July 2011 Archive
2011-07-31: Buckley Broadcasting Chairman Rick Buckley has died after suffering a brain embolism. An announcement from WOR-AM, the group's flagship, quoted Jerry Crowley, WOR'S Vice President and General Manager, as saying Buckley was known in the industry as the greatest advocate for local radio and its place in the communities his stations served. He always maintained that "the listeners must come first" and that was the mantra by which his stations operated.
"While he can never be replaced, "Crowley added, "His legacy will live on through the power and commitment of his radio stations.
The report did not give his age but noted that a month ago he had been inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to broadcasting. Buckley became president of the company in 1972 in succession to his father and before that had been for six years President of the company's California group of stations.
He is a past Chairman of the Board of the Radio Advertising Bureau, a past Chair of the Southern California Broadcaster's Association, and at the time of his death was on the Board of Directors for the Broadcasters' Foundation.
He had also worked in sales capacities at WHIM, Providence, RI; as music director at WNEW in New York and in various general manager roles at a number of the groups' properties.
Previous Buckley Broadcasting/Radio:
2011-07-31: Last week saw a couple of comparatively rare decisions by the regulators - the rejection of the planned transfer of licences to a divestiture trust to facilitate a US takeover and the shortening of the period of licence of a UK station but yet again there were no radio announcements from Australia - although it is reported to be investigating a complaint against Sydney 2GB breakfast host Alan Jones over his comments on climate change. (See RNW Jul 27) and only a few from Canada.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a call for applications for AM radio licences to serve Montréal using the frequencies 690 kHz and 940 kHz and a number of radio licensing decisions.
The Montréal call follows an application from Metromedia CMR Broadcasting (Metromedia) for broadcasting licences to operate commercial services using the frequencies that were to be considered at an 18 July 2011 non-appearing public hearing. In the event the agency in view of interventions received opted not to proceed with these applications and has now accordingly made the call for applications with an August 29 deadline for applications.
Radio licensing decisions posted (in order of province) were the following:
Alberta and British Columbia:
*Approval of application by CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association to add 50 watts low-power FM transmitters for its Type B community radio station CIAM-FM, Fort Vermilion, at Three Hills, Alberta, and Prespatou and Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
*Approval of application by Corus Premium Television Ltd. to increase the power of its English-language CFMI-FM, New Westminster, from 37,000 to 53,000 watts by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 686 to 386.4 meters and by relocating its transmitter.
Corus said the relocation of its transmitter was necessary because of ongoing technical problems as well as other difficulties with the current transmitter site.
*Short-term renewals of the licences of MZ Media Inc. 's English-language specialty FM radio stations CFMZ-FM, Toronto, and CFMX-FM, Cobourg, from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2015. The agency also noted that MZ had requested that it be relieved from Regulations that requires it to devote 60% of its Canadian content development (CCD) contributions to FACTOR or MUSICACTION. The proposed amendment would permit MZ Media to devote up to 80% of its basic annual CCD contributions to initiatives related to the stations' classical music format and to direct the remainder to FACTOR. The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) opposed the latter request.
The short-term renewal relates to late filing of annual returns for the 2008-2009 broadcast - said to have been because of an audit in connection with a corporate reorganization - and also because of a shortfall in CFMZ-FM's contribution to CTD for the 2003-2004 broadcast year, at which time MZ Media did not own the station (although it has said it will meet the shortfall if required to do so and was ordered to fulfil the CAD 850 - USD 890 - shortfall by the end of September).
*Approval of application by HB Communications Inc. to relocate the transmitter of its English-language Type A community radio programming undertaking CFMQ-FM Hudson Bay by relocating the transmitter to another site because the land on which the transmitter is currently located has been sold.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) announced no licensing decisions but is involved in the release of radio ratings (See RNW Jul 29) and also published a research report on the "Analysis of Community Radio funding schemes."
"Cross-National Comparative Analysis of Community Radio Funding Schemes" was written by Dr. Kenneth Murphy of NUI Maynooth and DIT and was funded through the BAI's 2009 Media Research Funding Scheme.
The project explores how the programme-making capacity within the community radio sector is enhanced through targeted funding scheme, both in Ireland and abroad.
In the UK, Ofcom shortened the licence of Total Star, Bridgwater and West Somerset, for transmission "irregularities", including greatly exceeding its allowed transmission power (See RNW Jul 29).
It also posted its Communications Market: Digital Radio Report, its second annual Digital Progress Report on developments in the UK Digital Radio market.
The report offers cold comfort for those who want a speedy switchover to digital: This is dependent on half of all radio listening being through digital channels and national DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) cover being comparable to current FM coverage and local DAB reaching 90% of the population and all major roads.
Currently, says the report, local DASB multiplexes cover an estimated two-thirds of households; the BBC's national DAB multiplex covers 92.2% and commercial multiplexes 84.6%. It also notes that 93% of main TV sets are digital -digital radio is carried on digital TV platforms Sky, Freeview, Virgin Media and Freesat and 75% have an internet connection.
Regarding listening only 26.5% was via digital distribution at the end of March this year with DAB digital radio accounting for almost two-thirds of this.
In terms of waste (not hw the report puts it) a switch would affect the use of some 66-79 million receivers less than ten years old and an additional 34 million in motor vehicles as well as FM tuners in portable devices such as phones and MP3 players meaning that over a hundred million are likely to be made redundant. Compared to these figures some 13 million DAB devices had been sold by the end of March this year although the report says that around 38% of households say they have access to a DAB radio.
In terms of sales in the past 12 months the report says that some 8.5 million receivers were sold of which just above a fifth included a DAB tuner although the report adds that 21% of those who do not have access to a DAB set say they are "likely/very likely/certain" to buy a set in the next 12 months.
Ofcom also notes that it is currently involved in a consultation, launched in June and with a September 14 deadline for responses, and plans to provide a final report to the government in the final quarter of this year (RNW note- See comment at the end of this report as we think the final report should say that DAB was given a good chance, failed to convince the public and is not going to be forced on them).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was involved in a number of enforcement actions and also put a spanner into the works of Townsquare's plans to buy 12 stations in Washington State by refusing to allow the transfer - required to comply with ownership limits - of 11 stations into a divestiture trust (See RNW July 30).
Earlier in the week the agency had agreed a consent decree - involving payment of USD 12,000 and the setting up of a compliance plan - with Emmis relating to "payola" at Emmis's KROX-FM, Buda, Texas, in 2006 (See RNW Jul 25); confirmed a USD 10,000 penalty on a Brooklyn couple for operating an unlicensed FM (See RNW Jul 26); cancelled a USD 7,000 penalty on a former Alaska broadcaster; and proposed a USD 22,000 penalty on a Miami woman for operating an unlicensed FM (See RNW Jul 28).
The agency also noted the expiry of Sirius XM's three-year "voluntary" price caps agreed on at the time the merger of Sirius and XM Satellite radios was allowed and opted not to extend them (Also RNW Jul 28).
In radio licensing decisions, the FCC dismissed an application to change from Geneva to Millbrook the licence of community of an Illinois AM. Nelson Multimedia, Inc. had made the application and sought a waiver of the Commission's policy prohibiting the removal of a community's sole local transmission service to permit this.
The agency also considered a mutually exclusive application from by L & L Communications, L.L.C. for a new AM at Monona, Wisconsin and a joint request from the two companies to allow the change to be made plus an objection from William Ostrander, the Supervisor of Northville Township, on behalf of Northville Township and a petition from William Davis on behalf of himself and other residents opposing the move.
The Nelson application was made during the filing window for its AM Auction 84 at which time it was also considered to be mutually exclusive with another application - from WCFJ, Inc., which proposed to move the community of license of WCFJ-AM, from Chicago Heights to Dolton, Illinois.
The FCC rejected arguments put forward by Nelson, including one that the relocation was necessary for transmission site reasons; having dismissed this application also dismissed the joint application and instructed L.L.C. to file a long form application in connection with its Monona licence application. The objections fell in light of these decisions and we accordingly dismissed as moot.
In Georgia, the FCC granted an application for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM in Moultrie from Colquitt Community Radio, Inc.
In connection with this the agency also considered an application from Calvary Chapel of Thomasville, Inc. for a new NCE FM in Pavo together with a petition from it to deny the Colquitt application.
The two applications had been amongst five mutually exclusive applications and the Calvary application had been tentatively selected after which Colquitt filed a permission to deny. In November 2010 the agency released a letter decision finding that at the time of its filing, Calvary did not have reasonable assurance of a transmitter site because it failed to contact the tower owner specified in its application regarding use of the site. It therefore granted Colquitt's petition and accepted its application as the runner up on points.
Calvary then responded by filing a petition to deny the Colquitt application and petition for reconsideration of the letter decision, alleging that the agency had made errors in this decision. Colquitt responded with a further opposition and after considering the arguments the FCC rejected Calgary's arguments and confirmed the grant of the licence to Colquitt.
RNW comment on UK digital switchover - This is not an issue for radio in the US due to adoption of an IBOC system - but having at one stage been fairly in favour of DAB and having multiple DAB/FM receivers, the facts have somewhat changed our view.
On the basis of the current costs of DAB receivers for the home and automobile compared to those of FM equipment, what is being proposed at a time of economic gloom is that ordinary people - unless keenly interested in community radio to whom it is proposed spectrum be released it is nigh useless and even where community radio of interest it will not come near to supply what is now available on those receivers - are to be forced to scrap some 110 million perfectly usable pieces of equipment, buy new equipment at a cost if even half of it is replaced of at least some GBP 1.5-3 billion (USD 3-4.5 billion), most of which will be imported and most of which will be useless outside the UK since other countries are going for more advanced digital audio systems.
For that listeners will get no compelling benefit (if it were compelling they would have purchased receivers anyway as has tended to happen with digital TV where the benefits are much more demonstrable to the consumer as well as releasing spectrum for which the government raked in billions at auction.)
The prime beneficiaries will be the radio industry, which will save some transmission costs and the face of politicians and bureaucrats who have committed themselves to an outmoded system that the public in general were not that keen on purchasing even when economic times were good.
Our view is that the whole issue should be kicked into the long grass with some serious pan-European and wider thought given to developing near universal receivers including FM, DAB-based systems, DRM and other systems if any likely to get wide geographic adoption y - most of the world is not going to use iBiquity's HD so the US and the few countries who opt for HD could reasonably be ignored for the purposes of the exercise (someone would come up with a receiver including HD if there were demand but as AM/FM will continue the receivers developed for the rest of the world would be of use in the US for travellers with a portable world receiver).
Until that is developed at a reasonable cost there should be no enforced switch and broadcasters should make commercial decisions on whether they wanted to broadcast on both DAB and analogue and even if it is at least a decade should be allowed before any removal of analogue services. We suspect the end result would be a continuing DAB service albeit fairly limited, continuing analogue transmissions as few broadcasters would opt out, and fewer extra community stations (for those keen on them it would probably be cheaper to subsidise provision of Wi-Fi receivers in their locations and let them go online rather than make everybody buy new equipment). And as for face saving, hard lines! Derision is deserved for those who don't think things through but want to force others to spend.
Previous Licence News:
2011-07-30: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which normally has seemed to just nod through trusts set up to facilitate takeovers, has thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to one set up in connection with TownSquare Media's planned acquisition of twelve stations in Washington State from New Northwest Broadcasting that also involved the divesting of 11 stations after various signal swaps (See RNW Dec 2, 2010).
The FCC had received five simultaneously filed applications relating to the transfer of 17 licenses as part of the purchase: the deal was to have included the transfer of KOLW-FM, Basin City; KUJ-FM, Burbank; KARY-FM, Grandview; KTCR-AM, Kennewick; KQMY-FM, Naches,; KEYW-FM, Pasco ; K232CB, Pendleton ; KALE-AM and KIOK-FM and KEGX-FM, Richland; KDBL-FM, Toppenish; KBBO-AM, Selah; KKSR-FM, Walla Walla ; and KJOX-AM and KHHK-FM, KRSE-FM , and KXDD-FM ,Yakima, to and from various licensees and trusts.
The FCC had in May 2010 granted consent to the assignment of licenses of 31 New Northwest Broadcasters, LLC (NNB) radio stations in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, to the Receiver and consent to the proposed transaction included approval of the (Tri-Cities/Yakima) Divestiture Trust to allow the receiver to dispose of the 12 stations - six in the Yakima market and six in the Tri-Cities market - for the benefit of NNB's creditors.
In January this year, Sunnylands Broadcasting, LLC, permittee of a new FM Station, Union Gap, Washington, and CCR-Tri Cities IV, LLC, licensee of KONA-AM, Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, Washington, KONA-FM, Kennewick, Washington, and KZHR-FM, Dayton, Washington, each filed a Petition to Deny the Assignment Applications: They argued that the proposed transaction did not comply with long-established Commission policy concerning the permissible use of divestiture trusts, and that the proposed structure of the Divestiture Trust at issue is substantially different than those previously approved by the Commission.
The FCC has in effect accepted their argument - although having done so and decided that it had inadvertently accepted the Assignment Applications for filing and dismissed them - it also dismissed their petitions as moot.
In rejecting the transfers, the FCC noted that it "reviews divestiture trusts [on] a case-by-case basis and considers their acceptability based on a totality of the circumstances" and continues on to say "Our review is informed by certain principles regarding trusts. First, "trusts are occasionally established specifically to effect compliance with the Commission's rules for holdings which would violate the rules if held outright."
"Because of our concern that divestiture trusts present a 'potential for abuse', that can 'pose unacceptable risks to competition'", says the FCC, "we have consistently found that insulated divestiture trusts "should be employed only where necessary, and then to as limited an extent as possible."
The FCC additionally notes that it is its normal policy to accommodate the actions of state courts "unless a public interest determination under the Communications Act would compel a different result."
In this case it found that the arguments from the Receiver in favour of the request transfer of the licences were insufficient to override the other arguments and has ordered that all the applications be dismissed.
2011-07-30: Merlin Media has now formally flipped the former Q101, Chicago, from its stunting with a Hot AC format to News and its website- obviously still in a formative stage -carries a photograph of "Mary Ellen Geist - Mornings" and a message saying, "FM News 101.1 is Chicago's ONLY all-news station. My colleagues and I are building it just for YOU!"
She continues, "Go to your heart, and tell me what you worry about when you're driving to work in the morning. I'm also interested in the things you look forward to on your way home at night. This will help me to select what to share with you as you're listening to FM News 101.1 throughout the day.
"Thanks, in advance, for taking the time to share your thoughts."
The site then asks people to sign up and say what they want.
Earlier the station had gained approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC- Emmis made the request , as it remains the licensee of 101.1 until the takeover is completed with Merlin operating it under an LMA until then) - to change its call letters to WWWN-FM from the former WKQX-FM, which it been using since 1977 when the frequency was flipped to album rock.
The WWWN calls had previously been assigned to a small station in Watseka, Illinois, owned by Radioactive LLC, which is wholly owned by Merlin Media Chairman and CEO Randy Michaels. The station, which is currently dark, had been using the calls WMLF-FM but switched to WWWN-FM last month.
The actual announcement came on Facebook with a message from Dave Williams saying, "We have finally launched the station. The music disappeared this afternoon and the full-time news began. We have every expectation that it will never end."
Williams, who spent some 30 years in news in California is yet to be assigned a permanent shift.
Previous Merlin Media:
FM News 101.1 website:
2011-07-29: Beasley Broadcast Group has reported second quarter revenues up 2.3% on a year earlier to USD 25.5 million with station operating expenses flat leading to a 7.2% increase in station operating income to USD 9.1 million. Net income was up 37.7% to USD 2.8 million (From 9cents to 12 cents per diluted share).
For the first six months of the year revenues are up 3.8% to USD 48.6 million with station operating income up 14.9% to USD 16.7 million and net income up 69.9% to USD 4.4 million (From 11cents to 19cents per diluted share).
Beasley commented that the rise in net income also reflected a reduction in interest expense as a result of lower outstanding credit facility balances and the expiration of a swap agreement at the end of the 2011 first quarter that more than offset a USD 500,000 (36.2%), increase in income tax expense in the half year.
Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley commented of the results, "Beasley
Broadcast Group extended its record of revenue growth with a 2.3% net revenue improvement in the 2011 second quarter as station clusters in our two largest markets -- Miami and Philadelphia --significantly out-performed their markets." "Beasley's second quarter results," he added "mark our fifth consecutive quarter of same station revenue growth, which combined with ongoing expense management, led to our sixth consecutive quarter of station operating income and margin gains. Notwithstanding the concerns of further slowdowns in the U.S. economy and revenue volatility in our markets, we generated a 4.1% rise in same station revenue during the first half of 2011."
Previous George Beasley:
2011-07-29: UK media regulator Ofcom has reduced by a year the licence term of Total Star, Bridgwater and West Somerset, following a number of transmission "irregularities" including transmitting a signal several times stronger than permitted by its licence.
Ofcom had noted the offence in a Broadcast Bulletin in March, at which time it said the breach was the most serious case of its kind that it had dealt with, and gave the licensee notice that it was considering a statutory sanction (See RNW Mar 8).
An engineering inspection carried out following a number of complaints had shown that the transmitter, whose licence is for a total ERP of 4kW (a maximum of 2kW vertical polarisation and 2kW horizontal polarisation), was transmitting an ERP of 30kW, vertically polarised, and was also deviating in excess of 110 kHz compared to a maximum permitted deviation of 75kHz.
In its ruling Ofcom's Sanctions Committee noted that the excess power created a risk to the safety of members of the public which Ofcom's Senior Radio Monitoring Broadcast Engineer described as being of "major concern": It considered the case at a meeting on July 4 at which representatives of licensee More FM Ltd (formerly One Gold Radio Ltd) spoke and at which having considered the evidence on which the a Provisional Decision had been made, the Committee was presented with new evidence during the course of the hearing relating to the circumstances of the breach.
For the licensee Managing Director Richard Evans and Operations Consultant Jon Waters submitted that they had put misplaced trust in a fellow director of the broadcast operation; had been unclear over the status of ownership of the radio asset, and discovered only after investigation, prompted by Ofcom's intervention, the intent behind the overpowering of the Minehead site radio signal.
