 (312,169). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio (Commercial) - TTSL 2,283,697 (2,182,112); CP 289,806 (244,674). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
Arbitron is not now ranking content delivery networks but it does list the top two --, which had a TTSL of 11,790,004 hours, up from 10,265,588 in December, and StreamGuys with a TTSL of 2,553,872 hours, up from 2,139,438.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast monthly ratings:

2004-02-20: US broadcasters have started reacting strongly to recent tougher enforcement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its indecency rules with latest moves including the confirmation of penalties of USD 28,000 against Emmis for editions of Mancow's Morning Madhouse (See below).
At Viacom, whose Super Bowl half time show by MTV included the now notorious near baring of one of Janet Jackson's breast, Henry Moniz has been appointed to the newly created post of VP & Associate General Counsel/Compliance, in which role he will oversee the company's rules-compliance and business-ethics programs.
Viacom EVP and General Counsel Michael Fricklas commented, "Viacom's reputation for integrity is one of our most important assets. This new position reflects the emphasis of Viacom's board and senior management on enhancing our culture of honesty and ethics both through education and prompt detection."
Earlier Viacom President and COO Mel Karmazin instituted a "zero tolerance" policy at Infinity stations on content that might break FCC rules. Karmazin's warning came in a company-wide conference call to executives of all 180 Infinity radio stations. Similar warnings are reported at Disney's ABC radio division.
Infinity also issued a memo ordering stations to install delay units for censoring live calls and said when in doubt stations should leave things out.
"Any station airing programming that has any sexual or excretory content needs to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that the programming is not even arguably indecent," it said.
In Chicago Robert Feder in his Sun-Times column quoted a warning memo sent to staff by NextMedia Group: "The rules are very vague, but the FCC is starting to enforce them anyway. And they are coming down on radio stations with fines that could put a station out of business."
"You need to understand that there is not a list of words you can't say at this point, but that anything that might be on the edge could cause problems. Just don't use any word that you wouldn't say in front of your 7-year-old child. ... DO NOT even come close to the line. If you do, you WILL lose your job and you will be held accountable for any fines that result."
Feder also noted that Emmis has "vigorously challenged indecency citations in the past " but quoted Chuck DuCoty, vice president and general manager of Q-101, Mancow's home station as saying said no decision has been made on whether to appeal the fines in the latest case.
"Like every other broadcaster, we take this stuff really seriously," DuCoty said. "We monitor what we do, we're working with our talent on a daily basis, and I know the talent is responsive. We don't want to be in these positions, and we're working hard to make sure that we operate within the guidelines. We want to be good corporate citizens."
Feder also quoted Erich "Mancow" Muller himself as saying, "Imagine being fined by the government for something you did in 2001. The fact is the show has changed a lot, and I'm looking forward at this point. So much for free speech."
On Wednesday the FCC bluntly dismissed a plea by Emmis for reconsideration of a USD 21,000 penalty and also an appeal against a further USD 7,000 penalty, all for material aired on Mancow's Morning Madhouse in 2001
The first penalty was imposed in connection with material aired on March 6, 7, and May 17, 2001 and the FCC commented on Emmis's petition for that for it to succeed it had to "demonstrates a material error or omission in the underlying order or raises additional facts not known or not existing until after the petitioner's last opportunity to present such matters."
In this case it commented, Emmis " presents a number of repetitious arguments that have been thoroughly considered and rejected, and thus do not support reconsideration of our Forfeiture Order" but it conceded that it had also raised "new arguments that we have not previously addressed."
On one argument, that the material at issue was "less explicit than a parody of a Britney Spears song that the staff found not actionably indecent" it said the parody had been edited so that it was not possible for the staff "to determine what the omitted terms were or derive from the surrounding text what meaning was intended."
In contrast the Mancow material broadcast on March 6 and 7, 22001, had, it said, "no non-sexual meaning that a listener could have attributed to these terms… Consequently, the material at issue was sufficiently explicit or graphic to be deemed patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium."
Emmis also argued that the Commission has "not sufficiently articulated precisely how it determines whether particular material is patently offensive to the average broadcast listener under contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, and thus that broadcasters are unable to make informed decisions as to whether material will be found to be indecent."
Regarding this argument, the FCC however, as set forth in the Forfeiture Order, we evaluated the complained-of material based upon the Commission's indecency definition, which has been specifically upheld by federal courts.
The second case involved a USD 7,000 penalty related to the broadcast on March 12, 2001, of a song, "Smell My Finger", a tape and transcript of which was provided by the complainant. Emmis responded by saying that it did not retain tapes or transcripts of the programming involved and thus could not verify the accuracy of the transcript but argued that, even assuming the accuracy of the transcript, the program material at issue was not actionably indecent and again made a comparison to the Britney Spear's song parody.
The FCC, which published the song transcript, comments that relied the song relied "in part on innuendo, such as "lifting up her skirt," "part her legs like the Red Sea," and "God had given her a tongue."
…"To the extent that the material included sound effects and innuendo, these references were nonetheless sufficient to render the material actionably indecent because the sexual import of the sounds and terms was "unmistakable."
It added, "Emmis argues that indecency enforcement is aimed at protecting children and that the "average" child would not understand the sexual import of this material. However, the courts have held that the Commission is justified in concluding the government's interest in protecting children from exposure to indecent material extends to minors of all ages, who are defined as being under the age of 18 years. Given the explicit references and the graphic manner in which the material described sexual activity, we are confident that many, if not most, 17 year-olds would have clearly understood the sexual meaning.
The FCC has also issued a number of other penalties, this time concerning broadcast of phone conversations without the caller's consent and also an AM power offence.
The latter involved North American Broadcasting's Arizona AM, KFNX-AM, Cave Creek, which last year was fined USD 4,000 for failure to reduce transmitter output power at night as its station authorization required.
North American had sought a reduction in or cancellation of the forfeiture, based on its subsequent filing for bankruptcy, claiming that its "debts vastly exceed its assets" and that "the forfeiture will simply reduce the amount available to creditors when the bankruptcy is ultimately concluded" but did not provide necessary documentation such as tax filings and the FCC confirmed the penalty.
The phone call offences were penalties of USD 4,000 each against Saga and Cumulus.
The Saga offence related to the broadcast by WLZX-FM, Northampton, Massachusetts, of a call made by WLZX host Christopher Laursen to rival WRNX-FM host Dave Sears in which Laursen pretended to be a WRNX listener.
Laursen asked Sears whether WRNX news director and radio personality Kelsey Flynn was "hot" and if she was a "lesbo."
WRNX licensee Western Mass Radio Company had offered to forego a complaint on the broadcast of an apology, publish it in two local newspapers, and donate USD 1.000 to a charity of Flynn's choosing but Saga had not accepted this and had counter filed saying that "accommodating Western's requests that it read a written apology over the air as well as not discuss the incident on-air amounted to an attempted unauthorized transfer of control, which would have required Saga to abdicate control of "basic operating policies."
It requested a revocation of licence hearing. Western responded that to assert that its proposed settlement constituted an "attempted unauthorized transfer of control" was "hyperbolic and silly," and the settlement clearly stated that Saga had a right to decline Western's offer. The FCC seemed to agree and confirmed the penalty against Saga and threw out its request for a revocation hearing.
It commented, "The record does not indicate that Western threatened to file a complaint for its own benefit, monetary or otherwise."
"With respect to Western's request that Saga contribute to a charity of Kelsey Flynn's choice, Western appears only to have sought redress for the damage done by statements potentially impugning its employee's sexual orientation."
It then added, "Proposing that Saga broadcast a public apology five times on one day, and that Saga take steps to prevent its employee from further insulting Western's radio personality does not constitute an attempt to control the "basic operating policies of the station."
RNW comment: In this case Saga would seem to be far more unfitted to hold a broadcast license than a station committing an indecency offence. It is a pity that the FCC either could not or did not at least start proceedings about a revocation of the WLZX licence!
The Cumulus offence related to a call conversation between Dan Hockert, a Cumulus radio personality at WSEA-FM, Atlantic Beach, South Carolina, and Anne Crutchman, a receptionist for rival WSEA-FM. WSEA recorded the broadcast and the FCC concluded that Cumulus was apparently liable for a USD 4,000 penalty.
The FCC was in more generous mood however with the University of Missouri's KWMU-FM, St. Louis. It cancelled a USD 8,000 penalty proposed because the station had not reported, as required by FCC rules, in its most recent license-renewal application two discrimination claims against it (See RNW Feb 18).
Previous Cumulus:
Previous Emmis:
Previous FCC:
Previous Karmazin:
Previous "Mancow" Muller:
Previous NextMedia:
Previous Saga:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

2004-02-20: The BBC has confirmed that as rumoured last year (See RNW Oct 14, 2003), BBC Radio 1 afternoon show hosts Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley (Mark and Lard) are to move from the channel after ten years; Radcliffe will join Radio 2 later this year and Riley will move to BBC 6 Music in April.
They will be replaced in the 1300-1500 Radio 1 slot by Edith Bowman and Colin Murray, currently hosting Radio 1's weekend 10am-1pm show.
BBC Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas commented, "It's no secret that I've been talking to them for a long time and I'm delighted to have secured their talents."
"It makes perfect sense for them to move from Radio 1 to Radio 2 and 6 Music. I have been discussing this with Radio 1 Controller, Andy Parfitt, for some months now and I am pleased that BBC Radio can provide a home for such exceptional presenters."
BBC Radio 1 has been losing audience and is in the middle of a revamp that began with a switching of shows for former breakfast host Sara Cox and former drive time host Chris Moyles but latest figures show the channel's audience continuing to decline.
No announcement has yet been made as to who is to take over the Radio 1 weekend show although expectations are that the role will go to JK and Joel, the Manchester duo recently signed from Emap's Key 103 breakfast show. (See RNW Jan 17).
Previous BBC:
Previous Bowman and Murray:
Previous Douglas:
Previous Emap:
Previous JK and Joel:
Previous Mark and Lard:

2004-02-20: Australian commercial radio has made a strong start to the year with January metropolitan radio revenues in the country up around a fifth to AUD 36 million (USD 28.5 million) according to Price Waterhouse Coopers Radio Revenue performance figures released by Commercial Radio Australia.
Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) CEO Joan Warner said the figures "augur well for a stronger year for commercial radio and follow a solid performance in 2003 where revenue for the full calendar year increased by about six per cent to around AUD 485 million (USD 384 million)."
She added that the strongest growth had been in Brisbane (34%); Melbourne (25%) and Sydney (16%) and added of the overall picture, "This growth also compares well with many international markets which recorded flatter growth in radio revenue last year and are expecting 2004 to remain weak with estimates of growth at about four per cent or less, according to research by an international investment bank."
She said radio stations throughout Australia were optimistic about their prospects for this year and said, "I believe radio's reliability and cost-effectiveness will again prove its strongest assets in terms of attracting the advertising dollar in 2004."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Previous Warner:

2004-02-19: Cumulus has reported net revenues for the final quarter of last year up 5.9% to USD 74.9 million and for the full year up 11.6% to USD 282 million; Overall Cumulus turned a net loss attributable to common shareholders of USD 120 million in 2002 USD 1.44 per share before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle and USD 2.20 after it) to a profit of USD 3.1 million (5 cents a share) in 2003 whilst for the final quarter a loss of USD 1.9 million (3 cents a share) was converted into a profit of 4.9 million (5 cents a share).
EBITDA was up 12.6% for the year to USD 79.1 million and up 1.3% on the final quarter to USD 23.9 million.
Pro forma figures showed performance virtually flat for the quarter with net revenues of USD 74.25 million and for the year they increased by 0.2% to USD 284.5 million
Chairman, President and CEO Lew Dickey, commented, "Our investment in our local sales effort continued to pay off for us in the fourth quarter. We captured revenue share and performed well in a difficult revenue environment."
At the company's conference call, Dickey said he expected Cumulus to again be actively acquiring more stations and said he wanted it to be ready and "well-positioned with a conservative balance sheet" for further consolidation in US radio.
He also noted that the move that Citadel had made to Katz Media had benefited Cumulus in its relationship with Interep, which he said had been improved and was working hard to turn things round.
Interep itself has announced renewal of its relationship with Infinity in the shape of a long-term representation contract that takes effect immediately.
Interep Chairman and CEO Ralph Guild said his company was "delighted to enter into this new agreement and continue to grow our relationship for many years to come" and Infinity President and COO Joel Hollander commented: "Interep, over the years, has consistently outperformed for our radio stations with innovative and creative sales and marketing programs. We are very confident that this long-term relationship will help us continue to grow our market share and serve our customers."
Interep first represented Infinity stations in the late 1970's and in 1995, Infinity Broadcasting consolidated all of its then owned radio stations with Interep which created Infinity Radio Sales, a dedicated rep firm selling and marketing Infinity radio stations.
Infinity Radio Sales President Michael Weiss said the renewal by Infinity was "is a statement of their confidence in Infinity Radio Sales' ability to meet and surpass their aggressive national sales growth goals."
Also reporting its results has been Infinity-operated syndicator Westwood One whose 2003 revenues fell 2.1% to USD 539.2 million, a fall primarily attributed to the absence of revenues recorded in the prior year from the Company's exclusive 2002 Winter Olympic radio broadcast.
Its final quarter 2003 revenues also fell - by 2.5% to USD 146.1 million and it put this decline down to a fall in revenues from local and regional clients, partially offset by higher revenues from national clients.
Overall Westwood One ended with net income for the year down 8.3% to USD 100 million (USD.99 per basic share and USD.97 per diluted share) and fourth quarter net income down 9.9% to USD 31.1 million (USD.31 per basic and diluted share).
President and CEO Shane Coppola commented, "Despite the difficult local advertising environment in 2003, our revenues declined only 1% on a comparable basis relative to 2002 which benefited from the favourable impact of the Winter Olympics. Westwood One is well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated rebound in advertising in 2004. We continue to make strategic investments in programming, while controlling our variable costs."
For this year, Westwood One reiterated previously issued forecast of revenue growth of mid-single digits, resulting in double digit growth in operating income before depreciation and amortization and Coppola said he expected the current quarter to show the turnaround on the basis of January and February revenues, each of which was up on a year ago.
In the ratings business, Eastlan Resources has announced that it has added six more markets starting in spring this year - Dover-Milford in Delaware, Klamath Falls, and Ontario and Salem in Oregon, Monroe in Louisiana, and Ypsilanti in Michigan. Eastlan will be competing with Arbitron in Monroe but the other markets were previously unrated.
Previous Coppola:
Previous Cumulus:
Previous Dickey:
Previous Eastlan:
Previous Guild:
Previous Hollander:
Previous Interep:
Previous Viacom-CBS- Infinity:
Previous Westwood One:

2004-02-19: Australian fledgling AM network WorldAudio Group has announced that millionaire retailer and racehorse breeder Gerry Harvey has purchased ten million ordinary shares in the company at 15 cents (Australian dollar) each; it says it is to devote the net proceeds of the sale to completing the rollout, infrastructure and commercialisation of its Radio 2 national network.
News of the purchase sent the company's stock price up two thirds to 25 cents on the news, delivering Harvey an AUD 1 million (USD 797,000) paper profit.
Harvey now has 8.5 per cent of WorldAudio, the second largest shareholder behind financier Laurence Freedman with 14 per cent and ahead of chief executive Andrew Peter Thompson, who holds 7 per cent.
WorldAudio is already on the air in Sydney, where it says it is now in operational profit, and has another 15 stations round the country with hopes to double that number.
Previous WorldAudio:

2004-02-19: A Pennsylvania school radio station may soon loose its broadcasting frequency because of Radio One's purchase of Deerfield, New Jersey, station WSNJ-FM and its plans to use the frequency for a Philadelphia -area station (See RNW Feb 3).
The move means that Haverford High School's 14-watts WHHS-FM, which has been on the air for 55 years and is America's longest running high school radio station, will lose its 107.9 frequency to Radio 1 which plans a 6000-watts transmitter at Pennsauken and with a Class A licence would take precedence over Class D WHSS.
WHHS, which began as an experiment in radio electronics at Haverford High School in 1949, was moved to its current frequency by the Federal Communications Commission in 1992. It has a range of 5-10 mils (8-18km) and an audience of around 2,500 people.
One former alumnus of the station, Dave Weston, commented, "What we're giving up here is really a national treasure. Maybe that's how life is. But the voice of their tiny transmitter adds more to the world than whatever Radio One is selling."
Another alumnus is Ross Katz, who won a Golden Globe for producing the movie Lost in Translation, which was also nominated for four Oscars. Katz left WHHS in 1989 to become a DJ at WYSP-FM, making connections that led him to Hollywood.
"In high school, you're awkward and not comfortable expressing yourself," Katz commented to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "At WHHS, you were working with peers and sort of spreading your wings on the air."
The station's program director, 16-years-old Kevin Moran, told the paper, "We have a very, very, very slight chance. Ideally we'd like to find a new frequency. But we don't really know how to start the process with the FCC to get a new frequency. We don't know for sure if there's an available frequency out there."
He called Radio One corporate offices, for help and Radio One CFO Scott R. Royster said he had received a call, adding, "I didn't even know who the kid was. But actually, we'd be willing to help to whatever extent we can. Perhaps it's our knowledge of the radio spectrum and relationships or contacts at the FCC. "I'm not sure what we can do, exactly, but there may already be someone working on it."
The other option would be for the station to move to the Internet but its current system fails when more than four listeners log on.
RNW comment: If the Royster comment wasn't mere wind, and bearing in mind that the WSNJ purchase cost Radio 1 USD 35 million, the very least that Radio One could do would seem to us to be to first put its best efforts into seeing if there is a frequency the school could move to - and handle the paperwork for them. It would also be loose change for it to fund a reasonable streaming service for WHSS.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
Previous Royster:
Philadelphia Inquirer report:

2004-02-19: 2004-02-19: The latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released show MUSICMATCH retaining its hold on top station spot and AOL Radio@ Network doing the same for the top network spot. Lower down there was one change in the ratings as AOL's Lite Rock dropped back out of the top five, and AOL Top Country moved back in. Arbitron also noted that Mak Radio has joined its ratings, coming in at 14 in the network ratings.
For the week to February 1, 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 (*Non Commercial) - TTSL 940,756 (906,910); CP - 306,639 (293,680). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM (Commercial) - TTSL 314,087 (334,029); CP - 66,137 (66,708). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
3:Contemporary Christian K-LOVE (Non commercial) - TTSL 297,288 (285,575); CP 36,768 (34,776). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: Country format AOL Top Country (Commercial) -TTSL 230,716 (225,421); CP 60,159 (93,744). Up from seventh with higher listening although reach was down.
5: Smooth Jazz AOL Smooth Jazz (Commercial) - TTSL 203,924 (230,986); CP - 41,987 (55,113). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
* Soft Rock AOL Lite Rock (Commercial) fell from fourth to seventh with TTSL 190,468 (225,421); CP 41,802 (93,744).
The top five networks for the week to February 1 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network (Commercial) - TTSL - 5,350,006 (6,001,917); CP - 1,530,806 (1,573,247). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
2: LAUNCH (Commercial) TTSL - 4,094,599 (3,701,163); CP - 939,166 (894,456). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. (*Non Commercial) TTSL - 2,421,855 (2,380,394); CP - 568,761 (562,863). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network (Sales Network) TTSL - 738,109 (909,003); CP - 109,473 (125,967) - Same rank with lower listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio (Commercial) TTSL - 526,244 (569,228); CP - 93,220 (94,364) - Same rank with lower listening and reach.
Arbitron does not now rank Content Delivery Networks (CDN) alongside other networks but does report on them; for the week the top Content Delivery Networks were Live365 with TTSL 2,820,576, up from 2,789,705 and StreamGuys with TTSL 632,971, up from 619,832.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:

2004-02-18: Clear Channel is boosting its lobbying effort with the promotion of Andrew W. Levin, currently its Washington, D.C.-based senior vice president for government affairs to a new position of Executive Vice President for Law and Government Affairs and Chief Legal Officer.
Levin will relocate to the company's San Antonio headquarters and Clear Channel President and COO Mark Mays said of the move, "It is increasingly important to address corporate and public policy issues hand in hand. Bringing together Clear Channel's legal and government affairs operations will allow us to do just that."
"Andy's unique understanding of law, business and public policy makes him the ideal person to lead the company's newly integrated team."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Levin:
Previous Mark Mays:

2004-02-18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a USD 8,000 penalty proposed on the University of Missouri's KWMU-FM, St. Louis, because it had not reported, as required by FCC rules, in its most recent license-renewal application two discrimination claims against it.
KWMU had argued that that because both suits were settled in its favour they were irrelevant to the application.
The FCC says it did not think there had been "an intent to deceive" and after reconsideration felt it should rescind the penalty and also special reporting conditions imposed on the station concerning future charges or complaints of discrimination.
It rejected a petition by the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition that said the station licence should have been designated for a hearing.
The two Democrats on the commission, Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein, dissented and issued a statement in which they noted that the station "twice failed to disclose the existence of two employment discrimination complaints filed against the station even after Commission staff sent a specific letter of inquiry to the station asking it to identify any such complaints."
"Our regulatory structure," they continued, "is premised upon the assumption that applicants will provide the Commission with truthful and accurate information, without misrepresentation or omission. This is a straightforward matter of a licensee failing to respond truthfully to the Commission on not one but two occasions."
Previous Adelstein:
Previous Copps:
Previous FCC:

2004-02-18: The Stanley Foundation has announced that production of the US public radio weekly one-hour World Affairs programme Common Ground, which was launched in 1980 and was the first program distributed by the Public Radio Satellite System is to end on April 30th.
The foundation has also announced that it is to close World Press Review, the New York-based monthly magazine of international affairs it has published for 30 years after its May 2004 issue.
The radio programme is carried on more than 250 radio stations in the United States and Canada -- it is distributed free to non-commercial stations and has the largest public radio network list of any independently produced series on world affairs-- and is being ended because of "a larger strategic and operational adjustment within the Stanley Foundation" according to the organization.
Its vice president and director of programs Jeffrey G. Martin, said, "Closing down Common Ground was a tough decision because the content and carriage are both first-rate."
Keith Porter, executive radio producer for the Stanley Foundation, said, "We are proud of the terrific public service Common Ground has provided since it was launched in 1980... We deeply appreciate the stations that carried Common Ground, the many independent producers who contributed to the program, and the hundreds of newsmakers who were interviewed and profiled on the program."
He added, "As the world has changed, the foundation realized it was important to use resources in the most effective ways possible."
The programme is produced in the foundation's home town of Muscatine, Iowa, and the Muscatine Journal quoted Tom Bhremer, Program Director of KWPC-AM, Muscatine, one several commercial stations that carries Common Ground, as saying he was "sorry to see it go. It's a quality program produced locally."
Dennis Reese, Program Director of public station WSUI-AM, Iowa City, which has been carrying Common Ground since it started, said he was "shocked and disappointed" at the decision adding, It's one of the best independent programs I've ever heard in the last 25 to 30 years. It featured outstanding guests discussing critically important issues."
"I don't understand why it's being dropped ... and I suspect many of our listeners are going to be wondering why and won't be happy about it."
"I think the NPR (National Public Radio) system needs more programming like this, especially given recent international events."
Muscatine Journal report:
Stanley Foundation news release:

