September 2011 Archive
2011-09-30: UK Absolute Radio, whose ultimate owner Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd has just announced that it has taken the radio company off the market (See RNW Sep 27) has now announced that it is making a move into voice-tracking with Frank Skinner's show from tomorrow.
The show will continue to air from 08:00 to 10:00 local time on the company's analogue stations and will then be edited to run with the same links but different music on Absolute's four digital stations - Absolute 80s, Absolute Radio 90s, Absolute Radio 00s and Absolute Classic Rock an hour later.
On its blog site Absolute notes that so far this year there have been 11 million downloads of the podcast of Skinner's show and the 'Not The Weekend' podcast which is released every Wednesday and is 30 minutes of exclusive podcast content: This is nearly double the 2010 total of six million.
Absolute already networks Christian O'Connell's weekday breakfast show as a simulcast and the company commented of the addition of Skinner, "It's going to be great to have another one of our Faces For Radio broadcasting across the network, joining Christian O'Connell Frank is a unique talent and his audience, podcast downloads and Sony Gold for 'Best Entertainment' demonstrate his amazing skill and why he's comedy royalty."
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
2011-09-30: The US House of Congress in a pro-forma session has approved a stopgap spending bill that will continue funding the US government for the first four days of next month but Republicans have renewed their attack on NPR (National Public Radio).
Both Houses of Congress are currently in recess and the latest budget proposals from the House Appropriations Committee include cuts to Pell educations grants, job training subsidies and a prohibition on funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) going to NPR. A similar partisan plan was passed in the House earlier this year by 228-192 (See RNW Mar 17) but did not get through the Senate
The current proposal also asks the CPB to produce a report on how to wean NPR off of federal funds by fiscal year 2014: NPR only gets around 2% of its budget in direct grants from the CPB but another 36% comes from stations for programming bought from the organization. The CPB will get some USD 445 million in federal funding over the coming year: The overall measure relates to around USD 153.4 billion in funding for the departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Labor for the fiscal year that begins tomorrow and the plan would cut this by around 4 billion (a little more than 2.5% with the CPB total funding amounting to a little more than 0.25%).
Kentucky Republican and Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said in a statement, "To protect critical programs and services that many Americans rely on -- especially in this time of fiscal crisis -- this bill takes decisive action to cut duplicative, inefficient and wasteful spending to help get these agency budgets onto sustainable financial footing."
So far NPR has not commented but the move has attracted condemnation from a number of Democrats.
RNW comment: The move reminds us of the old saw in the UK of local authorities spending much time discussing the price of soap and lavatory rolls but little on multi-million pound developments because they thought they understood and were knowledgeable about the formed.
It seems to us that many of those in Congress would probably benefit from a less-educated public, however bad that might be for the US as a nation, since an educated one would probably consider them more suitable for roles cleaning out toilets than making laws.
Looked at and considered in the scale of current economic issues in the US and the world as a whole, the Rogers comment can only attract derision from those other than blinkered and ignorant bigots. A large cut in pay and benefits for members of Congress and the Senate would appear in order - the sums involved like those in the proposals made it wouldn't significantly affect the US economy but and would probably have much wider overall public support than many of the measures proposed.
Rogers is of course presumably too intelligent to actually believe what he says - but seems to have an eye for rhetoric that will gain him political support from a vocal section of his party allied with contempt for their intelligence.
Perhaps he should take note of the comments made by Michigan Republican Justin Amish, who did not vote on the earlier plan although he supported cutting funds tot he CPB, but felt he could not support specific cuts to just NPR because he considered the government has "no place in picking one viewpooint over another in the marketplace for ideas". Amish also said then he considered the proposal "arguably unconstitutional"..
2011-09-29: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that the repeat of a programme without identifying it as such breached Canadian industry broadcasting codes although they do not contain a specific requirement to do so.
The ruling follows a complaint against a December 2010 episode of the weekday Friendly Fire programme that is aired by CFRB-AM, Toronto, in which a listener said that the station was "running repeat broadcasts without notifying the listener that the show that they are listening to is a repeat."
The complainant added, "They are encouraging people to text messages or call them during these repeat broadcasts. [...] I find this practice [...] misleading as well as costing listeners unnecessary text costs that they end up paying to their cell phone companies."