They said that relations had broken down with senior manager was responsible at the time and who in September 2010 had been put in charge of brokering the sale and concluding the transfer of the Licence to the station management; They underlined the point that they had been led to believe that the license had been legally transferred by the ate of the inspection and had been under the mistaken belief at the time of Ofcom's investigation, that the breach had taken place at a time when they were no longer operating the service.
They also said that in their response to Ofcom they had said the engineering contractor "was clearly not fully aware of the requirements to Ofcom when he installed the new transmitter" but had in subsequently learnt that the contractor had been explicitly requested to install a transmission system engineered specifically to broadcast to a much wider area. The relevant senior manager they said had been dismissed and they were in the process of selling the station.
Ofcom commented that it was clear from new evidence that the breach had resulted from a severe loss of control on the part of the Licensee over the management of the service and "the magnitude of the breach was so serious, the risk to the public of such concern, and the management failure so troubling that a significant sanction should be imposed."
Ofcom said it was "greatly concerned by the considerable scale of the breach, the length of time for which it continued, the extent to which the safety of members of the public was put at risk by the excessive field strength close to the mast where the public may have access and the grave recklessness of the Licensee" and reduced the licence term: the licence will now expire on July 3 next year.
2011-07-29: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey just released covering the period from July 2010 to June 2011 show 85% of the Irish adult population listen to radio daily, unchanged from the previous survey and a year earlier.
The presentation of the figures has now changed but listening to any multi-city/regional/local radio service was also unchanged at 58%: The report also notes that 46% tuned in to a national station daily -this figure was not given previously although individual station ones were.
Of the main national stations, compared to the previous quarter RTÉ Radio 1 held on to its weekday reach of 25% (the same as a year earlier); RTÉ 2FM was down again - from 12% to 11% (12% a year earlier); and figures were unchanged for Today FM at 13% (14% a year earlier); and RTÉ Lyric FM 3% (as a year earlier).
In terms of overall market share nationally for weekdays 07:00 to 19:00 there was an 0.7% decrease to 46.1% (52.5% a year earlier) within which RTÉ Radio 1 was up 0.3 to 23.5% (22.6% a year earlier), Today FM was down 0.6% to 8.9% (9.6 % a year earlier) and Newstalk was unchanged at 4.1% (4.0% a year earlier). RTÉ Lyric FM was down from 1.7% to 1.6% (1.6% a year earlier) and RTÉ 2FM was down 0.5% to 7.3% (9.3% a year earlier).
Of the multi-city and regional stations Beat 102-103FM increased its weekday reach figure from 19% to 20% (19% a year earlier); regional youth service Spin South West was down from 21% to 20% (19% a year earlier); North-West regional service i102-104FM held on to 20% (19% a year earlier) and North-East regional service i105-107FM, held on to 9% (6% a year earlier - it launched in November 2008). Multi-City Service 4FM, which went on air in February 2009, held on to 5% (2% a year earlier).
Some of the local station detail previously posted is now listed in a different format and the report contains more comment, noting that local radio "continues to be a strong performer in the individual radio markets across the country - in many areas reaching more than 40% of the local adult population daily (particularly in the south and west) and in Kerry, Mayo, the Shannonside area and Donegal Nth, more than 50% of the adult population tune in daily."
"In particular," it adds, "on the criterion of share of minutes listened during prime 7am to 7pm, Highland Radio, Tipp FM, Radio Kerry, MWR and Shannonside 104FM hold the majority share position in their franchise areas."
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five ranks (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were taken by Donegal North station Highland Radio with 67% (Retaining top rank and up from 66% in the previous ratings - and down from 69% a year earlier); Mayo station Midwest Radio - up a rank with 55% - up from 51% (52% a year earlier); Roscommon/Longford/Sth Leitrim station Shannonside - down a rank with 54% - up from 53% (- only the combined Shannonside/Northern Sound was listed a year earlier when it had 47% - the two stations have their own schedules for most of the weekday 0700-1900 period); Kerry station Radio Kerry with an unchanged 51% (50% a year earlier), then with 49% Donegal South/Sligo/Nth Leitrim station Shannonside/Northern Sound (up from 46% and from 47% a year earlier - see Shannonside) and Waterford station WLR-FM - unchanged on the previous ratings and up from 47% a year earlier.
In weekday share terms the top five ranks were taken by Highland Radio with 63.5% (up from 61.7% and from 63.7% a year earlier);Kerry station Radio Kerry with 56.5% (Down from 58% but up from 55.6% a year earlier);Tipperary station Tipp FM with 52.3% (Up from 51.2% but down from 57.8% a year earlier); Shannonside with 51.5% (up from 48.7% - only the combined Shannonside/Northern Sound was listed a year earlier when it had 46.8%); Midwest Radio with 50.8% (Up from 49.2% and from 50.5% a year earlier) and WLR-FM with 48.5% (Up from 46.,5% and 43.7% a year earlier).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekday reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with 31.0%, up from 30% (29% a year earlier); FM 104 with 21%- up from 20% (19% a year earlier); Spin 1038 with an unchanged 15%( 14% a year earlier); Q102 with 13%, down from 14% (13% a year earlier) and 98FM with an unchanged 13% (14% a year earlier).
In Cork the leaders in weekday reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with an unchanged 49% (48% a year earlier); Cork's 96FM with an unchanged 36% (38% a year earlier) RTÉ Radio 1 with 31% (Up from 30% and 25% a year earlier); Cork's Red FM with an unchanged 18% (20% a year earlier); C103 with 17%, up from 16% (14% a year earlier); and Today FM with 13%, down from 14% (16% a year earlier).
Commenting on the ratings RTÉ headed its release, "Sustained gains make RTÉ Radio 1 the people's favourite " and went on to note that the station remains the only station with a weekly reach of over a million and is the only national station to gain Year-on-Year (+10,000).
Clare Duignan, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, added, "As the only national station to gain listeners for 7-day reach, year on year, this is certainly an excellent book for RTÉ Radio 1. For lyric fm we have seen growth also. All in all, there is a lot to celebrate in these latest figures" but then went on, "...this book, however, also uncovers some challenging trends for key players in the radio industry. For 2fm and Today FM, this book has made for difficult reading. But for 2fm we remain resolute: Breakfast with Hector is a great show, Tubridy has found its rhythm. We remain committed to making it work, and we will re-double our efforts to reclaim 2fm's second position behind Radio 1."
Jim Jennings, Head of Radio 1, added, "It's really satisfying that listeners are turning in such huge numbers to Radio 1 in the mornings, throughout the day and in the evenings. The breadth of service offered by Radio 1 is clearly something that listeners want; the variety of programmes in the top 20, from news to lifestyle, regional affairs, business, entertainment and music, not only illustrates the scale of the Radio 1 offer, but shows conclusively that the service is truly valued by the Irish people."
Aodan Ó Dubhghaill, Head of lyric fm was also upbeat, saying, "This is a most satisfying book for lyric. Not only have we seen gains year on year, but we have held steady where we need to. The new breakfast show with Marty Whelan continues to grow, while there has been exceptional growth at weekends, year-on-year, particularly for Lorcan Murray's Classic Drive."
For 2fm there was less satisfaction and John McMahon, Head of 2fm, commented, "Whatever way you cut it this is a challenging book for 2fm Our own feedback tells us that our key shows are hitting home; engagement in social media, by text, at events, is growing all the time. Just a few weeks ago 2fm had its most successful Oxegen yet, with unprecedented levels of live coverage and massive engagement across our Facebook and YouTube channels."
Previous Irish Ratings:
2011-07-28:Fisher Communications has announced second quarter revenues flat on a year earlier at USD 40.4 million although excluding political revenue it says they were up 4%.
Total operating costs were down 14% to USD 32.02 million - including USD 800,000 of additional costs related to the proxy contest conducted by FrontFour Capital Group in connection with the Company's 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, a cost fully offset by a USD 1.1 million credit resulting from the Company's revised employee vacation policy that was announced in 2010 and became effective January 1, 2011and in addition, the Company had USD 0.5 million in compensation cost savings and USD 0.3 million in Local Marketing Agreement fee savings related to the wind down of the Company's KING-FM Joint Sales Agreement.
Boosted by a USD 4.1 million pre-tax gain on "the sale of non-essential real estate in Seattle" - the 2010 figures for the quarter had included a pre-tax gain on the exchange of broadcast equipment of USD 800,000 million and a USD 300,000 million gain from net insurance reimbursements relating to the 2009 Fisher Plaza fire insurance claim - net income was up more than tenfold - from USD 328,000 to USD 3.6 million (form four to 41 cents per share).
Within the figures, radio revenues were down 5% to USD 5.7 million- Fisher notes that they reflected the wind-down of the KING-FM Joint Sales Agreement which was not renewed during the quarter - but radio cash flow increased USD 654,000 to USD 1.7 million and cash flow margin was 29.1%, up from 16.7%.
Of other divisions Fisher Plaza revenues were up 10% and TV net revenue was flat at USD 30.9 million. Internet revenues were up 66% to USD 1.4 million
Fir the first six months of the year revenues are up 3% to USD 77.9 million; operating expenses were down 4% to USD 70.0 million and net income went from a loss of USD 1.85 million to a positive USD 1.89 million (from a loss of 21 cents per share to income of 21 cents).
Commenting on the results Fisher President and Chief Executive Officer Colleen B. Brown commented, "Fisher performed well in the second quarter, with a steady increase in net television revenue and robust EBITDA growth."
"The Company's results," she continued "reflect our broadcast properties' increasing popularity and growth from our digital platform, combined with our on-going multiplatform success. Through the successful execution of our strategic plan, we have increased station market share, developed innovative digital distribution channels to better serve an increasingly mobile audience, strengthened our brand and deepened our community ties, all of which enables Fisher to capture a larger share of the local advertising spend."
2011-07-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today noted the ending of the three-year "voluntary" price caps that Sirius XM had agreed at the time of their merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radios and says that it finds no reason to extend the caps.
At the time of the merger the FCC had concluded that it was likely that the merged entity would be able to raise prices but looking ahead said that because it could not predict "what the competitive landscape would be in three years" it would seek comment six months before the cap expired as to whether it remained necessary in the public interest and then "determine whether it should be modified, removed, or extended."
It commenced the review in January this year with a Public Notice seeking comment on whether action was needed on the price cap (See RNW Jan 26) and it notes that it received no specific proposals to extend the price cap condition and that of the numerous individuals responding, the vast majority thought the commission should remove the cap.
The WCS Coalition submitted comments, asking the Commission to extend the price cap until the Commission addresses pending petitions for reconsideration in the Part 27 Proceeding, which established technical rules to allow mobile broadband services in 25 megahertz of the WCS band and to limit interference to WCS bands from adjacent SDARS terrestrial repeaters. The Coalition argued that if sufficient mobile broadband capacity were available to support wireless delivery of Internet services to automobiles this would allow competitive services and constrain Sirius XM's ability to raise prices. Until then it argued that the caps be retained.
The FCC said that it appeared that since the merger was permitted, new audio services had emerged including smartphone internet applications that can be used in automobiles and the evidence was that new competition had arisen whilst there was no evidence to support retention of the caps. Accordingly these have now been allowed to expire.
In other actions today the FCC has issued a USD 22,000 penalty to a Miami woman for operating an unlicensed FM. It had issued a USD 22,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to Judith V. Smith, formerly known as Judith McFarlane, in May this year in connection with the operation of "Gospel Reggae FM" (See RNW May 17) but had received no reply. Accordingly the forfeiture was confirmed.
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-07-28: Guardian Media Group's GMG Radio has announced that it is to rebrand its Rock Radio, Manchester station as Real Radio XS, and is in talks about selling sister station Rock Radio Glasgow to a consortium of investors including Real and Rock Radio Brand Managing Director Billy Anderson, who is set to leave GMG Radio to work on a the new venture.
Real Radio XS, it says, will continue to feed the passion of its growing audience of 143,000 classic rock music fans in Manchester but will benefit from the brand strength and scale of sister station Real Radio which is listened to each week by 472,000 adults across the north west of England. The rebrand will take place in September and Real Radio XS will enjoy a wider reach, available to listeners across the whole of the North West thanks to the addition of the station to the regional DAB platform.
The company adds that the combination will "provide an appealing opportunity for advertisers in the North West, offering scale through a combined 'Real Radio package' with its sister station, as well as the ability to continue accessing each audience individually."
Anderson comments on his plans, "I've had the time of my life at GMG Radio, joining when the group was about to launch its second station, Real Scotland, and I will truly miss the people. But I'm extremely excited about the potential for Rock Radio and will now be able to fully focus on acquiring the station. Once that is complete, I am looking forward to unveiling plans on a unique new way of experiencing and interacting with the greatest genre of music in the world - rock!" whilst for GMG Radio Chief Executive Stuart Taylor said the plans would "give both stations the best possible chance of growth and success, provide an attractive commercial proposition for advertisers and mean that this genre of music continues to thrive in these two regions."
Previous GMG Radio:
2011-07-27: Although the US National Association of Broadcasters (NABb) and some radio companies have lobbied hard to make FM radio chips compulsory in mobile phones, a new survey cited by Mark Ramsey shows that even when people do have the chips in their phones they don't use them much.
The survey, conducted by VIP Research Inc. asked a total of 1,346 US radio listeners, aged 15-69 a total of eleven questions, five profile questions to identify unique demographics & radio station preferences, and 6 closed-ended questions supplied by Mark Ramsey, President of Mark Ramsey Media, LLC.
17% said they already had FM built into their phones but of these 57% said they "almost never" used the function, 24% that they used it once in a while, 14% that they used it a few times a week" and only 5% that they used it" nearly every day."
The figures comments Ramsey show that built-in FM "hardly constitutes a "must-have" for the majority of mobile phone users who represent the majority of radio listeners."
The survey also looked that those who had downloaded personalized radio applications such as Pandora or Slacker or a single station application - some 31.5% and 5% respectively of the sample and Ramsey suggest s a number of reasons for the small number choosing single station apps including the different functionality - most he says are built around streaming the station or are thought to do so and the lack of promotion of the apps.
Those who have them use them more than the FM tuner is used - 16.9% of those with personalized apps said they used the app nearly every day; a further 23.4% that they used them a few times w week; 37.3% once in a while and 22.6% almost never whilst for single-stations apps 9.1% used them almost every day, a further 12.5% a few times a week; 57.4 % once in a while and 21% almost never.
Ramsey concludes that there is "decent" use of the FM tuner when it is built-in but not enough to suggest a strong demand for it and this is proven when use of the tuner is compared to use of personalized and even single-stations apps although the latter need stronger features to attract more usage. Listeners, he says, use features that solve a problem that other media in other places can't solve.
Ramsey-VIP Research Survey (277kb 18-page PDF):
2011-07-27: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is investigating a complaint by advocacy group GetUp! against Macquarie Radio Network's Sydney 2GB host Alan Jones over comments he made concerning climate change and the degree to which humans are contributing to an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The paper says that the ACMA can take action against the host under the Australian commercial broadcasting code under which broadcasters are required to make reasonable efforts to ensure that factual material is accurate and in cases where it is not are given 30 days to make a correction. GetUp! It adds has also contravened another section of the code that requires broadcasters to give ''reasonable opportunities'' to ''significant viewpoints'' on ''controversial issues of public importance''.
Jones earlier this week in an interview with Mumbrella had said that he was a broadcaster not a journalist and went on to label his critics as "losers" and "nasty, small minded people on the ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation]."
Jones it says told Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes that his listeners realise he is expressing his opinions and that he does not set out to be a journalist, commenting, "It's called the Alan Jones show. Much of my stuff is opinion. I'm a broadcaster. I don't pretend to be a journalist and I don't know what that means anyway - they've got a certificate or something.
"If those opinions lack validity or if those opinions are extreme or if they are overly provocative, they won't listen. I've stood the test of time."
Jones according to GetUp! Has said that human beings produce only 0.001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air but climate scientists say the figure is much larger and the ABC "Media Watch" show earlier this year also commented on 2GB's coverage of the climate change issue, saying, "These are all critics from people who are losers. They can't do what you do so they want to have a pot-shot" and went on to comment of the programme that he said he'd never watched, "No never. It's just rubbish. Who's watching Media Watch? Who are they? They're just nasty small minded people on the ABC."
RNW comment: Whatever views people may have on climate change, there is no real doubt that human being are producing considerably more carbon dioxide than Jones says - estimates are closer to 28% than 0.001% - and we also cannot see how because Jones says he is not a journalist but a broadcaster he can consider that he should not attempt to live up to a broadcasting code that requires reasonable attempts to ensure accuracy.
In view of Jones past history in Australia's cash-for -comment affair and the current heavy lobbying against the country's carbon tax we would hardly be human were we not to wonder if he has a financial stake - maybe indirect- in making comments playing down climate change.
Whatever the case it is possible to be sceptical about action over government action concerning climate change without grossly distorting facts and it is not a matter of being a journalist but of being a basically honest person that should lead a host in Jones' position to try and ensure reasonable accuracy in making "factual" statements.
Jones, we suspect, would object strongly to having to apologize, however wrong he can be shown to be. Our view is that Jones can reasonably expect to have the right to air opinions that show him up as ignorant but not to back them up with spurious "factual" statements.
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2011-07-27: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a proposed USD 7,000 penalty on Spirit of Alaska Broadcasting, Inc., permittee of KMBQ-AM, Wasilla, Alaska, for tower fencing breaches.
It had issued an NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability to Forfeiture) for this amount in April 2009 to which Spirit responded by arguing that at the time a temporary fence around the station's antenna structure was effective within the FCC rules.
It noted that when the station began operation in December 2008, there was three feet of snow on the ground, the daytime high temperatures ranged from -2 to -8 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour, and the overnight lows were -20 degrees Fahrenheit and said that despite these conditions it constructed other effective enclosures - fences of both black plastic sheeting and flexible orange plastic snow fencing, - and took other measures - including markers, No Trespassing signs and radiation signs -that protected the general public from the radio frequency potential at the base of the antenna.
In addition it had maintained a regular physical presence at the site pending construction of the permanent fence that was completed as soon as weather conditions permitted. In July last year the station went into receivership and control was transferred to a court-appointed receiver.
In cancelling the penalty the FCC commented , "The good faith compliance measures described above, the unusual circumstances preventing construction, and the appointment of a receiver are all relevant to our consideration of any forfeiture, and in this case to our determination to impose no forfeiture penalty."