2004-02-18: The UK media regulator Ofcom has launched another consultation document, this time on Community Radio, which was given the go-ahead in the British government's Communications Bill.
Ofcom is asking for views on how it should institute licensing of small not-for-profit stations designed to serve local audiences in both rural and urban areas.
As well as the question of licensing, Ofcom is asking for views concerning frequency availability - typically using frequencies that are not viable for commercial services, the regulation of licensees and the impact on commercial stations.
The new community stations are expected to be funded by a combination of government grants plus advertising and sponsorship and Ofcom suggests it could set a limit on the share of a station's income that could come from the latter two sources.
The UK Commercial Radio Stations Association (CRCA), the commercial radio industry body has expressed opposition to allowing such stations to take advertising revenues saying this could damage existing commercial stations. It wants funding to be from other sources and takes the view that all advertising-funded stations should be regulated in the same manner.
Britain already has 15 community stations in operation under a pilot scheme launched by Ofcom's predecessor, the Radio Authority.
Previous CRCA:
Previous Ofcom:
Ofcom consultation document (782 Kb, 34-page, PDF):

2004-02-18: Disney-ABC owned Chicago WLS-AM says it is going to have to change the name of its "The Roe Conn & Garry Meier Show" after today to the "The Roe Conn Show" should it not reach agreement with Garry Meier about a new contract.
Meier's current contract ends today and WLS says it has to change the name once this has happened because it then has no rights to use his name or likeness.
Meier has been off air since Jan 12 since when Conn has been hosting the show on his own but Robert Feder reports in his Chicago Sun-Times column that president and general manager Zemira Jones says his name will be back if a new agreement is reached.
Feder also reports that Conn, who's under contract to WLS until June 15, has said he plans to keep his partnership with Meier intact -- whether at WLS or elsewhere.
Previous Conn:
Previous Disney:
Previous Feder:
Previous Jones:
Previous Meier:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder:

2004-02-18: US satellite radio is looking to target the business market as well as individuals according to a report in the New York Times which notes that Sirius has taken the lead so far in pushing for business in this area but says both it and rival XM, which will be attending its first trade show aimed at the business market next month, are beginning to gear up for the business market.
The Times cites the case of the New Yorker Hotel whose recently appointed resident manager opted to take a service from Sirius at USD 24.95 a month with no long-term commitments for music in the hotel lobby rather than one costing USD 80 from Muzak, which had supplied the hotel where he previously worked but which wanted USD 80 a month and a five-year commitment.
South Carolina-based Muzak, which now serves 350,000 business locations - roughly 60 percent of the market, has lost money in recent years because of its debt and the impact of acquisitions but says its churn rate - customers who cancel or fail to renew services - has fallen for two years running and that it expects revenues to grow 7%-8% this year to some USD 230 million.
Muzak played down the threat, saying it has personnel calling on businesses and trained to help them figure out how and what music would help them and can also program messages into a client's service, such as announcements about a special deal.
It received backing for its view from Adam B. Brotman, the founder and chief executive of PlayNetwork, a small competitor to Muzak, who said he thought that XM and Sirius would simply expand the market rather than steal business from existing business music specialists.
Others however think there is a degree of competition: Walter Kerner, senior director for special and commercial markets at Sirius, said that Applied Media Technologies, which is the first distributor to focus on the business market for Sirius, is getting about half of its contracts from customers that already had some sort of paid music service, said.
The rest are coming from businesses that had gone without music, played their own tapes and CD's, or relied on commercial radio stations.
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM:
New York Times report:

2004-02-18: UK Emap starts a one-month trial broadcast of its Kerrang! classic and contemporary rock format on FM in Manchester today in preparation for the release of further UK FM licences - the regulator Ofcom has said at least 35 new FM licences will be released (See RNW Feb 7) - and says it is keen to use RSLs (restricted service licences) to trial the Kerrang! format across the country in preparation for further licence tenders.
Kerrang was the winner in the bid for the new West Midlands regional FM in October last year against competition from ten other applicants (See RNW Oct 3, 2003)
Emap Performance's director of development Shaun Gregory commented, "Kerrang! proved to be the winning formula for the West Midlands licence and we are confident that there is an appetite for Kerrang! across the country."
"We see the use of RSLs (restricted service licences) around the country as an excellent way of trialing our formats and is a statement of intent that we will be pursuing new FM licences when they are advertised."
Previous Emap:
Previous Ofcom:

2004-02-17: Clear Channel has again come under attack over its hold on US radio and policies on local talent, programming and political content, this time in a Cornell University report commissioned by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
In a news release concerning the report, AFL-CIO Professional Employees president Paul Almeida comments, "Clear Channel is the poster child for what's wrong with media consolidation and the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) continued deregulation of this industry."
The AFL-CIO also says, "Clear Channel's political connections and actions also are troubling. The report cites more than $50,000 in contributions from Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays to George W. Bush's gubernatorial campaign in 1998 and more than $1 million in contributions by Clear Channel to Republican candidates between 2000 and 2002. At the same time, media watchdog groups say some Clear Channel stations have refused to air ads paid for by the Democratic National Committee."
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) President John Connolly comments, "Media ownership consolidation has resulted in fewer diverse perspectives in the news," says. "The airwaves are a public resource, held in trust by our government, and broadcasters must be required to serve the local communities in which they broadcast in exchange for access to the airwaves. Local communities are not well served by skyrocketing advertising rates, voice-tracked entertainment and fewer sources of local news."
The 80-page report examines how the company has come under attack from a diverse array of organizations on these matters. Its executive summary says the report "examines the impact that Clear Channel, with its dominant positions in radio, live entertainment and outdoor advertising, has had on the industry in general and workers in particular" and says that the company is "notable in that, for many, it exemplifies a number of the detrimental effects that media ownership concentration can have on workers and society as a whole."
It also comments that, although political activity has not been significant for Clear Channel for most of its history, over the past three years it has created a "formidable lobbying operation" primarily with the Republicans and that "man labor leaders believe that the company's record of supporting conservative viewpoints is part of a deliberate corporate strategy to curry favour with conservative decision-makers in Washington, D.C."
In a statement Clear Channel said of the report: "On initial review, this national labor union report does nothing more than continue to propagate half-truths and myths about our company. There is one thing in the report that is true -- we have built a topflight entertainment company and are proud to stand alongside our broadcast brethren like Viacom, Disney, News Corp. and others."
It also commented of localism in another statement to the San Antonio Business Journal, "We embrace the spirit of locally driven programming, community service and support for local artists. We believe that by engaging the people of San Antonio, the FCC will find that our company's commitment to localism is second to none."
RNW comment: Although the report is a useful document on Clear Channel it does not reveal anything particularly new and in some cases seems to repeat some accusations that in our view Clear Channel has responded to in a reasonable manner.
We share many of the concerns about the company but think they are best dealt with by being very rigorous in ensuring that criticism made is irrefutable as far as possible.

Previous AFTRA:
Previous Clear Channel:
AFL-CIO - Cornell University report (600 Kb PDF):
AFL-CIO news release:

San Antonio Business Journal report:
2004-02-17: While all the attention concerning broadcast indecency and obscenity in the US has been focussed on mainstream English language media the growth of Spanish-language media has lead to replication of some of the same pattern in its output.
The Miami Herald in a report notes that Janet Jackson's bared breast during the Super Bowl half time show led to "raunchy jokes" about her "teta desnuda" and says, "More and more, Spanish-language radio, once considered a tame alternative to its English counterpart, is getting known for shows with language and jokes racy enough to make Howard Stern blush."
"Last week, for example," it continues, "the most popular Spanish-language radio show among young people in South Florida, "El Vacilon de la Manana" on WXDJ-FM, broadcast the voices of a masturbating priest and a pot-smoking welfare recipient. In another of their pranks, they called Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide's office, and when they couldn't get through, called his secretary gay.
"A competing show, "El Mikimbin de Miami" on WRTO-FM, quipped about bare bottoms and chastity belts."
The paper says the growth of such broadcasts has led to of complaints from Hispanic leaders, programming watchdogs and politicians but poses a problem for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), only one of its 20 enforcement bureau members speaks Spanish; as a result when complaints about Spanish radio come in, they are farmed out to a private company that turns the tapes into English transcripts, which are then reviewed by FCC staff.
The paper notes that since November 1999 the FCC has proposed fines totalling USD 1,377,500 on 21 English-language radio stations for indecency or obscenity offences but only USD 77,400 in penalties against five Spanish-language stations.
Raul Yzaguirre, president of the Washington-based National Council of La Raza told the paper, "The standard by which we judge radio has been shattered. The level of acrimony that is there, the crude language, it's inappropriate for public hearing. Spanish-language radio is raunchier than English. And there is no accountability whatsoever."
Critics say using English transcripts makes it difficult for the FCC to determine if a program is actually indecent since the vulgarity of many Spanish words can be lost in translation and U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Lauderhil)l, a member of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet told the paper, "In terms of English- and Spanish-language broadcast, there is a clear discrepancy on how much scrutiny the indecency problem is given."
The Herald also notes that federal law concerning broadcasts says a program is obscene if it is offensive beyond "community standards" and that this could cause a lack of clarity because of the many origins of Hispanic speakers.
Miguel Centeno, director of Princeton University's Institute of International and Regional Studies said of this, "Some of the vulgar words for private parts in one country are innocuous in another. Take the verb coger. Say that in Cuba, and it's fine. Say it in Argentina, and people will look at you like you've just committed murder."
Station hosts also say cultural misunderstandings, rather than an intention on their part to offend, that cause much of the problem.
"We wouldn't say anything on the air that we wouldn't say in front of our mothers," said Enrique Santos, co-host of El Vacilon (The Joker), but he added that he felt less regulatory pressure because the show was in Spanish.
In Houston, talk station KSEV-AM general manager and afternoon drive host Dan Patrick, who previously said his comments concerning TV comedian Bill Maher's comments on the bravery of the 9/11 attackers was a significant factor in the campaign that led to the show's cancellation, is now trying to take on MTV following the baring of Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl half time show.
He's using his show and the station web site to launch a campaign to get Houston cable subscribers to "STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK AGAINST MTV (his capitals)" by blocking the channel from their remote controls and by getting cable companies to remove it from their basic package.
Patrick had also called for parents to delete the channel but then woke up to the fact that this was not necessarily technically possible so changes his advice to "be sure your set has either a V-chip or a lock to remove MTV."
RNW comment: KSEV's site promotes it as "Houston's original Opinion Central intelligent, issue-oriented talk shows like: Dan Patrick, Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly..." Bearing in mind the technical knowledge of many parents compared to that of their offspring, we'd suggest Mr Patrick lacks a few basics to make intelligent comments on how to achieve his aims on this particular issue. We'd give heavy odds that apart from publicity for him his campaign won't affect the availability of MTV to any significant degree.
Previous FCC:
KSEV web site:
Miami Herald report:

2004-02-17: DMG Australia, whose Nova network has proved a strong competitor to sector leader Austereo, reported a net loss of AUD 15.3 million (USD 12.1 million) for the financial year to the end of September last year, down 37% from AUD 24.3 million (USD 19.2 million) in the previous year.
Revenues were up 13% to AUD101.7 million (USD 80.3 million) and DMG says it is trading above expectations so far in the current financial year.
Since moving into the country in 1996 DMG Australia's UK parent has now invested some AUD 500 million (USD 395 million) on its Australian operations and lost AUD 84 million (USD 66 million) but the Australian company says its operations are performing well.
It puts down most of the losses to amortization of the costs of its licences - AUD 24.3 million (USD 19.2 million) in the latest accounts - including involvement in a record bid of AUD 155 million (USD 122 million) in 2000 for the new Sydney FM licence followed by bids of AUD 70 million ( USD 55 million) the same year for the new Melbourne FM licence and USD 67 million (USD 53 million) in 2001 for the new Brisbane FM licence.
It says it intends to bid for new FM licences that are to be auctioned for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne later this year.
Previous DMG:

2004-02-17: A ruling by Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott may be bad news for conservative US talk host Rush Limbaugh, engaged in a battle with Palm Beach attorneys in Florida concerning his medical records.
Abbot has ruled that the state's public-information law takes precedence over federal medical privacy law meaning that the media and public will have access to public information that some hospitals have refused to release under the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The decision rose out of a dispute in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and officials in the area.
In Florida, Limbaugh is fighting to keep his medical records, sought by the attorney's in connections with allegations that he had been involved in "doctor hopping" - illegally gaining prescriptions from more than one doctor without making each available of other prescriptions. The charges related to Limbaugh's addiction to pain killers such as Oxycontin for which he has taken treatment.
Previous Limbaugh:

2004-02-16: As US lawmakers get into a tizz over the Super Bowl half-time show with likely knock-on effects in terms of penalties on any broadcaster for indecency or obscenity breaches the issues it raises, from the technical ones of delay systems to the consideration of what should be penalized and how seriously, have been triggering comment from the serious to the humorous.
There was also a historical note from Paul Farhi in the Washington Post.
In an article "We've Built Shock Into the Culture" he noted amongst other things… "The lesson here is that it's possible at times to maintain "standards," but only in a static and arthritic marketplace…
The same story has played out on FM radio over the past 20 years."
"'Indecent' programming, the kind purveyed by the likes of Howard Stern and the Greaseman, had been an infrequent problem when the FM band was sparsely populated. Music, not talk, was FM's chief selling point. But starting in the 1980s, as the FCC began expanding the number of FM licenses, a new, raunchier sound began to emerge."
"In 1984 and '85 alone, the FCC authorized slots for more than 600 new FM stations. The result: intensified competition, the perfect conditions for a new generation of envelope-pushing personalities known as 'shock' jocks."
In the serious category came comment from Bill Virgin in his Radio Beat column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Virgin characterized the views on indecency regulation as divided between the "regulationists vs. the libertarians."
The former he says take the view that in the context of their use of public airwaves broadcasters should be expected to follow guidelines on indecency and have proven themselves incapable of self-regulation.
The latter, one the other hand, he says take the view that no one is "forcing people to listen to or watch programs they don't like; they can turn the dial, or turn it off."
Art Buchwald, whose column we noted in the Washington Post, doesn't take things that seriously and concludes his column with a reference to the FCC staff decision absolving NBC of an offence during the Golden Globe awards, "Remember, if you use the "F" word, only use it as an adjective, never a verb."
Also unable to take the matter too seriously, or comments by sports host Don Cherry that have led the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to introduce a tape-delay into his broadcasts was a documentary producer Gerry Flahive who produced a mock memo from the Canadian regulator in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Headed "FROM: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Department of Not Broadcasting Certain Things and/or Statements" it goes on to say that it has been brought to the regulators attention that "some members of the Canadian television broadcast community, including program executives, lawyers, trigger-happy control-room switch operators, ombudspeople, and in-house linguists would benefit from some guidance about just how to respond when an on-air personality reveals hitherto unrevealed body parts, talks about certain popular but shameful body parts, uses body parts as metaphors when making disparaging comments about others, or openly questions, in a manner not in keeping with the spirit of Confederation, why some athletes are unwilling to have certain of their body parts punctured or crushed."
Among the points in his mock FAQ Flahive writes,
Q: Why is the broadcast delay seven seconds long?
A: Spurred by the Peter Mansbridge/frog dissection incident of 1999, the CRTC undertook a comprehensive study of the optimum time needed for broadcast watchdogs and executives to discern offensive or disturbing program content, and to determine that it is sufficiently offensive to require a massive, live, electromagnetic, punitive and defensive response. Working with experts from many fields, including neuroscience, optometry, slander and sadomasochism, we determined that seven seconds was a sufficient period of time in which an average-sized adult broadcast technician could respond to anything from a Latvian curse word to an arousing knee gesture, and insert in its place a blank card or soothing photo of a puppy.
Q: I'm confused. If it's not okay to show exposed nipples or to present the anti-Swedish views of hockey commentators, why is it okay to do so when reporting the news about them?
A: See: Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media
US radio station standards of taste also came under fire over a totally different matter in California last week where San Francisco Chronicle writer Michael Jackson reported on a stunt by Clear Channel's talk station KNEW-AM. This is to put up billboards arranging a vote by calling a toll-free number concerning the guilt or innocence of Scott Peterson, who is facing charges of murdering his pregnant wife.
Both the billboards and a docudrama broadcast to be aired on cable TV before the trial would in the UK count as contempt of court and at one time could have led to jail for some of those involved (not likely, as the potential penalties would almost certainly have prevented the actions); in California they have at least raised some questions concerning the possibility that the search for an unbiased jury could be tainted and also as to whether voluntary self-regulation by broadcasters works effectively.
Two KNEW billboards near a freeway showed a photo of Peterson in jail uniform with the legend: "Man or Monster?" and asked listeners to call with a vote; a third was put on a flatbed truck parked outside the courthouse but after complaints from Peterson's attorney the judge hearing the case ordered that the truck be moved.
Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C., commented, "In terms of taste and decency, this is over the line. It's grotesque."
"There's a presumption of innocence in this country, legally and morally, '' Rosenstiel said. "One of the reasons the public has come to increasingly disbelieve and distrust the media is precisely because they believe we exploit the news for profit. This is clear in survey after survey. So there's every reason to think this will just add to the sense that we don't operate in the public interest."
Clear Channel Radio vice president and market manager Joe Cunningham said the station put up the billboards because "we are just interested in how listeners and the local community are relating to the story, and we are reporting on those facts." He added that the station was "not voicing an opinion on Scott Peterson's guilt or innocence" but was simply "inviting people to talk and share their opinions."
Legal academics spoken to by the paper said the action was certainly not illegal and was a matter of "free speech "as did Jim Naughton, the recently retired president of the Poynter Institute, a St. Petersburg, Fla., school that teaches skills and ethics to professional journalists.
He didn't approve of the station's actions however, adding, "It's crass and commercial and, I would say, inappropriate. ... It's in very bad taste, and it pretends that a telephone call-in poll has any scientific validity, which it does not. It's obviously designed to draw attention to the radio station. I would say, shame on them."
In the UK too radio came under attack but from a totally different direction in Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times. It wasn't however for ay sins of commission so much as one of omission - in this case allowing the Digital One's national digital radio channel used by Bloomberg business news until the plug was pulled on it (RNW ) to lie fallow.
"This is a serious waste of a scarce resource," writes Donovan, "and does little for the reputation of digital radio, which has now been dented further by the near collapse of the award-winning talking-books station Oneword, whose future after next week is uncertain."
The channel currently broadcasts a 25-minute loop of birdsong recorded by Quentin Howard, then chief engineer for Classic FM, and now the chief executive of Digital One, who says that any spare capacity is going to be used in future for what he calls the "holy grail of data delivery".
Donovan then promotes the call by former children's TV presenter Susan Stranks, who owns - and subsidizes - the children's Abracadabra radio service in London, for the national channel to be used for a children's radio service.
Donovan comments, "She has a fight on her hands. Let's hope she wins" - we rather suspect the only way she will is if the regulator is convinced enough to tall GWR, which owns the channel, that it will lose the licence completely if it doesn't put a radio service on it.
After which suggestions again for listening next week including programmes still available from last week on station web sites.
From BBC Radio 4 they include Thinking Allowed in which academic Laurie Taylor considers the economic effects on the US economy of the country's credit card boom. Also from the channel as usual are the 18:30 GMT comedy programmes particularly Absolute Power on Thursday and The Best of Dead Ringers on Friday.
Tomorrow Radio Four at 09:30 GMT has the fourth of five (the third is still on the website today)
Subterranean Stories, this one looking at a formerly secret nuclear bunker in Essex, one of 12 "regional seats of government" from which the country was supposed to be run after a nuclear strike. At 11:00 GMT the channel has the third and final edition of "out of Print", the history of Fleet Street, which was once the home of Britain's national newspapers.
As US lawmakers get into a tizz over the Super Bowl half-time show with likely knock-on effects in terms of penalties on any broadcaster for indecency or obscenity breaches the issues it raises, from the technical ones of delay systems to the consideration of what should be penalized and how seriously, have been triggering comment from the serious to the humorous.
There was also a historical note from Paul Farhi in the Washington Post. In an article "We've Built Shock Into the Culture" he noted amongst other things… "The lesson here is that it's possible at times to maintain "standards," but only in a static and arthritic marketplace…
The same story has played out on FM radio over the past 20 years."
"'Indecent' programming, the kind purveyed by the likes of Howard Stern and the Greaseman, had been an infrequent problem when the FM band was sparsely populated. Music, not talk, was FM's chief selling point. But starting in the 1980s, as the FCC began expanding the number of FM licenses, a new, raunchier sound began to emerge. In 1984 and '85 alone, the FCC authorized slots for more than 600 new FM stations. The result: intensified competition, the perfect conditions for a new generation of envelope-pushing personalities known as 'shock' jocks."
In the humorous category came comment from Bill Virgin in his Radio Beat column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Virgin characterized the views on indecency regulation as divided between the "regulationists vs. the libertarians."
The former he says take the view that in the context of their use of public airwaves broadcasters should be expected to follow guidelines on indecency and have proven themselves incapable of self-regulation.
The latter, one the other hand, he says take the view that no one is "forcing people to listen to or watch programs they don't like; they can turn the dial, or turn it off."
Art Buchwald, whose column we noted in the Washington Post, doesn't take things that seriously and concludes his column with a reference to the FCC staff decision absolving NBC of an offence during the Golden Globe awards, "Remember, if you use the "F" word, only use it as an adjective, never a verb."
Also unable to take the matter too seriously, or comments by sports host Don Cherry that have led the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to introduce a tape-delay into his broadcasts was a documentary producer Gerry Flahive who produced a mock memo from the Canadian regulator in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Headed "FROM: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Department of Not Broadcasting Certain Things and/or Statements" it goes on to say that it has been brought to the regulators attention that "some members of the Canadian television broadcast community, including program executives, lawyers, trigger-happy control-room switch operators, ombudspeople, and in-house linguists would benefit from some guidance about just how to respond when an on-air personality reveals hitherto unrevealed body parts, talks about certain popular but shameful body parts, uses body parts as metaphors when making disparaging comments about others, or openly questions, in a manner not in keeping with the spirit of Confederation, why some athletes are unwilling to have certain of their body parts punctured or crushed."
Among the points in his mock FAQ Flahive writes,
Q: Why is the broadcast delay seven seconds long?
A: Spurred by the Peter Mansbridge/frog dissection incident of 1999, the CRTC undertook a comprehensive study of the optimum time needed for broadcast watchdogs and executives to discern offensive or disturbing program content, and to determine that it is sufficiently offensive to require a massive, live, electromagnetic, punitive and defensive response. Working with experts from many fields, including neuroscience, optometry, slander and sadomasochism, we determined that seven seconds was a sufficient period of time in which an average-sized adult broadcast technician could respond to anything from a Latvian curse word to an arousing knee gesture, and insert in its place a blank card or soothing photo of a puppy.
Q: I'm confused. If it's not okay to show exposed nipples or to present the anti-Swedish views of hockey commentators, why is it okay to do so when reporting the news about them?
A: See: Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media
US radio station standards of taste also came under fire over a totally different matter in California last week where San Francisco Chronicle writer Michael Jackson reported on a stunt by Clear Channel's talk station KNEW-AM. This is to put up billboards arranging a vote by calling a toll-free number concerning the guilt or innocence of Scott Peterson, who is facing charges of murdering his pregnant wife.
Both the billboards and a docudrama broadcast to be aired on cable TV before the trial would in the UK count as contempt of court and at one time could have led to jail for some of those involved (not likely, as the potential penalties would almost certainly have prevented the actions); in California they have at least raised some questions concerning the possibility that the search for an unbiased jury could be tainted and also as to whether voluntary self-regulation by broadcasters works effectively.
Two KNEW billboards near a freeway showed a photo of Peterson in jail uniform with the legend: "Man or Monster?" and asked listeners to call with a vote; a third was put on a flatbed truck parked outside the courthouse but after complaints from Peterson's attorney the judge hearing the case ordered that the truck be moved.
Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C., commented, "In terms of taste and decency, this is over the line. It's grotesque."
"There's a presumption of innocence in this country, legally and morally, '' Rosenstiel said. "One of the reasons the public has come to increasingly disbelieve and distrust the media is precisely because they believe we exploit the news for profit. This is clear in survey after survey. So there's every reason to think this will just add to the sense that we don't operate in the public interest."
Clear Channel Radio vice president and market manager Joe Cunningham said the station put up the billboards because "we are just interested in how listeners and the local community are relating to the story, and we are reporting on those facts." He added that the station was "not voicing an opinion on Scott Peterson's guilt or innocence" but was simply "inviting people to talk and share their opinions."
Legal academics spoken to by the paper said the action was certainly not illegal and was a matter of "free speech "as did Jim Naughton, the recently retired president of the Poynter Institute, a St. Petersburg, Fla., school that teaches skills and ethics to professional journalists.
He didn't approve of the station's actions however, adding, "It's crass and commercial and, I would say, inappropriate. ... It's in very bad taste, and it pretends that a telephone call-in poll has any scientific validity, which it does not. It's obviously designed to draw attention to the radio station. I would say, shame on them."
In the UK too radio came under attack but from a totally different direction in Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times.
It wasn't however for any sins of commission so much as one of omission - in this case allowing the Digital One's national digital radio channel used by Bloomberg business news until the plug was pulled on it to lie fallow.
"This is a serious waste of a scarce resource," writes Donovan, "and does little for the reputation of digital radio, which has now been dented further by the near collapse of the award-winning talking-books station Oneword, whose future after next week is uncertain."
The channel currently broadcasts a 25-minute loop of birdsong recorded by Quentin Howard, then chief engineer for Classic FM, and now the chief executive of Digital One, who says that any spare capacity is going to be used in future for what he calls the "holy grail of data delivery".
Donovan then promotes the call by former children's TV presenter Susan Stranks, who owns - and subsidizes - the children's Abracadabra radio service in London, for the national channel to be used for a children's radio service.
Donovan comments, "She has a fight on her hands. Let's hope she wins" - we rather suspect the only way she will is if the regulator is convinced enough to tall GWR, which owns the channel, that it will lose the licence completely if it doesn't put a radio service on it.
After which suggestions again for listening next week including programmes still available from last week on station web sites.
From BBC Radio 4 they include Thinking Allowed in which academic Laurie Taylor considers the economic effects on the US economy of the country's credit card boom. Also from the channel as usual are the 18:30 GMT comedy programmes particularly Absolute Power on Thursday and The Best of Dead Ringers on Friday.
Tomorrow Radio Four at 09:30 GMT has the fourth of five (the third is still on the website today) Subterranean Stories, this one looking at a formerly secret nuclear bunker in Essex, one of 12 "regional seats of government" from which the country was supposed to be run after a nuclear strike.
At 11:00 GMT that day the channel also has the third and final edition of "Out of Print", the history of Fleet Street, which was once the home of Britain's national newspapers.
Previous Columnists:
Previous Donovan:
San Francisco Chronicle - Taylor:
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Virgin:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Flahive:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Buchwald:
Washington Post - Farhi