CRFB's Brand Director responded by saying it was "never our intention to mislead our listeners, and that we were unaware of the potential inconvenience that repeat broadcasts could cause our listeners" and added, "In light of our complaint, we will be investigating this process and, even though we do not believe that the Program was in violation of any codes administered by the CBSC, we will take proper steps to ensure listeners do not send text messages during repeat or pre-taped programming. For example, we will be running pre-recorded messages to make listeners aware of any programming that is not live."
The complainant was told the station hoped the changes would resolve the issue but the complainant noted on February 7 this year that the station was running a repeat of another programme 7-10 that was a repeat and filed a request for a ruling, saying the Brand Director "told me that they were going make changes to their repeat programming. In my opinion, no changes have been made to notify listeners that they are listening to a repeat program."
The CBSC Ontario Panel in its ruling noted that there was no specific rule to cover repeats but that there had been a bead of Clause 6 of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Code of Ethics on "Full, Fair and Proper Presentation."in not identifying the fact that a repeat was being aired and also a further breach because people were induced to make calls that could not change the content of the show being aired.
It noted previous rulings including one against CILQ-AM for advertising that it would be airing a concert by the Rolling Stones and on an evening when the Stones were scheduled to pay a live concert in Toronto introduced a performance pre-recorded three years earlier but introduced the show with reference to the evenings actual concert and a "live" Rolling Stones broadcast.
It added that the panel had not been able to verify the allegation about the repeat on Feb 7 but ruled on the original broadcast, saying, "In re-broadcasting that episode as it had originally run, CFRB left in the numerous encouragements for listeners to send text messages to the station despite the fact that those messages could have no effect on the content of the repeated episode. By sending such text messages, listeners would also have incurred personal costs. By failing to advise listeners that the program was a repeated episode, CFRB did not fully and fairly disclose to the audience material information, contrary to the requirements of Clauses 6 and 12 of the CAB Code of Ethics."
2011-09-28: Washington radio veteran Fred Fiske has retired aged 91 after 64 years on air in the city, although he actually first went on air in the mid-1930's when he was recruited by a teacher to appear on a network radio show called "The Magic of Speech.": His last broadcast (see link at end) was what the Washington Post termed"a brief and modest personal retrospective" aired on American University's WAMU-FM although the station is also planning to honour him as a founder at its 50th anniversary gala on October 29.
In a posting on the station website on Sunday before his retirement Fiske said that Sept 27 was a "meaningful date for me for three reasons."
He lists them as the date of the Castle Mission in World War II during which he was a radio operator-aerial gunner on a B-24 Liberator with the 8th Air Force when a group of 150 Focke-Wulf 190s attacked his group, shooting down 31 out of 34 of them. He crash-landed in Metz, France and was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Three years later he notes, he went to Washington to work as "an announcer for WOLand the Mutual Broadcasting System. WOL became WWDC, and I stayed there for 30 years as an announcer, a disc jockey and a talk show host." During this period, he notes, he hosted for eight years the only talk show in D.C. on WWDC, firstly under the name Empathy, then The Fred Fiske Show.
Fiske also adds that during "all of these years, I read every book of every author I interviewed. I felt I owed it to the authors, and to the audience too."
Finally he notes that the date marks his "64th anniversary, marking the longest radio career in Washington history - and the date in which I pack it in. This is my final program. Thanks to WAMU, thanks to my wife, Sandy, thanks to you - it's been a wonderful ride."
Fiske joined WAMU as senior commentator in 1977, after leaving WWDC and re-launching his former Empathy/ Fred Fiske Show talk show (then the only one in the city as noted above). The Fred Fiske Show aired five nights a week until 1987, when it moved to Saturday mornings and became Fred Fiske Saturday.
A WAMU news release notes that after leaving the Air Force Fiske studied at Columbia University and worked for a spell as a teacher in his native New York (He was born in Brooklyn) before joining WOL, later to become WWDC. There he hosted a midday pop music programme for a period, becoming the city's top rated music host.
WAMU 88.5.General Manager Caryn G. Mathes commented, "For more than 60 years, Fred Fiske has brought lively, thought-provoking conversation to Washington radio, and his familiar voice and his trademark honesty will be missed. I am grateful to him for spending so many years of his storied career here, and wish him well as he leaves the airwaves."