2011-07-26: The Pittsburgh Pirates, whose games are currently carried by Clear Channel's WPGB-FM (NewsTalk 104.7), are likely to move to CBS Radio's KDKA-FM (The Fan) after the rights expire at the end of this season according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, although it notes that Clear Channel is not out of the running.
The paper says The Fan is the favourite but Clear Channel wants to keep the team although it is likely to move to move the games to another of its stations - it has no sports station in Pittsburgh but, says the Gazette, WPGB fans are often unhappy at sports interruptions.
It notes that Clear Channel currently also has rights to the Steelers and Penguins whilst The Fan has Pitt, which it took over at the end of last year from Clear Channel's WWSW-FM, and the Power.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-07-26: BBC Director General Mark Thompson in an email to staff updating them on the Corporation's "Delivering Quality First" (DQF) initiative intended to cut costs by a fifth following last year's licence fee settlement has ruled out a merger of BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC local radio stations.
The suggestions had been amongst those made in response to the initiative, and Thompson ruled out the merger and also the closing of any local radio stations or merging of regional TV news services in England and also suggested there was "there's a smarter way of making savings without taking entire services away from the public" although he did not completely rule out service closures.
"I'd also like to reassure you about some of the things that we won't be proposing, but about which there has been speculation," said Thompson in the email. "We won't be closing any local radio stations or television regions. There will be no full or partial merger of local radio and Radio 5 Live. We will not be removing BBC Parliament from Freeview. And as you heard from the chairman earlier this month, we will not be privatising BBC Worldwide."
He also spoke of inevitable job cuts through a combination of staff turnover, redeployment and voluntary redundancies "Inevitably the financial challenge we face will mean post closures over the period to 2016 and I appreciate it's important to end the uncertainty as soon as we can.
"I expect percentage job losses to be relatively higher in non-content areas and among senior managers, and lower in content areas but this picture will vary across the BBC and over time."
2011-07-26: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a penalty of USD 10,000 on the operators of an unlicensed FM in New York.
Andre Alleyne and Jessie White, both of Brooklyn, had been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent liability for Forfeiture) after tests made in July 2008 in response to a complaint of interference traced the source of the interference to a Brooklyn apartment building and found that a coaxial cable leading to the antenna led to an apartment jointly leased by Alleyne and White.
The door was answered by two women, who refused the agents permission to enter and one of whom was later identified as White. She was told that the station was unlicensed and should be turned off and when agents returned to their vehicle they found that the station was off the air.
The FCC issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to Alleyne and White at the end of July and in October an agent returned to the apartment building and was told by the superintendent that Alleyne contacted him soon after the inspection and that he accompanied Alleyne to the roof so that Alleyne could remove the antenna.
The NAL was issued in December 2008 and in response Alleyne and White requested that the forfeiture be cancelled because they had not operated it themselves but allowed a friend to operate it; they believed it complied with FCC regulations; they ceased operating it as soon as they became aware that it was illegal; and they do not have the financial resources to pay the forfeiture.
The FCC noted that no documentation was provided to support the argument of inability to pay and dismissed the other arguments, confirming the full penalty.
2011-07-25: Dismissing its programming with anything but praise, Robert Feder in Time Out Chicago comments of newscasts on the 101.1 FM frequency formerly used by Emmis's Q101 - the station is currently music stunting and has been trying out various combinations of anchors and contributors - "Honestly, I've heard college radio stations deliver smoother newscasts than the ones they've been airing on Merlin Media's new 101.1 FM.
Feder also comments on changes at other stations that he considers linked to the Merlin takeover, whether or not their owners have denied it, including the decision to simulcast Newsradio 780 on WCFS-FM from the start of next month and the return to Tribune's WGN-AM of the slogan "The Voice of Chicago" and also comments, "Let's hope CBS doesn't try to deny the obvious now that it's touting WXRT-FM (93.1) as "Chicago's Original Alternative" on the heels of Q101's demise."
Feder also notes a potential effect on Chicago Public Media's non-commercial WBEZ-FM with the addition of a further news competitor.
Comments made by readers are in general also dismissive of the chances of a news format on 101.1.
Chicago Time Out - Feder column:
2011-07-25: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a consent decree related to "payola" at Emmis's KROX-FM, Buda, Texas, in 2006.
Under the decree Emmis will pay a USD 12,000 penalty and set up a compliance scheme and business reforms within 60 days and keep them in effect for three years. During this period, Emmis will file Compliance Reports with the Commission 90 days after the Effective Date, 12 months after the Effective Date, 24 months after the Effective Date, and upon expiration of this Consent Decree
The settlement follows a complaint made in 2006 that a host on the station was involved in a "payola scheme" and received "valuable consideration" from a heavy metal music store; a venue where featured bands perform live; and a booking agent and a band manager. The complainant also alleged that independent artists were unable to secure airplay unless they sponsor events organized by the station but directed or hosted by the host.
2011-07-24: It was more a matter of administration than licensing decisions for the regulators last week and even then there were no radio related announcements from Australia and nor radio specific ones from Ireland.
In Canada, things were not much busier with the only radio posting from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) being its approves the Structural and Operational Plan of the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) subject to amendments related to the participation of commercial radio broadcasters on the board of directors, participation on the selection committee and the measurement of the success of the fund's initiatives. The CRFC now has to file a revised plan and bylaws that reflect the Commission's determinations by no later than 22 August 2011.
The main points where the CRTC wanted changes followed a consultation about a revised version of the plan submitted by the CFRC in March this year.
Amongst the responses seven commercial radio broadcasting companies - Astral Media Radio Inc.; Bell Media Radio, a division of Bell Media Inc.; Golden West Broadcasting Limited; Newcap Inc.; The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP; Rogers Media Inc.; and RNC Media Inc. - submitted a joint comment suggesting that they should have representation on the CFRC Board so they can have some oversight over the use of the funding that they provide whilst the CFRC expressed concern that this could alter its mandate so that it conforms more closely with the interests of commercial radio.
The CRTC noted in this connection that the commercial broadcasters already had seats on the of directors of other organizations to which they must provide funding, including MUSICACTION, FACTOR and the Radio Starmaker Fund/Fonds Radiostar and accordingly felt that they should be permitted to nominate one representative to the board. This representative it said amongst other things should be appointed at the sole discretion of the seven commercial radio broadcasters who submitted comments and must not be currently associated with any commercial radio broadcaster meaning they must not be an employee, director or officer of any commercial broadcaster at any level of the organization although they could be an employee, director or officer of any commercial broadcaster at any level of the organization
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) made no radio announcements and only one posting, the advertising of contracts for a market analyst and nutritionist to assist work being undertaken by it as part of the review of the BAI Children's Commercial Communications Code.
In each case there would be a requirement to analyse and report on specific aspects of the Code in which they have expertise; produce two short reports and attend two BAI meetings. The deadline for applications is September 15.
In the UK Ofcom released its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints (See RNW Jul 19) and also its 2011 Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report.
The report concerns TV not radio and in all Ofcom posted six PDFs totalling some 3.5 Mb- the summary report is 150 Kb (19 pages).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as enforcement actions in which it issued a USD 25,000 NAL to a North Carolina AM for emergency alert system, tower fencing, and public file breaches (See RNW Jul 18) and later a USD 13,000 NAL to a Louisiana AM for late renewal and unauthorized operation as well as confirming other penalties totalling USD 13,000 (See RNW Jul 22) has also issued a report and order concerning the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2011.
The report notes the agency's intention to collect USD 335,794,000 in regulatory fees for the year during a September 2011 filing window and also the release in May of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on regulatory fee issues for FY 2011 and a number of changes made following this.
As regards fees to terrestrial radio stations, the report notes that it determines the population served by a station by coupling current United States Census Bureau data with technical and engineering data and that the 2010 Census Data is still subject to revision and thus will be used for FY2012 fee determination.
It also notes actions to simplify procedures already taken and says that in FY 2011 the Commission will "promote greater use of technology (and less use of paper) to improve the regulatory fee notification and collection process." In specific terms it notes that it is to end the mailing of fee notification assessment letters to media licensees and will rely on information on the Commission's website and the use of the Commission-authorized fees website.
Commenting on the issue of change Democrat Commission Michael J. Copps said he applauded "the Chairman's commitment to initiate a long overdue comprehensive review of our regulatory fee program" and continued "Despite the requirement that our regulatory fee burdens reflect how much the Commission spends on each sector of the industry, we have stuck with the same, outdated structure for far too long, as I have pointed out many times. "
The agency also approved the assignment of the licence of WMGL-FM, Ravenel, South Carolina, from The Last Bastion Station Trust, LLC to Radio License Holding CBC, LLC (Citadel - which is currently being taken over by Cumulus in a USD 2.4 billion deal - See RNW Mar 10).
The Last Bastion Station Trust was set up to temporarily own Citadel stations after Citadel bought ABC Radio and needed to make disposals to comply with FCC ownership caps: In all Citadel was required to make eleven disposals because of the loss of "grandfathered" rights and the FCC gave consent for the licences to be assigned to the Trust, an insulated divestiture trust controlled by Elliot B. Evers, under an agreement that also contained a provision that if there were to be a change in the number of stations in the relevant Metro a station affected should be assigned back to Citadel - later this was amended to say the station could be assigned back to Citadel.
Prior to the deal Citadel in 2007 had filed to relocate the transmission facilities and community of licence of WNKT-FM, St. George, South Carolina, to Eastover and also as the then licensee to change the channel used by WMGL. The implementation of this order led to WNKT moving from the Charleston Metro to the Columbia, South Carolina, Metro.
Because of this Citadel and the Trustee filed an application to assign the station back to Citadel, an application that was opposed in a Petition to Deny filed by Georgia Eagle Broadcasting, Inc. and Thomas B. Daniels.
The agency in its ruling noted that under its rules it should not have allowed the original agreement to mandate reassignment of the licence to Citadel but that it had done so and that the amended version was consistent with the rules. It granted the assignment of the licence to Citadel
In Oregon, the FCC has granted an application filed by Black Hills Broadcasting, L.C. proposing the allotment of FM Channel 243A at Gearhart, as a first local service and also a counter-proposal filed by Cumulus Licensing LLC, permittee of KNRQ-FM, Tualatin, which proposed an upgrade of the station and change of its community of licence to Aloha along with a channel substitution at Madras to facilitate the substitution.
The agency also considered an objection the Cumulus proposals and a Cumulus response in which it proposed further changes including a substitution at Gearhart to allow which a further substitution was required at Manzanita.
The FCC in its ruling noted that the conflict at Gearhart implicit in the Cumulus proposal had been resolved and accordingly granted both Black Hills and Cumulus's applications.
Previous Licence News:
2011-07-23: WorldSpace, the defunct satellite radio service that was closed down in India in December 2009 (See RNW Dec 31, 2009) after its US parent declared bankruptcy is to make a return to India - the start is planned for September - albeit not on its own satellites.
Timbre Media, which was founded by the Indian employees of WorldSpace after the American company filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and in which Indian music industry giant Saregama (formerly The Gramophone Company of India) has a 10% holding, has acquired a licence to use the WorldSpace brand and is planning to return the service in September.
After WorldSpace closed its service to India - its had also provided ten channels on Airtel DTH (Also RNW Dec 31, 2009) most of its assets were bought by Yazmi, a company controlled by WorldSpace founder Noah Samara and in 2010 there were suggestions of a return in South Africa (See RNW Jun 14, 2010) but nothing seems to have come of that plan.
India had accounted for some 95% of WorldSpace subscribers and Seetal R Iyer, head of content and co-founder of Timbre Media, told the Business Standard that all the favourites on the old service will be revived. She added, however, that she did not want to be held to the planned September launch date.
The return will be on Airtel DTH, which had replaced its former services with channels from All India Radio, and also online and on mobile devices but Iyer says this time it is not looking at an exclusive deal but is talking "to several players" with Timbre acting only as a content provider but not becoming involved in marketing and distribution.
Timbre was founded in March last year by around 90 former WorldSpace employees and Iyer says their main objective was "to 'continue [WorldSpace's] tradition of quality content' and 'work towards putting together something similar'".
She and four others, says the Standard, put in their own money and others worked on small retainer fees and the company has been working on a variety of projects - corporate and retail radio projects, supplying content and expertise to FM radio channels abroad, making radio jingles and so on - to keep the cash coming in with which to pay all the people on board, build its own studio and archives, and revive WorldSpace.
Commenting on the launch plans, Iyer entered a warning about the September planned date, saying "In the last year we have known that things that look 100 per cent have a way of fizzling out,"
Although initially the service is to have ten channels - to include the Indian language stations, Jhankar (Indipop and Bollywood hits), Farishta (old Hindi songs), Spin (international music), the offbeat Mokhsa (wellness and lifestyle), and the two classical music channels, Gandharva (Hindustani) and Shruti (Carnatic) - the new Indian WorldSpace hopes to eventually double this and provide services outside India. Its tie-up with Saregama will give it access to India's largest musical archives.
Business Standard report:
Timbre Media website:
2011-07-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 13,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to R&M Broadcasting Company, licensee of DKJCB-AM, Lafayette, Louisiana, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The licence was renewed and an objection to the renewal from Miracle Radio, Inc. together with petition to reconsider rejection of application for a construction permit to change frequency and increase the daytime power of WPNN-AM, Pensacola, Florida, were dismissed.
R&M had filed a late renewal application in February 2004 that was dismissed in 2005 for "delinquent debt" under the Commission's "red light" program and did not file a further application or seek reconsideration of the red light dismissal.
Subsequently the agency informed it at the end of April last year that the licence had expired and authority to operate was terminated and the call letters deleted from its database.
The licensee then filed a petition for reconsideration and a month later a renewal application. The FCC noted that R&M had now paid all its delinquent debts following a letter sent to it at the end of March this year and had also filed an STA (Special Temporary Authority) request to be remain silent until it resolved "microwave failure and path difficulties as well as component failure in the phasor used for directional operation." It later said the station had lost the lease for its currently licensed transmitter site and has been locked out of the property except to remove its equipment but has located a suitable site for a long-wire antenna and that it intends to operate from there until such time as a new, permanent site can be located.
The agency is proposing base penalties of USD 3,000 for the late renewal filing and USD 10.000 for the subsequent unauthorized operation.
The FCC also refused to reconsider a USD 8,00 penalty issued to another Louisiana broadcaster for public file breaches but reduced from USD 8,000 to USD 5,000 the penalty issued to a Florida man for operating a pirate FM.
The USD 8,000 penalty was issued to Radio License Holding CBC, LLC, (owned by Citadel Broadcasting) licensee of WIBR-AM, Baton Rouge and WEMX-FM, Kentwood: The breaches had come to light during a 2004 licence renewal when the licensee noted that various issues/programs lists were missing from the stations' files.
In August that year the FCC issued USD 9,000 NALs (Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to each station to which the licensee had responded by requesting cancellation. The FCC had rejected the arguments put forward but reduced the penalties to USD 4,000 for each station because many of the violations took place before the licensee acquired the stations (See RNW Oct 26, 2010).
Radio Licences then responded with a petition for reconsideration, arguing of the first time that the penalties are statutorily barred under a general five-year statute of limitations on government enforcement of forfeitures.
The FCC disagreed saying the limitation statute referred to related only to "the initiation of collection actions by the United States Department of Justice, not the Commission's issuance of NALs and Forfeiture Orders." It confirmed the penalty.
More fortunate was Christopher M. Myers of Lauderhill, Florida, who last year had been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL for operating an unlicensed FM (See RNW Licence News July 18, 2010).
Myers petitioned for cancellation or reduction on the grounds that although he owned the condominium from which the transmissions were made, it was occupied and controlled by a renter from 2007 to 2010; that after he received the notice of the unlicensed operation he took steps to terminate the lease; and that a broadcasting outfit known as WBIG, in which he held no pecuniary interest, was responsible for any unlicensed operations.
He also argued on the basis of ability to pay and documentation he provided led the agency to reduce the penalty to USD 5,000 on this basis although it dismissed all the other arguments.
2011-07-22: Radio Mirchi operator ENIL (Entertainment Network (India) Ltd.), India's leading private FM operator, has reported first quarter revenues up 9.9% on a year earlier at INR 63.2 crore (USD 14.2 million - a crore is 10 million) with profits more than doubled to INR 9.7 crore (USD 2.19 million) from INR 4.3 crore (USD 969,000).
EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was up 46% to INR 21.8 crore (USD 4.91 million) with EBITDA margin improved from 26% to 34%.
Commenting on the results Executive Director and CEO Prashant Panday said, "It's been a surprisingly tough quarter for media companies. The current political environment, the high inflation and the resultant high interest rates and the squeeze in the advertising budgets due to last quarter's cricket season have together put the brakes on the media industry's growth. We hope these conditions will change."
The previous quarter and last financial year had show strong results from the company with revenues, boosted by World Cup Cricket almost doubled and profits more than doubled excluding the profit from a sale and nearly trebled including this (See RNW May 24):
*ENIL is a subsidiary of Times Infotainment Media Limited (TIML) which is in turn a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman * Co. Ltd),
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
2011-07-22: Melbourne 3AW host Derryn Hinch, who on Wednesday was back in hospital for further medical treatment following a liver transplant (See RNW July 6) - he had to return to remove a stent and deal with a haematoma that had developed - has been sentenced to five months home detention during which time he is banned from broadcasting or publishing or using the internet.
The host had been found guilty of breaching orders prohibiting the naming of two sex offenders and magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg commented that although Hinch had said he was opposed to vigilantism his actions had been taking the law into his own hands and encouraging others to do it.
A posting on the Fairfax Media-owned 3AW site was confined to a brief report on events up to the actual sentencing and noted that Rozencwajg noted that Hinch may be the last person in Victoria to receive home detention with a bill before parliament to abolish it and added that Hinch may want to reflect on the fact there was an alternative to jail next time he entered that debate. Hinch's prior offences, he said, meant there was little hope of remorse from the host or his changing his ways.
The sentence began immediately and the order means an end for not to Hunch's use of social media - he has some 15,400 followers on his @HumanHeadline Twitter stream and a widely-read blog - as well as barring him from doing any interviews - Rozencwajg said Hinch only escaped a jail sentence because of his health and warned him that even comments on the courthouse steps would breach the sentence - during his house arrest and also from directing others to update his sites on his behalf.