Next column:

2004-02-16: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) board is to meet on Thursday to ratify a recommendation that Leon Byner, the morning host of Adelaide 5AA, should be investigated over cash-for-comment allegations (See RNW Feb 14).
The Adelaide Advertiser reported that Byner had offered his media expertise for a fee but not publicly disclosed this as is required by ABA standards.
Byner was suspended by his station, which carried out an internal inquiry and this was given to the ABA at the end of last week. He will remain suspended on full pay until the ABA completes its enquiry which ABA chairman Prof. David Flint says isn't expected to be "very long."
Previous ABA:
Previous Byner:
Previous Flint:

2004-02-16: Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has announced that Christopher Lydon, former host of Boston public station WBUR-FM's "The Connection", is to be guest host of its daily call-in programme Midmorning until March 5.
The show was hosted by Katherine Lanpher who left to joint the planned new US liberal talk network (See RNW Jan 21)and for whom MPR is currently seeking a permanent replacement:
Previous Lanpher:
Previous Lydon:
Previous MPR:

2004-02-15: Likely toughening of US regulation concerning indecency and obscenity on the airwaves about which we have already reported (See below - and also our February comment) was the main topic of interest in the US last week but elsewhere there was a routine flow of activity.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has become involved in an investigation of another talk host, this time in Adelaide, in terms of possible cash-for-comment regulations' breaches (See RNW Feb 14).
It has also announced decisions to create two new community services, consult on adding a third, and amend two commercial licences.
The new community services are for new services in Coober Pedy, the "Opal Capital of the World", and Roxby Downs -founded on a mine for copper, uranium oxide, gold and silver - in Southern Australia, and also an additional community radio service in Kingaroy, Queensland.
Existing temporary community licence services Dusty Radio and 5Rox Community Radio, which have already been broadcasting under temporary licences, have expressed interest in providing services for Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs respectively.
In addition the ABA is seeking comment on providing an additional community licence in the in the Kingaroy area of Queensland.
There the Yarraman and District Historical Society Inc (YDHS), which has been operating on a temporary community broadcasting licence, has expressed interest in obtaining a permanent community radio licence to serve the town of Yarraman.
The commercial radio decisions are in New South Wales relating to changes for the translator services of 2LFF, Young, in Cowra and Cootamundra, and in Tasmania where additional FM capacity is to be made available in the Burnie area to allow 7SEA to deal with a radio black spot in Smithton/Stanley.
Canada was quiet with one licence renewal by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that of the English-language radio network originating from CKOR-AM, Penticton, British Columbia.
The CRTC has also seen the withdrawal by Astral Media and the prospective purchases of an application to transfer the licences of eight of its stations in Quebec whose sale has fallen through (See RNW Feb 14 )
There was nothing on radio from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom is again in consultation mode with request for comment on its licensing fees and plans to set aside additional spectrum for use in special activities such as by officials during sporting events, simultaneous transmissions in different languages at large conferences and so on.
Currently this capacity has been provided through the regulator's Restricted Service Licences regime and Ofcom is proposing to make available additional spectrum for an experimental period of a year.
The consultation document on fees sets down the principles under which Ofcom proposes to determine them but gives no details of the amounts involved.
It says it plans to allocate costs to activities under the groupings distinct projects, programmes and processes and notes that the Communications Act then requires it to divide costs and activities in the areas of Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Spectrum Management and other activities not funded by licence and administration fees or spectrum management grant.
Ofcom proposes to set tariffs as a percentage of Relevant Turnover for each Regulatory Sector or Tier within the sector and proposes transitional l arrangements that set an upper limit on the percentage increase in licence fees.
The process for determining spectrum licence fees in accordance with the Wireless Telegraphy Act is unchanged by the proposals.
In the US, as well as matters of indecency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) new ownership regulations were also back in the public eye as the appeals court in Philadelphia started its hearings on whether the planned changes were legally permissible (See RNW Feb 12).
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2004-02-15: A "three-strikes" amendment under which a broadcaster fined three times or more for indecency offences would face possible licence revocation has been introduced to the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 by Maryland Democrat Congressman Albert Wynn.
The amendment, and another by Florida Republican Cliff Stearns that would significantly increase penalties that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could levy against non-licensees - such as artists - involved in cases where a penalty might be proposed them, have not been added to the bill since House Telecommunications Subcommittee members agreed to wait until the measure reaches the full Commerce committee before voting on any amendments that were proposed.
Other proposals that have been made include ones that would require stations to archive material for 180 days as evidence and another that offending stations should have to run public service advertisements to atone for their offences.
The House has voted in favour of a proposal to increase fines on broadcasters guilty of indecency or obscenity offences ten fold to a maximum USD 275,000 per offence.
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2004-02-15: UK UBC Media's Unique Interactive division, which last week announced a text service agreement with the BBC for local radio stations (See RNW Feb 12) has now announced licensing deals for its ManDLS system with UK Emap and a consortium of Australian broadcasters.
The system, which is web-based, allows audio service companies to monitor and update DLS text messages for information such as song and artist information, SMS text messages, and promotions on radio displays.
It will be used by Emap to provide text for its eight digital radio services on the UK Freeview digital platform and by Digital Radio Broadcasting Australia Pty Ltd to provide text on 12 digital audio services currently being broadcast in trials in Sydney.
UBC Chief Executive Simon Cole said, "Digital radio is about providing content to listeners, whatever digital platform they listen on. The flexibility of ManDLS enables broadcasters to cost-effectively deliver targeted interactive content across multiple platforms."
"The UK is currently leading the world in DAB take up but other countries are not far behind and it is great to be able to export our services into these expanding markets."
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2004-02-15: The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago is to hold its first "garage sale" and auction on March 6 when it sells of broadcasting memorabilia to raise funds towards its move to a new home.
The museum is trying to raise USD 15 million for the move and is currently closed with re-opening planned in the new home late in 2005.
As well as needing funds for the move, it is also having a clear out, deciding what should be retained and what can be sold. Being kept are such items as a complete set of scripts of the "Fibber McGee and Molly" radio show, starring Jim and Marian Jordan and graphics from the set of the Little Orphan Annie radio show.
Going and amongst items for sale highlighted on the Museum web site are an autographed Michael Jordan jersey, an "ABC Wide World of Sports" sign from the film "ALI" and large wall graphics of broadcasting legends, one featuring Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy & Red Skelton and another showing Paul Harvey and Fibber McGee & Molly.
Museum members gain one advantage from their membership - they will be allowed into the sale at 10 M, two hours ahead of the general public.
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List of items on sale (73 KB PDF 20 pages):