The Washington Post notes that Fiske. Following his first radio appearance went on to "act in radio dramas with the likes of Ronald Colman and William Holden and performed in Borscht Belt shows on the same bill as Danny Kaye and Henny Youngman." In his professional radio career he interviewed "leading figures of the latter part of the 20th century" including Eleanor Roosevelt, followed by every first lady through Rosalynn Carter; Generals Omar Bradley and George Marshall; Senator Joe McCarthy and in a contrast Elvis Presley who called in for an interview on Fiske's pop-music show on WOL AM on the day he began his stint in the US Army.
It quotes Fiske as saying, "I guess, basically, I'm a ham," Fiske says. "I started as an actor, and I enjoyed performing. I enjoyed the attention I got. I enjoyed the people I met. I like dealing with ideas and things I'm interested in. I got to be present at a lot of important occasions and met important people of the era. .?.?. How could you not like that?"
The paper says that Fiske left WWDC because management wanted him to become more confrontational as was then becoming the pattern of talk radio and quotes him as saying, "They wanted me to provoke [listeners], call them dumbbells and such, to attract an audience. I couldn't do that. I wasn't brought up that way."
Instead he left for WAMU where his slot was taken over in 1987 by the Kojo Nmamdi Show. Fiske cut back his work in the early 1990s following the death of his first wife Ruth but remained a "regular commentator on local and national affairs, offering what he describes as 'moderate' opinions."
The paper also notes that in the 1950s Fiske taught a broadcasting course at the American University with another Washington radio legend Ed Walker amongst his students. Following his retirement, Walker, who is now 79 and is heard weekly on WAMU's "Big Broadcast," which features dramas and serials from radio's golden age, becomes the oldest radio personality continuously on the air in Washington.
WAMU - Fiske farewell (Links to audio):
Washington Post report:
2011-09-27: Arbitron in a further release of figures from its RADAR 110 network ratings report that covers the period from June 24 last year to June 22 this year (See RNW Sep 19 and Sep 20) says that radio added 1.65 million listeners a week compared to the year-earlier RADAR 106 released in September last year.
It adds that he totals rose from 239.711 million to 241.362 million but then goes on to add that the increase was driven by younger demographics.
The figures it gives seem to contradict this - it says the number of teen listeners aged 12 to 17 increased by 36,000 and Adults aged 18 to 34 increased by 80,000.
The number of radio listeners aged 25 to 54 it says dropped by 118,000 and the number of radio listeners aged 18 to 49 fell by 365,000.
The release goes on to continue its boosting of the medium, noting that the continued strength of the medium with more affluent and better educated households -- it says that it an average week radio attracts nearly 95 percent of persons aged 12 and older with a household income of over USD 75,000; nearly 96% of Adults aged 18 to 49 with a college education and a household income of more than USD 75,000 and or 95%, of Adults aged 18 to 34 with a college degree.
It also comments on the diverse listener base for radio, which it says continues to reach more than 93 percent of Black (non-Hispanic) Persons aged 12 and older and more than 95 percent of Hispanics aged 12 and older on a weekly basis - 29.8 million and 36.5 million respectively.
Listening amongst Hispanics 12-17 was, it says, up by 86,000 and that by black non-Hispanic listeners in this demographic was up by 37,000 whilst the listening amongst Hispanics aged 14-89 was up by 482,000.
RNW Comment: we are puzzling over these figures and the comments since they seem to indicate either an error or that listening amongst the oldest demographics was actually what drove the increase and that listening amongst teenagers when Hispanics and black-non Hispanics are excluded listening actually fell for the 12-17 demographic.
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 109)
2011-09-27: UK Absolute Radio, the former Virgin Radio which was bought by a Times of India subsidiary and was put up for potential sale earlier this year by ultimate parent Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd as part of a business review (See RNW Apr 5) has been taken off the market. The company - but not the Virgin name - was bought in 2008 for GBP 53.2 million in cash (Then USD 104.6 million - See RNW Jun 21, 2008) and was said to have been on offer for around GBP 20 million ( USD 31 million) with potential buyers said to include UTV and Virgin.