3AW Program Director Clark Forbes said after the verdict, "I think it's particularly shattering for him [Hinch] because he's been basically silenced. Even if he was in jail he probably would be able to write you a letter, get on the phone."
Forbes also said that from Monday Hinch's slot will be taken by Tom Elliott.
Previous Fairfax Media:
2011-07-21: Arbitron has reported second quarter earnings up 8.4% on a year ago at USD 95.7 million with the increase pout down primarily to commercialization of its PPM (Portable People Meter) ratings service.
Costs and expenses were only up 1.1% - to USD 88.7 million - and net income nearly doubled - up from USD 3.8 million to USD 7.6 million ( From 14 cents to 27 cents per diluted share). Earnings before interest, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was up 52.5% to USD 19.7 million.
For the first six months of this year revenues are up 6.7% to USD 196.6 million and costs and expenses were up 1.3% - to USD 160.5 million - with EBITDA up 27.3% to USD 53.6 million. Net income for the six months was up 35.8% to USD 28.8 million with net income per diluted share up 32.3% from 65 cents at 86 cents.
Commenting on the results President and Chief Executive Officer William T. Kerr noted its renewal just announced (See RNW Jul 19) of contracts with Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia, part of Publicis Groupe and also a recent agreement with leading broadcaster to a cross-platform study of audiences to its radio and television outlets in a top-ten market. "We continue," said Kerr, "to see strong interest in our cross-platform initiatives and believe this new contract shows we are moving in the right direction."
Kerr also noted continuing efforts to develop a combined over the air and internet ratings service, saying, "We've also made good progress during the first half of the year on the development of a total audience measurement service, combining both over-the-air and Internet audio listening. This planned new service would be the first combined audience measurement of both over-the-air radio audiences and Internet audio audiences with the latter based on server-side metrics for streamed radio broadcasts and pure-play Internet audio programming. The market has shown significant interest in this new service and we anticipate our digital radio service, when launched, will address an important market need for a total audience measurement service."
Of the actual figures he said is continuing to work on improving margins in our radio ratings business, adding " those efforts paid off with higher EBIT and EBITDA margins in the first half of 2011 compared to 2010. Because we have fully commercialized the PPM service in all 48 planned markets, we also anticipate finishing the full year at higher EBIT and EBITDA margins than 2010 as revenue continues to benefit from phase-in of contracted PPM price increases while the costs associated with commercializing PPM markets are behind us."
For 2011, Arbitron is now expecting revenues to be up by between 6% and 8% on 2010 revenue of USD 395.4 million with earnings per diluted share to be up by between 15% and 25% over the 2010 figure of USD 1.64.
2011-07-21: Southern Cross Media, which in February took over Austereo in an AUD 741 million (then USD 748 million) agreed takeover (See RNW Feb 1), has announced a re-branding of its radio television and online divisions as Southern Cross Austereo with a new logo .
It says the combined assets will provide advertisers with access to 95% of Australians and CEO Rhys Holleran commented, "This deal means for advertisers that we can go to market and offer a full suite of opportunities for them to create integrated messages.
2011-07-21: Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital, which in May announced that it was to purchase Millennium Radio New Jersey's eleven stations (See RNW May 9) and was expected to fold them into Townsquare Media (See RNW May 18) has now started the process to do so.
It completed the purchase this week and has now filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to transfer the stations to Townsquare, which already includes the former Regent Communications (taken over and then re--branded as Townsquare Media in 2010 - See RNW May 3, 2010) and the former GAP Broadcasting stations, which were folded into Townsquare in August last year (See RNW Aug 13, 2010).
Previous TownSquare Media:
2011-07-21: The BBC has announced that Andy Parfitt, who is 52 and has been Controller of Radio 1 for 13 years, is to leave the post at the end of this month "to pursue new opportunities."
Parfitt, it says will "take up new challenges both inside and outside of the BBC, working part-time for BBC Radio on leadership development and taking on an advisory role with Comic Relief" and will also develop "new opportunities outside of the organisation."
Until a new Controller is appointed Ben Cooper, the current Deputy Controller of BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra, will become Acting Controller of the stations and Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2 and 6 Music, will take over Parfitt's responsibilities for Popular Music and the Asian Network.
Over recent years Parfitt has been seen as a potential contender for a number of BBC top posts and lost out to Tim Davie in the competition for the post of Direct of Audio and Music Post.
In a BBC news release, Davie said, "said: "Andy has been a fantastic Controller and leaves Radio 1 in rude health - with distinctive, high quality programmes and record listening figures - having transformed the station into a fully interactive digital proposition. He has been an inspirational leader within the BBC and is highly respected across the whole of the radio industry."
Parfitt commented, "I am immensely proud to have held this position and I leave with all three stations in great shape with their listening figures at record highs and following a great BBC wide Glastonbury event. I'm most proud of the incredible teams I'm leaving behind - a group of talented, hardworking, creative and inspirational people who are a credit to the BBC."
Parfitt initially joined the BBC as a studio manager in 1979, then he took up a British Forces Broadcasting Services secondment in the Falkland Islands, before moving on to become a producer in BBC Education, then to Radio 4 where he also presented on air.
He joined Radio 1 as Chief Assistant to the Controller in 1993, after being an integral part of the launch team for Radio 5 Live, and In 2002, he oversaw the conception and launch of BBC Radio 1Xtra, Radio 1's digital sister station.
Five years later he was asked to care-take the role of Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and the Asian Network and in April 2008 took full-time responsibility for the Asian Network in April 2008 and has since overseen a revamp of the network's schedule that in the last 12 months has seen its audience increase by 40%.
Tributes were paid to him by a number of the station's DJs including breakfast host Chris Moyles who tweeted "It's been announced that my friend and boss #andyparfitt is to leave @BBCR1 I'll miss working, laughing and arguing with him! Good Luck pal."; Fearne Cotton, whose tweet said "Gutted that my mountain climbing friend and all round amazing boss Andy Parfitt is leaving R1!"; and drivetime host Scott Mills who commented of his leaving, "My boss for my whole time of being here. It's a sad day and he will be missed."
2011-07-20: Mexican radio operator Grupo Radio Centro has reported revenues in its second quarter to the end of June up 10.5% on a year ago at MXN 230.4 million (USD 18.11 million) with broadcasting expenses almost flat at MXN 167.5 million (USD 14.40 million - up from MXN 167.3 million -USD 14.38 million): For the first six months revenues are now up 11.8% to MXN 374.9 million (USD 36.03 million) and broadcasting expenses up 3.1% to MXN 338.2 million (USD 29.07 million).
Broadcasting income rose 52.1% to MXN 62.89 million (USD 5.41 million) for the quarter and 72.9% for the first six months to MXN 81 million (USD 6.96 million) and operating income was up 7.4% to USD 52.53 million (USD 4.60 million) for the quarter and more than doubled from MXN 27 million (USD 2.32 million) to MXN 62.3 million (USD 5.35 million) for the half-year.
Overall Grupo Radio Centro's net income was up more than five-fold for the quarter - from MXN 3.12 million (USD 286,000) to MXN 16.4 million (USD 1.79 million) whilst for the first six months it cut a net loss of MXN 24.48 million (USD 2.1 million) to MXN 909,000 (USD 78,000).
Previous Grupo Radio Centro:
2011-07-20: An independent survey of the BBC's coverage of science commissioned by the BBC Trust has generally praised the coverage.
Professor Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London, commented in his report that "in general, [BBC] output is of a high quality, widely praised for its breadth and depth, its professionalism, and its clear, accurate and impartial manner"."
His report was issued together with appendices of content analysis of BBC science coverage carried out by Imperial College, London, and also the terms of reference.
Jones did criticize the BBC for at times not making the balance clear between established fact and generally accepted opinion and the views put forward by more fringe groups-termed by the Trust in its comments, the "'over-rigid' (as Professor Jones describes it) application of the Editorial Guidelines on impartiality in relation to science coverage, which fails to take into account what he regards as the "non-contentious" nature of some stories and the need to avoid giving 'undue attention to marginal opinion'."
The report also commented on the "undue lack of consultation and cooperation between News and Current Affairs and the main Science departments and between the latter and the Natural History Unit, together with a real under utilisation of the extensive expertise within the Radio Science Unit in spite of much praise for its output" but also said as regards "accuracy "that "There are few complaints in this regard. The precision and clarity of most material is exemplary, with programmes aimed at levels of sophistication from children to professionals, although channels with a younger audience such as Radio 1 and BBC Three are perhaps somewhat deficient in their coverage."
Regarding editorial rules Jones notes that the new guidance is "more precise in its advice "than before but he found "disagreement about how the word [impartiality] should be interpreted and about whether science demands a version of its own" and continued, "Broadly speaking, the split is between those in the Corporation with a science background, and those without. Most of the latter claim that the criteria set out in its earlier From SeeSaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century paper and in the latest Editorial Guidelines suggest that to apply due impartiality across all output, science included, must involve a variety of opinions. The former point out that much of the topic is not contentious and does not demand the airing of opposed views found in, for example, politics."
Jones then comments on this "Equality of voice calls for a match of scientists not with politicians or activists, but with those qualified to take a knowledgeable, albeit perhaps divergent, view of research."
He then goes on to effectively agree with the scientists ad opposed to non-scientists, commenting "Attempts to give a place to anyone, however unqualified, who claims interest can make for false balance: to free publicity to marginal opinions and not to impartiality, but its opposite. Conflicts of interest and outright dishonesty exist in science and these must be exposed, but not at the cost of an over literal interpretation of the guidelines. The BBC has tried to find a solution to this problem but has not entirely succeeded. It must accept that it is impossible to produce a balance between fact and opinion. The notion of due impartiality in science should be treated with more flexibility."
The Trust in its commentary and conclusions on the report noted that it "decided in 2010 to review the accuracy and impartiality of BBC science coverage" following debates on various scientific developments and that the report "has produced a number of important findings: the most welcome being that BBC content in this area is generally of a high quality."
It then went on to consider the highlighting of "certain shortcomings" including "a lack of contact and cooperation between science programme makers across BBC divisions; an over-reliance on a narrow range of external information sources; and, crucially, concern about the appropriate application of editorial guidelines on "due impartiality" in science coverage concerning which Professor Jones suggests various measures to address the issues.
On these the Trust says it is particularly concerned "that new editorial guidelines on 'due impartiality' (introduced in 2010) are used appropriately and effectively in science coverage" and continues, "Programme makers must make a distinction between well-established fact and opinion in science coverage and ensure the distinction is clear to the audience."
The BBC Executive welcomed what it termed a "generally positive assessment of BBC science coverage" and went on to say that it "accepts and builds on the recommendations set out by Professor Jones, most notably" to appoint a Science Editor for BBC News, whose role will include liaison with other areas of the BBC and "advising on news coverage, strengthening the BBC News database of interviewees and assessing the weight of coverage of different fields of science relative to the weight of scientific work"; to create a pan-BBC science forum that will meet twice a year with " aims to include sharing information in order to improve the pool of interviewees and the balance between men and women on air"; "review its information sources with a view to widening and strengthening them, subject to cost considerations" and strengthen its contacts with the scientific community.
Regarding comments on rigid application of rules, it noted that "the treatment of a scientific story will depend upon its nature and context" and then went on "Sometimes it is appropriate to present it as a debate within the scientific community whereas at others a range of views, including from non-experts, is justified given the social, political and cultural context."
RNW comment: The Jones report seems to us generally well thought out albeit from the stance of one tasked to consider accuracy rather than popularity as a prime consideration.
In particular we suggest that general comments on the nature of science in the section on "ORGANISATION OF SCIENCE WITHIN THE BBC" (From Pages 32-36 of the report) and the following section "ACCURACY AND LEVEL OF BBC SCIENCE OUTPUT" (On Pages 37 & 38) as being worth a read for anyone broadcasting science reports.
BBC Trust - This page carries links to Report (1.04 Mb 103-Page PDF) and appendices:
Report for BBC Trust (1.04 MB PDF):
2011-07-19: Chicago WKQX-FM, the former Emmis-owned Q101.1, now operated by Merlin Media, has brought back Robert Murphy, who hosted the morning show on the station in 1993, in what Robert Feder in Time Out Chicago terms an interim measure while the station "transitions from its former identity as alternative rocker Q101 to FM news, under the new management of Randy Michaels' Merlin Media."
"In the interim - with Murphy as the star attraction from 5 to 10am weekdays," continues Feder, "the station will vamp with a hot adult-contemporary music format and perhaps a few other surprises along the way."
He adds that "No date has been announced for the launch of the new format at 101.1 FM, but it's expected sometime in early August."
CBS Radio has already announced that its WCFS-FM (Fresh-FM), Chicago is to flip from adult contemporary to simulcast its news WBBM-AM at start of next month (See RNW Jul 14) and there has been speculation that WKQX could make the move to news before then.
Q101.1 itself moved online as Q101.com (See RNW Jul 15) and its name and intellectual property are now owned by Broadcast Barter Radio Networks which on the station's home page says that all Q101 Jocks and Sales & Promotions staff are invited to join it; notes its availability online and on mobile devices with the Q101 ITunes app already free and Blackberry and Android apps soon to be available free and adds that it is planning a launch party soon as is negotiating with area broadcasters to bring Q101 back on the air.
Feder in his report carried a transcript of an interview with Murphy, of whom he notes since his "Murphy in the Morning" show ended, "After a couple of brief radio stints proved less satisfying than he'd hoped, [Murphy] has spent most of his time enjoying a life of leisure and travelling between homes in Chicago, Michigan and Florida."
Murphy's success was put down in considerable part to his success in attracting a female audience and on a post on Chicagoland Radio and Media, owner "Larz" comments of the interim changes that the station will now "be targeting the female listening audience. The station will have a huge female-targeted morning show on a temporary basis with a surprise host (more on that below) and Adult Contemporary music all day & night long. Some may refer to this as a radio "stunt," while other see this as a brilliant way to bring in a female audience to the station, in advance of the new format launching. This makes the transition from music station to talk station less jarring."
Larez goes onto detail other hires by Merlin for 101.1 FM including - with brief biographies - Guy Bauer; Diana Bodkins; Ryan Burrow; Veronica Carter; Ed Curran ; Debra Dale ; Lise Dominique; Annette Flournoy; JoAnn Genette; Mary Ellen Geist; Rob Hart; Sarah Jersild; Anne Kelley; Katherine Kelly; Jeff McKinney; Brant Miller; Scott Miller; Charlie Meyerson; Jennifer O'Neill; Art Porter; Sam Sylk; Jill Urchak and Dave Williams and also as unconfirmed Hilarie Barsky, formerly with ABCA Radio and host of the "Good Morning America Radio Show" on Sirius XM .
Merlin has also taken control from Emmis of WLUP-FM, Chicago (The Loop) and WRXP-FM ('RXP) , New York, and is expected to flip WRXP to news. Emmis has said it will continue to stream 'RXP through the staion's website and existing apps on mobile devices.
Chase Rupe, VicePresident of Programming & Operations for Emmis, said in a release, "Emmis has some big things in the works to continue expanding our digital footprint. As competitors are moving in on the land rush to grab the next bit of real estate focused on delivering audio content on multiple platforms, we are fortunate to have big brands with impressive local and national followings that we can continue to serve and expand upon. RXP is one of our strongest brands and we are excited to keep it alive in the hearts and ears of its loyal followers in New York and around the world."
Angie May-Cook, Vice President, Emmis Digital , added, "Keeping 1019RXP alive on 1019RXP.com continues the Rock Experience for our passionate New York audience and allows Emmis to build upon a strong brand as we take our music content to more digital platforms.
Chicagoland Radio - Larz posting:
Chicago TimeOut -Feder posting:
2011-07-19: Arbitron has announced a multi-year renewal of its deal to provide Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia with access to its PPM (Portable People Meter) ratings service monthly reports; diary markets data; and RADAR, Nationwide and TAPSCAN Web services.
Both MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia are part of the Publicis Groupe and eight Publicis-owned companies are also included in the agreement and will receive some or all services.
Commenting on the agreement, Helen Katz, Senior Vice President, Starcom MediaVest Group, said in a release, "Radio continues to be an effective medium for marketing and advertising and our agreement with Arbitron gives us the data we need to help our clients advance their campaigns. Arbitron is committed to the quality of its data and we support its efforts to obtain accreditation from the Media Rating Council for its various services."
For Arbitron, Carol Hanley, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, commented, "We appreciate the continued support from Publicis for our efforts to advance electronic ratings of radio audiences and for our quality initiatives across all of our audience ratings services. These agencies have long been valued clients and we're happy to continue our relationship with them all."
2011-07-19: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds no radio complaints but does up hold TV standards complaints involving six broadcasters; finds breaches of TV regulations covering TV advertising break patterns advertising minutage ones on seven stations in addition to which it considered advertising break patterns breaches on five stations and an advertising minutage on another station resolved through action taken by the broadcaster.
One TV Fairness and Privacy complaint was upheld in part and details given of two more not upheld.
The figures compare with findings in the previous bulletin that one radio station and 13 TV broadcasters were in breach of the requirement to provide - despite repeated requests - "Relevant Turnover returns (a further six radio and 26 TV broadcasters had failed to meet the deadlines for their returns but had submitted late returns and their cases were considered resolved); a note of a GBP 90,000 (USD 145,000) on an operator of TV "adult" services for failing to provide recordings; and the upholding of TV standards complaints against 17 TV and two radio broadcasters.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom has changed the way it lists other complains that were not upheld but regarding which it gives no details. In one section it lists those investigated but not in breach - 135 TV complaints against 19 items and two radio complaints against two items - and in another those not in breach that were assessed but not investigated - a total of 251 TV complaints against 149 items and 14 radio complaints against 14 items.
Combined these total 386 TV complaints against 168 items and 16 radio complaints against 16 items: This compared to 400 complaints against 163 TV items and 19 radio complaints against 15 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin without giving details of the complaints or that were considered out of its remit.
Previous Ofcom complaints bulletin:
2011-07-18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 25,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to a North Carolina broadcaster for Emergency Alert System (EAS), tower and public file breaches. The proposed penalty goes to Spirit Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WGTM-AM, Wilson, and follows an inspection in response to a complaint.
During the inspection in March last year the agent visited the station's unattended transmitter site in Rock Ridge, North Carolina, and found a fence for one of the antennas of the four-antenna array to be unlocked and in disrepair and also that there was no perimeter fence around the WGTM property.