2004-02-14: Entravision has reported final quarter 2003 revenues up 7% to USD 61.1 million and full year revenues up 9% to USD237.9 million with corresponding EBITDA figures up 8% to USD16.7 million and up17% to USD 66.6 million.
In divisional terms, Entravision's radio stations increased revenues in the final quarter by 15% to USD 22.3 million with radio Broadcast Cash Flow up 10% to USD 7.4 million.
Overall Entravision had a final quarter loss of USD 1.27 million (5 cents a share) compared to USD 1.92 million ( 4 cents a share because it now has few shares on the market) with a full year profit of USD 2.27 million compared to a loss in 2002, not comparable because of various factors, of USD 10.65 million).
Commenting on the Company's results, Chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa, said, "In 2003, we recorded strong revenue growth that significantly outperformed the broadcasting industry as a whole. The exceptional performance of our television and radio stations, which represent over 80% of our total revenues, highlights our leadership position in the nation's most densely populated Hispanic markets."
"As we grow ratings and revenue, we have also continued to make notable progress in reducing our operating expenses... we significantly reduced our year end debt leverage through EBITDA growth, free cash flow and the divestiture of a non-core asset."
Looking ahead, Ulloa said, "In 2004, we are focused on strengthening our television and radio station audience shares and converting those gains into increased advertising revenues. We will continue to seek to close the revenue gap in our markets, particularly at our Los Angeles radio cluster, where our ratings have surged in the past year. We are also making progress in improving the performance of our outdoor division and continue to expect the division to return to growth in 2004. Overall, we remain very well positioned to leverage our diversified media footprint to serve advertisers seeking to reach the nation's fast-growing Hispanic population."
Entravision says it expects net revenue this quarter up between 6% and 8% to USD 51-52 million with radio revenue to increase 10%-13% to USD 17.9 million to USD 18.3 million.
In other US radio news, Citadel and Sirius have been active on the stock and notes front. Citadel has set a price of USD 19 per share for its previously announced sale of 28 million shares. It will gain nothing from 20 million of the shares involved, which are being sold by parent Forstmann Little and says the net proceeds of the sale of the balance of 8 million new shares - and a possible over allotment option to the underwriters of 4.2 million shares - will be used to redeem debt.
Sirius has announced that it is to sell USD 200 million of convertible notes due 2009.
It says it has also allowed the initial buyer a 30-day option to add up to USD 40 million of the notes. Net proceeds are to be used for general corporate purposes.
Also on the markets soon will be California-based Spanish-language Liberman Broadcasting which has filed to sell shares to raise up to USD 184 million in an initial public offering. It did not give details of how many shares were to be offered or their price but says it expects the proceeds to be used to reduce debt.
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2004-02-14: In Canada, a deal by Astral Media to sell eight Quebec radio stations - its seven AMs plus CFOM-FM - for CAD 12 million (USD 8.55 million) to private investors led by investor Gaetan Morin and Sylvain Chamberland, president and general manager of CKAC-AM and the Radiomédia network (See RNW Sept 3, 2003) has fallen through and the request to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for the transfer has been withdrawn.
The stations were among 19 French-language stations in Quebec and New Brunswick that Astral Media bought from Télémédia Communications Inc. for CAD 225 million (USD164 million) in 2001.
The Télémédia deal was approved by the CRTC but Canada's competition authorities insisted upon divestiture of the Quebec stations (See RNW Sept 4, 2002).
The CRTC had previously rejected an agreement to sell them to a subsidiary of Quebecor Inc. (See RNW July 4, 2003).
In October last year, Astral listed the disposal in its annual report (See RNW Oct 25, 2003) although there had been suggestions it would have to renegotiate the CAD 12 million (USD 9.2 million) price following the announcement that top talk-show host Paul Arcand is to leave CKAC - AM in Montréal this summer.
Astral then said no call had been made for a renegotiation and it was just awaiting regulatory approval to complete the disposal.
Astral now says it has been paid compensation for the withdrawal of the offer to purchase the stations and adds that it will "take the necessary measures to find a new buyer for these assets as quickly as possible and will continue to support the programming and operation of these stations, as it has done in the past."
Also in Canada, Robert Templeton has resigned as president of NewCap Broadcasting, which operates 42 stations. No reason was announced for his resignation.
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2004-02-14: BBC Radio 2 afternoon host Johnnie Walker, who last June announced on air that he had colon cancer (See RNW June 7 2003) and has been off the air for treatment, is to return to the show on March 1.
He said of his break, "When I made the on air announcement last June I had no idea of the sort of journey I was embarking on. I found the chemotherapy treatment hard going and in October it resulted in an emergency operation, which has taken a while to recover from."
… I've missed being on Radio 2 and I'm really looking forward to being back. The BBC has been wonderfully supportive throughout and the Radio 2 listeners have given me huge encouragement with their letters, cards and emails. I'm very grateful to them."
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2004-02-14: Harvey Wells, vice president and general manager of Infinity's WXRT-FM, WCKG-FM, and WUSN-FM in Chicago has resigned and is to become vice president and radio group manager for Newsweb's WSBC Radio Group.
He told the Chicago Sun-Times that he made the move because of the "opportunity to run a group of stations in a very entrepreneurial environment", adding that such opportunities "do not occur very often."
Wells, a native Chicagoan who had been with WXRT for 25 years, was described by Newsweb COO Charley Gross as "an excellent broadcaster and a wonderful guy," adding: "He gives us the ability to do some very special things in radio" who gives Newsweb " the ability to do some very special things in radio."
Newsweb already owns four Chicago stations - WCSN-AM, WAIT-AM, WSBC-AM, and WCFJ-AM and is in the process of purchasing WRZA-FM and WNDZ-AM from Entravision Communications for USD24 million (See RNW Jan 16).
So far its stations have mainly been outlets for time-brokered ethnic and foreign-language programming but the Sun-Times says it is expected to expand into mainstream programming
Chicago native Wells said, "Leaving so many great friends will be very difficult. I literally grew up in Chicago radio at WXRT."
Infinity Chicago radio group senior vice president and market manager Rod Zimmerman said Wells' position would be divided between two managers and is most likely to be filled from within the company's local station cluster.
"Harvey has been a tremendous asset for Infinity Broadcasting for many years," Zimmerman said. "He's a consummate professional and a terrific, well-rounded broadcaster who's prolific in sales, programming and marketing alike. He'll definitely be missed by all of us. We wish him well."
Also on the move in Chicago is another native Joe Soto, a former WGCI-FM morning show veteran who has most recently been in Dallas as evening host on ABC Radio's "Country Coast to Coast" format and weekend host on KVIL-FM.
Soto is to host a new afternoon show with Ramonski Luv on Clear Channel's adult urban-contemporary WVAZ-FM; Luv's existing co-hosts Bonnie "Hey Baby" DeShong and George Willborn are out but it is not yet clear what they will move to.
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2004-02-14: In a faint re-run of the 1999 Australian cash-for-comment scandal the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has confirmed that it is to conduct a formal investigation into allegations that Adelaide talk host Leon Byner may have biased his comments because of payments.
Byner was suspended by 5AA last month pending an internal inquiry following what station general manager Paul Bartlett described as a "preliminary internal review".
The Adelaide Advertiser had alleged that that Byner offered to use his show to "road test" and provide "positive coverage" for Lord Mayor Michael Harbison in return for payment. He had also offered his media expertise to other organizations and was recruited by ETSA Utilities to provide it with media advice.
ABA chairman Prof David Flint confirmed that the matter was being considered by the ABA this week saying the Authority had received "sufficient material which in the public interest means we should investigate."
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2004-02-13: XM Satellite Radio, which ended 2003 with 1,360,228 subscribers, says it now has more than 1.5 million subscribers and has forecast a total of 2.8 million by the end of this year whilst rival Sirius has increased its subscriber estimate for the end of this year from 860,000 to approximately 1 million following an agreement under which RadioShack stores and dealers, and distributors that offer EchoStar's DISH Network, will market SIRIUS products and service from mid-year. These agreements are projected to increase SIRIUS' product availability from over 6,000 retail floors today to over 20,000 by the end of 2004.
XM's forecast came as it announced financial results that showed final quarter 2003 revenue was up from USD 9 million a year earlier to USD33.5 million with full year income up from USD20.2 million in 2002 to USD91.8 million,
Losses were also up - from USD155.9 to USD162.9 for the quarter and from USD495.0 million to USD584.5 million for the year. EBITDA loss for the quarter was down from USD97.3 million to USD95.5 million but for the year it was almost flat at USD318.9 million compared to USD318.0 million.
XM has also cut its cost of adding a customer significantly, from USD 238 in the final quarter to 2002 to USD 125 for the final quarter of 2003.
XM says that excluding the effect of de-leveraging activities -removing more than USD280 million in future value of debt, convertible notes and preferred stock --, EBITDA loss in 2003 improved to USD294 million -- the first time XM has improved EBITDA on a year-to-year basis.
President and CEO Hugh Panero said, "XM delivered an outstanding performance in 2003 with more than 1 million new customers choosing our service this year for a total of more than 1.36 million subscribers overall. During the fourth quarter of 2003, XM added more than 430,000 customers - our best quarter ever. Equally exciting is the more than 23,000 subscribers who signed up on Christmas Day, the biggest single day in the history of the company."
XM's cost of adding a customer in the final quarter was USD 125, down from USD 238 a year earlier.
At rival Sirius, President and CEO Joseph P. Clayton said the RadioShack and DISH Network agreement meant millions of customers would "be able to experience for themselves the pleasures of SIRIUS Satellite Radio's 100% commercial-free music, and to see how this programming can add a valuable dimension to their overall entertainment."
"We are confident," he added, "that once they hear SIRIUS, they will be eager to have our service -- including a strong news line-up and unequalled NBA, NHL, and NFL sports coverage -- in their vehicles or boats as well."
Sirius also announced that its maritime systems are featured on more than 100 models of boats and yachts at the Miami International Boat Show that opened on Thursday.
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2004-02-13: Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has taken a step towards becoming a network with the announcement that from the start of July it is to drop Public Radio International (PRI) as the national distributor of its programming including A Prairie Home Companion, Marketplace, The Splendid Table, Sound Money and Saint Paul Sunday and distribute them directly itself.
In 2000, PRI brought a lawsuit, which was settled out of court, against MPR to prevent it from purchasing Marketplace.
PRI, which had a distribution agreement for Marketplace running until June 2003, was concerned that MPR, which was the source of two of its top programmes - the other was A Prairie Home Companion - would start to compete with it as a distributor.
In its announcement, MPR said it would not only change its distribution but also "combine all of its program production and distribution activities under one roof, thereby building a more direct connection to radio stations and listeners."
"This model," it said, "will unite the multiple platforms that are now used to disseminate content, ranging from radio, the Web and hand-held devices such as iPods to live events and interactive exchanges with listeners."
MPR says the move will cut costs, enabling it to improve programming and its Board of Trustees Member and Distribution Committee Chair David Strand commented, "Minnesota Public Radio has a tradition of innovation to respond to changing times. We see increasing interaction between our producers and our audience in content development and dissemination. This move will strengthen those ties even further."
In its announcement, MPR notes that PRI was originally spun-off from MPR, which created it as a national distribution division 20 years ago, and said it would maintain ties with PRI.
PRI will distribute Marketplace and Marketplace Morning Report for another year from July and will continue to distribute the nationally syndicated classical music service Classical 24 produced by the two organisations.
MPR stations will also continue to air programmes from other sources that are distributed by PRI such as The World and This American Life.
We have been partners for 20 years," said MPR Executive Vice President Tom Kigin, "and we will continue to work together."
PRI in its announcement said that "Following the implementation of the announced changes, PRI will continue to distribute more than 400 hours a week of news, talk, cultural, music, and entertainment programming to a network of 746 affiliated stations, serving combined audience of more than 29 million listeners."
PRI President Stephen Salyer said it would aggressively pursue a range of new projects designed to help stations differentiate themselves in their markets and build local audiences, branding, and funding. "PRI will remain the leader in supporting great talent and producers with the resources and creative marketing they need to reach national audiences," he said.
"We are looking to discover and nurture tomorrow's Garrison Keillors and Ira Glasses, and have demonstrated we know how to launch and sustain powerful programming."
Still with US public radio, and the Seventh Annual Homelessness Marathon is being broadcast on some 80 US radio stations.
This year's broadcast, which runs 14 hours and is the longest regularly scheduled public affairs program in America, went on air at 1900 ET Thursday (0200GMT today) from Cleveland, Ohio and ends at 09o ET (1400 GMT) today.
The programme is made available free to stations via the National Public Radio (NPR) and Pacifica satellites and a web cast and will feature calls from around the US on homeless issues. It does not involve fund raising and some 30 stations are airing it in parallel with a Canadian Homelessness Marathon.
Marathon founder Jeremy Weir Alderson said, "Homelessness continues to be a silent issue, and we will do whatever it takes to give homeless people a voice. We give them the chance to tell their stories and talk about the obstacles they face. And from what I've seen, America does care."
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2004-02-13: Chrysalis-owned Birmingham UK Heart FM DJ Tushar Makwana, who was found injured outside his home on February 11 has died from his injuries: Police said they thought he may have been run over when a gang of burglars he had discovered at his home ran over him while making a getaway.
They arrested eight people who were later released on police bail.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman told the Birmingham Evening Mail, "He disturbed burglars breaking into his home and he confronted them. It is believed he chased them out of the house and then it is unclear what happened next."
Makwana was born in Uganda and moved to Britain when then-president Idi Amin expelled the country's 70,000 citizens of Asian origin in the early 70s. He had worked in hospital radio before his commercial radio career and in 2002, he won a Silver award at the Radio "Oscars", the Sony Radio Academy Awards, for his short-form series about the 25th anniversary of UB40
In a statement on the station's web site, Heart managing director Paul Fairburn said the DJ was "one of those great people - a genuinely nice person. He always worked doubly hard on all our charity fund-raisers and came forward with ideas of his own to do even more for charity, because he wanted to. That's the kind of person he was."
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2004-02-13: Clear Channel has now officially announced that Ryan Seacrest is to replace Rick Dees in morning drive at KIIS, Los Angeles having been beaten to the punch when Seacrest announced the move when taping a Britney Spears interview for his TV show.
Seacrest said he was "honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to become the host of the renowned KIIS-FM morning show… I am excited to be part of the team that takes KIIS into a new era, and continue my relationship with Clear Channel… I am looking forward to returning to daily radio, and what better place than KIIS-FM, the nation's number one pop music brand."
Clear Channel's Premiere Networks already syndicates "American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest", which airs on 146 US stations and also in New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, with Australia to be added soon.
Clear Channel says the new morning show "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" will debut soon but does not give a date.
Seacrest's predecessor Rick Dees, who has already broadcast his last show, joined KIIS as morning personality in 1982; he indicated in his farewells after 22 years that he felt he had been forced out.
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2004-02-12: US broadcasters have already started reacting to the current attacks on the industry over broadcasting standards with the announcement by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) of plans to hold an All-Industry Summit to address topics related to responsible programming.
The meeting, planned for early Spring, is the first of its kind and will be a private event to which a broad spectrum of contributors including networks and local broadcasters will be invited.
"Broadcasters have a long history of being responsive to community needs, whether it be Amber Alerts, coverage of local issues, emergency weather warnings, or providing airtime for charities," said NAB President and CEO Edward O. Fritts.
"The time has come for a full and frank dialogue with our media colleagues on voluntary programming responsibility."
On Wednesday the broadcasters came under attack in hearings by the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and the Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) chairman Michael K. Powell commenting on the brief sight of Janet Jackson's breast during the SuperBowl half-time show said, "The now infamous display during the Super Bowl halftime show, which represented a new low in prime time television, is just the latest example in a growing list of deplorable incidents over the nation's airwaves. This growing coarseness on television and radio has resulted in a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes."
He told both meetings that the Commission currently boasted the "most aggressive enforcement regime in decades, proposing nearly ten times the level in indecency fines than the previous Commission" and, after terming the current maximum USD 27,500 penalty "peanuts to multi-million dollar operations" added that the commission would:
*..."actively seek ways to increase penalties against those who engage in lasting and repetitive indecent programming, including taking steps to impose the statutory maximum for serious violations of the law."
*… "treat multiple indecent utterance with a single program as constituting multiple indecency violations."
*…"begin license revocation proceedings for egregious and continuing disregard of decency laws."
He noted that the commission had already "begun wielding our sword in several important respects."
"We have proposed some of the largest fines in our indecency enforcement history," he added, "including a proposed forfeiture of over $300,000 in the case of a broadcast of sexual conduct in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and a proposed fine of over $700,000 levied against various Clear Channel stations for over 20 indecency violations."
At the Senate hearing, the Commerce Committee Chairman, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, urged action by cable and satellite channels - which as subscription services have greater First Amendment protections than free over-the-air broadcasters - to offer parents the ability to control what their children could view.
McCain who last year in conjunction with Sen Fritz Hollings introduced a bill that would have allowed a fine for each utterance of an indecency, said. broadcasters must remember that the use of the broadcast spectrum includes the responsibility to serve the public's best interests.
The Committee was told by Viacom President and COO Mel Karmazin that it would in future use delay technology when airing live events to prevent further incidents, but cautioned that taking more drastic action could end live events altogether.
He also warned that Karmazin said that increasing fines could put small broadcasters out of business and said the FCC should provide better guidelines for broadcast indecency.
In prepared testimony Karmazin apologized for the SuperBowl incident, saying, "Although we are proud of 99 percent of what people saw on CBS last Sunday, we understand what a difference one percent can make."
National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue the also apologized in prepared testimony saying the NFL should have done more to ensure the half-time programme was suitable for the SuperBowl audience and adding, "The show that MTV produced this year fell far short of the NFL's expectations of tasteful, first-class entertainment."
Democrat FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps outlined steps that could be taken to curb indecency including heavier penalties and possible licence revocations, with attention to advertisements as well as programming; reform of the complaints process to speed it up and removing from a complainant the need to prove indecency; a closer attention to violent programming as potentially being indecent; an indecency summit that would include cable and satellite companies as well as terrestrial broadcasters
The attention devoted to the SuperBowl incident let US radio off the hook with little mention of recent large penalties on Viacom for the Sex in St Patrick's Cathedral stunt and Clear Channel for sexual comments on its Bubba the Love Sponge show.
At the House meeting, Powell told chairman Rep Fred Upton in answer to a question why it had taken three to impose a penalty on Clear Channel in connection with indecency on the Bubba the Love Sponge show that more funding would be needed if the process were to be speeded up.
The FCC also came under attack in Philadelphia on Wednesday in connection with its new media cross-ownership regulations announced in June last year.
Lawyers for media access groups including Media Alliance, the Consumer Federation of America and the Prometheus Radio Project argued to a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the agency overstepped its authority in removing a prohibition on newspaper and broadcast station in the same market and that it ignored congressional intent and should have sought public input.
They also warned of the potential for a few giant media organizations to control the major news sources in some markets.
Arguing on the other side, Clear Channel's attorney said that the imposition of stricter regulation of radio in the regulations was contrary to the Telecommunications Act that he argued allows only further de-regulation, not any re-regulation.
The court may also consider a challenge to the national TV cap that had been raised to 45% from 35% under the rules but Congress subsequently set that at 39%.
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2004-02-12: The BBC has introduced a new scrolling text service of news, sport, travel and weather headlines to its digital radio broadcasts by local radio stations.
The new service, which goes live today, is being rolled out across all BBC Local Radio stations currently available on digital services with content sourced from BBCi.
The service has already successfully piloted on BBC London and BBC WM and is being provided by the BBC in a three-year partnership with UBC Media's Unique Interactive, a market leader for the provision of cross-platform dynamic text software to Digital Radio broadcasters in the UK.
John Allen, Head of New Services, BBC English Regions, said, "The new DAB text service will offer our listeners a new method of accessing local news and information with updates every 20 seconds" and Andy Griffee, Controller, English Regions, added, "This development opens up all kinds of exciting opportunities."
"For example, we may be able to provide constantly updated headlines on electronic ticker tapes or big screens on the outside of buildings. It's a real step forward."
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2004-02-12: Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) is asking for comments on the country's Commercial Radio Codes of Practice for a review of the codes it is conducting.
The codes were last reviewed in 1999 with a Code of Practice relating to broadcasts of emergency information being registered by the ABA in December 2001.
CRA's CEO Joan Warner commented, "Commercial radio broadcasters take their responsibilities under the Codes very seriously and the public review process plays an important part in ensuring programming reflects community standards and expectations."
"The industry is satisfied that the Codes are working effectively, given listener feedback to stations and research by the Australian Broadcasting Authority both show Australians are highly satisfied with the choice of commercial radio services available to them and are less concerned about the content of programs than six years ago. In addition, breach findings made by the ABA and the number of complaints about the content of programs have dropped progressively since the Codes were last registered."
Comments have to be submitted to the CRA by March 19:
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2004-02-12: Wisconsin Broadcaster Muzzy Broadcasting, operator of contemporary/hit WSPT-FM, talk WSPT-AM and rock WKQH-FM, which earlier this week was threatened with the sale of its office and tower properties has now filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The St Steven's broadcaster has seen sheriff's sales of assets been set and cancelled for the company's parcels several times since a judgment of foreclosure and sale was issued at the end of October last year and a release from the company said it took the action "while it continues to talk to four local banks to replace its current lender regarding the financing necessary to continue operations well into the future. The goal of Muzzy Broadcasting is to finalize a local bank to reorganize through."
"For over a year now Muzzy Broadcasting has kept current with all creditors and sees no reason for that to change in the future."
Muzzy, which employs some 10 full-time employees and six to eight part-time employees, is reported to owe around USD 455,000 plus interest to River Valley State Bank on two mortgages, USD 35,000 to the city of Stevens Point in back taxes on personal property, and USD 75,000 to Powercom Corp., whose docket is listed for a hearing on February 16.
In the Fall 2003 ratings WSPT in ninth place at was the highest ranked Muzzy station in the Wausau-Stevens Point market with a 3.5 share, down from 4.1 a year earlier.
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2004-02-12: Veteran British broadcaster Henry Kelly, who last year was dropped by Classic FM's breakfast show, has declared himself bankrupt.
Kelly, who is now hosting LBC's drive time show, was being sued by the British tax authorities for back tax and national insurance.
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2004-02-12: The latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released show MUSICMATCH retaining its hold on top station spot and AOL Radio@ Network doing the same for the top network spot. Lower down there was one change in the ratings as AOL's Lite Rock made it into the top five, displacing AOL Top Country.
For the week to January 25, 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 (*Non Commercial) - TTSL 906,910 (838,914); CP - 293,680 (270,888). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM (Commercial) - TTSL 334,029 (321,342); CP - 66,708 (68,185). Same rank with higher listening but lower reach.
3:Contemporary Christian K-LOVE (Non commercial) - TTSL 285,575 (295,004); CP 34,776 (34,731). Same rank with lower listening but higher reach.
4: Soft Rock AOL Lite Rock (Commercial) -TTSL 233,673 (234,797); CP 49,710 (43,931). Up from seventh despite lower listening although reach was up.
5: Smooth Jazz AOL Smooth Jazz (Commercial) - TTSL 230,986 (247,359); CP - 55,113 (55,240). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
* Country format AOL Top Country (Commercial) fell from fourth to sixth with TTSL 225,421 (249,160); CP 93,744 (93,792).
The top five networks for the week to January 25 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network (Commercial) - TTSL - 6,001,917 (6,431,407); CP - 1,573,247 (1,597,444). Same rank with lower listening and reach.
2: LAUNCH (Commercial) TTSL - 3,701,163 (3,425,010); CP - 894,456 (875,529). Same rank with lower listening but higher reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. (*Non Commercial) TTSL - 2,380,394 (2,275,786); CP - 562,863 (534,715). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network (Sales Network) TTSL - 909,003 (827,282); CP - 125,967 (127,207) - Same rank with higher listening but lower reach.
5: Virgin Radio (Commercial) TTSL - 569,228 (548,202); CP - 94,364 (95,349) - Same rank with higher listening but lower reach.
Arbitron does not now rank Content Delivery Networks (CDN) alongside other networks but does report on them; for the week the top Content Delivery Networks were Live365 with TTSL 2,789,705, down from 2,816,020 and StreamGuys with TTSL 619,832, up from 599,076.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:

2004-02-11: Viacom has reported full year revenues up 8% to a record USD 26.6 billion with fourth quarter 2003 revenues up 11% to a record USD7.5 billion but its operating income and net earnings for both were hit by a non-cash charge of USD1.3 billion related to a reduction in Blockbuster's goodwill and other long-lived assets resulting from the application of n accounting standards SFAS Nos. 142 and 144: Viacom's board has now authorized it to pursue the divestiture of Viacom's approximately 81% interest in Blockbuster.
It says the move is based on the conclusion that Blockbuster would be better positioned as a company completely independent of Viacom and it anticipates that the divestiture would be achieved through a tax-free split-off, but will also continue to consider other options.
After the charge is taken into account, Viacom's full year 2003 net earnings were down from USD2.2 billion or USD1.24 per diluted share, for 2002 to USD1.4 billion or USD0.82 per diluted share: The impact of the charge on full year 2003 diluted earnings per share was USD0.58.
For the final quarter the effect of the charge was to turn a profit of USD652 million or USD0.37 per diluted share into a loss (before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle) of USD385 million or USD0.22 per diluted share.
Excluding the charge, Viacom's full year 2003 net earnings (before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle and the charge) were up 11% to USD2.5 billion and fourth quarter net earnings were down 4.1% to USD630 million or USD0.36 per diluted share.
Chairman and CEO Sumner M. Redstone commented, "Viacom turned in another year of significant milestones in 2003, both operationally and strategically. We added USD2 billion in new revenues, ending the year with a record total of USD26.6 billion. We also added significantly to the bottom line, highlighting our ability to turn our top line growth into greater value for shareholders. Equally significant, we reached a decision to part ways with Blockbuster, which will allow each company to focus exclusively on its core businesses…. Our strategic focus on exploiting all of our core strengths
and the building vigour in the advertising market point to significant growth for Viacom in 2004 and even greater opportunities in the years beyond."
President and COO Mel Karmazin said the record revenues "were driven by strong growth in our national television advertising business, particularly at our Cable Networks,
which delivered outstanding 26% gains, as well as growth in nearly every segment of the Company."
Of Viacom's divisions, radio performed worst with the year's revenues down 1% to USD 2.098 billion - cable did best with revenues up 19% to USD 5.646 billion - and final quarter revenues down 3% to USD 551 million - entertainment did best in the quarter with revenues up 41% to USD 1.285 billion.
Viacom commented that radio advertising revenues were up 1% but this was more than offset by lower ancillary revenues from Westwood One and in addition radio expenses were higher primarily due to higher sports rights and contractual talent increases.
In the final quarter it said radio advertising revenues were down and it also had higher expenses, principally employee-related.
For 2004 Viacom is sticking to its previous forecast of revenue growth of 5% to 7%, and excluding the non-cash charge related to Blockbuster, operating income growth of 12% to 14% and earnings per share growth of 13% to 15%.
Viacom shares ended the day up 2.4% at USD 41.36
Also reporting was Radio 1, Inc., which had net broadcast revenues up 2.5% on 2002 for the year at USD 303.2 million and up 1% for the final quarter at USD 77.4 million.
Net income for the year was up more than six-fold from USD 7.1 million to USD 53.5 million - in 2002 the figures were affected by a charge of USD29.9 million relating to changes in accounting standards- and net income for the final quarter was up 51% to USD 14.5 million.
President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III commented that the radio environment had improved and added, "While, overall, the quarter was modestly better than our expectations and our guidance, the year ended strong with December cash advertising revenue growing 10% versus the prior year."
"This strength has carried over, albeit somewhat inconsistently, into the first quarter of 2004. We are hopeful that, as the economy continues to improve, 2004 will return the radio industry to its consistent historical growth levels."
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2004-02-11: Long-time KIIS-FM, Los Angeles, wake-up host Rick Dees announced on Tuesday that he was hosting his last show for the Clear Channel station after 22 years with KIIS although he will continue to host his "Rick Dees Weekly Top 40" show that is syndicated internationally by Premiere Networks.
Announcing the decision Dees commented "It's an honour and a privilege to host the number one revenue-generating radio show of its kind in America" and then said, "It has been decided that I will no longer do the morning radio show at KIIS-FM. It's a new a day - let's get going."
He then played Enya's "Only Time" followed by highlights from his show over the years.
No formal announcement has been made but his successor is expected to be Ryan Seacrest.
Moving back onto the airwaves in Phoenix, Arizona, today is conservative talk host Bob Mohan who is starting a new show on North American Broadcasting's KFNX-AM; he was previously with Clear Channel's KYFI-AM from 1986 until he was dropped in 2002 and replaced by Barry Young who had been off the air since January 2000, when he left the station in a dispute over his time slot and ratings. Mohan will be head-to-head with Rush Limbaugh on KYFI in the 11:00 to 13:00 time slot.
Also returning, this time to the BBC, is former BBC TV Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon who was fired by the Corporation in 1998 after being caught by tabloid newspapers snorting cocaine and knocking back vodka in a London nightclub.
He has been hired as full time host of the weekend Late Night Live discussion programme on BBC Radio Five Live after hosting the programme for a trial period over Christmas.
Radio Five Live Controller Bob Shennan said of the appointment, "Late Night Live is a great vehicle for Richard's talents. His youth and energy will develop what is already a cult late night programme."
Bacon, who since he was fired has worked his way back with appearances on Channel 4 TV's Big Breakfast and Capital's London new music station Xfm, commented, "I love Radio Five Live and this is a superb opportunity to take to the national airwaves. There's a real intimacy about late night shows and I'm delighted to have been given this opportunity."
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2004-02-11: Sirius has announced that Standard Radio is to join it and CBC/Radio-Canada in the joint venture announced last December to bring satellite radio to Canada (See RNW Dec 12, 2003).
Standard Radio president and CEO Gary Slaight said that as Canada's largest privately-owned broadcaster they were "excited" to be a partner in the venture and said, "Not only will this service expand the choices available to Canadians, it will also create new opportunities for Canadian talent on this new platform."
CBC/Radio-Canada President and CEO Robert Rabinovitch echoed Slaight, commenting, "Standard Radio has a long and distinguished history, especially in terms of innovative programming and support for Canadian talent, and will be an excellent partner in this exciting venture which will bring a fresh new national service to Canadians."
"Through this and other strategic partnerships CBC/Radio-Canada is able to better fulfil its mandate by providing Canadians with even greater access to a wide range of commercial-free music, information, and entertainment programming, including Canadian content
Sirius has also announced that Mazda is to make its receivers available as a dealer-installed option in six of its vehicles this year.
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2004-02-11: BBC Today breakfast show host John Humphrys in an interview with the BBC-owned Radio Times magazine has said the corporation's chairman and director general - who had "already apologised and set in train a series of changes" - should not have resigned and accused former Prime Ministerial aide Alastair Campbell of kicking the corporation when it was down by demanding resignations on the day when the Hutton report into the death of scientist Dr David Kelly was published.
Humphrys said of Campbell's news conference -- arranged by Downing Street even though Campbell stopped being its director of communications in September - that it "felt like lying in the gutter while your head's kicked in."
Humphrys added that he thought that Campbell's "triumphalist behaviour" had probably helped the BBC and said Campbell has previously "previously tried "to destabilise the BBC in a pretty tacky way."
Humphrys said he was surprised by the Hutton findings "like anyone who read the totality of the evidence."
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2004-02-10: This week will see both US Senate and House hearings concerning broadcast indecency on Wednesday and is likely to see a House vote on Thursday in favour of legislation that would increase the maximum indecency fine ten times from USD 27,500 to USD 275,000 per incident.
The House Telecommunications Subcommittee, chaired by Michigan Republican Rep Fred Upton, whose "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004" is expected to see a speedy passage through Congress and that increases the penalties for indecency, is due to hear from Viacom President and COO Mel Karmazin and US NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Both are expected to face hostile questioning over the SuperBowl half-time show incident in which Janet Jackson's breast was briefly exposed and Karmazin could face questions about a number of radio matters including the Opie and Anthony Sex in St Patrick's Cathedral stunt.
All five Federal Communications Commissioners are due to appear at both this meeting and also the Senate Commerce Committee meeting on "Protecting Children From Violent and Indecent Programming" to be presided over by its Chairman, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.
The Hollywood Reporter has said that Karmazin may send another CBS executive to the House meeting (RNW comment: In our view this would be a very short-sighted move in the current climate when politicians can gain easy points by playing to the gallery concerning indecency and neglecting any First Amendment considerations. In fact we'd go further and say it be a dumb move - and we wouldn't associate Karmazin with being dumb.)
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2004-02-10: Regent Communications has announced a swap deal with Citadel to enter the Bloomington, Illinois, market and the completion of an earlier swap with Clear Channel that took it into the Evansville, Indiana market.
In the latest deal Regent exchanges six Pennsylvania stations - four serving Erie -- WQHZ-FM, WXKC-FM, WXTA-FM and WRIE-AM - and two serving the Lancaster-Reading market - WIOV-AM and FM - for five Bloomington stations - WBWN-FM, WBNQ-FM, WTRX-FM, WJEZ-FM, and WJBC-AM plus an unspecified cash payment based on a 7.5 times multiple of the difference in station operating income of the properties being exchanged for the twelve month period ending January 31, 2004. Each company has now started to operate the stations involved under a time brokerage agreement.
The earlier deal involved a USD 2.7 million cash payment and Regent's KKCB-FM, KLDJ-FM, KBMX-FM and WEBC-AM serving the Duluth, Minnesota market for Clear Channel's WYNG-FM, WDKS-FM, WKRI-FM, WGBF-FM and WGBF-AM serving the Evansville, Indiana market.
Regent Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs said the latest deal "enhances our growth profile and provides us with a major leadership position in an attractive middle-market… This deal strengthens our presence in Illinois, as Bloomington is adjacent to our Peoria cluster, creating sales and marketing opportunities. Most importantly, this transaction is immediately accretive and will enhance our ability to grow revenue and cash flow over the coming years."
…" Our transaction with Clear Channel, as well as our transaction with Citadel today, were possible because of our previous acquisition of Brill Media's radio properties (See RNW Aug 24, 2002)."
"At the end of the day we have significantly lowered the acquisition multiple of the Brill deal, upgraded the markets in which we operate and increased our growth potential with immediate revenue and cash flow enhancements while maintaining a strong balance sheet. We are very excited about the future and remain focused on creating value for our shareholders over the long-term."
In other US radio business, Radio Unica has now formally filed to terminate its stock market listening and Big City Radio, which filed its certificate of dissolution in December last year (See RNW Dec 24, 2003) has distributed its holding of some 2 million Entravision shares is to its stock holders on the basis of approximately one Entravision share for every seven Big City shares.
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2004-02-10: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/TNS- MRBI survey covering the 2003 year show local and regional stations reaching 54% of the population, unchanged from 2002, but national stations losing some of their listening; overall radio was listened to by 86% of the adult population, down from 88%. Of the national stations, RTÉ Radio One had a reach of 28%, down 2%; 2FM reached 25%, again down 2%; Today FM reached 14%, down 3%; and Lyric FM 3%, down 1%.
In share terms, the figure was similar with local and regional stations gaining 3% to take a 46% share, RTÉ Radio One losing 1% to 25%; 2FM losing 1% to 17% and Today FM losing 1% to 9%. Lyric retained an unchanged 1% share.
In Dublin, 98 FM's listened yesterday figure increased 2% to 22%, FM104 retained its 20% and Lite FM lost 3% to 9%. Of new stations, Spin 1038 took 5%, NewsTalk 106 4% and Dublin's Country 106.8 3%.
In Cork, Cork 96 FM/County Sound lost 8% to 49% (-8) and Red 104-106 FM lost 2% to 16%.
Amongst stations with notable performances were Highland Radio with a 70% reach and 55% share and Mid West Radio with a 68% reach and 52% share.
New Irish South East regional station Beat 102-103 in its first figures for the period from July, achieved an 18% listenership and 8% market share:
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2004-02-10: Citadel Broadcasting has been ordered by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to show why its KURB-FM, Little Rock, Arkansas, should not be reclassified as a Class C0 to allow Cave City, Arkansas, to gain its first commercial FM.
KURB, currently a class C, operates with a power of 100kw at 392 meters height above average terrain - below the minimum Class C antenna height of 450 meters HAAT.
Citadel has until March 22, 2004 to file a written statement showing why its license should not be modified.
The FCC has also granted the renewal of four licences for Clear Channel-owned (licensed to Capstar, which became part of AMFM before Clear Channel took over the latter) stations in Virginia but also issued fines in each case because of failure to put necessary records on their public files for a period of two years.
The shortcomings had been disclosed by Capstar following an audit and the FCC said that, although the standard penalty was USD 10,000, in this case it felt that a USD 4,00 penalty was appropriate in each case and that it was further reducing this in each case to USD 3,000 because of voluntary disclosure of the offence.
The stations involved are WJJX-FM, Lynchburg, WJJS-FM, Vinton, WMJA-FM, Appomattox, and WROV-FM, Martinsville.
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2004-02-10: At RAB 2004 in Dallas US radio rep company Interep has formally announced a "10 x 10" initiative aimed at increasing US radio shares of advertising revenues from its current 8% to 10%.
At an Interep sponsored Keynote Breakfast, Sheila Kirby, Senior Vice President, Interep Innovations, said the company was "officially and publicly declaring our goal, and our plan, to achieve a 10% share of ad dollars for radio by 2010."
She went on to say the plan was "more than just a convention slogan. It is backed up with specific plans and measurable initiatives to increase our medium's share of advertising dollars."
At a later panel, "Radio's Pivotal Dollars/ The Key Role of NTR in Achieving 10 x 10", moderated by Kirby, Mary D. Neubrand, Broadcast Negotiating Supervisor, The Richards Group, said," Take the time to find out what my clients are trying to accomplish, and figure out what will move the needle for them. Targeted proposals that match their needs are the ones that move up the food chain. It is not my job to meet your sales quotas. It is your job to meet my clients' needs."
Fellow panellist Eric Herbst, Director of Strategy and Planning, Nokia, agreed and added, "How can you help us without having the right information? Find out from your agency what the strategic direction of the company is… have the work-ethnic to learn about my industry."
He noted that he is constantly approached by representatives from other media - television, cable, magazines and outdoor but rarely by people from radio - to determine his company's goals and needs.
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2004-02-09: To start off our look at print items on radio this week, we're going back again to talk shows in the US, starting with what Stephanie Simon in the Los Angeles Times terms "A Sharp Left Turn on Dial" in a story about "'Big Eddie' Schultz" whom she calls the "leading voice in liberals' nascent national radio counteroffensive."
Schultz was a sportscaster noted for his raucous play-by-play of North Dakota college football for around 20 years until he launched a conservative regional talk show in the South Dakota and Minnesota area in 1996; he commented that he "lined up with the Republicans because they were antitax, and I wanted to make a lot of money."
He says his tilt leftwards came in 1998 after he met psychiatric nurse Wendy Noack, whom he subsequently married, at a party and she agreed to a lunch date but told him they'd have to meet at the Salvation Army cafeteria next to the homeless shelter where she worked.
He says that his simplistic view of those in the homeless shelters as "bums" and "Lazy" began to change and things moved further when in 2001 he took his regional show on the road and, for the first time, talked with farmers, with teachers, with mothers who couldn't afford to take their kids to the doctor.
He insists his conversion to seeing the view of the "little guy" was genuine but critics perceive it as opportunistic.
"My own opinion is, he knew he would never go national if he stayed on the right or in the middle. I truly believe he moved to the left because he thought that's where his career would get the biggest boost," said Ron Gilmore, who runs a cleaning business in Fargo. "You don't change your politics overnight like he did without a goal in mind."
Democratic politicians have helped solicit USD1.8 million from private donors, enough cash to keep the "Ed Schultz Show" that premiered last month, on the air for at least two years.
So far its airing only on around a dozen stations in small markets - the largest is Oklahoma City -and also on XM satellite radio but KFGO-AM, Fargo, which broadcasts his regional show, has not picked up the national program.
The column wonders how far he can expand this, noting that the core talk-radio audience is men aged 35-54 with a significant conservative bias and quotes G. Gordon Liddy, whose talk show airs on 178 stations, as saying, "Network TV and the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times axis is totally dominated by the left. Now the left, never satisfied with 9/10ths of the pie, has gotten its knickers in a twist about talk radio."
"It's a free country. They're certainly welcome to try. But I'm inclined to think … listeners will say, 'Look, we can get all that stuff already.'"
Not everyone would appear to share the Liddy bias: KTOX-AM in Needles, California, dropped Dr Laura Schlessinger to run Shultz and he's received around 60 calls, running 2-1 in favour of Schultz.
One listener commented, "I really like the guy. A lot of hosts won't listen to the other view…. But Ed doesn't tell you to shut up. He seems really down to earth."
Schultz himself sees his role as to win ratings, commenting, "The average commercial radio listener in America is not looking for lofty, intellectual subjects. This isn't brain surgery. It's about striking the passion of the people."
Also to the left of the dial is the Pacifica Network but cutbacks in its jazz and blues output at its Washington DC station, WPFW-FM, aroused the ire of Marc Fisher in the Washington Post.
In an article headed " A Choice of Jazz or Jabber" he said that listeners, who are voting for the station board, will determine "whether a generation of young people in this region will grow up hearing America's most important musical heritage or a steady diet of political propaganda."
The station is the last radio outlet for jazz and blues in the US capital and Fisher writes," At question is whether WPFW will remain true to the mission it assigned itself when it signed on in 1977: 'Jazz, a major American art form which grows from the African-American experience, will be the major music programming. WPFW will act as archivist, educator, and entertainer on behalf of this under-served national cultural resource.'"
He quotes Willard Jenkins who has hosted a jazz show on the station since 1989 as saying, "There is this contingent of a Berkeley mind-set who want WPFW to parrot the Pacifica station in Berkeley. This is one station which uniquely reflects the African American sensibility of this community, as opposed to catering to the needs of those who just got here."
Fisher concludes," In a perfect world, we would have radio stations that played jazz, blues, show tunes, bluegrass, techno, choral music and all the other forms that are ignored by commercial and public radio. But in a media landscape ruled by marketing studies and focus groups, there is no room for minority interests. We have only WPFW, and it has an obligation to continue opening the ears of new generations to the vast range of American music."
"The station's listeners have their last chance to assert themselves this week. They can defend the station against a takeover by political extremists, or they can sing goodbye to the music."
Not everyone agreed with Pacifica and in one letter to the paper, Darby Hickey, who is a candidate for the board, commented on what he called "mischaracterization of the key issues in the debate" and added, "WPFW is supposed to be a community radio station. As Fisher mentions, a commitment to jazz programming is part of its mission. But the station also must be accountable to the community. "
"The discussions among candidates during these elections, which I have been following closely as a candidate myself, are not focused on a divide between music and public affairs programming... Actually, some of the most important discussions have focused on how to involve more youth and community members with the station and how to improve the visibility of the station in the community."
Still with talk but on a completely different plane, Dean Johnson in the Boston Herald, commented on the row in the US over Janet Jackson's breast display during the Super Bowl half time and notes that just before then the Federal Communications Commission had proposed a fine of USD755, 000 on Clear Channel, most of it related to sexual material aired on the Bubba the Love Sponge show (See RNW Jan 28).
"Jackson didn't waken a sleeping tiger (the FCC) Sunday, she just gave an already ornery one a good poke in the eye," wrote Johnson.
"Now the radio industry is treading lightly, in part because no one is quite sure what will offend the FCC or what the commission will choose to pursue.
He quoted on local programmer as saying he thought the FCC was looking to make " some examples of people,'' and adding, "This is all going to put more scare in stations and more (broadcast) delay units in their studios. I think we're all sensitized (to objectionable content) more than ever before.''
The programmer said radio's main problem isn't an occasional slip of the tongue but specific, prepared programming content that veers into dangerous territory and also wondered what the FCC will do to allow traditional radio stations to compete with the new satellite radio services that aren't bound by FCC regulations because they are subscription operations.
In the UK, the row between the BBC and the government rumbles on and Paul Donovan in his Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times picks up on a comment made by Lord Ryder of Wensum, the new acting chairman of the BBC, who has come under attack for his apology to the British Prime Minister over allegations of "sexing up" the government's dossier on Iraqi arms.
It was written in his foreword to a book called Basic Radio Journalism and went, "Painting good radio pictures is an art form, whether in the hands of Alistair Cooke or Terry Wogan. It is journalism of the highest order ... Radio is my friend. I get up with it in the morning."
"I travel with it. I work with it. I relax with it. And, as an insomniac, I sleep with it."
"My lifelong companion has brought me laughter, tragedy, science, music, talks, sport and news. The range and quality of radio stations in this country must be unmatched in the world ... the excellence of the output overwhelms the listener ... Dare to be different. Take risks where possible."
Donovan then makes some of his own criticisms of the BBC but then paid it tribute, writing, "Despite all that, I love the BBC. We all err and we all sin. Striking a balance in journalism between taking risks and being confrontational is difficult. But the full panoply of the BBC's programmes is one of the wonders of Britain and the envy of the world. I cannot think of any month in my life that has not been enriched by it. That is particularly, but not exclusively, true of its radio output."
After which the first recommendation for listening online this week can but be the Radio 4 feedback programme, still on the listen-again part of the BBC web site, which last week featured a phone-in to acting BBC director-general Mark Byford responding to calls about the Hutton report that led to the resignation amongst others of his predecessor Greg Dyke. It seemed to us to show a significant amount of wriggling and absence of detail but make of it what you will!
For the less serious, Radio 4 is still airing its current series of Absolute Power on Thursdays at 1830 GMT (last week's edition is on the listen-again web site) followed at the same time on Friday by another of the current Best of Dead Ringers series.
From BBC Radio 2 Wednesday sees the station's Fifth Folk Awards show at 1900 GMT and then at 22:00 GMT another edition of Seven More Days That Rocked The World presented by Stuart Maconie.
This week it's on the "Elvis' '68 Comeback Special" and at the moment for Bowie fans last week's programme on Ziggy Stardust is still available on the web site.
Then to the US and National Public Radio and yet again some items from Sunday's Weekend Edition, in this case one on the restoration of The Ten Commandments to an Alabama court house (But not the massive version that the state Supreme Court ordered removed), the development by classical orchestras of their own recordings, and a report on group of Israeli and Palestinian educators who have produced a new textbook that deals with 20th century Israeli/Palestinian history by presenting the Israeli view of events on one side of the page and the Palestinian view on the other. No surprise that they've come under attack from each side.
And finally for Beatles fans, Friday's edition of Fresh Air that was devoted to the 40th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America.
Previous Columnists:
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Los Angeles Times - Simon:
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Washington Post -letters responding to Fisher:
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2004-02-09: Australia's Southern Cross Broadcasting has appointed Bob Miller, former marketing chief at Toyota in Australia and a long-time associate of the station's morning host John Laws as general manger of its Sydney 2UE talk station.
Miller represented Laws in negotiating an AUD 1.2 million (USD 915,000) a deal with the Australian Bankers' Association that in 1999 became part of the country's "cash-for-comment" scandal in which two of the leading figures were Laws and his breakfast colleague Alan Jones, then with 2UE and now with Macquarie Network's 2GB.
He says he has now learned that deals have to be more transparent, telling the Australian, "In the end the way we went about it was perhaps not as open as it might have been, but I think these things are in the past. Did we learn from them? You betcha." [RNW comment - hardly startling since the results of the inquiry into the matter made this part of its requirements for Australian commercial stations.]
Southern Cross Broadcasting managing director Tony Bell, whose appointment of Miller comes against a background of a serious fall in 2UE revenues as 2GB and Jones ate into its ratings and pushed 2UE from top in the ratings to fifth in the latest figures (See RNW Dec 10, 2003) - some estimates say they are down 40% - said," One way or another, Bob has been doing business with Radio 2UE for 20 years, so he understands our culture and the needs of our audiences and many advertisers."
Miller's predecessor Ian Sheppard, who last year was redeployed to focus on sales with Southern Cross radio group general manager, Graham Mott temporarily taking over day-to-day running of the station, was one of the three nominees as metropolitan most popular station manager of the year in the Australian Commercial Radio Awards although he ended up being pipped to the award by Richard Barker of Austereo's B105.
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The Australian report:
2004-02-09: The producer of Cloak and Dagger, Toronto's top-rated, late-night conspiracy radio talk show that is to be dropped by MOJO-AM and replaced by a comedy show, alleges that it has been dropped because of pressure from US President Bush.
Nelson Thall told the Toronto Globe and Mail that the show, which explores alleged conspiracies, was "upsetting people in high places" and said that last week former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, who told him that George W. Bush -- one of Cloak and Dagger's frequent targets -- had told Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to take the show off the air.
"They killed my show because our ratings are too high. We did our job too well, revealing state secrets the shadow government doesn't want you to know," he said.
He alleged that when l Martin met Bush at Monterrey in Mexico last month, Bush told him he would not sign any agreement about oil concessions to Canada unless he got rid of Cloak and Dagger." Martin's office said the show did not come up in the Mexico discussions and MOJO program director Scott Armstrong said the show was being dropped because of poor ratings, combined with "other research we do, information we gather."
The show was highest rated by males aged 25-54-MOJO's prime audience - in its time slot in the most recent ratings but Armstrong commented "As you know, ratings can be interpreted any number of ways."
Armstrong added that Cloak and Dagger is being replaced not with comedy, but with the Thursday night edition of syndicated US show Coast-to-Coast, the same show that Cloak and Dagger replaced when it went on the air more than a year ago. He said the decision to displace Coast to Coast with Cloak and Dagger was made before his arrival at the station but now Coast to Coast is being moved to an earlier time slot and he is buying an American comedy for the 2-5 a.m. period.
The station is keeping two other, late-night conspiracy-related shows, Richard Syrett on Friday nights and Spaceman Saturday.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:

2004-02-08: The main regulatory story of the week has probably yet to come to fruition as the US regulators get in a froth over a mammary gland, that of Janet Jackson which was seen briefly during the half-time show of the Superbowl and which seems likely to confirm current clamp-down instincts in the country.
Elsewhere activity picked up a little with the main action from the UK where Ofcom is consulting about future commercial FM licences.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has released policy guidelines to clarify "the operation of the ownership tracing provisions in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992."
In issuing the guidelines, a 5-page document), the main matter to which the ABA draws attention is the effect of a subsidiary acquiring interests in its own holding company and the effect this may have on its control. In these cases it says it not intend to trace minor company interests in situations where subsidiaries acquire interests in their own holding companies.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), was fairly quiet on the radio side, with a few amendments to licences being its main activity.
Decisions taken involving radio were, in order of province:
*Approval of application to change the authorized contours of CKER-FM, Edmonton, as the result of an increase of the effective radiated power from 64,000 watts to 100,000 watts, as well as an increase of the antenna height and a relocation of the transmitter.
*Approval of fourth request for extension of the deadline to start operations of a new station to serve the Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas. The deadline is now October 25 this year.
*Approval of application to change the authorized contours of CKWF-FM Peterborough, as a result of a decrease in the effective radiated power from 48,500 watts to 15,200 watts, and an increase in the effective height above average terrain of the antenna from 152.5 metres to 273.2 metres.
*Licence renewal for radio network broadcasting licence for the English-language radio network originating from CJCL-AM, Toronto, from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2005. The network carries ESPN programming from the US.
There was nothing from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has now come up with a consultation document over issuing new commercial FM licences, both in terms of number and the application process (See RNW Feb 7): Further consultation are to take place concerning AM, community and digital radio plans.
In the US, where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems likely to be given powers to multiply its current maximum indecency penalties tenfold, the FCC has been involved in a number of penalties for tower and technical offences. In the case of a Florida AM "operating out of a very humble mobile home" a penalty of USD 7,000 was upheld after no documentation was provided to substantiate a financial hardship case for reduction (See RNW Feb 5).
Another Florida AM, however, did provide documentation and was rewarded with a reduction in the penalty from USD 21.00 to USD 1,500 (See RNW Feb 4).
The FCC has also submitted - and now posted details on its website of - its fiscal 2005 budget in which it asks for a 4.3% increase to just under USD 293 million (See RNW Feb 3).
Previous ABA:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:

Ofcom web site:

2004-02-08: The UK Commercial Radio trade association, the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA), has announced details of its 2004 "Next Generation" training scheme.
The scheme is now in its sixth year and the Association says the new programme will be its most extensive to date with 20 separate sessions already confirmed including topics from presentation to legal issues to sales techniques.
CRCA Research and Communications Manager Alison Winter noted, "The Communications Act places considerable emphasis on the training provided by broadcasters and commercial radio takes its professional development responsibilities very seriously. Stations know that well trained staff are essential to their success."
"CRCA hopes to play a key role in the gathering and dissemination of training data and in the continued provision of relevant and affordable training for the industry," she added.
Previous CRCA:

2004-02-08: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced the results of its 2004 board elections. New members take office for two years from June this year.
The new Radio Board is:
Joseph M. Bilotta, Buckley Radio, New York, New York.
W. Bradford (Brad) Eure, Eure Communications, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia.
Alex Snipe, Glory Communications Inc., West Columbia, South Carolina (re-elected).
Stephen Levet, WCKW-AM, Metairie, Louisiana (re-elected).
James E. (Bud) Janes, KHMO/KICK, Bick Broadcasting, Hannibal, Missouri:
Mary Quass, NewRadio Group, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Rolland C. Johnson, Three Eagles Communications, Monument, Colorado (re-elected).
John W. Barger, VictoriaRadio Works, Ltd., San Antonio, Texas (re-elected).
Alan Harris, Wagonwheel Communications, Green River, Wyoming (re-elected).
Paul G. Gardner, Elko Broadcasting Company, Elko, Nevada.
Howard B. Anderson, KHWY, Inc., Los Angeles, California:
Previous NAB:

2004-02-07: US Radio Advertising Bureau President and CEO Gary Fries has told the organization's RAB 2004 meeting in Dallas that US radio advertisers now want to be able to document the value they are getting from their money.
"It's about getting true value. We have to be able to document ROI," said Fries, who noted that RAB is involved in a USD 3 million Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab campaign to show radio as an effective medium; The first report is to be released next month, a second is due in the second quarter of this year, and a third later.
The studies, like similar studies conducted in by the UK Radio Advertising Bureau, will illustrate the benefits of combining radio with TV and newspaper advertising, what the UK organization terms the "multiplier" effect.
Fries also told those at the meeting that the organization is expanding staffing in Chicago, Detroit and New York and opening new marketing offices in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Previous Fries:
Previous RAB - UK:

Previous RAB - US:

2004-02-07: The new UK media regulator Ofcom says that at least 35 new commercial FM licences can be issued in the country and adds that it considers "that licensing more FM services will help to bring about a faster and more successful transition to the digital future, by promoting the growth and prosperity of the radio industry as a whole."
It suggests in a consultation document that the current manner in which the FM waveband is segmented should be retained and in particular it says that the frequencies 87.6 to 88.0 MHz should be retained "as a central resource" for Restricted Service Licences (RSLs) that are issued for specific events and also notes that AM frequencies that are available could possibly be used "to support the development of new community radio services." It is to issue a separate consultation document dealing with community radio and a further consultation document on how the AM spectrum could be used.
Regarding commercial radio options, Ofcom lists nine areas already put on its working list by its predecessor, the Radio Authority, but not advertised, and also 16 metropolitan areas and a further ten potential 'small-scale' licences in areas that had been identified by the Radio Authority where there is known to be a demand for such services. In addition it says two further areas where frequencies are available have been identified subsequently.
In considering how to use these it says in a number of cases smaller areas could be combined into regional licences and notes, "The seventeen 'regional' stations which have been licensed outside Greater London since 1994 offer a greater range of formats, from dance music for the under-30s to easy listening for the over-50s."
Ofcom says it "considers that in general these 'regional' licences have brought substantial widening of choice to listeners and accompanying innovation" and it asks whether "advertising larger or smaller licences best serves the interests of citizen-consumers?" and goes on to note that it has identified "five possible options" where spectrum available could be combined for four new regional licences.
The areas involved are:
North-East 'regional' FM - from combining Newcastle and/or Sunderland plus Middlesbrough: Ofcom notes that the Radio Authority had identified the possibility of such a licence and also that increasing the scale of coverage for the Durham licence that was on the Authority's working list will limit options elsewhere in the North-East.
South-West 'regional' FM- from combining Cornwall, Plymouth, Exeter and/or Torbay OR combining Plymouth plus Exeter and/or Torbay. Here Ofcom notes that choices have to be made between the services a wider regional licence would offer and the more local services that could use the frequencies.
Solent 'regional' FM- from combining South Hampshire and Bournemouth.
South Wales 'regional' FM - combining Swansea and Cardiff (but not Newport).
The list of licences available issued by Ofcom comprises:
Nine from the Radio Authority working list - Ashford (Kent), Ballymena, Banbury, Blackburn, Cornwall, Durham, Kidderminster, Norwich, and Torbay.
Up to 19 metropolitan licences using frequencies already identified by the Radio Authority - Aberdeen Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff or Newport, Dundee and/or Perth, Edinburgh, Exeter and/or Torbay (additional to the Torbay on the 'working list'), Humberside (subject to an existing service changing frequency), Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and/or Sunderland, Norwich (additional to that on the 'working list'), Plymouth, South Hampshire, and Swansea.
Up to 11 non-metropolitan licences - Abingdon, Barrow-in-Furness, Chorley (subject to decisions about Manchester licence(s)), Devizes and/or Andover, Halifax-into-Calderdale, Newry, Northallerton, Swindon, and Thames Estuary (two frequencies).
Two areas subsequently identified - Bournemouth (small-scale) and Stoke-on-Trent.
Ofcom also expresses commitment to community radio and says it currently "undertaking a detailed analysis of FM frequency availability for new community radio services, seeking to identify frequencies which could not support commercially sustainable services but which might be usable for non- or partly-commercially funded stations."
It says that early studies indicate frequencies could be available to support one or two community radio services, of a scale similar to the current pilot stations, in most cities or conurbations - or locations in between them - in the UK.
Ofcom is also proposing to streamline its licence application system: It will continue open competition advertising of licences but will add to each advertisement specific information concerning requirements, with questions tied directly to one or more of the statutory criteria upon which the decision is to be made.
Each advertisement will give not only details of the area to be covered but also an analysis of existing commercial radio and listening patterns in the area as well as guidance of "how Ofcom intends to apply its statutory remit in respect of the new licence."
Ofcom says it aims to "employ a simple scoring system, linked directly to the statutory criteria, to aid the assessment process" with the details of this system (but not the results in particular cases) made public. After an award it made it will publish a statement that sets out the key determining factors under each of the statutory criteria, which led to our decision.
Still in consultation mode, Ofcom has also issued draft Guidelines for the handling of competition complaints, and complaints and disputes about breaches of conditions imposed under EU Directives.
It says these will streamline its process and says the guidance "provides a clear, easy-to-follow toolkit for both small and large companies. It sets out how to prepare the evidence Ofcom requires in order to take forward complaints or disputes referred to it."
Ofcom has four categories of complaints handling: Competition complaints, spectrum issue complaints on issues such as interference and pirate broadcasts, complaints about broadcast advertisements and consumer complaints about telecommunications providers.
It says its new evidence-based process will allow it to focus resource on the most serious allegations so as to "ensure a swifter resolution, whilst providing a consistent and transparent evidence-gathering template for all complainants."
Previous Ofcom:
Ofcom consultation document on radio licences (610Kb PDF- 39 Pages):
RNW note: For anyone interested in the history of commercial radio broadcasting in the UK this document has some useful information.
Ofcom consultation document on complaints (283 Kb PDF - 30 pages):

2004-02-07: Citadel Broadcasting has reported final quarter revenues last year up 7.8% to USD 102.2 million, free cash flow up 133.6% to USD 30.6 million, operating income in the black by USD 4.9 million compared to a negative USD 4.6 million a year before, and a net loss trimmed by 19% to USD 13.6 million - from 17 cents per basic and diluted share to 11 cents.
On a pro forma basis, assuming all Citadel's acquisitions had been completed as of the beginning of each period presented, net revenues would have increased approximately 2% and operating income excluding non-cash charges by approximately 10% for the quarter compared to a year earlier.
Full year revenues were up 6.5% to USD 371.5 million. Free cash flow was up 83.1% to USD 91.2 million, operating income was up 15.5% to USD 147 million and operating loss was down by more than 90% to USD 4 million from USD 41.7 million; on a pro-forma basis revenues were up 3% and operating income was up 12%.
Commenting on the results, chairman and CEO Farid Suleman said Citadel was pleased with the results "in spite of a tough advertising environment" and added that the company was "well positioned to grow both from existing stations as well as acquisitions in 2004."
Although the results were ahead of analysts' consensus, Citadel stock ended Friday down 1.32% at USD 18.70.
Previous Citadel:
Previous Suleman:

2004-02-07: In three decisions over the past few days, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that a 1960s "Crooners" Style Spoof Song broadcast by a Canadian rock station was too sexually explicit but that a Song with Gay Theme broadcast by another rock station and a TV promo for a third rock station were not in breach of its code of ethics.
The song that was ruled against was broadcast by CFBR-FM, The Bear in Edmonton, Alberta, in late morning and had resulted in a complaint that it was both too sexually explicit for the time and degrading to women.
On the former matter, the CBSC panel commented that the song, which included the term "blow me" me a number of times, was "obvious" and "explicit" and in breach of codes.
On the second matter, however, it commented that the "the oral sexual activity described is a mutual act and one which, in the view of the Panel, is not in principle demeaning to either partner to the activity."
The station's Program Director had told the complainant that the song had only been played the one time and he agreed "that the material in question was inappropriate, particularly at the time aired."
"The parody song has since been removed from active play," he added.
The other two rulings concerned a broadcast of a song aired on Vancouver rock station CFMI-FM's Brother Jake Morning Show and a commercial for Regina rock station CFWF-FM The Wolf aired on CKCK-TV, Regina, Saskatchewan.
In the first case a listener had complained that the song implied that its subjects were either the clergy or, at least, Irish Catholics seeking inappropriate sexual relationships with young men.
The panel disagreed and commented, "A review of the actual wording of the song, however, reveals no language reflecting any of the concerns which were the underpinning of his [the complainant's] two letters. There simply is not any religious issue in the song. It refers to two guys who are themselves gay. They are not looking for anyone else, young or otherwise, since they live together in an apartment. The word "Madonna" clearly refers to the singer and not, by any stretch of the imagination, to the Virgin Mary."
Regarding the promotion, several viewers had complained that the commercial exploited and degraded women, and that it aired at times of the day when young teens could be watching.
The panel commented that it had involved a "provocatively-dressed woman but one who is performing in a way that is entirely appropriate for the matter advertised... Each song excerpt related to her physically. In that sense, none was inappropriate. While she was alluring, her demeanour and dress were contextual."
Previous CBSC:

2004-02-06: UK GWR has joined the ranks of British radio companies reporting strong results: It says that in the final quarter of 2003 analogue revenues on a like for like basis were up 12% year on year with revenues for its local radio group, which is responsible for 70% of its revenue, up by 13%.
GWR adds that its new sales systems has contributed to an improving trend in locally sourced revenue growth, with revenues up by 14% year on year in this quarter compared to an 11% increase in the period for national revenues.
Its Classic FM national channel also increased revenues by 13% and GWR says its "strategy of moving Classic FM to a younger age profile is working" with reach up 7% for the 35-54 age group and listening hours for them up 21%. This increase, comments, GWR, "will make the station more competitive in the advertising marketplace in offering advertisers mass access to the lucrative younger market."
GWR says the advertising market was more buoyant in the last and January analogue revenues on a like for like basis were up by 10% year on year.
Commenting on the take-up of digital radio, where sales were very strong in December (See RNW Feb 3), GWR says this demonstrates the importance of GWR's investment in digital radio and notes its support for the development of a chip that has enabled prices to fall to around GBP 80 ( USD ) at the bottom end with further price reductions expected.
Commenting on the results, Executive Chairman Ralph Bernard said the quarter was "notably strong for GWR - we grew faster than our peer group in the main revenue streams - national, local and sponsorship."
In the US, Journal Communications has reported net earnings for the final quarter of 2003 up 31.5% to GBP 18.8 million on operating revenues for continuing operations up 1.8% to USD 193.4 million and full year net earnings up 15.4% to USD 66.8 million on operating revenues for continuing operations down 0.4% to USD 798.3 million.
It broadcast operating revenues for the quarter were down 32% to USD 39.1 million and for the year were down 1.4% to USD 150.7 million. Journal put the fall down primarily down to loss of TV revenues that had accompanied the 2002 Olympics and reduced political and issue advertising.
Operating earnings for broadcasting were down 8.8% for the quarter to USD 10.4 million and down 10.5% for the year to USD 29.9 million.
Its radio stations had operating revenues of USD 20.2 million, just up from USD 20.1 million and for the full year they were slightly down at USD 77.9 million compared to USD 78.2 million. Operating earnings, however, were up - 12% for the quarter to UD 5.6 million and 10.5% for the year to USD 16.8 million, primarily because of reduced administrative and selling expenses.
North of the border, Rogers Communications' final quarter revenues were up 13% to CAD 1.322 billion (USD 989 million) but its earnings were down from 698 million CAD ( USD 522 million or CAD 3.22 cents a share) to CAD 68 million (USD 51 million or 24 cents a share) because of the effect in 2003 of a one-off gain of USD 904 million (USD 676 million) on the unwinding of AT&T Canada.
For the full year revenues were up 12% to CAD 4.847 billion (USD 3.625 billion) and earnings were down from CAD 312 million (USD 233 million or CADS 1.05 per share) to CAD 199 million (USD 97 million or 35 cents a share).
Rogers said its media results were generally strong across the group, highlighted by continued growth at Sportsnet, and improved results at the Radio division reflecting the success of recent reformatting initiatives.
President and CEO Ted Rogers said, "The objective we articulated for 2003 was to deliver double-digit revenue and operating profit growth with a corresponding reduction in capital expenditures, and driven by both operational enhancements and a disciplined approach to our markets.",
"Once again, the teams across the Rogers Group of Companies delivered against the financial commitments while also providing unparalleled innovation, convenience and value for our customers. We enter 2004 with solid momentum and with all of our business are increasingly well-positioned for continued success".
On the satellite radio front, XM has announced that it is to trim its debt by around USD 135 million through redemption of any of the approximately USD45.7 million outstanding principal amount of the 7.75% Convertible Subordinated Notes due 2006 which are not converted prior to the close of business on March 2, 2004 and a notice to prepay the portion of its outstanding USD 89 million Series GM Senior Secured Convertible Note due 2009, which is not converted.
The funding for this will come from its recent offering of Class A common stock.
Previous Bernard:
Previous GWR:

Previous Journal:
Previous Rogers:
Previous Ted Rogers:
Previous XM:

2004-02-06: France is expected to decide soon to adopt the Eureka 147 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system in the near future following remarks made by Dominic Baudis, President of the French Regulatory Authority, the CSA, at the Le Radio conference in Paris this week.
Speaking at Le Radio, Baudis said the only way to maintain and increase the diversity of radio stations in France was through digital radio: France has lagged behind other European countries in the introduction of DAB but a legal framework for it that would cover terrestrial DAB, the DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) system and satellite broadcasting is to be discussed in the French parliament next week and is expected to be approved within the next few months.
Baudis said once the framework is in place he would launch a call for tender and begin the deployment of digital radio in France.
WorldDAB President Annika Nyberg commented, "France is a key market for digital radio technologies, and the World DAB Forum has already forged links with Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM"·), which we believe can exist compatibly with DAB. It is encouraging to hear Mr Baudis acknowledge that digital is the way forward for radio. We look forward to an increased momentum for digital broadcasting in France over the next 12 months.¨
Le Radio is part of the larger Siel Conference, Le Radio and included a symposium and workshop designed to present the international digital radio picture to French speaking broadcasters from around the world.
As well as Nyberg, other speakers at the conference included Ian Dickens, Chief Executive of the Digital Radio Development Bureau, Bert Propper from Germany's DAB marketing body, IMDR, Carsten Corneliussen of Nordini, the Scandinavian association for DAB and Yannick Andre-Masse from the newly formed Vivement la Radio Numerique who examined how DAB could be implemented in France.
Previous Dickens:
Previous DRM:
Previous DRDB:
Previous Nyberg:
Previous WorldDab:

2004-02-06: Whilst at its headquarters the BBC had been concerned about political problems, BBC Radio Scotland has become involved in embarrassment over gardening advice given to a caller on how to grow marijuana.
The incident took place at the weekend when hosts Frieda Morrison and John McColl of the Beechgrove Potting Shed gardening programme gave advice to a caller on how to best grow his Northern Lights - a strong variety of marijuana plant that is popular in Holland.
The pair thought they were talking about a variety of cabbage and McColl added advice on how to use a propagator and take cuttings from the plant, although it is not clear why he thought a cabbage would be propagated through cuttings. The Northern Lights cabbage is a flowering variety, a mixed F1 hybrid.
The edition has been kept off the BBC's on-demand service on its web site but the note to this effect on the site does not say why the action has been taken.
Previous BBC:
Beechgrove Potting Shed site:
marijuanasignpost ( Dutch) site information on Northern Lights Marijuana:
Thompson and Morgan site for Northern Lights cabbage seed:

2004-02-06: Radio Unica is now effectively dead: Its best of shows that had been running since it ended live Spanish News/Talk on January 30 have now also ended.
Unica's stations have been sold to Multicultural Broadcasting and many of them are now airing Radio Formula's 24-hour Spanish News/Talk programming.
Multicultural is planning to switch a number of them to Progress Media's new liberal-talk Air America Network whose flagship will be WNTD-AM, Chicago (See RNW Jan 14).
Previous Multicultural:
Previous Progress Media:
Previous Unica:

2004-02-05: According to Radio and Records Online Joan Gerberding has resigned as President of Nassau Media Partners - the parent of Nassau Broadcasting after nearly 25 years with the company.
R&R reports that she will continue with the company as a consultant until March 31 and that Executive Vice President G. Daniel Henrickson, another veteran Nassau executive, will take over her role.
Gerberding joined Nassau as Manager/Sales Development in 1980 as Sales Development Manager at flagship stations, WHWH-AM and WPST-FM. Prior to that she worked as a as a writer/photographer in advertising before moving into radio as Account Executive with WCOD-FM in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in 1975. She was promoted to GSM in 1977 and then to vice President in 1979
She has been named one of the "20 Most Influential Women in Radio" every year since the initial list was first published in 1999 and was top of the list in 2002. She is the national president of American Women in Radio and Television.
Previous Nassau:
Radio and Records web site:

2004-02-05: Sirius has announced that it has now completed a seven-year agreement, announced in December last year (See RNW Dec 17, 2003) to broadcast all NFL games live nationwide and for Sirius to become the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL.
From this year's season, SIRIUS plans to carry all NFL regular-season contests as well as select pre-season and playoff games and starting with the 2005 season, Sirius will also broadcast the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl.
Previous Sirius:

2004-02-05: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 7,000 penalty on a Florida AM for failing to effectively fence its antenna structure.
WCVC, Inc., licensee of WCVC-AM, Tallahassee, had admitted the offence but asked for cancellation of the penalty on the grounds that it had not wilfully violated regulations and that it was a "small daytime radio station operating out of a very humble mobile home." It also implied that it had a good previous record over many years of broadcasting
The FCC, as usual, dismissed the first argument; it also said its records indicated that WCVC previously had been issued a Notice of Violation regarding its apparent failure to comply with Commission Emergency Alert System ("EAS") testing and antenna structure cleaning and repainting requirements.
On the financial argument, it said no documentation had been produced as was required to justify it reducing the penalty.
Previous FCC:

2004-02-05: The latest report of the BBC Complaints Unit, covering the period from October to December 2003, shows complaints concerning nine items on radio were upheld compared to seven in the previous bulletin. TV complaints concerning 21 items were upheld, up from ten in the previous bulletin.
In all, the unit dealt with 342 complaints concerning 231 items in the quarter compared to 289 complaints relating to 177 items in the third quarter of the year: It upheld 55, 15 of them partly, 16% of the total, which compared to 8.5%in the previous bulletin when 25 complaints were upheld, two of them partly.
Of the total complaints, 84 related to matters of fairness and accuracy, up from 76 and they related to 69 items, up from 62.
A further 252 related to matters of taste and standards, up from 210; they related to 156 items, down from 210. The remaining six complaints about six items concerned other matters; double the three in the previous quarter.
In a foreword, acting BBC Director-General Mark Byford notes that in December, he was asked to take on special responsibility for editorial standards, adding, " recent events have shown, it is a crucial one."
He adds that the review will mean, "...changes in many areas of the BBC" but what will not change "is the principle on which the Programme Complaints Unit has always been based - a provision for independent investigation of serious editorial complaints. The findings in this Bulletin show that principle at work. No other broadcaster does this, and the fact that we do is a sign of our commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the service of the public."
The radio items concerning which complaints were upheld were:
Matters of fairness and accuracy:
Political bias: BBC Radio 1, Colin and Edith - a complaint that one of the presenters promoted a personal view of Government proposals on student tuition fees. The presenter was reminded of the need to avoid taking sides in matters of public controversy.
Other bias: BBC Radio 2, Sarah Kennedy - a complaint that Sarah Kennedy's personal views coloured her discussion of the following weekend's Countryside Alliance March. The producer emphasized to Sarah Kennedy the need for care in dealing with a controversial topic, and she has not raised the subject of hunting since.
Matters of taste and standards:
Bad language:
BBC Radio Sheffield, Roots and Culture - A complaint of extreme bad language in a track played at about 7pm, in what the complainant took to be a programme of gospel music.
In fact, the programme of gospel music had ended moments earlier - but the track was nevertheless ruled out of place. The presenter, who was standing in for a more experienced broadcaster, will not be used again on the programme.
BBC Radio 1, Mark Radcliffe - A listener objected to the use of the f-word in an early afternoon broadcast.
Though Mark Radcliffe's immediate, repeated and evidently genuine apologies for his use of the word (during an animated exchange with his co-presenter) went a long way towards mitigating the offence, it was ruled that it should not have been used in the first place.
Sexual conduct:
BBC Radio 1, Sarah Cox - A complaint that a discussion of condoms (including a reported conversation between a member of the programme team and his girlfriend which used the phrase "assume the position, bitch") was inappropriate at a time when children - including his own 10-year-old daughter - were listening.
It was ruled that the tone and content of the discussion were generally appropriate in the context of a week-long safe sex campaign on a network which is addressed mainly to older teenagers and people in their twenties but the particular remark singled out by the listener was not.
The presenter was reminded to keep the likely composition and expectations of a breakfast-time audience in view.
BBC Radio Five Live, Sport on 5 - Three complaints that a commentator on the match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur had made humorous remarks based on the Chinese origin of one of the players.
The comments were ruled unacceptable and it was noted that independently of the investigation the Controller of Radio Five Live broadcast and published an apology on behalf of the commentator and the network.
Sensitivity and portrayal
BBC Radio 2, Wax On... A listener was offended by the inclusion of a clip in this comedy compilation show in which an American comedian used the word "mongoloid" in a derogatory sense.
It was ruled that insufficient account had been taken of the offence which this and related terms can cause to people with Down's syndrome and their families and to the wider audience.
BBC Radio 1, Colin and Edith - The parent of a child with Tourette's syndrome complained that the presenters made insulting and inaccurate comments about the condition, and displayed precisely the kind of attitude that made life difficult for those who suffer from it.
The discussion was ruled to have played on stereotypical images of Tourette's syndrome which gave a negative and inaccurate impression and the Head of Mainstream Programmes took the matter up with the presenters, and made clear that the
comments were unacceptable.
Standards of interviewing/presentation
BBC Radio 4, Today - A complaint that the programme's business correspondent had inappropriately expressed a personal view.
It was ruled that what was intended as no more than a quizzical sign-off implied a view on one of the main points at issue in the interview and the Editor, Business and Economics, reminded the correspondent of the need for care when signing off live interviews.
Also issued along with the complaints bulleting was a report on appeals heard during the quarter; in all there were 12 appeals, of which nine were not upheld. Four of them involved radio of which one was upheld. The others upheld were one TV complaint and another, partly upheld, over the BBC web site.
Upheld against radio was a taste and decency complaint against Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2 over his use of the "term 'Gypo' and further racist and offensive comments about how to identify Gypsy caravans."
The complaint had originally not been upheld on the basis that comments were not intended to be malicious or racist and their tone had been "cheery allusions to a traditional vernacular perception of Gypsy life" rather than demeaning offensiveness.
The Appeals Committee took the view that Ross's remarks had not been well judged and had been demeaning and offensive and said it considered that the remarks raised serious concerns, and that Jonathan Ross should be alerted to them
Previous BBC:
Previous Byford:
Previous BBC Complaints bulletin:

2004-02-05: Arbitron has reported a further decline in response and consent rates by potential diary keepers but says the return rate has increased.
Across all its 286 markets in the fall 2003 survey it says return rate was up from 55.5% a year earlier to 56.1%, the response rate was down from 34.5% to 33.1%, and the consent rate - those approached who agreed to take part in surveys - was down from 61.4% to 58.2%.
All the rates were down, but by less, in the top ten markets, return rate from 54% to 53.9%, response rate from 28.9% to 27.9%, and consent rate from 53% to 51.1%.
Arbitron notes that since Spring 2003, when it announced its most recent response rate initiatives measures it has taken included sending larger diary premiums to black and Hispanic households in any market or county that did not receive black or Hispanic Differential Survey Treatment; expanded its targeting of males 25-34 in additional markets, and opened a second interviewing centre in Houston, Texas.
In view of the declines it says it will now provide additional incentives for diary consent and return in 40 "low-response" markets by adding a letter and USD1 preplacement for all households and a USD 5 postplacement premium for black, Hispanic and young male households in the low-response markets that do not currently receive the "promised incentive" treatment; it will also enhance the script for the recruiting call to ensure that respondents are aware of the incentives for return being offered to their household.
These initiatives are planned for Spring 2004, to be followed for Fall 2004 by adding new incentives for consent for respondents who refuse early in the recruiting process in all markets.
For Winter 2004 it is to improve its starting sample by removing ineligible phone numbers, such as businesses, to allow interviewers to concentrate on valid contacts.
It says it is also continuing its extensive program of methods research tests to devise techniques to enhance consent and return efforts in future surveys.
Previous Arbitron:

2004-02-04: Following reports that it was to drop this Thursday's edition of the Radio 4 comedy-satire show "Absolute Power", because of a passage that implied that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was a liar, the BBC has decided instead to re-edit the show.
The show was written in December by Mark Tavener who told the UK Daily Telegraph that he had been told by the BBC that the show had been axed "because you can't call Tony Blair a liar in the current climate'."
The comedy stars Stephen Fry and John Bird as spin doctors, and the first show was about between the BBC and the government keen to build fences after the publication of the Hutton report, although it does not mention any of the actual events. In it one character refers to former Prime Ministerial aide Alastair Campbell as "Alas, it's a shambles"
In one comment Fry's character, Charles Prentiss, says there is nothing he could "teach this prime minister about deception, manipulation and lying. Except how to do it properly".
In another section, a BBC executive explains to Prentiss that she cannot "just go to Newsnight [a BBC TV late night news and current affairs show] and pull an item at management's behest. Well, at least, I can but I don't. It causes too much trouble".
A BBC Radio 4 spokesman told the Telegraph the corporation had decided to bring forward the second episode to Thursday evening and was considering re-editing the contentious episode for later broadcast.
The spokesman added that the story had been "overtaken by events
"This was the writer's view of what the outcomes of the Hutton report might be," he said. " Now we know what those outcomes are. The references to the Hutton report don't sound right any more. There's is nothing sinister in this."
Tavener denied that the show was out of date. "I was told I couldn't refer to Blair as a liar because Hutton said he wasn't," he said. "Quite clearly this is nonsense. I'm making a much wider point about the culture of spin."
"In any case this is a fictional, light comedy - and a very balanced one at that. It's equally rude - if not ruder - about the BBC. They are chickening out because they are worried about upsetting the Government. It's sickening."
Following the reports on Tuesday morning, the BBC said it had decided to run the show as planned but with the words "manipulation and lying" edited out.
Tavener commented to BBC Radio 4's lunchtime news show The World at One, "I think it's a mistake. It's not a reference to Hutton exonerating the prime minister from lying over the dossier, it's a much broader, more general reference,"
He also said he resented the BBC's suggestion that he had made a mistake when he said the program was going to be removed from the schedule: "There was an email saying the show was going to be pulled," he said.
Commenting to the Channel 4 TV lunchtime news Tavener said, "I was upset and angry about that and what concerned me was that if the BBC post-Hutton is so neurotic about what is clearly a light-hearted comedy programme, you know, what else is it neurotic about?"
He added that he thought the timing of the comedy was actually "very good timing" saying, "It demonstrates that the BBC is capable of laughing at itself. It also demonstrates the BBC's commitment to editorial independence because the show is quite rude about the government and I don't deny that."
John Pidgeon, the BBC head of radio light entertainment, told The World at One that "the network initially took the view that the first episode might have to be pulled or postponed, but discussed it at a meeting yesterday and agreed on a very small number of edits".
A Radio 4 spokeswoman said of the edit, "We had to remove the word lying because it is used in the context of the dodgy dossier and as we know Lord Hutton said nobody lied about that."
Another Telegraph report linked to the Hutton report that condemned the BBC and its Radio 4 Breakfast Today show over a report that said the British government had sexed up intelligence concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, says that the editor of the programme, Kevin Marsh, has consulted lawyers about the strong criticism of him and his programme's editorial standards by the report.
The paper reports that Marsh claims that Andrew Gilligan, the reporter at the centre of the row, had ignored a pre-approved script when he made his live report that led to the row.
The paper says that according to Marsh's witness statement for the inquiry - which was never submitted as he was not called - Gilligan had agreed in advance with his editor what he would say in a scripted report but contrary to the programme's convention that reporters stick to the facts in their script - Gilligan added two points to his "unscripted two-way" with [Today show presenter] John Humphrys shortly after 6am.
The paper says that those points - that the Government knew the 45-minute claim was wrong and that it was not included in early drafts because intelligence agencies believed it was unreliable - turned out to be wrong and "formed the basis for Lord Hutton's withering criticism of the programme's editorial controls and - by extension - most of his other attacks on the BBC's handling of the story."
The former law lord described the two claims as "unfounded" and said Today's editorial system was "defective" in that it allowed Gilligan to broadcast his first report "without editors having seen a script and having considered whether it should be approved".
The Telegraph adds that Marsh could have submitted his evidence to the inquiry in writing but it is understood he did not because the BBC wrongly expected that Lord Hutton would not criticize parts of the editorial process about which he had not taken evidence.
It quoted insiders as saying that Marsh has insisted since he took over the programme that all reporters write a script for their story and added that a programme source said: "Kevin looked at Andrew's notes three times before the report was broadcast and asked him to script his piece, which he did. The script that he okayed for broadcast was not challenged by Hutton in any way."
RNW comment: In the circumstances of this report, if the Telegraph report is correct it seems almost impossible to significantly demean Lord Hutton's judgment.
Bearing in mind his criticisms of the BBC concerning reporting that is done under time pressures and in circumstances where verification of allegations may be almost impossible, for a man who had as much time as Hutton did to make the criticisms he did in his report and then issue a report in which a similar error could crop up his report leaves a choice of adjectives such as careless, stupid, blinkered or bigoted but certainly not worthy of great respect.
Hutton's comments already seemed to us to betray a very narrow mindset; the Telegraph story would seem to justify the contempt felt by many for much of his report.
Blair may have chosen wisely to get his verdict but the end result may be more to damage the reputation of the judiciary than prop up the Prime Minister's.

Previous BBC:
Previous Marsh:
UK Telegraph report (Morning):
UK Guardian report (Afternoon):
*Absolute Power airs on Thursday at 18:30 GMT, one of four episodes. For those who miss it, it should be available for a week on demand on Radio 4's "Listen Again" site.

2004-02-04: US radio revenues in December last year were up 2% on a year before and the figure for the whole year was 1% up on 2002 according to the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
The December figures were the same 2% for local, national and combined sales but for the final quarter sluggish spending early on the same figures were all down 1%: For the year national revenues were up 6% and local was flat.
For December, RAB's sales index, which takes pre-boom 1998 as the base year, was 121.5 for local revenues; 125.8 for national, and 122.9 for combined revenues: For the full year the corresponding figures were local, 135.4; national 144.0; and combined total, 138.4.
For the fourth quarter, local, national, and combined figures were down 1% on a year earlier.
RAB President and CEO Gary Fries commented, "The growth Radio generated in 2003 points to healthy ad sales in all sectors, as consumer confidence grows and we move into a more stable economy in 2004," observed Gary Fries, President and Chief Executive Officer, RAB. "In local advertising, which was the most lacklustre this past year, Radio was able to maintain a presence without a shortfall. Combined with better-than-expected national results, Radio is well positioned for accelerated momentum."
Previous Fries:
Previous RAB:

2004-02-04: UK Capital Radio and Chrysalis Group each reported upturns in the UK advertising market in trading updates on Tuesday: Capital said group revenues were up 5% in the final quarter of 2003 and Chrysalis had a successful start to its 2004 financial year, saying that trading across the group remains in line with expectations for the full year.
Chrysalis Radio reported revenues up by 19% for the five months from 1st September 2003 to 31st January 2004. It said that it entered February with more than 90% of budgeted revenues booked and added "Given this exceptional revenue performance, we intend strengthening our marketing activity, particularly in London, where high profile changes at a number of other stations provide our Heart and LBC brands with significant opportunities for growth."
Capital said revenue performance was enhanced by the Group's portfolio of stations across the UK and it continued to achieve particularly strong revenue growth from Xfm and the Century FM Network.
Overall Capital is predicting "modest growth" this month and in March but in January, usually a strong month for holiday and retail advertisements, its revenues only edged up by 1%. This compares to 8% in October and half that in November, indicating a downward trend. It turned the corner in the third quarter of last year with revenues up 1% on the previous year compared to being 6% down in the second quarter.
Capital shares ended Tuesday up 1.26% at GBP 564 pence whilst Chrysalis stock fell 0.51% to 243.75 pence.
In the US, Jefferson-Pilot Corp. has reported a 75% increase in net earnings to USD 116.3 million and a 35% increase in group fourth quarter earnings per share before realized investment losses to USD 1.01 and a 78 percent increase in net income per share to USD 0.82
Jefferson-Pilot Communications reported "an excellent fourth quarter" with earnings up 18% from a year ago to USD 15.4 million for the quarter and broadcast cash flow up 8 percent to USD 29.1 million.
For the full year Jefferson-Pilot Communications earnings were up 14% to USD 45.4 million and broadcast cash flow was up 8 % to USD 91.6 million.
The company said the "strong gains were achieved despite modest growth in broadcast advertising in our markets, demonstrating again Jefferson Pilot's commitment to disciplined and effective expense management and success in gaining market share."
Previous Capital:
Previous Chrysalis:

Previous Jefferson-Pilot:
2004-02-04: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 21,000 to USD 1,500 penalties it had proposed on a Florida AM for failure to maintain a presence at its main studio, operation in excess of authorized night time operating power, and failure to make the station's public inspection file available during regular business hours.
RJM Communications, Inc., licensee of WGSR-AM, Fernandina Beach, had appealed the amount on grounds of inability to pay and the FCC agreed after seeing its federal income tax returns for tax years 2000, 2001, and 2002.
The FCC has also cancelled a Notice of Apparent Liability issued against Edmund Dinis, former licensee of WJFD-FM, New Bedford, Massachusetts. It said that after reviewing the record it concluded the notice was issued outside of the statute of limitations.
Previous FCC:

2004-02-04: Sirius has announced a special translator module from SoundGate that used with a Sirius tuner and antenna will allow the Sirius signal to be played over both XM radios and other non satellite-ready radios from GM and Honda.
The package is expected to retail for around USD 150 and is already available for GM radios with the Honda translator expected by the end of this month.
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM:

2004-02-04: Yet again it was a case of minor musical chairs at the top ranks in the latest Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings just released.
At the very top there was no change with MUSICMATCH retaining its hold on top station spot and AOL Radio@ Network doing the same for the top network spot.
For the week to January 18, 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 (*Non Commercial) - TTSL 838,914 (761,815); CP - 270,888 (248,569). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin AM & FM (Commercial) - TTSL 321,342 (313,572); CP - 68,185 (59,365). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
3:Contemporary Christian K-LOVE (Non commercial) - TTSL 295,004 (278,276); CP 34,731 (32,704). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: Country format AOL Top Country (Commercial) -TTSL 249,160 (238,863); CP 93,792 (86,583). Up from fifth with higher listening and reach.
5: Smooth Jazz AOL Smooth Jazz (Commercial) - TTSL 247,359 (241,715); CP - 55,240 (52,1531). Down from fourth despite higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to January 18 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: AOL Radio@ Network (Commercial) - TTSL - 6,431,407 (6,058,658); CP - 1,597,444 (1,474,930). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
2: LAUNCH (Commercial) TTSL - 3,425,010 (3,676,479); CP - 875,529 (863,683). Same rank with lower listening but higher reach.
3: MUSICMATCH Inc. (*Non Commercial) TTSL - 2,275,786 (2,115,851); CP - 534,715 (501,775). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
4: The Adsertion Network (Sales Network) TTSL - 827,282 (698,556); CP - 127,207 (113,276) - Same rank with higher listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio (Commercial) TTSL - 548,202 (552,999); CP - 95,349 (86,798) - Same rank with higher listening and reach.
Arbitron does not now rank Content Delivery Networks (CDN) alongside other networks but does report on them; for the week the top Content Delivery Networks were Live365 with TTSL 2,816,020, up from 2,682,070 and StreamGuys with TTSL 599,076, up from 573,247.
Previous Arbitron Internet Broadcast Ratings:

2004-02-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fiscal 2005 budget submitted to Congress is up 4.3% -- USD 12.16 million - on the year before at USD 292,958,000.
The FCC says the requested level will "cover mandatory increases for salaries and benefits and inflationary increases for office space rental, supplies, printing, postage and contractual services."
"The budget level," it adds, "also includes funds for maintenance and modernization of technology systems that directly further all aspects of our performance; information technology equipment to support our multiyear lifecycle management program; replacement monitoring vehicles; technical monitoring and test equipment to ensure the Commission has up-to-date tools to achieve the agency's Spectrum and Homeland Security initiatives; and skills based training for critical FCC program areas."
The FCC has also reacted strongly to the incident in which in which Super Bowl halftime performer Justin Timberlake ripped a piece off fellow performer Janet Jackson's outfit, exposing Jackson's right breast.
Timberlake has insisted the act was not deliberate but a "wardrobe malfunction" and CBS, which was broadcasting the game has apologised. The game itself was disrupted by a streaker but CBS turned its cameras away from the sight. Jackson has so far said nothing.
FCC chairman Michael K. Powell and fellow commissioners Kathleen Q. Abernathy, who said she was "shocked and dismayed" and Michael J. Copps, who said "this Commission has done so far has accomplished anything to slow down Big Media's race to the bottom", issued statements deploring the incident and Powell, saying he was "outraged" by a "classless, crass and deplorable stunt" promised a "be thorough and swift" investigation.
RNW comment: The US now seems to be approaching witch-hunt action over indecency and we suspect radio stations are casting a very strict eye over some of their acts.
We wonder whether Sirius is likely to pick up Opie and Anthony in the current climate and wouldn't bet too heavily on the future of such "acts" as Howard Stern, Erich "Mancow" Muller, and "Bubba the Love Sponge."

In disciplinary mood over a different issue, the commission has also revoked a construction permit for a Michigan FM. MacDonald Garber Broadcasting had filed a petition to deny the permit for WTCU-FM, Fife Lake, to Roy Henderson on the basis of misleading statements by Henderson in his April 2003 application.
Henderson has also been ordered to submit a USD 20,000 voluntary contribution" to the US Treasury over the matter.
Previous Abernathy:
Previous Copps:
Previous FCC:
Previous Powell:
RNW FCC 2004 budget proposal report:
FCC web site - news release says full budget proposals have been posted but we cannot find them on the budget section of the site.

2004-02-03: The UK Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) says a record 133,000 digital receivers were sold in the UK in December with sales for the year 2003 more than doubling compared to 2002.
Most of the sales according to figures compiled by GfK were of portable kitchen style receivers, and in one major store chain digital sales exceeded those of analogue receivers for the first time.
The UK now has 362 services broadcasting on DAB and the number of digital-only services (190) now exceeds those of analogue simulcasts (172).
Two new multiplexes were launched last weekend -- Capital Radio's Sussex Coast multiplex and The Wireless Group's Swansea multiplex.
The take-up of digital has been boosted by a combination of greater receiver choice - more than 30 new products were launched in 2003 - and falling prices, which are now as low as GBP 65 (USD 119).
The launch of new products is continuing this year with five announced so far including a first model from Hitachi, a micro system using the RadioScape RS200 module that fully integrates Band III DAB, FM and RDS into a single module. The Ministry of Sound's new micro hi-fi system is also in stores.
Also new are an FM/DAB portable from Philips that weighs only 100 grams and two portable kitchen style receivers from Acoustic Solutions.
The DRDB says that the range of receivers available in the UK is expected to double this year with new manufacturers, including some familiar big brand names from Japan, Europe and Korea launching products; By the end of the year it expects more than a million DAB receivers to be in UK homes.
UK chip maker Frontier Silicon says it has already shipped more than half a million units of its DAB chips.
Digital should also get a boost in Europe today, which is Digital Day at the Le Radio show in Paris, France. During the day representatives of the World DAB Forum and the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium are scheduled to outline the latest developments in digital radio.
DRM will be features in a session "AM/DRM: The Big Start"and Annika Nyberg, President of the WorldDAB Forum, will speak to delegates about new products and manufacturers expected to roll out across Europe in 2004.
Previous DRDB:

Previous DRM:
Previous Nyberg:
Previous WorldDAB:

2004-02-03: A flavour of times past in US radio is soon to disappear with the demise of Upper Deerfield, New Jersey, station WSNJ-FM, which is being sold by New Jersey Radio Partners, LLC, owned by the Bold family, to Radio One Inc. for USD 35 million.
Radio One is buying the station for its licence and intends to move the station to Pennsauken, where it can broadcast across the Delaware River to a bigger and more lucrative Philadelphia audience. It says it expects the deal to close in the first quarter of this year.
Radio One CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins, III said the "acquisition will strengthen our position in the Philadelphia metropolitan market by giving us our third station in one of the largest radio markets in the country."
Reporting before the sale was confirmed, the New York Times gives a flavour of the station with a report that opens with," The microphones appear to belong to the 1940's, and some do."
If continues by noting that there are no computers either at the station although there is a regularly used typewriter.
WSNJ, located near Bridgeton, is a prime example of localism as it used to be in the US with a format of school lunch menus, farm reports, hunting and fishing news and pet advice.
Among popular shows, notes the report, is the phone-in show "Country Store," during which people try to sell three-quarter-ton pickup trucks, tractors and, at least once, a cow.
Some of the old station will remain in the output of sister AM station, which is being bought by Jim Quinn, the mayor of nearby Millville, who owns another station in the area. He says he intends to keep the WSNJ-AM format almost unaltered and extend its reach by simulcasting on his other station.
"It's probably one of the most unique radio stations in the country," Quinn said. "It is truly local, and they get unbelievable response. I was on there recently and I had 18 people who called in during my hour. On my show we don't get 18 in a week."
The WSNJ operation was built up by the Bold family whose connection with it started in 1946 when Ed Bold left the Coastguard and joined just as the FM station went on air: The AM had begun transmissions in 1937.
Bold tried other jobs but kept returning to the station and in 1971 with his wife Katherine bought a half share, picking up the rest in 1991.
The station was successful and reflected the rural character of its area and the Bolds saw no need to modernise it. Offers were turned down for many years but Ed Bold remained satisfied with what he had until fairly recently when, with increasing age, he began negotiating a deal. He died of cancer in March last year and his widow, who is 82, continued the negotiations.
She told the paper," "I figure it's time to go on to bigger and better things. I just hope I m not bored."
"Let's put it this way," she went on. "I'm going to be 83. I've had enough. I taught school for 39 years and the last day of school I walked out and didn't look back. And I think that's the way it's going to be here. It s been interesting, but it's been a headache too.
One of the couple's two daughters, Lynn Timberman, who has worked at the station since she learned to walk well enough to stay out of the way, said her father was never particularly interested in the money either.
"He hung on because he loved it, and to preserve the jobs mainly," she said. "I always say it was the American dream. He got his education in the service and made something of himself, and that is what the American dream is about. "
The Times also carried a report, this time from AP, on the decline of another one-time mainstay of many American stations, the local farm broadcaster.
It puts the decline down to a combination of the decline in agricultural advertising revenues and consolidation and says that broadcasters, who once covered local communities, are now responsible for entire regions and more and more output is syndicated.
"Local coverage, the kind farmers used to listen to in their tractors or during their midday meal, has all but disappeared," it says.
It notes that amongst larger stations that have curtailed their farm reports recently are WGN-AM in Chicago and WCCO-AM in Minneapolis, each of which dropped long-running farm programmes.
WGN dropped the noon farm show although carrying reports throughout the day from Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong (See RNW Dec 11, 2003) and WCCO has moved its agriculture voice, Roger Strom, to a smaller sister station.
Jim Evans, a retired professor of agricultural communications at the University of Illinois said farmers are now turning to other technologies such as the Internet for information but added that farm broadcasting "has a personal dimension to it that other media can't match.''
In Iowa, which had the highest number of farm listeners, says the report, Clear Channel has cut the number of its farm broadcasters in the state from nine to four as it trimmed costs.
One of those who went was Max Molleston, who'd been a farm broadcaster in Iowa for 28 years and provided 19 short updates throughout the day for two radio stations in the Quad Cities, and who commented, "My one minute was a godsend to farmers and nobody recognized that on the business side. If they could tune into me for one minute, they could get a hell of a lot of information in 60 seconds and know what the market was doing. They miss my voice.''
Ted Haller, a media buyer for Osborn & Barr Communications in St. Louis, said that the decline was now hitting the heartland of farming and said the biggest factor had been a halving since 1999 of the USD 40 million a year that had been spent annually on agricultural advertising as agricultural chemical companies merged and spent less.
He added that, although numbers had been cut, in some cases farm programming had improved, saying, "Do farmers want to hear their local broadcasters in one of their neighbour's barns talking about yields? Absolutely. But what's more important than hearing that for the farmer is the daily markets and weather that he's got to get.''
Previous Armstrong:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Liggins:
Previous Samuleson:
Previous Radio 1 Inc.:
New York Times/AP report on farm broadcasting decline:
New York Times report on WSNJ sale:

2004-02-03: A report on satellite radio in the Philadelphia Inquirer forecasts both a healthy future for both Sirius and XM and a decline for traditional terrestrial broadcasters.
It is a moment, says the report, like the arrival of cable television, a novelty 30 years ago, and now a drain on traditional broadcasters' audience and ad revenue.
It then quotes said Bob Richards, spokesman for SkyWaves Research Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as saying, "I think the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)members are going to find themselves in a fight for their survival. My expectation is there will be a lot fewer AM and FM stations 20 years from now."
Nashville media consultant Robert Unmacht also picked up on the inconsistencies in some of the comments of NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts that praise the value of terrestrial broadcasters compared to their satellite rivals.
"If Eddie Fritts was thinking, he'd think about [traditional] stations that don't do local news and have no local personalities anymore, said Unmacht.
"If he's for local programming, why doesn't he rally about [syndicated Indianapolis DJs] Bob & Tom, who are on in more than 100 markets, and Rush Limbaugh, who's on in 600?"
Unmacht also said he thought the move by the satellite radio companies to introduce a channel that would include local weather and traffic news - opposed vehemently by Fritts as an "appalling back-door attempt" to skirt the rules on what is allowed under the satellite services' license - was in fact within the rules.
Satellite radio has certainly caught on speedily with XM attracting 1.4 million subscribers since its debut in November 2001 and Sirius, which launched some six months later, another 261,000: This compares to four years before a million VCRs were bought, three years for CD players and two for DVD.
The success could already have had its effect on terrestrial broadcasters according to Sean Ross of Edison Media Research who wonders if satellite radio's influence is already responsible for a rock-radio trend: expanded-playlist formats, launched in Denver and Wilkes Barre, that feature "deep cuts" from CDs in addition to hits.
Tom Taylor, editor of Inside Radio, commented that what had looked like a one-horse race for a long time was changing as Sirius became more aggressive in its promotions and also looking for must-have programming.
Richards noted that satellite radio does particularly well in rural areas but the report also notes enthusiasm in urban areas and quotes Les Leff of Villanova, Pennsylvania, who subscribes to both Sirius and XM, the former at home and the latter in his cars. Most Philadelphia radio said Leff, "strikes him as "the same music you've been listening to for 20 years over and over, and I go brain-dead. Now I listen to a station that plays nothing but the blues, a station that plays album tracks, things from concerts. It's what FM radio used to sound like if you go back to the '70s."
The paper also notes that Leff, who is 51, is typical of satellite radio subscribers, who are older and wealthier than the expected audience, which was young men, the classic early adopters of new technology.
And if the theory from XM's program chief Lee Abrams, a classic-rock consultant in the '70s and '80s at Philadelphia's WYSP-FM and WMMR-FM, about the reason for that is correct, terrestrial radio has even more problems. He suggests younger people never got in the radio habit and prefer to program their own music. "They started listening at 10, and all they heard was over-commercialized radio," he said.
XM was also featured on the Washington Post's financial pages this week with a report on the slide in its share price over the past few weeks: They rose nearly nine-fold last year and reached a peak of USD 29.96 in January since when they have dropped by nearly a fifth, closing last week at USD 23.42.
The Post suggests the fall may have been fuelled by short selling and also by last month's sale of 20 million XM shares, seven million of them sold by XM itself and used to reduce debt that carried with them options to purchase five million shares.
The paper notes that the 13 million shares sold by Hughes Electronics Corp. (10 million) and Chicago investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners (three million) were not in the public market prior to the offering but now are and that Hughes is expected to sell three million more shares. Its sales so far have taken its holding down to 8.9 million shares, a 4.9% stake in the company.
Madison Dearborn still holds 4.2 million, making it one of XM's largest investors, with a 2.3 percent stake in the company.
The short sellers, who have sold around 42 million shares, have more than USD1 billion riding on bets that XM shares will continue to fall, according to Bloomberg News.
The paper also reports some scepticism about the future of the companies with suggestions of comparison with the last tech-stock bubble: XM stock sells for more than 60 times sales per share and there are widely differing estimates of how long it will take to move into profit.
A crucial factor according to one analyst, April Horace of Janco Partners Inc., will be a decision by Toyota on how it will move.
In a recent report she said it was preparing to give all its business to XM and that would alter assumptions that the two companies would split the market equally. She said the market could split 60-40 in favour of XM.
XM, whose competitor Sirius had stressed the absence of comemrcials on its music channels, has now moved to remove them from its music: All 68 of its music channels are nwo commercial free although it has some adverts on the remaining 62 news, sports, talk and variety channels.
XM is also to add 21 "Instant Traffic & Weather" channels later this year.
XM got another boost on Monday when General Motors announced that 50 of its 2005 model-year vehicles are to be factory-fitted with XM receivers.
It also said that it expects to produce its millionth vehicle with XM this month and said that 90% of current GM vehicle owners with XM had said that they would like the service in their next vehicle.
XM shares were up 0.68% on Monday to USD 23.58.
Previous Abrams:
Previous Edison Media Research:
Previous Fritts:
Previous NAB:
Previous Sirius:
Previous Taylor:
Previous XM:
Philadelphia Inquirer report:
Washington Post report:

2004-02-02: In view of the repercussions of the Hutton Report in the UK last week that has already led to the resignations of the BBC chairman Gavyn Davies and Director-General Greg Dyke as well as that of Radio 4 breakfast "Today" programme correspondent Andrew Gilligan, whose live broadcast triggered the matter with accusations concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, there seems to us only one starting point for our look at print comment on radio this week.
A good starting point was Sue Arnold's radio review in the UK Observer, which began, "Serious radio listeners, by which I mean people who listen attentively to the three Ds - documentaries, discussion and drama, rather than those with half an ear cocked to pop music and pap - will endorse the overwhelming tributes from every quarter paid to the BBC's unique contribution to British cultural life following the publication of the Hutton report."
"Despite the claims of such commercial broadcasters as Michael Grade and Kelvin MacKenzie, the plain truth is that without the BBC, grown-up radio wouldn't exist."
"…If, when the BBC's charter comes up for review and its public-service remit questioned, its licence fee revoked and the corporation thrown into the free market of commercial broadcasting, stations with the variety and integrity of Radios 3 and 4 would disappear."
Arnold then makes it speedily apparent that she is not one in awe of the majesty of the law as represented by Lord Hutton: " …Imagine Railtrack or, even worse, Lord Hutton running Radio 4. What a cold, mean-spirited jobsworth he sounded on all the Radio 5 rolling-news bulletins I heard, listing the shortcomings, as he saw them, of the BBC's news-gathering methods."
"His voice had the self-satisfied implacability of a mechanic detailing precisely what your car needs to pass its MoT [UK annual check on cars more than three years old], including, he adds, tapping his clipboard importantly with a pencil, topping up the level of the windscreen-cleaning fluid which has become dangerously low.
She then contrasts him with former director-general Greg Dyke:" It would be difficult to find a greater contrast to frigid Hutton than friendly Greg Dyke, whose genuine affection for his staff and theirs for him was memorably caught on Thursday's PM."
"Its presenter, Eddie Mair, had joined the crowds of Dyke supporters pouring on to the pavement outside Television Centre begging the resigned DG to stay on and, more impressively, managed to ask him a question above the noise."
"If lawyers and politicians had one iota of the public trust enjoyed by the BBC, this whole futile vendetta, meticulously reported, it has to be said, by the Beeb, triggered by spite and fuelled by envy, would never have taken place."
And a final swipe, this time at Blair, whose lauding in the US isn't shared by many of those closer to the effects of his government in the UK: "Is it really true, as one of the four people called John discussing the Hutton report on Thursday's Today programme suggested, that for the past two years Tony Blair has persistently refused to be interviewed by [Today show presenter] John Humphrys? What a wimp."
RNW comment: In fairness to Blair's US fans, it has to be said that Blair certainly stands in massive contrast to the current US president in terms of allowing interviews where awkward questions might be asked. No hero the American!
In the UK Sunday Times, Paul Donovan in his Radio Waves column didn't approach the Hutton report directly but indirectly through comments on the return to BBC Radio 4 next Thursday (18:30 GMT) of Absolute Power.
The show, he writes, "is still so relentlessly cynical that I do not mind that this will be the final series. Every person in this art-mirrors-life sitcom about the BBC and Downing Street is a shallow, self-serving, lying toad. It has characters with traits to admire, especially Prentiss, for his savage wit, but absolutely nobody to like."
Donovan then goes on to note, with reference to Absolute Power's outing on TV, on how much TV comedy in the UK has radio roots as well as on a number whose transfer failed abysmally.
In the US, public radio, in the form of National Public Radio (NPR), has so far had no Hutton report to deal with but it does have its ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin to handle complaints and adjudicate on issues.
In the North County Times Randy Dotinga profiles Dvorkin, the only ombudsman in the broadcasting business whom, he writes, "may also be the busiest in all of the American media.
Dotinga notes that in 2002 Dvorkin received more than 25,000 e-mails regarding NPR's coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Dvorkin's comment about NPR listeners, "Passionate? Oh boy, are they ever. The passion people feel about public radio is wonderful. It's the greatest kick imaginable."
Dotinga also notes that Dvorkin recently released an updated public-radio ethics guide [written and edited by Dvorkin and Dr. Alan G. Stavitsky, Associate Dean of Journalism at the University of Oregon] that amongst other things calls upon NPR's journalists to "remain reportorial" and avoid expressing their opinions.
[RNW note- the three most relevant paragraphs concerning possible conflicts of interest in the update are:
3:Remember that your public radio affiliation will follow you. When appearing on other media, public radio journalists must adhere to the editorial standards of public radio. Don't say anything you wouldn't say on your own station or network. Remain reportorial!
4. When speaking to outside groups, public radio journalists should refrain from taking sides on public issues. Don't accept honoraria from groups that have an interest in how the news is covered.
5. Paid outside work should be approved by management to ensure that there will be no conflict of interest. Public radio journalists should ensure that any outside activities do not conflict with nor compromise their public radio obligations or the reputation of public radio. Before taking freelance journalistic work, paid or unpaid, public radio journalists should make sure that the tone and content of the publication, Web site or program are in keeping with the standards of public radio. Take special care to ensure that the outside employer is not trading on the name or reputation of public radio.
Dotinga quotes KPBS-FM, San Diego, general manager Doug Myrland on TV appearances as saying, "When we ask journalists to play different roles, it can be confusing for viewers and listeners. I'm a little bit hard-pressed about how to advise my own staff."
He then comments that the guide glosses over another questionable practice at KPBS and other public radio stations ---- the use of reporters as shills during pledge drives. Dotinga says that there are those for and against this, and quotes the guide's co-author Alan G. Stavisky as saying, "The system is split. There were newspeople who said they strongly believe they should be on the air pitching, because they are the ones who have relationships with the listeners. They saw no problem with going on the air saying, 'We need your support for me to be able to continue doing this work.'"
Myrland agrees with that position, saying, "It's completely ethical for people who work for a non-profit organization to encourage people to support that organization."
After those ethical questions, a couple from US commercial radio come in sharp contrast. In Chicago, Robert Feder reported in his Chicago Sun-Times column on Clear Channel instituting a policy of cutting references to O'Hare Airport in traffic reports in favour of reporting travel times to Allstate Arena, with which Clear Channel happens to have a marketing agreement and all of the concerts for which are booked through Clear Channel Entertainment.
[For those who want the PR weasel words from Clear Channel we list the link to the column below, and also to the next day's column in which carries derisive comments from a wide variety of people about the decision.]
And then on to an implicit comment about the great panjandrum of US conservative radio, Rush Limbaugh, in that he recommends as a "Great Column" R. Emmett Tyrrell's Silent About Rush in The American Spectator.
Tyrell starts with the imprecise allegation "Really, it is not very amazing that a government vendetta has been launched against Rush Limbaugh, the very successful and gifted talk show host. Governments have attempted to suppress criticism for centuries" before going on to attack liberals and their ilk. [RNW comment- and we thought the US government at the moment was Republican and hardly the prime target of Limbaugh's attacks].
Buried in the Tyrell comment are some points worthy of consideration but they were made in general far better by an editorial in the Tampa Tribune.
"Last week," it comments, "Palm Beach County prosecutors released confidential information showing that the conservative radio host initiated plea negotiations but failed to cut a deal."
"Without having charged him with anything, they cast the suspicion of guilt over Limbaugh by revealing that he was willing to bargain."
"Whether you love him or hate him, what's happening to Limbaugh is scary. Negotiations for a possible plea agreement are generally thought to be confidential. And they should be. Without a good-faith belief that such preliminary conversations will remain confidential, no defendant would engage in them and the justice system would slow to a crawl."
"Think, too, of how such information could taint prospective jurors: If they hear that someone considered a plea bargain, they may well begin their deliberations with a presumption of guilt, not innocence."
RNW comment: Indeed so - and in our view the same goes for some of the attacks initiated by the Limbaugh camp on those in the prosecutor's office. Whatever the facts of the allegations, a few days in jail for contempt of court for all those involved - the prosecutors, Limbaugh and his lawyers - doesn't seem much more unattractive than almost everything else involved in this case.
Finally our recommendations for some listening next week or alternatively material that is still available on-demand via the Internet.
For comedy with a bite, it has to be BBC Radio 4 at 18:30 GMT on Thursday and Friday - Absolute Power and The Best of Dead Ringers.
For punk fans, My Way: The Sid Vicious Story, from BBC Radio 2 on Saturday (but available on the Listen Again part of the station web site) is worth a listen for good reportage as in its way is Out Of Print on Wednesday at 11:00 GMT on BBC Radio 4: It's the first of a three-part series on Fleet Street, once the home of Britain's national newspapers.
Also on Radio 4 every afternoon in The Afternoon Reading at 15:30 GMT is a series of five stories that won in the BBC's Get Writing competition inspired by Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
And from the US and NPR, the February 1 edition of Weekend Edition is worth a listen, particularly to those interested in Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - for an item on his biography - as also is a look at the "inequities" in the US tax system by New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston, author of "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else."
Previous Arnold:
Previous Columnists:
Previous Donovan:
Previous Feder:
American Spectator - Tyrell:
Chicago Sun-Times: - Feder column re O'Hare & Clear Channel:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder column reactions to previous column:
North County Times - Dotinga:
Tampa Tribune - editorial on Limbaugh case:
UK Observer - Arnold:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
US NPR ombudsman's site (Links to ethics guides in PDF format - update (55 kb, 33 pages) and 1995 original version (3.5 Mb 104 pages).

2004-02-02: According to the Sydney Morning Herald Austereo says it has halted a three-year haemorrhaging in its advertising market share in the crucial AUD 350 million (USD 268 million) Sydney and Melbourne markets, as radio owners prepare for a marketing splurge this year to shore up audience numbers and plan for the likely launch in 2005 of new metropolitan FM radio licences.
The paper says Austereo chief executive Michael Anderson would not give details on advertising share in the last half of 2003 but denied that revenues in the Sydney and Melbourne were still falling because of the effect of rival DMG's Nova stations.
In 2003, Austereo profits fell 36% to AUD 36.7 million (USD 25 million) on revenues down 10% to AUD 242 million (USD 185 million) and Anderson, whose company has already reached the regulatory limit for station ownerships in all Australian metropolitan areas, commented, Share loss is inevitable if you are legislatively not allowed to expand your growth by acquisition. It needs to be noted that our revenue share attrition hasn't just gone to Nova. It's not the case that every time we lose they gain. The revenue has been shared across the industry. Clearly we have trended down in share and everyone is aware of that."
"However, in the last six months we've seen steady revenue gains. Yes, we lost it, but we're getting it back."
Nova, which has spent heavily on marketing, says this spend will continue and notes that it is still "on an upward trend." Austereo has already made significant changes to its line-ups and has just launched a Sydney TV campaign to promote its 2-Day station.
Previous Anderson:
Previous Austereo:
Previous DMG:
Sydney Morning Herald report:

2004-02-02: Supporters of conservative US talk host Rush Limbaugh -- known as "dittoheads" - have flooded the offices of Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer with more than 15,000 e-mails in support of the host, who is fighting to avoid prescription drug charges, since he posted the address on his web site according to the Palm Beach Daily Post.
The paper says Krischer's spokesman confirmed receipt of the e-mails, nearly all in support of Limbaugh. It adds that Limbaugh's camp became worried that the volume of mail would crash the attorney's computer and took the address of his site; Limbaugh, it adds, says he posted the address in response to other sites that carried it and were urging that the host be prosecuted.
RNW comment: Maybe it's a cultural thing but to us the idea of affecting law by mass e-mail -- either pro or anti Limbaugh - stinks. The issue should be one of facts as to action taken and laws broken - or not broken.
Previous Limbaugh:
Palm Beach Daily Post report:

2004-02-02: Canadian commercial broadcasters have started legal action against the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) over "Part II licence fees" that are collected by the regulator.
In a statement of claim filed with the Federal Court of Canada the Canadian Association of Broadcasters are arguing that the fees amount to a tax: They say they have paid CAD 419 million (USD 316 million) in the fees in the five years from 1998 but this is around CAD 362 million (USD 273 million) more than the cost of managing the spectrum.
The extra, argues the CAB amounts to a general tax that goes into government coffers, adding that the CRTC does not authority to collect taxes.
Previous CAB:
Previous CRTC:

2004-02-02: The Delhi High Court has acceded to a request by Prof P K Chandla, a former member of the Delhi legislative assembly, requiring further information concerning the award of "Radio City" licences to Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd (MBPL); Chandla alleges that the licence violates eligibility criteria that say such licences are only available to Indian citizens of Indian companies with foreign equity holding capped at 20 per cent.
It also forbids assigning any part of a licence operation, directly or indirectly, to a third party and forbids proxies but Chandla says that foreign media companies have indulged in dubious methods to put up proxies with 'benami' equity interest to obtain the licenses to circumvent the Indian law.
He has also asked He also asked how MBPL with an equity capital of only 100,000 rupees (USD 2017) was awarded a licence to run an FM radio channel, and how it assigned and contracted out all its rights and privileges to two companies (Digiwave Infrastructure Pvt Ltd and Star India Pvt Ltd).
Previous Indian radio:

2004-02-01: Last week was yet another where a number of regulators were defined by lack of action concerning radio rather than any decisions with nothing from Australia or the UK.
Canada was a little busier and there the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) both approved a number of applications and rejected two others. In order of province the decision were:
Approval of new 100,000 watts Adult Contemporary English-language FM radio station in Wainwright.
Approval of new 3,640 watts English-language same Oldies, Soft Adult Contemporary FM radio station in Quinte West (formerly Trenton) to replace CJTN- AM.
Approval of 45,200 watts FM transmitter in Pembroke to carry the programming of CKQB-FM Ottawa.
Approval of new 34,000 watts French language Type B community French language FM in Bécancour and Nicolet.
Approval of new 500 watts English-language FM Type B community FM in Lennoxville that will also carry broadcasts in French, Spanish, Serbian and Croatian. Radio Bishop's Inc. currently operates the campus-community radio station CJMQ-FM Lennoxville using the frequency and is to convert CJMQ-FM to a community radio station in order to qualify for funding from the provincial government.
The Commission also denied two applications. They were for (in order of province):
British Columbia:
Application for a 50 watts a low-power Christian music English-language FM in Campbell River: The application had been objected to by CFCP Radio Ltd., licensee of CFWB-AM Campbell River, and the Commission agreed with CFCP the proposed station would have an undue negative financial impact on CFWB, and could possibly jeopardize the quality of the local programming service currently provided to Campbell River by CFWB.
Application for a Christian music FM radio station in Kitchener: Sound of Faith Broadcasting Inc. had objected on the basis that the addition of a second Christian station to serve Kitchener would place a significant strain on the financial resources of the Kitchener-Waterloo Christian community, and would have a serious negative impact on Sound of Faith's business plan.
The commission noted that the application was similar to one rejected only recently when it approved four new stations in Kitchener-Waterloo and found that, at this time, approval of a further application to operate an FM radio station in Kitchener would compromise the integrity of the original licensing process. In these circumstances, it said, the Commission is of the view that those stations approved in May 2003 should be given a reasonable opportunity to launch before the Commission considers licensing further stations in this market.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the award of community licences in principle for Dundalk Town and Roscommon Town. The former was awarded to Radio Active Dundalk FM and the latter to Roscom Radio.
The Commission also agreed to enter into an interim contract with Tipperary Mid West Radio Co-operative Society Limited for a community service in the Tipperary South West franchise area that began on January 30.
Commenting on the announcements, BCI Chief Executive, Michael O'Keeffe said: "We are delighted to announce the awarding of the community licences to Roscom Radio and Radio Active Dundalk FM. We look forward to concluding contract negotiations with both groups in the near future. I am confident these stations will complement the existing broadcasting services available in Dundalk and Roscommon Town. We are also pleased to enter into an interim contract with Tipperary Mid West Radio which will permit the continuation of broadcasting of TMWR as a community radio service."
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held the second of its localism meetings in San Antonio, Texas, where radio giant Clear Channel has its headquarters.
Democrat Commissioner Michael J Copps said it continued "a truly remarkable grassroots dialogue about the future of the media."
"Over the past year." He added, "we have seen cascading national concern over what many Americans, myself included, see as disturbing trends in the media. We have seen citizens from all over the country -- conservative and liberal, Republican and Democrat, young and old, rural and urban, north and south -- come together to express their concern, even their alarm."
The localism discussion, he said, was part of a wider dialogue about "protecting the people's interest in the people's airwaves" and he commented, "Let's begin at the beginning tonight, reminding ourselves that all of us do indeed own the airwaves and that corporations are given the privilege of using this public asset - and to profit from that use - in exchange for their commitment to serve the public interest. Broadcasters have been given very special privileges and they have very special responsibilities to serve their local communities. Let's begin at the beginning tonight, reminding ourselves that all of us do indeed own the airwaves and that corporations are given the privilege of using this public asset - and to profit from that use - in exchange for their commitment to serve the public interest. Broadcasters have been given very special privileges and they have very special responsibilities to serve their local communities."
Previous BCI:
Previous Copps:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous O'Keeffe:
CRTC web site:
BCI web site:
FCC web site:

2004-02-01: Birmingham UK pirate station People's Community Radio Link (PCRL) was back on air this week despite fines totalling GBP 13,000 (USD 23.500) on three of its staff and a suspended prison sentence on one of them imposed in January. The station is now appealing for community help in paying the fines.
The UK Guardian quotes drummer, music promoter and entrepreneur Cecil Morris, the station's founder and self-styled "Music Master", as saying that the station, which began broadcasting in 1985 during the Handsworth riots in an attempt to calm tension in Birmingham, gives a voice to a black community under-served by the BBC and commercial stations.
"I believe we are more representative of our community than any of the local stations," said Morris. "We give people who have no voice a means of expressing what they are feeling. For us it's all about freedom of speech. It is our human right to be heard."
The judge told Morris after he was convicted that he accepted that Morris he had done much to help disadvantaged black youngsters and then sentenced him to a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to pay a fine and costs of GBP 8,000 (USD 14,500) on charges of charged with conspiring to manage, finance and operate the station. He warned Morris that he would be "amazed" if he were not imprisoned if he were caught working on the station again.
Also in court were Anthony Jeffers - better known to PCRL's listeners as the phone-in presenter Pilot - and Michael Norton, who worked on the station's website: They were convicted on conspiracy charges and ordered to do a total of 320 hours community service and pay costs of GBP 5,000 (USD 9,000).
The prosecution said illegal broadcasters deprived performers of royalties, and the Treasury of taxes and claimed the broadcasts interfered with the emergency services and told the court that on one occasion the broadcast "swamped" the fire service's communications system.
The UK regulator Ofcom's special investigations manager Clive Corrie said they had focused in the past on getting stations off air by tracking and confiscating transmitters or raiding studios but now more effort was being put into hitting the brains behind the operations. He rejected the argument that stations such as PCRL served their communities well: "The damage they do outweighs the good," he told the paper saying that, because they were illegitimate, the pirates were able to broadcast unchecked radical political views and bad language.
The paper adds that this week the Music Master and Pilot were still to be found in PCRL's old office: They say they will stay away from the station but cannot hide their pleasure that their stereo is blasting out PCRL. When asked who was keeping the station going, Morris shrugged. "The station is not just me or Pilot. We have been forced to stop but the community will keep it going."
Previous Ofcom:
PCRL News site:
UK Guardian report:

2004-02-01: The radio ratings battle in Victoria, British Columbia, has hotted up with the re-launch by Rogers Communications of Top 40 radio station Hot 103.1 FM as 103.1 JACK FM with a music-intensive format, CHUM's purchase of C-FAX and CHBE FM (B107.3 FM), from Seacoast Communications Group Inc. (See RNW Jan 27).
Rogers has already launched the Jack format in Calgary and Vancouver where it heads the ratings and its Victoria vice-president and market manager Kim Hesketh said they "felt it was time for Victoria to have this kind of format."
The new format competes with that of a B107.3, which has been doing badly in the ratings.
Previous CHUM:
Previous Rogers:

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Regarding external links, we give links where we can but an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA).
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