A posting on the station's bloq noted that the Times of India had "officially announced the completion of its review of Absolute Radio and has re-confirmed its long-term backing and confidence in the business as we continue our ambitious digital growth plans."
It went on, "In Q3 2011, we will record a +32% revenue increase on the same quarter last year, beating the national radio market by 17 percentage points. We recently posted our best RAJAR performance in ten years which sees the Absolute Radio Network with over 24 million hours and nearly 3 million listeners, up a massive 66% and 43% year-on-year respectively."
The posting then quotes Absolute Radio Chairman & Times of India CEO Ravi Dhariwal as saying, "Absolute Radio has demonstrated great digital innovation, thought leadership and has significantly grown its business in the last 12 months- we have great confidence in the British digital economy, in the One Golden Square team and in Absolute Radio's senior management as it focuses on driving significant revenue growth in 2012 and we look forward to continuing to invest in the business for many years to come".
Absolute Radio CEO Donnach O'Driscoll added, "As we head towards our third birthday, One Golden Square continues to lead the radio industry. We have exciting plans afoot, including new launches - this business is just getting started".
Despite the fine words, the general consensus of reports is that the potential bidders weren't prepared to meet the price that was being asked.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
2011-09-27: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upholds no radio complaints although it does uphold four TV standards complaints and consider another two resolved, also upholds one TV fairness and privacy TV complaint in part and does not uphold another.
In addition it lists without further details five other TV cases in which it found no breach as well as ten investigations commenced between September 8 and 21. Two of these were radio - one regarding sponsorship on Radio Forth and another programming on On FM.
The figures compare with the upholding of three offensive language complaints against radio in its previous bulletin in which it also considered three such complaints resolved and up held one radio and six TV standards complaints and considered another four TV standards complaints resolved.
That bulletin also listed a breach of licence conditions ruling against a radio station; the upholding of one radio and one radio and one TV fairness and privacy complaint and partial upholding of another TV one and gave details of a further radio and seven TV fairness and TV complaints not upheld and other TV advertising scheduling complaints and a TV Access services complaint upheld.
In addition to the above Ofcom listed a further 438 TV complaints against 240 items and 12 radio complaints against 12 items that were assessed but not further investigated - this compares with 471 TV complaints against 194 items and 26 radio complaints against 26 items in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2011-09-26: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed fines on three US radio licensees - two relating to FM translators, for late filing of renewal applications and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The largest proposed penalty went to a New York non-commercial educational station, WSBU-FM.
A USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) was issued to its licensee St. Bonaventure University. The station was advised in October 2010 that the renewal application should have been filed by the start of February 2006 and that its authority to operate had been terminated and its call letters deleted. It then filed an application for special temporary application to continue operations and renewal application, which was granted. The FCC noted that the base level forfeitures are USD 3,000 for the late filing and USD 10,000 for unauthorized operation but reduced the latter to USD 4,000 to make the proposed total forfeiture USD 7,000.
The other penalties were:
*USD 500 NAL to Riverton Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of FM Translator Station K292BA, Dubois, Wyoming, for late filing of licence application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The renewal application should have been filed by the start of June 2005 but was not and the agency informed the licensee in October last year that it had terminated the licence and deleted the call letters. The licensee then applied for special temporary authority to continue operations and to renew the licence, both of which were granted. The FCC noted that the base level penalty is USD 3,000 for the late filing and USD 10,000 for unauthorized operation but taking into account other recent forfeitures relating to "secondary" services reduced these amounts to USD 250 each, making the total proposed forfeiture USD 500.
*USD 500 NAL to Family Worship Center Church, Inc., licensee of FM Translator Station K235CZ, Winona, Minnesota, for late filing of licence application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
In its case the renewal application should have been filed by December 1, 2004, and in October last year the FCC told the licensee that it had terminated the licence and deleted the call letters. The licensee then applied for special temporary authority to continue operations and to renew the licence, both of which were granted. As in the Riverton case, the base penalties were reduced to a proposed USD 250 for each breach.
2011-09-26: Clear Channel has staged what it termed "The Biggest Live Music Event in Radio History", the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas used to promote the release of its latest iHeartRadio digital service.