An inspection of the main studio was also conducted at which the agent noted that no functional EAS system was installed and there was no documentation that EAS equipment had ever been installed or tests sent or received.
In addition in response to a request to inspect the station's public file, the general manager was unable to produce it or any of its required contents.
Spirit in response to a letter of inquiry said that at the time of the inspection they were in the midst of a move to a new main studio and that the EAS and public inspection file were in transit and also that the public file was no available at the new premises and that the EAS unit, which an engineer had in his possession but which needed repair is also now installed. It also said it would also provide information from the engineer clarifying when the equipment became faulty and was removed and re-installed but did not provide this information.
Regarding the fence it said that it did not know when the gate first became unlocked but that it has fixed the base fence twice since the inspection - following vandalism - and now usually checks it weekly.
The FCC has accordingly issued base penalties of USD 7,000 for the tower fencing breach; USD 8,000 for the EAS breach; and USD 10,000 for the public inspection file breach to make a total of USD 25,000. It also ordered Spirit to submit a signed statement to confirm that it has installed operational EAS equipment at its main studio; that the fence surrounding the relevant antenna is locked and effective in compliance with FCC rules; and that a complete public inspection file is available at the station's main studio.
2011-07-18: Changes came into effect at Corus's Toronto Talk AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) with the afternoon drive slot now taken by Arlene Bynon and her former 1300-1400 midday slot taken over by Tina Trigiani.
In a news release on the change, the station's Senior Program Director Gord Harris commented, "Arlene is a highly respected broadcaster with a depth of knowledge, credibility and experience that make her a welcome addition to our stellar and talented line-up which includes John Oakley, Mike Stafford and Charles Adler. Arlene's midday show was very popular among our listeners and her move to afternoon drive will further reinforce our commitment to provide our listeners with informed, engaging and entertaining current affairs talk radio that the station is known to deliver."
2011-07-18: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is to launch a special digital pop-up radio station tomorrow to coincide with the UK House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearings on phone hacking.
ABC UK Newsgate will air from 20:00 EST in Australia (10:00 GMT) on Tuesday and broadcasts will include live coverage of appearances by Rupert and James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks before the committee as well as archival material on the Murdochs.
The coverage - to be aired on digital stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth - will supplement cover to be broadcast nationally by ABC NewsRadio on the hearings and features to be aired will include two archive broadcasts from the Corporation's "Background Briefing" Why is James so Angry? (2010) and Who Owns the News? (2009), and also a People In Power feature featuring Rupert Murdoch when he bought the News of the World - his first newspaper purchase outside Australia and the start of the News Corporation international empire
The ABC has launched other pop-up stations in the past to cover major breaking news such the Queensland floods and the Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquake.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2011-07-17: Last week again saw the main regulatory news coming from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved ahead on the issue of low-power FM and FM translator services: Elsewhere there were posting s from most areas although none from Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made only one radio-related posting, a ruling that Melbourne Jewish Radio had breached the terms of its temporary community licence (See RNW Jul 12).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted its latest fiangures for commercial radio revenues showing revenues in 2010 up 2.9% on 2009 with profits before interest and taxes up 9% (See RNW Jul 13) and approved an application by San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre to modifying the antenna radiation pattern of its Type B community station CHHA-AM, Toronto, from non-directional to directional and by modifying its transmitter power from 10,000 watts day-time and 1,000 watts night-time to 6,250 watts day- and night-time.
It also posted a number of notices of consultation: One with an August 15 deadline for comments or interventions related to a September 16 hearing that will consider various applications including the following radio ones:
*Application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a 11,000 watts English-language commercial Classic Hits/Classic Rock FM in Fort Saskatchewan.
*Application by Matthew Gordon McBride, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for 970 watts English-language Rock music commercial FM in Squamish.
*Application by Dufferin Communications Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of the commercial radio programming undertakings CHNK-FM and CKJS-AM, Winnipeg, from Newcap Inc. and for new broadcasting licences to continue the operation of the undertakings. The applicant says the stations are not profitable and thus is not proposing any tangible benefits although it will assume the unfulfilled tangible benefits resulting from the previous transactions in which Newcap acquired control of CHNK-FM in 2005 and of CKJS-AM in 2006.
*Application by Russell Randall Julian, in his capacity as General Manager of the radio station to be known as Shubie FM Radio, for a licence for a 50 watts English- and Native-language Type B Native FM in Micmac.
*Application by Maritime Broadcasting System Limited (MBS) for a licence for a 1,000 watts, daytime and night time English-language commercial AM in Digby.
MBS currently operates a radiocommunication distribution undertaking (RDU) in Digby, with a re-transmitter in Weymouth and proposes to retain the latter but convert the station into a programming undertaking to provide local service to Digby.
Three mutually exclusive applications as below:
*Application by Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation for 12,500 watts English-language Contemporary Country music commercial FM in Shelburne.
*Application by Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for 15,600 watts English-language Adult Contemporary music commercial FM in Shelburne.
*Application by MZ Media Inc. for a 3,100 watts English-language commercial specialty FM in Collingwood. The majority of the programming would originate from the applicant's Classical music station CFMZ-FM, Toronto.
Other Ontario applications are:
*Application by Evanov Communications Inc., on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence for a ,000 watts English-language commercial Specialty FM (New Easy Listening music format) in Collingwood.
*Application by Elliot Kerr, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 2,000 watts daytime and 280 watts night time English-language commercial News/Talk AM in Mississauga.
*Application by Subanasiri Vaithilingam, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 45 watts commercial FM ethnic radio programming undertaking in Scarborough.
*Application by Brian Moon, in his capacity as General Manager of Kahnawake Keeps it Country Station, for a broadcasting licence for a 360 watts English-language Type B Native FM in Kahnawake.
*Application by Radio Humsafar Inc. for a broadcasting licence for a 1,000 watts, day-time and night-time commercial ethnic AM in Montréal.
The new station would operate on frequency 1,400 kHz (class C) but also has plans to migrating to the 1610 kHz (class C) once that frequency is vacated by CPAM Radio Union.com inc. The latter plan is mutually exclusive with an application by La Méga Radio inc. (below) that is also to be heard at the hearing.
*Application by La Méga Radio inc. for a broadcasting licence for a 1,000 watts, day-time and night-time commercial ethnic AM in Montréal to serve the Spanish community and direct ethnic programming. This is mutually exclusive with the Radio Humsafar application (above).
*Application by Gospel Media Communications for a 1,000 watts day-time French-language contemporary Christian music commercial AM in Montréal
*Application by Neeti P. Ray, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a watts day-time and 50 watts night-time commercial AM in Montréal to serve the South Asian community.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland and in the UK Ofcom made no radio postings as such although it did release its annual report and accounts.
In her comments chairman Colette Brown refers to "a year when Ofcom has had to rise to a very serious challenge - the reshaping of the organisation in the
light of pressures on the public finances" and notes its announcement in October last year of plans to make savings of just over 28 per cent over the four years beginning from April 2011 to do which it will have to cut back its activities in a number of areas.
She made no references to radio and in his comments Chief Executive Ed Richards referred to the medium only briefly in relation to the "successful introduction of product placement on TV and radio during the year." ; reduced fees for broadcasters - down 42.3% in real-terms for TV and 36.2% for radio; and the licensing of more community radio stations as well as maintaining "standards on TV and radio, as a result of the enforcement of Ofcom's revised Broadcasting Code."
Ofcom Content Board chairman Philip Graf referred to "important protections across radio and TV advertising" in his comments but most of the comments were devoted to broadband and issues other than broadcasting.
In its Business, Operating and Financial Review the report notes that radio listening in the UK reached a new high in 2010 with 90.5% of adults tuning in at least once a week, up from 89.6 per cent of the UK population at the end of 2009 and also a 22.1% year-on-year increase in listening via digital platforms.
"Community radio," says the report "is thriving, with around 180 stations now serving audiences across the UK."
Regarding the easing of restrictions on sponsorship and product placement, the report comments that "Many radio broadcasters appear to have extended the scope of sponsor involvement in programming, particularly in the area of sponsored listener competitions."
It adds, "However, the new rules have opened wide-ranging commercial opportunities for radio broadcasters and Ofcom therefore intends to assess, before 2013, how appropriate and effective they have been."
On other issues the report notes action against illegal stations and that it "disconnected 191 main transmission sites for pirate radio stations in 2010/11, up from 162 in 2009/10" and also the easing of restrictions on commercial stations that allow more co-location and programme sharing "enabling them to merge to form larger, more financially viable stations" although it adds that "These groups of stations must continue to meet their licence obligations to provide local material relevant to the listeners in their licensed areas, including local news bulletins." (To which comment many a cynical snort may have been the response).
In the US the week was fairly quiet for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as regards radio but it did move forward as already noted on community radio -- low-power FM and FM translator stations.
In an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) regarding implementation of The Local Community Radio Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in January this year, the agency is seeking comment on the impact of enacting the act on procedures it has previously adopted to process approximately 6,500 applications which remain pending from the 2003 FM translator window.
Its aim it says is to develop processes for the licensing of LPFM translators that implement the Act's directives, resume promptly processing of remaining LPFM translator applications consistent with the act and "chart a path forward to the licensing of new LPFM stations" in accordance with the framework established by the Act.
Its previous procedures would have limited translator applicants to ten pending applications but the agency has tentatively concluded that this would not be consistent with the Act's goals and accordingly it now proposes to only dismiss pending translator applications where this is deemed necessary to preserve a certain number of LPFM licensing opportunities in identified spectrum limited markets.
The agency says that to speed up the resumption of processing it plans to defer consideration of other implementation issues. It is also seeking comment whether it should modify its rules that permitted only translator stations authorized on or prior to May 1, 2009, to rebroadcast the signals of AM stations and whether to open an LPFM-only window no later than summer 2012.
The move forward was welcomed by all the Commissioners with chairman Julius Genachowski saying that they had acted "to break a spectrum logjam, clearing the way for development of a more robust local community radio service and processing of thousands of pending FM translator applications" and adding "This is a win for communities across the nation."
Regarding competition for spectrum between LPFM and translator services, he said of the previous ten application limit, "Based on a detailed engineering analysis of the top 150 radio markets, we've crafted a locally tailored, market-based processing proposal that will yield benefits for both translator and LPFM service: it will allow the licensing of many more translators than under the previous approach, while at the same time doing a better job of preserving opportunities for LPFM in spectrum-limited markets."
"The biggest winner will be the American public - in both urban and rural areas," commented Genachowski who went on, after noting the continuing value of radio, "By expanding LPFM opportunities, voices of many more new entrants and independent programmers will be heard on the radio and they will reach more communities, all over the country, in both rural and urban areas.
"This will strengthen both our democracy and our economy. It will advance traditional goals of localism and diversity in this important medium that reaches almost all Americans, and create new opportunities for business and job creation."
Genachowski also commented on plans to restart licensing of Fm translator stations and the request for comment on expanding the use of translators to rebroadcast AM services of which he said, "Our initial 2009 action, a deregulatory initiative which permitted cross-service rebroadcasts for the first time, has been an unqualified success. Nearly 500 AM stations now use translators to provide expanded night-time service to their communities. In many cases, the added translator service has transformed marginal AM stations into competitive full-time media outlets that now provide expanded coverage of local news and events. "
Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps, a long-time proponent of LPFM, began his comments, "'Low Power to the People.' That's been the dream of a lot of us for a long, long time. Today the dream moves an important step closer to reality" and went on to praise the efforts of "Representatives Mike Doyle and Lee Terry and Senators Maria Cantwell and John McCain, the committee leadership of the House and Senate, and many others" in getting the Act into law.
"Behind all their effort," he continued "was the great and even heroic work of Prometheus, the Future of Music Coalition and many other public interest groups whose inspiration and energy overcame numerous obstacles along the way. Theirs was a lesson in what vision and perseverance combined can achieve. Thanks to the Local Community Radio Act, more than 160 million people unserved and underserved by local Low-Power FM radio will be able to reap its benefits-truly local broadcasting operated by truly diverse station operators. Now the duty falls on us to ensure this wonderful new opportunity for people's radio on the people's airwaves."
Copps then went on to comment on US media ownership laws and last week's Third Circuit Court's decision to overturn some of the relaxation of cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 US markets (See RNW July 7)., commenting "In this day of so much media consolidation, of mind-numbing program homogenization and dumbing-us-down news, new voices are critically important if we are really serious about sustaining America's civic dialogue and citizen engagement" and noting that the two largest commercial radio companies in the US have "on average, 74% of the total radio advertising revenue. So much for localism, diversity and competition."
"Put in a larger context," he added "the benefits of Low Power FMs-local coverage, viewpoint diversity, minority- and female-ownership, and strengthened civic engagement-are also the qualities we want to have across the entire broadcast landscape."
Copps' fellow Democrat Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn commented that "through our actions today, we inch closer to the moment when new and diverse voices will find their way to the ears of radio listeners yearning for local insights and fresh flavour that has been held at bay for far too long."
"The East Coast's I-95 corridor," she added "is peppered with some of our nation's greatest and most ethnically diverse cities - Boston, New York, Baltimore, DC. But if you turn on your radio as you drive through those areas, for the most part, you'll hear standard, big city news and programming. There's nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but there is so much more out there yearning to be heard, and this notice provides a means for that to happen Some may ask if this is really so important given all of the entertainment options and technology platforms we have today at our disposal. I say yes. The radio station that helped in my development and allowed for public engagement on the air is no longer broadcasting in Charleston, SC. The disappearance of smooth R&B sounds in Pittsburgh upset many listeners, including Congressman Mike Doyle, who can't hear his favourite Earth, Wind and Fire songs from his car radio anymore. Radio is local. It's an important source of news, information and entertainment in our communities, and its role and impact are partly the cause for why we're discussing this item today."
Republican Commissioner Robert M. McDowell was less effusive saying he was pleased to support the NPRM but noting his dissent over the previous policy - in a 2007 NPRM - of "limiting each applicant to only ten pending FM translator applications" regarding which he had stated "it could increase the risk of harmful interference to services provided by FM translators in many un-served areas."
"With the benefit of experience and hindsight," he continued "we now tentatively conclude that this proposal was also unworkable in other respects. In advancing a replacement licensing methodology, we improve upon our previous ten application restriction by seeking comment on a market-specific approach for processing the approximately 6,500 FM translator applications that remain pending.
"Likewise, I am pleased that we seek comment on expanding the use of FM translators to rebroadcast AM station signals. As the Notice recognizes, this expansion would allow AM licensees to better serve their communities by allowing stations to reach consumers at night. Ironically, often AM stations serve similar audiences as LPFM stations."
Previous Licence News:
Ofcom Annual Report (2.34 Mb 114-page PDF):
2011-07-16: Melbourne 3AW host Derryn Hinch, who received a new liver earlier this month (See RNW July 6), is now back home resting and has said he will definitely appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday when he is due to be sentenced for breaching orders prohibiting the naming of two sex offenders.
Hinch was found guilty of the breaches last month (See RNW Jun 3) but sentencing was postponed to allow the host to improve his chances of getting a liver transplant without which he had been given months to live.
A posting on the Fairfax Media-owned station's website says the host, who left hospital yesterday afternoon, is still at risk from possible rejection of the donated liver and also from infections because of the drugs he is taking to reduce the chances of rejection.
When at home Hinch told the station he had been determined to walk out of hospital but was surprised he was so short of breath.
Canadian broadcasters Astral Media and Corus Entertainment
have reported third fiscal quarter revenues to the end of May up 6%
to CAD 268.0 million (USD 280 million) and 7% to CAD 212 million (USD
221 million) with net earnings up 9% to CAD 52.8 million ( USD 55.1
million - from CAD 0.85 to CAD 0.93 per share) and 7% to CAD 39.2 million
( USD 40.9 million - from CAD 039 to CAD 0.45 cents per share) respectively.
2011-07-15: Chicago Q101 (WKQX-FM), which Emmis is selling to Merlin Media, is to go online and its website is currently pronouncing "Q101 is going to Q101.com" although not saying when the station, whose DJs said their farewells on Thursday, will make the rumoured flip to a news format.
Q101 was still airing music today but without DJs: It went of the air officially with a tribute, hosted by Chris Payne, to local music, playing songs from Smoking Popes, Lucky Boys Confusion, Alkaline Trio, Patrick Stump, Kill Hannah, and others.
Payne, the host of the station's Local 101 said that after midnight he could no longer legally call the station "Q101" but made no announcement of the future before ending the broadcast around 00:45 by playing "Tonight, Tonight" by the Smashing Pumpkins, then as the last song -- "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure, which was the station's first song in 1992.
Sister station rock-format WRXP-FM, New York - also now under Merlin's control - was also on air without DJs today- and carries a similar message.
RNW Note: We hope to update this report or follow-up as more details become clear.
2011-07-15: BBC News programming was disrupted today by the first of two days of planned strikes by members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) over issues of compulsory redundancies.
As well as a number of "star names" being off air, the action seriously affected news programmes at BBC Radios 4 and 5 Live.
On BBC Radio 4, the "Today" breakfast show was shortened to start an hour later than normal at 0700 with the time up to 0700 largely filled in with a repeat of this year's Reith lecture by Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi and a repeat of Thursday's episode of the "Russia: The Wild East" series." The actual programme itself seemed to have rather more recorded items than normal but regular presenters Sarah Montague and Justin Webb were both on air, the latter reporting from Japan on the on the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear plant damage earlier this year.
At noon Radio 4's "You and Yours" was replaced with a repeat with a repeat of an October 2010 edition and following "World at One" was also off air, with the slot starting with as 15-minute news bulletin followed for the rest of the slot with a repeat of "The Prime Ministers Series 1" on Sir Robert Peel.
At 1700 "PM" was replaced by a Profile on former International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who resigned today amidst the continuing row over phone hacking by the News of the World and allegedly by some of the company's other newspapers and repeats of "Four Thought Series 2, Care to be a nurse?" and "Soul Music" and at 19:15 a repeat of an earlier edition replaced the planned "Front Row."
At 20:00 "Any Questions" was replaced by "Churchill's Other Lives Part 1" - the Saturday repeat will be replaced by Part 2 of this and the scheduled "Any Answers" phone in response programme is to be replaced by a repeat of "My Teenage Diary."