Headliners included Black-Eyed Peas, who launched the event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas on Friday and also that evening Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, who closed the first night.
Saturday performers included Steven Tyler, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga who was on stage for more than an hour as she brought the event to an end, reportedly telling the audience, "They told me I was only allowed to play for 45 minutes, but I think you're all pretty drunk so you probably don't know what time it is, do you?,"
Clear Channel has posted further details of the event, which was hosted by Ryan Seacrest, on the official site iheartradio.com/vegas
RNW comment: If with its clout Clear Channel couldn't make a success of this as an event, it should have been a sign for investors to immediately look to sell it off. As regards the promotional purpose for the iHeartRadio service only time and figures will tell if it achieved what was hoped for.
Previous Clear Channel:
iHeartRadio Vegas event website:
2011-09-25: Last week again saw communications rather than broadcasters getting attention from the regulators but there was a steady flow of radio-related postings in most areas.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has registered a new Commercial Radio Code of Conduct that was developed following an outcry in late 2009 following a live interview with a girl aged 14 who said she had been raped when aged 12 (See RNW Sep 23).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued more corrections to earlier postings than new ones with corrections relating to lists of administrative renewals it had previously posted. In many cases it has issued a new replacement list without clarifying the error previously made. (RNW Note: We carried many of these in our August 28 Licence News - See RNW Aug 28 - but have not yet had time to check the (long) lists involved side by side to clarify the changes).
The CRTC also posted a Notice of Consultation with an October 19 deadline for interventions or comments that included the following radio-related applications:
*Application by Mark Tamagi, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a broadcasting licence to operate a 1,100 watts English-language commercial FM in Leduc.
*Application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to convert its English-language commercial station CKSQ-AM, Stettler to an 11,000 watts FM that would retain CKSQ's Country music format.
*Application by Glen Ferguson on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a broadcasting licence to operate a 50 watts English-language Type B community FM in Bathurst.
*Application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 100,000 watts Classic Rock English-language commercial FM in Weyburn.
The CRTC also revoked at the request of licensee 0591812 B.C. Ltd. the broadcasting licence for its national pay audio programming undertaking operating as Max Trax.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom issued three new community FM licences, all for stations in England, in its third round of community radio licensing (See RNW Sep 21).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a quiet week as regards radio-specific actions apart from routine renewals and transfers, devoting more attention to issues of communications, specifically during emergencies.
Regarding the latter it in conjunction with FEMA has issued a "tip sheet" for "COMMUNICATING BEFORE, DURING & AFTER DISASTERS", much of which states the obvious and in essence boils down to the Scouts' motto "Be prepared" (As keeping list of emergency and family contacts numbers and programming emergency contacts into mobile phones so that emergency personnel could use them and having fully charged batteries and battery-powered radio or TV receivers with spare batteries) and behaving sensibly during emergencies (such as not clogging networks by long phone calls but instead keeping calls short and using text or social media services to let family and friends know you are safe. It also noted that immediately after a disaster people should "resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion".).
In connection with this it announced that it is to move ahead in relation to a system that will prioritize 911 (US Emergency number) calls during emergencies and also modernize the current voice-based 911 system to a Next Generation 911 (NG911) system that will enable the public to send texts, photos, videos, and other data to 911 call centres.
The agency did issue or propose more penalties for operating unlicensed transmitters - a USD 17,000 forfeiture to a Maryland man who interfered with the US Coastguard on the International Distress, Safety and calling channel and proposing a USD 15,000 penalty on a Puerto Rico man as well as cutting two USD 15,000 penalties issued earlier to unlicensed operators to a few hundred dollars each on the basis of inability to pay (See RNW Sep 21).
The FCC also extended from September 20 until September 27 the deadline for reply comments concerning its "Third Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in the Matter of Creation of a Low Power Radio Service; Amendment of Service and Eligibility Rules for FM Broadcast Translator Stations."
Originally comments were due by August 29 with reply comments due by September 12 but following the disruption due to Hurricane Irene the deadlines were extended to September 6 and 20 respectively: The agency says that based on the number of comments filed and the extensive technical exhibits submitted with several comments, as well as the involvement of counsel for several commenting parties in the NAB Radio Show in Chicago in the week prior to September 20, 2011, it is now extending the reply comments deadline for a further week.