At 2200 The World Tonight was replaced by "Archive on 4: Meeting Myself Coming Back, Bob Geldof" and at midnight the usual 30 minutes of news is to be largely replaced by "An Interior Life" concerning hospital doctor's struggle with alcoholism
On Radio5 Live there were news bulletins on the hour and half hour with 15 minute bulletins planned for 13:00; 17:00 and 18:00 but live Golf commentary continued.
The BBC in a news release on the action re-iterated its stance over redundancies, commenting," We are disappointed that the NUJ has gone ahead with today's strike and apologise to our audience for any disruption to services. Industrial action does not alter the fact that the BBC is faced with a number of potential compulsory redundancies following significant cuts to the central Government grants that support the World Service and BBC Monitoring.
"We will continue with our efforts to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies, however, the number of posts that we are having to close means that unfortunately it is likely to be impossible for us to avoid some compulsory redundancies."
The NUJ claimed "solid" support for the action and General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet said in a statement on its web site before the action, "Union representatives have tried hard to resolve this serious dispute through negotiation. We have even agreed to use the ACAS conciliation service to try to find a way forward. But BBC senior management has shown no real interest in negotiations. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that BBC management wants thousands of its journalists to go on strike tomorrow, rather than settle the dispute.
"Management indifference to settling our dispute suggests that our members' concern that many more redundancies are planned is fully justified.
The NUJ says that it suggested five ways to avoid the strike including an extension of the notice for those leaving to allow further talks and an agreement to release volunteers - the union says that the BBC has been rejecting offers to take voluntary redundancy and pressing ahead with compulsory ones; boosting redeployment.
A second strike is currently planned for July 29.
2011-07-14: CBS Radio is to scrap the adult contemporary music format on its WCFS-FM (Fresh FM - 105.9-FM), Chicago, for a simulcast of WBBM-AM from the start of next month, a move rumoured last month as a likely potential response to a possible flip to a news or news-talk format by Merlin Media of one or both Emmis stations it is taking control of in the city.
In a statement Rod Zimmerman, CBS Radio Chicago's senior vice president and market manager commented of the change, "Offering listeners an AM and M option to interact with our stations has been a winning strategy for CBS Radio in major markets such as San Francisco and Detroit. "The upside for the consumer, and the advertisers who want to reach them, is enormous, and we strongly believe this move will prove successful in the future."
Merlin is due to take control of three stations - WRXP-FM, in New York, WKQX-FM (rocker Q101) and WLUP-FM (The Loop) tomorrow under an LMA (Local Management Agreement) and in anticipation of a flip Q101 DJs have been saying goodbyes to their listeners today.
2011-07-14: BBC World Service says it is "delighted" about the release on bail from detention today of its correspondent Urunboy Usmonov, who was detained by the Tajik authorities last month and accused of having links to the Islamic organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which is banned in Tajikistan. (See RNW Jun 16).
The BBC says Usmonov's son Oybek picked him up from prison in Khojand today and he is at home, said to be tired but very happy.
In a news release the BBC said he "would like to pass on a huge thank you to everyone for their support" and continues," We are waiting to see details of the terms of his release but we understand that he will be expected to stay in Khojand, at home, while the legal process takes its course. "
Peter Horrocks, Director BBC Global News, said: "We are encouraged that Tajik authorities have considered our appeals. As we have said all along we believe Urunboy is innocent and all he was doing was his journalistic work for the BBC.
"We know that his family and friends are delighted to have Urunboy back and are appreciative of the support from colleagues at the BBC and around the world."
2011-07-13: Canada's commercial radio station revenues in 2010 were up 2.9% on a year earlier at CAD 1.55 billion (USD 1.62 billion) but expenses were only up 1.5% to CAD 1.21 billion (USD 1.26 billion) according to figures released by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which also notes a 9.9% increase in profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) to CAD 298.4 million (USD 311.7 billion).
In terms of the split between AM and FM stations, AM numbers fell nine to a total of 141 - they have now fallen from 177 in 2006 whilst their revenues were up 0.4% to CAD 307.3 million ( USD 320.9 million). Within the AM figures English-language revenues were unchanged at CAD 272 million (USD 284 million); French-language revenues were down 3.6% to CAD 11.2 million (USD 11.7 million) and ethnic AM revenues rose 5.7% to CAD 24 million (USD 25.1 million).
FM numbers in contrast continued to increase - up by 17 to 513 - as did their revenues, which were up 3.3% to CAD 1.24 billion (USD 1.3 billion). Within these figures French-language stations outperformed their English brethren with revenues up 5.8% to CAD 240 million (USD 251 million) whilst the English-language stations' total was only up 2.9% albeit to the much larger total of CAD 987 million (USD 1.03 billion). Ethnic FMs reported revenues up 10.2% to CAD 17.9 million (USD 18.7 million).
Employment levels were down a little with a total of 10,1000 employed -from 10.196 a year earlier - but pay was up to a total of 7.7% to CAD 640.6 million (USD 669.0 million).
2011-07-13: Emmis, which is in the process of a sale of a majority interest in three of its stations to Merlin Media (See RNW Jun 21) has announced first quarter 2012 revenues to the end of May up 1.6% to USD 61.146 million within which radio was up 2.6% on a year earlier at USD 45.37 million with publishing down 1.3% to USD 15.776 million.
Local revenues were down from USD 36.327 million to USD 35.166 million; national was up from USD 8.704 million to USD 9.048 million; political fell from USD 344,000 to USD 266,000 and non-traditional revenues went up from USD 2.622 million to USD 2,956 million and regarding radio Emmis noted that it outperformed the market in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Austin, but lagged market performance in New York and Chicago..
Non US operations listed include Slager Radio in Hungary, which went off the air in November 2009 after its licence was awarded to another bidder (Discontinued operations - Unchanged net revenues of USD 7,00 for the two quarters); Bulgaria (up from USD 255,000 to USD 313,000) and Slovakia (Up from 2.672 million to USD 3.069 million).
Operating expenses were up 0.9% to USD 49.334 million and operating income was down 36.8% to USD 2.369 million with the Loss before income taxes and discontinued operations more than tripled from USD 1.943 million to USD 6.329 million ; the loss from continuing operations up sevenfold from USD 499,000 to USD 3.587 million.
Overall net loss attributable to the company rose from USD 1.537 million to USD 2.045 million and net loss attributable to common shareholders was up from USD 3.909 million to USD 4.568 million with basic and diluted loss per common share up from ten cents to 12 cents.
Non cash compensation was well down - from USD 321,000 to USD 72,000 for radio; from USD 110,000 to USD 8,000 to publishing and from USD 312,000 to USD 202, 000 for corporate with the total down from USD 743,000 to USD 282,000.
2011-07-13: The BBC World Service says that changes resulting from funding cuts have been the main factor in a fall of its weekly audience from 180 million to 166 million over the past year.
Funding for the service from the Foreign Office was cut as part of the British Government's Spending Review leading it to announce the closure of five language services along with other service changes although a subsequent additional grant of GBP 2.2 million (USD 3.5 million) a year over the next three years has led it to ease some of the cuts (See RNW June 22).
Within the figures the service says there has been a weekly increase of 10 million listeners to World Service English and also an increase for its online figures with the weekly total of unique users now some ten million, a three million increase from a year ago.
Listening in the US is now around 10 million a week out of a total of 43 million and in the UK the service attracted a record 1.79 million in the first quarter of this year. There was also an increase of some two million to the BBC Arabic TV service to take it to 13.5 million.
Peter Horrocks, Director BBC Global News, said of the audience figures, released along with the World Service's Annual Review, "We've had to make considerable changes to the World Service over the past year due to the cut in our funding from the Government and this was always going to result in a drop in our audience figures."
He added, "The World Service has been looking hard at the best way to provide impartial news and information to our audiences going forward, and it's encouraging to see improvement in key areas. The strong international journalism from the World Service, particularly during the Arab Spring, has been a key part of the significant increases for online, English radio and Arabic television.
"We are also pleased to see that we are doing so well in the UK with audiences accessing World Service through digital radio, Freeview and live streaming online."
In the Review itself Horrocks starts by commenting "It has been a tumultuous year for BBC World Service, with some of the largest organisational challenges it
Has ever faced happening at the same time as an intense concentration of major global stories."
He goes on to note the 16% funding cut and closure of five language services -Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, Portuguese for Africa and English for the Caribbean - plus broadcasts in seven languages and the start of withdrawal from most short wave and medium wave radio distribution.
Financially Richard Thomas Chief Operating Officer and Director of Finance, BBC World Service, notes the four-year funding settlement that will end with a move to fund the service from the BBC licence fee from April 2014: In terms of the past year he says the first tranche of savings was announced in January 2011 and
the corresponding restructuring costs of GBP 19.9 million (USD 31.8 million) were recognised in the accounts at that point and that the impact of the funding settlement was that the original plan to break even in 2010/11 was replaced by an operating deficit of GBP 7.8 million (USD 12.5 million ) on top of which depreciation charges and write-offs on capital items exceeded capital Grant-in-Aid spent creating new assets, generating a capital deficit in the Income and Expenditure Account of GBP 9.0 million (USD 14.4 million) to make the total for the year GBP 16.8 Million (USD 26.8 million).
The settlement, the review notes, after taking into account cost pressures such as inflation and increasing pension costs, has an underlying effect of a cut of around 25% to World Service operating budgets.
Also issued are the BBC's Annual Report and accounts: In the latter Chief Financial Officer Zarin Patel says "The last year has seen the BBC face a number of financial challenges. But we end the year in a financially resilient position" and goes on to note a full year surplus of GPP 483 million (USD 771 million) including some exceptional credits which are not part of our regular operations- a GBP 250 million (USD 399 million) actuarial gain as a direct result of significant pension reform and a profit of GBP 96 million (USD 153 million) from the disposal of Animal Planet as the corporation concentrates commercial activities on BBC branded channels and platforms. Excluding these two significant items, the underlying group surplus for the year was GBP 137 million (USD 219 million - 2.7% of income of just above GBP 3.5 billion (USD 5.6 billion) from the licence fee and just under GBP 1.5 billion (USD 2.4 billion) from other sources to make a total of just below GBP 5 billion (USD 8 billion) of which it spent just above GBP 4.6 billion (USD 7.3 billion) in operating costs.
Television expenditure was some GBP 2.375 billion (USD 3.790 billion), up from 2.358 billion (USD 3.763) the previous year and that for radio GBP 638.9 million (USD 1.019 billion), up from GBP 615.2 million (USD 981.8 million) with online down from GBP 199.3 million (USD 318.1 million) to GBP 194.2 million (USD 309.9 million).
BBC Report and Accounts (Download page with links to various PDF offerings including Trust's Review 4.60 MB; Executive Review 11.5 MB Financial statements 2.94 MB - 86 pages)
BBC World Service Review (52-page 276 kb PDF)
2011-07-12: Spanish Broadcasting System's 0ne-for-ten reverse split made to keep its NASDAQ listing had to be successful in that aim barring an unforeseen absolute disaster but it hasn't boosted the company's value.
The new stock - symbol SBSAD for the next 20 days after which it reverts to SBSA - ended 5.45% down today at USD 6.24 whilst the previous stock touched 90 cents in April and closed at the end of last week at 67 cents.
2011-07-12: The rumours circulating last week (See RNW Jul 6) that Steve Dahl was about to return to the Chicago airwaves - based on a tweet that he could reveal his plans on Monday - have turned out to be false, at least for now.
Dahl's announcement made three days after his CBS contract ended - he had been paid a rumoured USD 1 million a year since being taken off the air at WJMK-FM in December 2008 (See RNW Dec 5, 2008) - turned out to be that he was to attempt to charge USD 9.95 a month for his podcast from the start of August.
On his blog Dahl comments," I really enjoy the podcast broadcast model because it satisfies both my need to communicate and my need to learn how to golf" and later adds "the DahlCast is pure unadulterated Steve Dahl delivered to your personal listening device for consumption at your leisure. This will also going to be the first time ever that I will have had no corporate or government interference with regards to my content. That should be fun and different! I'm not going to go ape shit wild, but it's nice not to have to worry about a one hour meeting in the Program Director's office after every show."
As regards the cost he comments, "At $9.95 per month, we have kept the cost of a daily download at under $.50 a day, and I promise each and every one of you that you will get your money's worth and more. We plan on doing live podcast recording with fans, trip giveaways and even a few meet and greets here and there. I have never charged for my show before, but I really think that this is the future for people such as myself, and I really like the concept of total freedom and not having to answer to anybody."
He does not rule out a return to the airwaves and says he may do a little TV bus his "main focus is the DahlCast."
RNW note: Dahl has been claiming up to 20,000 downloads a day of his current podcast, which has been available free since September 2009. He is said to be hoping that at least half will subscribe to the paid version but we very much doubt it : Bearing in mind that this is nearly as much as a Sirius XM subscription, we would be surprised to find him getting a tenth as many as he hopes.
2011-07-12: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that former temporary community radio broadcaster Melbourne Jewish Radio Inc (MJR) breached licence conditions by failing to represent its community interest and failing to encourage the community it served to participate in its operations and in the selection and provision of its programming
The findings follow an investigation carried out after the agency received complaints that MJR, the first Jewish community station in the city that was awarded a temporary community licences from June 2010 to June this year (See RNW Jun 30, 2010) was not representing the wider Jewish community; wasn't encouraging community members to participate in its service and did not have a logging system.
The 14 complainants added that the station only actively encouraged involvement from the small minority who subscribed to the views of its executive and said the Vice President had made public assertions that "if people ... do not accept the main aim of our station, don't like out support of Israel ...we don't accept them at the station" and that the ongoing majority of the Executive provide ongoing equivocal support of this restrictive position.
MJR, which had been awarded its licence "to serve the "Religious-Jewish community interest of the Melbourne City area", responded by saying that it was founded by a committed group of Jewish people to provide a media voice for a particular segment of the Melbourne Jewish community that was favourable inclined towards the special relationship between the Jewish people and the land of Israel and religious Jewish tradition and practice and added that it provided "talk, music and community information to its listeners" including discussions by religious leaders, interviews with leaders of the Jewish community, different genres of Jewish music and community service announcements for Jewish organizations.
It also provided a copy of its weekly programme schedules in April this year and a description of the content of its weekly programmes. The ACMA noted that no programming was listed for numerous timeslots and was told that in these the broadcast were of music for the community interspersed with general popular music.
MJR later said in relation to identifying the needs of the community it serves that it did so through Jewish venues and publications, its website, Facebook, emails and at community events and in relation to allegations that it did not serve the "wider Jewish community" said the term had not been defined but that setting this aside it served the Jewish community as defined in its constitution, adding, "This community is in fact the mainstream Jewish community."
It added that there is "a small section of the Jewish community whose values are not consistent with the constitution" and that some individuals had wanted a change to the Constitution but that "if this were to occur, it would be insensitive to the mainstream, encouraging divisiveness within the community."
The ACMA in ruling that there had been a breach commented that the "community interest" that stations had to serve was that specified in the broadcasting licence and that the submission concerning providing a media voice for a particular segment of the Melbourne Jewish community was in conflict with this.
It also noted that the MJR website description of its serviced including "news and analysis with a Jewish (flavour) for all appetites " and that it will "project the true identity of Jewish Melbourne which is diverse and contains many different ingredients, each crying out for a taste" and that this would make it likely that a member of the community would expect the service to be diverse, balanced and inclusive of the entire Jewish community" whereas MJR had defined its community interest more narrowly and excluded a section of the licensed community of interest.
In similar vein the ACMA found that the station was not encouraging participation from members of the community it served to an adequate extent in providing the service or selection and provision of programmes.
It rejected the complaint about the logging system as MJR said its programmes were recorded and kept on a hard drive and noted as the licence had now expired MJR was no longer required to comply with the conditions and it would be taking no further action concerning the breaches.
ACMA ruling (351KB- 31 page PDF):
2011-07-11: Clear Channel has now formally launched its much leaked and touted "New iHeartRadio" in conjunction with an announcement of what it terms "The Largest Concert Event In Radio History Featuring An Unparalleled Line-Up Of The Biggest Names In Music" although at the very end of its release it says "Artists and/or event subject to change or cancellation without notice."
The concert is to be staged in :as Vegas in September and the iHeartRadio service will take on services such as Pandora by extending its to allow it not only to offer some 750 Clear Channel stations but also the ability to create listener's own playlists.
Making the announcement, Clear Channel Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms Bob Pittman said in a news release, "Music is the heart of our business and we think there is no better way to celebrate the launch of the New iHeartRadio than with a groundbreaking, multi-day festival featuring the world's biggest, most exciting artists - and reaching the largest combined U.S. radio and online audience ever. This underscores Clear Channel's transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the U.S."
"The New iHeartRadio," he added, "will offer users a much broader, more integrated and customized digital listening experience than any other service available - and it's all in one product."
Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan added, "Building up to the festival, we will be presenting the biggest national promotion in radio history. All 850 Clear Channel radio stations, spanning diverse music formats, introduced millions of listeners across the country to this historic music event. The majority of our stations will also feature exclusive radio and digital content including exclusive artist interviews and ticket giveaways. The announcement of the event alone has set new records. It's the first announcement ever to roadblock all Clear Channel Radio platforms and the teasers and the announcement have reached an estimated 100 million people."
The promotion of the concert - to be staged over two days at the MGM Grand two the nights of September 23 and 24 (Clear Channel in its release refers to "two consecutive nights" - we are not sure whether this reflects on those who created the release or the mathematical and linguistic capabilities of its expected readers but it is typical of the verbiage in so many news releases!) includes prizes of hundreds of trips to Las Vegas and the concert itself, to be hosted by Ryan Seagate, will feature such artists as (Clear Channel's order) "Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Steven Tyler, The Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Jane's Addiction, Nicki Minaj, John Mayer, David Guetta, Rascal Flatts, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, Sublime with Rome and special performances from Usher and Sting, with more to be announced."
Seacrest commented of it, "This is a once in a generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country for a true, must-see music event. The iHeartRadio Music Festival, like the iHeartRadio digital radio service, will showcase top artists across all genres of music. Listeners from all over America will travel to Las Vegas to celebrate the next generation of iHeartRadio, while seeing the greatest musicians in the world on one stage."