Previous Licence News:
2011-09-24: AFN (American Forces Network) Iraq or Freedom Radio Iraq closed down its broadcasts at midnight Baghdad time on Friday (2200GMT/ 1800ET) with the words "Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks" although its Face book page will remain open until 1800 local time (1600 GMT/Noon ET) on Monday..
The station had been on air nearly eight years - it went on air in December 2003 - and its listeners had voted for Toby Keith's "Courtesy of The Red White and Blue" to be the final song played. The first song was "Freedom", which was written and recorded by Paul McCartney in response to the 9/11 terror attacks.
The last broadcast - from the equipment of the Texas-based 206th Broadcast Operation Detachment and Forward Operating Base Prosperity in Baghdad - came at a time when the US is pulling out most of its equipment and troops from Iraq with a resulting fall in requests from Forces' listeners although AFN will continue to broadcast to troops and contractors still stationed in Iraq from its Europe studios in German.
The station also received requests from Iraqis and DJ Staff Sgt. Jay Townsend told the Stars and Stripes that many were students at the University of Baghdad, which is near the station's studio, saying, "The university students send in requests day after day. A lot of them like country music, old-school country."
FreedomRadioIraq - Facebook Page:
Stars and Stripes report:
2011-09-23: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has now registered a new Commercial Radio Code of Practice that it notes "contains safeguards for participants in live hosted entertainment radio programs".
This is a reference to the row over an incident on the Kyle and Jackie O Show (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson) on 2-DAY FM in Sydney in which a 14-years-old girl said on air during a lie-detector test stunt that she had been raped when 12 (See RNW Jul 30, 2009).
The incident led to a suspension of the show for a short period after the row had made its way all the way up to the level of the Australian Prime Minister (See RNW Jul 31, 2009) and an investigation by the ACMA both into wider issues arising and whether the then Commercial Radio Codes and existing industry practices contained sufficient safeguards in relation to live hosted programmes (See RNW Aug 11, 2009) and also into the incident itself and whether those codes were breached (See RNW Aug 18, 2009). This resulted in a finding that there had been a breach (See RNW Dec 16, 2009).
The new Codes, are posted in PDF form on the Commercial Radio Australia website) and the ACMA says, "The effectiveness of the new code provisions and evidence of community concern will be monitored by the ACMA between now and the next routine review of the CRA codes, due to commence in 2013."
Of the Code itself it says, "The code was developed by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) in response to the ACMA's 2009 investigation into the adequacy of the protection for such programs participants at that time" and adds "The new code - which prohibits the broadcast of programs which treat participants in a highly demeaning or highly exploitative manner - are broadly in line with the protections for reality television participants in the commercial television code of practice."
In all the Code runs to 33 pages in which it deals with Codes of Practice under nine headings -- 1: Programs Unsuitable for Broadcast; 2: News and Current Affairs Programs; Advertising ; 4: Australian Music 5: Complaints ; 6: Interviews and Talkback Programs 7: Compliance with the Codes 8: Broadcast of Emergency Information; and 9: Live Hosted Entertainment Programs as well as including various guidelines and explanatory notes on such topics as Broadcasts of Emergency Information; the portrayal of Indigenous Australians and Women; and the Portrayal of Suicide and Mental Illness. .
As regards "Live Hosted Entertainment Programs" the Code prohibits a broadcast that:
(a) "treats participants in live hosted entertainment programs in a highly demeaning or highly exploitative manner; or
(b) treats children participating in live hosted entertainment programs in a demeaning or exploitative manner.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Previous Kyle and Jackie O:
Australian Commercial Radio Code (372 kb 33-page PDF):
2011-09-23: WGAR-FM, Cleveland, afternoon host and music director Chuck Collier has died aged 64 of a heart attack after more than three decades with the station, which he joined when it was on AM - it took the WGAR call signs on FM in 1984 - and playing pop: He remained on after the station flipped to country and made a national name for himself.
The station in a posting describes him as a "beloved member of the WGAR family" and continues, "He was an Ohio boy, whose broadcasting career on the Cleveland airwaves spanned more than 3 decades He loved radio and he loved Cleveland... and Cleveland, along all of us here at WGAR and Clear Channel Cleveland, truly loved him. Anyone who ever listened to or met Chuck knew instantly the kind and caring human being he was."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that he was also the midday on-air host on sister Clear Channel station WMJI-FM and was inducted into the Country Music Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.