The release also notes that Clear Channel is "already one of the most popular digital music destinations. iHeartRadio currently offers more than 750 of America's favourite radio stations from 150 cities and commercial-free, digital-only music, talk and comedy stations" - it later adds that the service will be commercial free until the end of the year. iHeartRadio is available online and also on various mobile devices.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-07-11: Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has announced a 1-for-10 Reverse Stock Split effective from 23:59 ET tonight, made the company says to help maintain its NASDAQ Global Market listing: It had fallen foul of the requirement for its common stock to close at USD 1.00 and received a delisting notice in April requiring it to regain compliance - for which the stock has to close at USD 1.00 or more for ten consecutive days (See RNW Apr 18).
The company then had until April 20 to regain compliance unless it requested a hearing - which it did, thus extending the deadline to the end of this month.
Later in April it revealed that it was seeking authorization from shareholders for a reverse split of between 5-1 and 10-1 to regain compliance (See RNW Apr 25) - it had previously been in the same position in 2010 at which time it had also gained authorization for a reverse split (See RNW Apr 26, 2010) but abandoned this after it regained compliance (See RNW May 5, 2010).
This time it failed to regain compliance and did not seem likely to - its stock closed at 67 cents on Friday and the highest it had closed at since the start of April has been 90 cents: Accordingly it has opted to make the split and will issue a single share of new stock for each ten shares currently held with trading in the new stock on the split-adjusted basis to begin at the opening of trading tomorrow.
The symbol will carry an additional "D" to its SBSA symbol for 20 days to indicate that the split has taken place and will then revert to the SBSA symbol.
2011-07-11: Former Washington host Don Geronimo (Real name Michael Sorce - the Don of the Don and Mike afternoon drive show on WJFK-FM, from which he stepped down in 2008 after 17 years - See RNW Feb 5, 2008) has taken over the morning slot on CBS Radio's KTHK-AM (Sports 1140) in Sacramento.
Vacating the slot are two of the "Wise Guys" team - Mark Kreidler, Kevin "Whitey" Gleason and Mark Lowe ("Phantom" - who is to remain with KHTK but whose future role has yet to be announced): They are taking the show to Entercom's KBWF -FM (SportsRadio 95.7FM) in San Francisco where they will be joined by Dan Sibley.
The show itself with various personalities has been on KTHK for 12 years and Kreidler who joined in 2009 told the Sacramento Bee he was leaving because of the opportunity, commenting, "It's just a great opportunity. It's a great venture, a lot of energy. It made it easy to go .I was treated very well (at KHTK). I'm not leaving because I was unhappy."
SportsRadio 95.7FM program director Jason Barrett said Kreidler and Gleason "offered a lot for us. We believe Whitey and Mark have the ability for a No. 4 radio market. They've had a heck of a run up there" an added that they stuck with the show's name because "it's a great name for a morning show, and the hosts are comfortable with it.
Geronimo, who joined KTHK last year took over the KTHK 05:30 to 10:00 slot this morning, moving from a noon to 16:00 slot. The syndicated Jim Rome show then airs from 10:00 to noon after which the Carmichael Dave show runs to 15:00 and Grant Napear's afternoon show starts an hour earlier and runs for four hours to 19:00.
Sacramento Bee report:
2011-07-10: As in the previous week the main regulatory news last week came from North America and was again from the courts rather than the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this time a decision by a Federal Appeals Court to overturn part of the agency's 2008 easing of cross ownership regulations. Elsewhere there were no radio-related postings from Australia or Ireland and only a few elsewhere.In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has postponed until 2012 hearing on licence renewals for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that it had announced last month were to be held this year (See RNW Jun 8).
The CRTC also noted the withdrawal from its hearing scheduled for next week of applications by Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for broadcasting licences to operate English and French-language AMs in Montréal, Quebec (Also Jun 8) and posted a notice of consultation concerning an application by Radio Rimouski inc. to add a 280 watts FM transmitter at Amqui to broadcast the programming of CFYX-FM, Rimouski.
Radio Rimouski also wants to eliminate the condition of licence prohibiting it from soliciting local advertising in the Baie-Comeau, Forestville and Matane markets. Comments or interventions have to be submitted by August 10.
In Alberta the agency approved an application to relocate the transmitter of the CBC's CBR-AM, Calgary, a move the CBC says it necessary because of urban development encroaching on its existing transmitter site, resulting in a large population within its strong signal contours and increasing the risk of radiation problems.
There were as already noted no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom posted its June radio update (See RNW Jul 6) and also issued its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it found one radio broadcaster to be in breach of the requirement to provide "Relevant Turnover returns" on which licence fees are based and also upheld two radio standards complaints (See RNW Jul 5)
In the US as already noted a Federal Court has overturned a loosening by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2008 of newspaper-broadcast cross ownership restrictions in the top 20 US markets (See RNW July 7).
The FCC also issued a USD 10,000 penalty on a Florida man for operating an unlicensed FM (See RNW Jul 8).
Looking ahead it has put the issue of Low Power FM rules on the agenda for its meeting on Tuesday in relation to considering an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) seeking comment on the impact of the Local Community Radio Act on the future licensing of low power FM and FM translator stations.
Previous Licence News:
2011-07-09: Latest Australian metropolitan commercial radio revenue figures released through industry body Commercial Radio Australia show growth in the financial year to the end of June of 5.65% on the previous year to a total of AUD 683.9 million (USD 735.53 million) although June's figures were down.
The figures from the 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, show increases in all markets with Perth showing the highest percentage growth.
Its figures were up 8.39% to AUD 91.55 million (USD 98.46 million) after which Brisbane was up 6.48% to AUD 110 million (USD 118.31 million) followed by Sydney - up 5.92 percent to a total of AUD 214.47 million (USD 230.66); Melbourne - up 4.64 percent to AUD 204.48 million (USD 219.92 million) and Adelaide - up 2.83 percent to AUD 63.38 million (USD 68.17million).
As noted the year ended on a downbeat note with the June total down 1.18% on June 2010 to a total of AUD 62.46 million (USD 67.18million): Within the figures there was growth at Brisbane - up 3.58% to AUD 10.14 million (USD 10.91 million) and Perth - up 2.73% to AUD 8.21 million (USD 8.83 million).
The rises were more than balanced however by falls in Sydney - down 0.97% to AUD 19.47 million (USD 20.94 million); Melbourne - down 5.07% to AUD 18.46 million (USD 19.85 million) and Adelaide - down 2.16% to AUD 6.16 million (USD 6.63 million).
The fall follows rebound in April and May when there was an overall 4.12% rise to AUD 58.40 million (then USD 61.89 million - See RNW Jun 9) and 5.73% to AUD 53.95 million (then USD 56.94 million - See RNW May 16) after a slow March when the rise had been only 0.3% to AUD 53.94 million (then USD 62.75 million - See RNW Apr 8).
Previous Australian Radio Revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-07-08: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) which last month announced launched an online consultation concerning the renewal of the renewals of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio and television licences (See RNW Jun 18) has now announced a postponement until June 4, 2012, of the licence renewal hearing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC).
It had previously announced that it would consider the results of the consultation at a hearing in September this year but now says the renewal hearing has been postponed after the CBC/SRC advised that the federal government has not yet established its future operating budget and also following a request by the Quebec English-language Production Committee (QEPC) for the same data that had been available for the group-based licence renewals for private English-language television, held in April 2011. The Canadian Media Production Association and the Documentary Organization of Canada supported the request.
The CRTC adds that it will soon issue a revised notice of consultation with new procedural dates.
The CRTC has also noted the withdrawal from its hearing scheduled for next week of applications by Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for broadcasting licences to operate English and French-language AMs in Montréal, Quebec.
2011-07-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 penalty to a Florida man for operating an unlicensed FM from his commercial suite in Miami.
Antonio Robinson was issued with a USD 10,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) in May this year (See Licence News RNW May 5) but did not respond so the full penalty has been confirmed.
2011-07-08: The Indian cabinet has approved the third phase of private FM radio expansion and also raised from 20% to 26% to the limit for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
Under the new policy the government plans to auction 839 new FM licences in 294 cities taking coverage to al cities with a population of a lakh (100,000) or more and raise some INR 173.3 crore (INR 17.33 billion - a crore is 100 million: USD 391 million).
The decision boosted the stock of India's main private FM companies and was in general welcomed although a number would welcomed further easing of the limits on FDI and also the ability to carry news: Under the new policy private FM channels will be able to broadcast news - currently prohibited - but only news bulletins from All India Radio (AIR).
Campaign India quoted Prashant Panday, chief executive officer of ENIL ( Entertainment Network India Ltd - a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, which also owns the Times of India and Absolute Radio in the UK) as saying its Radio Mirchi will bid aggressively for new licences and adding, While we do disagree with a few points in the policy, we find that overall, in a good policy and it will help radio grow rapidly. I expect the share of radio to climb from the present 5% to 7.5-8% in the next few years. This means that radio will outgrow the rest of the media industry quite significantly in the next few years. And this is only natural."
Radio City's chief executive officer, Apurva Purohit was more optimistic about the share of advertising that radio would get, putting it as from 8-10% and Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. chief executive officer Tarun Katial said he expected to see radio industry growth of 30% year-on-year.
"With expansion of FM radio to 294 cities, FM radio will now touch 90% of Indian population making it truly a common man's medium," he commented, adding of the FDI limit increase, "FDI at 26% is a welcome move, a consortium of investors or investor can largely look at a more active participation in the management of the Company. There is merit however, for increasing the FDI limit further as presently operators are only allowed carriage of AIR news, hence not in pure play of news journalism / broadcast."
"It is a good time for strategic investors to look at the industry," commented Purohit. "The industry is at an inflation point and the incentives offered in phase III guidelines make it very attractive for investors to look at this sector, showing galloping growth in the next 5 years."
My FM chief executive officer Harrish M Bhatia was less positive about th FDI increase, saying, "The government also needs to make the medium viable for FDI by addressing the challenges faced by them like music royalty and extension of existing license period. Moreover, radio is a local medium and news from AIR may not be sufficient or relevant to our listeners. And, we belong to a responsible news media group and definitely want to reach out to our listeners through the news we create and not deliver packaged news from other sources."
Fever FM business head S Keerthivasan said the FDI limit should have been raised to 74%.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
Campaign India report:
2011-07-07: A loosing of newspaper-broadcaster cross ownership rules introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under then Republican chairman Kevin J. Martin has been overturned by a US Federal Appeals Court.
The Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit does not affect most of the order, which came into effect in 2008 after a partisan-vote to approve it late the previous year but said that the FCC had failed to give adequate public notice of this part of the change that easer the rules in the top media marked and in so doing "failed to meet the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act."
In regards to this particular change Martin had commented on the changes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed 28 days before the decision whereas the agency normally allows 90 days for comment and this part of the rules has now been sent back to the FCC, which is currently engaged in a major review of its broadcast media ownership rules.
Commenting on the decision the Free Press public interest group that was amongst those objecting to the loosening of the rules - the case is Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC - welcomed the decision and noted that the court also instructed the FCC to better consider how its rules will affect and can promote ownership by women and people of colour.
Corie Wright, policy counsel of Free Press commented in a release, "Today's decision is a sweeping victory for the public interest. In rejecting the arguments of the industry and exposing the FCC's failures, the court wisely concluded that competition in the media - not more concentration - will provide Americans with the local news and information they need and want."
Free Press had instituted research that showed that media concentration makes it harder for new entrants and underrepresented groups to become broadcast media owners and Wright added, "Innovative and creative media entrepreneurs deserve the opportunity to serve local communities - but they can't break through when large corporations have a lockdown on local media markets."
She also commented of the current review of ownership rules, "Even though the court upheld the need for media ownership limits, industry groups are still pushing the FCC to eliminate them...It's not the Commission's job to protect industry profit margins. The FCC cannot ignore the overwhelming evidence that existing media consolidation levels adversely impact the amount and quality of news from diverse sources. Instead it should tighten current ownership limits and promote media diversity, localism and competition."
In the same release, Andrew Jay Schwartzman of Media Access Project, on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project, Media Alliance, and Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ and Free Press, added, "Today the court confirmed that the FCC's media ownership rules are not only constitutional but necessary to preserve competition, as well as to promote diverse sources of news and information for the American people."
Also parties to the suit were various broadcasters and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in a release re-iterated its support for easing of the rules with Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton commenting, "There have been sweeping changes in the media landscape since most of the broadcast ownership rules were adopted decades ago. NAB believes that modest reform of rules to allow free and local broadcasters to compete successfully in a universe of national pay TV and radio platforms is warranted."
For the FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick said the ruling affirmed the FCC's authority to ensure a healthy and vibrant media marketplace.
Third Circuit Ruling (58-page 259 kb PDF)
2011-07-06: Rumour, based on a twitter statement that he will release his plans at noon on Monday, is circulating that Steve Dahl, who has been off the air for two-and-a-half years will return to the Chicago airwaves on Monday next week.
Dahl was dropped from his morning show on WJMK-FM by CBS Radio in December 2008 (See RNW Dec 5, 2008) but remained on the organization's books being paid a reputed USD 1 million a year under a no-compete agreement that ends on Friday this week.
Since 2009 he has hosted a daily podcast from his home and the suggestion is that Merlin Media, which is taking over Emmis's two Chicago stations (See RNW Jun 21), will flip at least one to news with Dahl a likely hire.
2011-07-06: BBC Radio 2 has announced a summer schedule that ranges from live performances from Beverley Knight in a Radio 2 In Concert on Thursday next week and a "A Musical Shrektacular" the following day for Friday Night Is Music Night, the world's longest-running live music programme to documentary series.
The latter include a three-part series "Joanna Lumley On Broadway", hosted by the actress who recently starred on Broadway for the first time in La Bête and "Where Is the Love - The Story Of Donny Hathaway", a profile of the Grammy Award-winning musician and "Asthma By Satchmo: The Louis Armstrong Tapes" a documentary produced and introduced by Paul Sexton of Wise Buddah that is told through the audio diaries of Armstrong.
The station is also marking the 40th anniversary of the Old Grey Whistle Test with a 16-part series entitled "Old Grey Whistle Test 40" hosted by Bob Harris: It will feature classic archive, new performances and interviews with artists who appeared on the original series.
Already confirmed as taking part are Elton John, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Mark Knopfler, Paul Weller, Yusuf Islam, Emmylou Harris, Gregg Allman, Simple Minds and Neil Finn.
2011-07-06: Fairfax Media's 3AW Melbourne drivetime host Derry Hinch has now undergone a liver transplant, having been called with the information that a liver had become available while he was at a farewell party for a colleague - Michael James - a 3AW Breakfast Producer and son of 3AW weekend "Buy, Swap and Sell "host Darren James - in a Melbourne pub (public house). He did not tell those there why he was leaving abruptly. 3AW adds that the host had no alcohol- just (he had a lemon, lime and bitters.
3AW in its report said that the surgeon who performed the operation, Professor Bob Jones, told (3AW Breakfast Host) Neil Mitchell that the operation was a success but that 67-year-old Hinch faced a long recovery in intensive care and would not be out of danger for at least a week.
It adds that Hinch "will not be hosting his 4-6pm program today but will undoubtedly speak to his listeners as soon as possible."
Hinch's wife Chanel told the Melbourne Herald Sun the host "was really good and calm and relaxed like he always is. It all went really well and to plan" and liver transplant surgeon Graham Starkey added that the six-hour long surgery had gone well.
"The early signs are all very encouraging," he said. "Derryn's a big man with a very scarred liver, and with every transplant there are some risks. We were worried about blood loss but everything settled down nicely towards the end."
Hinch is due to be sentenced on July 21 for breaching orders that prohibited revealing the names of sex offenders: He was found guilty of the offences last month (See RNW Jun 3) but after a later pre-sentence hearing said that he expected to be sentenced to home detention rather than jail because of his need for a new liver (See RNW Jun 22 ).
Previous Fairfax Media:
2011-07-06: UK media regulator Ofcom in its June radio update just posted invites declaration of intent to apply for only one local FM licence, the Jersey licence currently held by Channel Radio Limited that expires in October 2012: The new licence would run to October 2019 and declarations have to be accompanied by a GBP 5,000 (USD 8,000) non refundable application fee and a GBP 10,000 (USD 16,000) deposit that will be refundable on the agency's subsequent receipt of a valid application in response to the re-advertisement of the licence.
Should only the incumbent declare an intention to apply the application will be invited to re-apply but if no declarations are received the licence will not be re-advertised.
In addition Ofcom listed five licences that have been re-awarded under its fast track procedures after only the current holders declared intent to apply.
These were for Two Boroughs Radio Ltd's Burnley licence; Island FM Ltd's Guernsey licence; Argyll FM Ltd's Kintyre, Islay and Jura licence; Minster Sound Radio (York) Ltd's York licence; and Spire FM Ltd's Salisbury licence.
Ofcom also noted a format change and change of control review relating to Proud FM Ltd's Central Radio, Preston, that has permission to share programming with the Southport areas licence.
Ofcom has given permission for the station to be taken over by Blackburn Broadcasting Ltd, be re-named The Bee (Preston). It will be allowed to co-locate with The Bee (Blackburn) in Accrington and share all programming with the Blackburn station although the Preston service would benefit from transmitter specific local news bulletins and commercial logs.
Ofcom noted that the Preston station launched almost three years ago and is still not in profit, commenting that the proposal allows for co-location and cost sharing with a neighbouring licensee, thus preserving the service and maintaining fair and effective competition for both audience and revenue.
Ofcom adds, "It is our belief that this proposal represents the only viable route to profitability and sustainability for the Preston licence."
Regarding community radio the agency noted that its Community Radio Fund Panel has made awards to 16 stations in the first round of funding for 2011/12. No new community licences were issued, handed back or revoked in the month but a licence extension until October 2017 was granted to IUR-FM Limited, Newry, and approval given to the transfer of the licence of Flame CCR, the Wirral, to Wirral Christian Media Limited.
Ofcom also allowed a change to the key commitments for another Wirral station, 7 Waves Community Radio, that amongst other things would allow it to increase music output from 70% to 80% and decrease speech output from 30% to 20% and change liaison with the community to specify that this will be through a community events team rather than through the company's community liaison officer.
Regarding Short-term Restricted Service Licences (S-RSLs) in July/August 2012, Ofcom has announced that it has opened a window for applications running from July 19 through August 19 this year.
2011-07-05: UK National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members at the BBC have voted 72% in favour of a strike over compulsory redundancies with the figure going up to 87% for action short of a strike.