He had already been inducted into the Ohio Radio-TV Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007, he was honoured with the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Award as Large Market Radio Personality of the Year.
Previous Clear Channel:
Cleveland Plain Dealer report:
WGAR -Collier page:
2011-09-22: In more online developments Emmis has announced at the f8, Facebook's developer conference, that it has agreed a tie-up with Jelli to offer five stations on Facebook's new music platform.
Jelli allows users to use web browsers and mobile devices to "take-over" a radio station through votes for or against the airing of a particular track on their online stream and once the song is on air through a "rocks" or "sucks" vote take it off immediately if a large enough "sucks" vote is recorded.
It initially broadcast on CBS Radio's KITS-FM in San Francisco in 2009 and subsequently announced a syndication deal with Triton Media Group that began in 2010 and in June this year launched two stations - KXLI with a rock format and KYLI, with a top 40 one, in Las Vegas. It also had a deal with Austereo that launched in November 2009 but was closed down after around six months.
In a release concerning the latest deal the companies say that the collaboration will bring "the authenticity of the biggest brands in radio, HOT 97, POWER 106 and RXP, to the Facebook Platform."
The three stations will host five customized stations where listeners will have control of what is played and when it is played - Hot97, Hot97 Throwback, Hot97 Funk Master Flex, Power 106 and RXP and in a news release Jimmy Steal, Emmis Vice President of Programming said the arrangement "gives our listeners non-stop new music and it gives Emmis back-end metrics to see which songs are really resonating."
Angie-May Cook, VP of Emmis Digital added, "The evolution of music listening habits will accelerate today with the launch of Facebook Music. We are taking terrestrial radio into social media with our partner Jelli, whose platform is a perfect fit for radio in social media. Jelli offers the group listening experience our listeners recognize and lets them take control of the playlist while they communicate with other fans. We have a big learning curve ahead us as we watch and experience our brands in the hands of our biggest fans."
The move and Clear Channel's iHeart Radio, which begins its three-day launch event in Las Vegas tomorrow night, are seen by some as a response by radio to other online services that let listeners choose their music such as Pandora, which has now increased from 40 hours to 320 hours the monthly limit for free usage on its ad-supported site. Subscribers, who pay USD 36 a year, already had unlimited listening and also escaped the adverts.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-09-22: Spanish Broadcasting System, which in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it has received a de-listing notice because the value of its Class A common stock has been below the minimum USD 15 million NASDAQ requirement for 30 days, came under increased pressure today when its stock was amongst the biggest losers in a world-wide fall in stock values amidst fears of further economic recession.
Its stock ended today down 16.28% at USD 1.80, making its market capitalization USD 13.8 million. The company says it will "use all reasonable efforts to maintain the listing of its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market" and has until March 13 next year to regain compliance.
SBS has already warded off a de-listing because its stock had fallen below the required USD 1 minimum through a 1 for 10 reverse stock split in July (See RNW Jul 11): It announced on August 2 that it had regained its listing (See RNW Aug 2).
SBS had been at risk of de-listing last year - also on the basis of minimum strock price - when it also made preparations for a reverse stock split but it regained its compliance before it had to effect the split (See RNW May 5, 2010)
Some stockholders have been pressing it to sell off its Mega operations - last month in another filing Attiva Capital said it was in discussion with other shareholders about spinning off Mega TV and Mega Films to a larger media company that would have "the financial resources, the content and distribution network required to make Mega TV and Films a successful franchise in the Hispanic market in the U.S. and Latin America."
Attiva managing director David Tomassello said SBS could " use the proceeds "to pay down debt, strengthen its balance sheet, and eventually return some capital to its shareholders" although it could keep a strategic minority interest in Mega. He also suggested that SBS chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. should give up one of the roles.
Most other radio stocks were also down with falls of more than 7% for Emmis, Fisher and Sirius (CBS was also down more than 7% and Clear Channel Outdoor was down 6.7%) and of 6.57% for Cumulus and 4.58% for Radio One Inc.