The union has threatened two one-day strikes this month unless the Corporation backs off over compulsory redundancies and NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet commented, "If the BBC wants to provoke a strike over such small numbers it would be shameful. We call on the BBC to get round the table with us and sort it out."
The motion that was passed by the NUJ members also noted "the dismissal of an NUJ member in the BBC World Service on the grounds of compulsory redundancy last month, despite viable redeployment options being available" and continued, "We reiterate the policy of no compulsory redundancies among NUJ members and call on the BBC to resolve the outstanding cases. We believe there are workable solutions in all cases. We further note that there are many volunteers that the BBC is currently refusing to release."
Regarding the World Service, which is now to get extra Foreign Office funding (See RNW Jun 22) following protests over various planned cuts, the motion said, "We condemn the fact that the additional £2.2 million granted by the Foreign Office to the World Service for the next three years has not been used to halt all compulsory redundancies and in some instances is being used to create jobs overseas while closing jobs in the UK."
BBC management played down the vote with BBC News director Helen Boaden saying in am email to staff that the turnout for the NUJ vote was below 40% with only 1,248 union members - about 6% of the corporation's workforce - in favour of strike action.
Commenting on cuts at the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring, Boaden added, "We have done all we can to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies by offering voluntary redundancy and redeploying staff elsewhere" and more generally she said the corporation would try and keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum but it had to lose so many posts that it was likely to be impossible to avoid some compulsory ones.
Our financial position means that we are unable to agree to the NUJ's demands for no compulsory redundancies and delaying taking action now means that we would have to make even more savings in the future, potentially costing more jobs," added Boaden.
The NUJ and BBC are also in dispute over changes planned to the BBC pension scheme over which the union is considering its legal options.
2011-07-05: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin has found one radio broadcaster - Central Air Radio Limited, licensee of Birmingham AM Asian station Radio XL, and 13 TV broadcasters to be in breach of the requirement to provide - despite repeated requests - "Relevant Turnover returns" on which licence fees are based and warned them of potential sanctions up to and including licence revocation.
A further six radio and 26 TV broadcasters had failed to meet the deadlines for their returns but had submitted late returns and their cases were considered resolved.
Ofcom also noted that it had fined an operator of TV "adult" services a total of GBP 90,000 (USD 145,000) - made up of ten equal penalties - for failing to provide recordings that had been requested after complaints had been made to Ofcom about the sexually explicit nature of broadcasts.
The agency also noted recent revisions to its procedures for handling broadcasting complaints, cases and sanctions that are intended to speed up its investigations and decision making. As a result it says that it will now only extend deadlines for broadcasters to respond "in exceptional circumstances" and that where a deadline has been missed it may make a decision on the basis of the information available to it at the time.
In addition to the above Ofcom also upheld standards complaints against 11 "Adult" TV services relating to interactive adult sex chat advertisement content broadcast (17 broadcasts) ; against other two TV services ( 3 broadcasts) related to programming concerning Bahrain's pro-democracy demonstrations that had led to complaints that they were biased towards an Iranian "Shia" viewpoint amongst other things ); a further two TV broadcasters (three broadcasts) regarding programming and against two other TV broadcasters regarding advertisements and sponsorship.
Radio standards complaints were upheld against two broadcasters - UTV's talkSPORT and London community station Rinse FM.
The talkSPORT ruling related to four broadcasts of Matt Forde's late night phone-in programme preceding the May 2011 Scottish Parliamentary Elections: Ofcom received a complaint about the broadcaster's coverage of those elections for the constituency of Mid Fife and Glenrothes.
In particular, the complainant was concerned that talkSPORT had not invited Jim Parker of the All Scottish Pensioners Party to participate in the Matt Forde programme's coverage relating to the Elections and although interviews were conducted with or relating to candidates from the four other parties with candidates.
Ofcom also noted that following interviews on two occasions the list of candidates read out by Forde did not mention Parker. In addition Ofcom noted that the programmes were linked but that in the first one no mention was made of other interviews to be conducted - a requirement under the UK's broadcasting codes.
talkSPORT responded by acknowledging the omission saying that the lists read out had been sourced by the programme's producers from the BBC's website from March 28th (the day before the returns deadline for the election on March 29th) and that this list did not include Parker. It added that after being contacted by Ofcom following the second broadcast the list subsequently read out did include Parker.
In Rinse FM's case, Ofcom received a complaint about the prevalence of offensive language in songs broadcast by the station and having listened to the broadcast cited by the complainant noted frequent instances of the word "fuck" or a derivative (up to five times in a ten minute period) not only in pre-recorded songs but also in live performances by guests on the afternoon in question. It adds that no apology was made during the entire broadcast.
Rinse FM said it accepted that "some of the language used during the stated broadcast was inappropriate" and unreservedly apologised for any offence it caused to listeners, adding that it had only launched a few weeks before the broadcast and its compliance function was not fully operational at that time.
It said it was "in the middle of an educative process (small group seminars and meetings)" to ensure compliance. It also rearranged its programme schedule so that potentially offensive material was restricted to a post-9pm broadcast.
Ofcom upheld the complaint and noted the explanation and action taken but said it was concerned that Rinse FM management had not detected these incidents before Ofcom brought them to their attention, nor briefed all of its presenters about fundamental Code issues such as the broadcast of the most offensive language before allowing them to go to air.
In addition to the above Ofcom held that another TV standards complaint had been resolved through action taken by the broadcaster; upheld a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint and did not uphold another TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint.
The figures compare with findings in Ofcom's previous bulletin in which it ruled that two community radio stations had breached licence conditions and upheld standards complaints involving five TV stations, and a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint and also posted details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 400 complaints against 163 TV items and 19 radio complaints against 15 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 298 complaints against 100 TV items and 15 radio complaints against 12 items that it did not uphold that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom complaints bulletin:
2011-07-04: Australia's commercial radio stations today start airing the latest round of advertisements- part of a radio brand campaign they began in 2003 that highlight the power of advertising on radio: They are based on a study by market research company, the Hoop Group
The "Radio Relevance" study was conducted by the Hoop Group late last year and looked at people's listening habits and media consumption: it showed that 64% of listeners respond to radio advertising and many people listen to radio while doing other things - 35% whilst browsing the internet; 60% people while doing housework and almost 80% while driving.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief executive officer Joan Warner said the research also highlighted people's belief that radio is current and up to date as well as being friendly and a trusted information source and added, "The research findings show that connection and interaction with radio are very strong - crucial information for advertisers."
"Listening habits," she continued, "continue to evolve with technology and the diversity of devices used to listen to radio is increasing. Interestingly, the Hoop research found that 23% of respondents are listening to more radio with younger listeners, 18-24 year olds, driving the increase."
The campaign has been created by Eardrum, whose creative director Ralph van Dijk commented, "The ads needed to present the impressive research results, but more importantly, they needed to be an example of the sort of creative that listeners engage with and respond to. Radio is an intimate, conversational medium and the style of this campaign reflects that."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-07-04: Global Radio has raided Guardian Media Group Radio to replace Jonathan Richards as its head of news, appointing GMG's deputy group programme director James Rea to the post and also the post of managing editor of LBC.
Richards stepped down at the end of May (See RNW May 27) after 16 years with LBC. Rea began his career at Century Radio in 1996 after leaving school in Middlesborough and then went on to work at Border Television, Real Radio Wales, Real Radio Yorkshire, and BBC Radio1's Newsbeat before becoming GMG Radio'ss Group Head of News in 2007. He was promoted to Editorial Director last year and then last month was promoted to his current post.
At Global he will be responsible for news on all the group's stations and the day-to-day operations of LBC.
Previous Global Radio:
Previous GMG Radio:
2011-07-03: Last week again saw the main regulatory news coming from North America and there the main news did not come from the regulator itself but in a decision by the US Supreme Court to take up the issue of the Federal Communications Commission's enforcement of its broadcast indecency and obscenity rules.
Elsewhere there were no radio announcements from Australia and only a few from Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued a call for applications for new FM stations in Calgary, Alberta.
The announcement followed an application from Harvard Broadcasting Inc. for a licence for a new commercial radio service for Calgary and others wanting a licence have until September 28 to submit their applications.
Also in Alberta, the CRTC approved an application from Le Club de la radio communautaire de Plamondon-Lac La Biche for a licence for a 1,215 watts French-language Type A community FM radio station in Plamondon-Lac La Biche.
There were no radio postings as such from Ireland but there the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)has made no radio postings as such but has announced details of grants available under its under its Media Research Funding Scheme that since its launch in 2007 has funded seven research projects to a total value of approximately Euros 130,000 (USD 190,000) .
In the UK, Ofcom has announced a consultation on an application from Global Radio to change the format of Capital FM, Scotland, so as to allow more networking (See RNW Jul 1).
Ofcom has also launched a consultation seeking views from the radio industry and public on its approach to ensuring that DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) coverage matches (or rather nearly matches) existing FM coverage before a switch to digital.
Ofcom says that its plans suggest good DAB indoor coverage can be built to match good FM coverage and for roads a minor relaxation of the standards it has used would indicate that if combined with other measures such as some frequency changes good DAB road coverage could be built to match the coverage of good FM.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was again in enforcement mode with penalties and proposed penalties issued in relation to public file and main studio breaches on a Texas AM (See RNW Jun 30) and for public file, late filing of renewal applications and subsequent unauthorized operation (See RNW Jun 29).
The agency has also opted to look more deeply into the PSOA (Public Service Operating Agreement) under which Classical Public Radio Networks, LLC (CPRN _ took over the operations of the University of San Francisco's former free-form station KUSF-FM and turned it into a classical output as part of a frequency swap and purchase deal that allowed Entercom's KDFC-FM, the last major market commercial classical station in the US, to become a non-commercial (See RNW Jun 28).
The FCC also learned during the week that the US Supreme Court is to take up the issue of its broadcast indecency and obscenity regime (See RNW Jun 28).
In licensing actions the agency rejected a petition from Royce International Broadcasting Company to allow it additional time to construct a new AM (KIEV-AM) at Culver City, California.
A Construction Permit (CP) for the station was originally issued in October 1984 - for a station in Burbank - and the original 1985 deadline for construction was extended ten times under the then FCC rules after Royce lost its original site and was unable to obtain approval for an alternative. The FCC to address issued of warehousing of spectrum, changed its rules in 1988 to new rules requiring construction within three years and as a result the deadline for construction became December 2001. That deadline was subsequently extended to April 2002 and in 2004 Royce and three others filed mutually exclusive applications for a California AM in the agency's Auction 84 filing window none of which could co-exist with the KIEV permit.
The agency accordingly rejected an application from Royce - filed after the required deadline -to review its decision to refuse any further extensions. (See RNW Licence News Jun 8, 2008 Royce1 ).
In 2008 Royce responded - again after the requisite deadline - with the petition that has now been rejected with the agency commenting that Royce had not brought forward any arguments that had not been considered already or that could not have been made earlier.
In Rhode Island, the FCC denied a petition from Brown Student Radio for reconsideration of an agency decision to grant time-shared low-power FM applications from Casa de Oracion Getsemani, Ephese French SDA Church, and Zion Bible Institute for a new low power FM (LPFM) station in Providence and reject mutually exclusive applications from Brown Student Radio and Providence Community Radio for an LPFM in Providence.
Brown had argued on the basis that Zion had contracted to sell its campus and move to a location ten miles away thus losing its community presence and rendering the time-sharing decision invalid. Zion subsequently requested cancellation of its Construction Permit and the other parties amended their applications. The FCC in rejecting the Brown petition commented that the grant of the licence was properly made at the time of its grant.
In Texas, the FCC has denied a petition from Victoria Radio Works, LLC (VRW), licensee of KVIC-FM, Victoria, Texas, to reconsider denial of VRW's proposal for an interim channel change. The petition had been opposed by Roy E. Henderson, licensee of KHTZ-FM, Ganado, Texas.
The proposal was made following a request from of Katherine Pyeatt to allot FM Channel 235A at Markham, Texas, as a second local service in response to which Fort Bend Media Broadcasting Company, then-licensee of KHTZ, filed a counterproposal requesting the upgrade of KHTZ from Channel 284C2 to Channel 235C at a new transmitter site and the modification of its license to specify operation on non-adjacent Channel 235C.
Fort Bend noted the availability of Channel 283A at Markham and suggested that Channel 283A be allotted to Markham in lieu of Channel 235A, thus allowing both proposals to go ahead. The agency went along with this proposal but did not agree to a further proposal to move KHTZ on an interim basis to Channel 235C2 on an interim basis, thereby removing Channel 284C2 at Ganado as a bar to KVIC's immediate commencement of operations on Channel 284C3 at Victoria.
In refusing the petition the FCC noted that VRW had not presented new arguments or changed circumstances since it made its earlier decision.
The agency also posed a notice of applications it has received between May 24 and June 24 to assign or issue call signs for stations in the states of Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, and Washington.
Previous Licence News:
Ofcom DAB-FM consultation:
2011-07-03: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia has announced that actor , Kelsey Grammer - best-known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist, Dr Frasier Crane in the sitcoms, Cheers and Frasier, - will be the special guest at this year's Australian Radio Conference and Awards, to be held on the Gold Coast on October 14 and 15.
Grammer will address the conference on the topic The Power of Speech and also present an award at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs), now in their 23rd year.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-07-02: Tampa Bay has become more competitive for Clear Channel's hits WFLZ-FM (93.3)with the launch by Cox Radio of a hits-focussed format on WPOI-FM (Now Hot 101.5) which was previously an 80's format: it is currently playing 10,000 songs in a row and its website takes some direct swipes at Clear Channel.
A video on the site calls for attention from all in various districts of Tampa Bay - and especially those at "4002 Gandy Boulevard" (the home of 93.3)) and then
attacks 93.3 with the voice saying that "for 22 years" it has played tons of commercials; had too much talk; that it's contest winners were not even from Tampa Bay (with a voice then asking who cares if the winners are from Wisconsin). The attack also has a dig at 93.3's morning personality "M.J. " (Todd "M.J." Schnitt) as also having been there for 22 years and comments of its own offerings "no boring old talk."
Cox vice president and Tampa market manager Keith Lawless told TampaBay.com that WFLZ has had its segment of Tampa Bay's radio audience to itself for too long, and his company has decided to offer a direct challenge noting, "For 22 years, they've been in this format directly uncontested "
For Clear Channel, Tampa market manager Sam Nein, who is away on vacation, responded by e-mail, "You know when you are the number one station in the market that you have a target on your back. If another group had the number one station in the market and we had an underperforming FM, we very well may have taken the same action, so it is an understandable move."
The paper adds that Clear Channel has already responded to Arbitron's PPM (Portable People Meter) ratings, which show audiences to want more music and less talk and that Schnitt his playing more songs - and we note that the 93.3 website also says that online listening is commercial free from 0800-1100 and 1400-1700 - but with Cox presenting its challenge as a younger generation taking on old-school DJ's that pressure is likely to intensify.
Previous Clear Channel:
Hot101.5 web site:
2011-07-01: BBC Radio 1 breakfast host Chris Moyles has signed a new contract - estimated in various reports to be worth between GBP 1million (USD 1.6 million - The Guardian) and GBP 1.25 million (USD 2.0 million - The Metro and The Sun ) - the Radio 1 report carries no sum but says the deal will keep him "broadcasting at the station up to New Year 2014." It is not clear if this covers the tenth anniversary of his start as breakfast host on January 5, 2004.
The Guardian report said it was "not clear whether the new deal commits Moyles to Radio 1 until 2014" and the Radio 1 report does not commit the Corporation to keeping the host, who became the station's longest-serving breakfast host in September 2009 (See RNW Sep 7, 2009), in his time slot.
It quotes Radio Controller Andy Parfitt as saying, "Chris is a real talent and I believe he has a long future ahead of him here at the BBC" and notes that the host, who described himself as the "saviour of Radio 1" joined the station as early breakfast presenter in 1997 before taking over the main afternoon show in October 1998.
The BBC report, unlike the others, does not mention speculation last year that the station was looking for a younger host for the breakfast slot and an on-air rant by Moyles against the Corporation (See RNW Oct 14 and Sep 22, 2010). Moyles, who was born in Leeds on February 22, is 37 and if he remains with the show until the anniversary will then be just below 40.
The host himself has made no comment but the Chismoyles.net website carries a report from the Sun tabloid, which appears to have been first with the news under the headline "Jock of Ages" and that put the value of the deal at GBPO 1.25 million. The Sun says that the contract "will take the 37-year-old presenter up to New Year 2014 and will end with his tenth anniversary on the show", adding, "The deal, which starts next month, will stun hopeful rivals who have been hoping he would get the chop for years and make way for them.
"But Radio 1 bosses were keen for outspoken Chris - who pulls in 7.5million listeners a week - to mark his tenth anniversary and "go out with a bang".
BBC Radio 1 report:
UK Guardian report:
UK Metro report:
UK Sun report:
2011-07-01: Millennium Radio, which last month announced that it was not renewing the afternoon drive contract of The Jersey Guys' (Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi) on its WKXW-FM (New Jersey 105) but was bringing back Deminski and Doyle (Jeff Deminski & Bill Doyle) from July 5 (See RNW Jun 24) has now announced that Ray Rossi is to get his own show on the station.
The Late Show with "Jersey Guy" Ray Rossi will launch at 23:00 ET on July 11 and will run to 03:00 from Mondays through Thursdays. The station says Rossi "will continue to highlight the happenings on the legislative front as well everyday life in The Great Garden State." .
2011-07-01: UK media regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation with a July 28 closing date about a request from Global Radio to change the format of Capital FM, Scotland, so as to change the target audience, the music content, and also remove reference to programming for Central Scotland listeners.
The current licence specifies providing a "a fresh dynamic mix of new rock and dance music for Central Scotland for listeners below 39, with at least 30 hours a week of identifiable specialist music programmes" and Global wants to change this to "a rhythmic-based music-led service for 15-29 year-olds supplemented with news, information and entertainment. The service should have particular appeal for listeners in their 20s and at least 12 hours a week of identifiable specialist music programmes".
The changes would align the station's output with that of other Capital stations and Capital FM Scotland has already said it will commit itself to providing an enhanced local news service in return for being allowed to broadcast a greater number of networked hours.
The consultation is required because Ofcom considers that the proposed changes will substantially alter the character of service.
Previous Global Radio:
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