This compares with a 3.51% fall for the Dow and 3.25% fall for the NASDAQ with European exchanges down around 5% (More for the CAC 40 as France is seen as more exposed to European debt problems and less for the FTSE and Germany's DAX) but only just above 2% for the Nikkei although the Hang Seng was down 4.85%.
Those breaking the pattern included Westwood One, which is in the process of a merger with Triton Media's Dial Global (See RNW Aug 1), leapt 20.8% plus Entercom - up 1.96% and Beasley Broadcasting - up 0.25%
2011-09-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement modes has confirmed a USD 17,000 penalty on a Maryland man who made malicious calls to the US Coast Guard and proposed a USD 15,000 one on a Puerto Rico pirate operator.
A USD 17,000 forfeiture was issued to David Edward Perka of Annapolis, Maryland and amateur radio licensee KA3PRB, operating without a license in the Maritime Radio Service and wilfully violating section 333 of the Act by maliciously interfering with the United States Coast Guard on the International Distress, Safety, and Calling Channel in Annapolis
The agency had issued a USD 17,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to Perka in March 2009 following a 2008 investigation of transmissions that included Perka making threatening statements to the US Coast Guard. Perka later admitted to FCC agents that the transmissions on one day - April 6, 2008 - were intentionally transmitted to harass the USCG.
Perka responded with a request for reduction on the basis of inability to pay but provided as documentation only a single unemployment check from the State of Maryland and did not then respond to a further request for additional documentation to substantiate his claim. The FCC has therefore confirmed the full penalty.
A USD 15,000 NAL went to Eleuterio Lebron of Guyama, Puerto Rico, for operating an unlicensed FM transmitter: Following a complaint a signal was traced by FCC agents on two days in June this year and a week later agents inspected the station. Lebron confirmed that he was the owner. He then asked the operator to take the station off the air.
In increasing the proposed penalty above the base level USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 the FCC noted that in February 2010 agents had found Lebron operating an unlicensed station on the same frequency from the same location and was warned verbally and in writing.
The FCC also issued forfeitures of USD 450 to John Hays of Bourg, Louisiana, for operating his Citizen Band transmitter without authorization and of USD 300 to Fritzner Lindor of Orange Park, Florida, for operating an unauthorized FM.
Hays had been issued with a USD 15,000 NAL in June 2007 for operating his CB transmitter for continued unlicensed and overpower operation of a CB transmitter attached to a linear amplifier from his residence despite receiving verbal and written warnings.
Hays requested a reduction or cancellation because he lives solely on social security benefits and based on the documentation he provided the FCC has reduced the penalty to USD 450, which it considers affordable.
In Lindor's case he was issued with a USD 15,000 NAL in May this year (See RNW May 17) but requested reduction or cancellation because he was unable to pay and also because he had not know his actions were illegal.
The FCC dismissed the latter argument, commenting that it found the argument "to be unreliable, given his statements to the contrary made to agents" but based on documentation he provided reduced the penalty of USD 300 on the basis of ability to pay.
2011-09-21: UK media regulator Ofcom has issued three new community FM licences, all for stations in England, in its third round of community radio licensing.
They have gone to Fantasy Radio (Devizes, Wiltshire); Frome FM (Frome, Somerset); and WCR Community Radio (Warminster, Wiltshire). All will broadcast local community services with that for Warminster focussed on serving the over 35s and 16-20 age groups.
2011-09-20: Cumulative figures released by Arbitron from its RADAR 110 network ratings service that covers the period from June 24, 2010 to June 22, 2011 show a slight increase in the totals reached by network radio overall compared to the year-earlier figures from its RADAR 106 survey but also a fall in the percentages reached for all demographics.
For those 12 plus there was an increase of 478,000 listeners a week to the 56 networks rated to reach a total of 1.903 million a week but reach rating was down from 73.8 to 73.3 and there were also increases in the figures for adults 18 plus - up by 366,000 to 1.728 million a week (down from 74.2 to 73.6) and adults 35 plus - up by 303,000 to 1.1941 million (Down from 73.5 to 72.9).
There were falls however for the 18-49 demographic - down 420,000 to 1.029 million (down from 76.5 to 76.3) and 25-54 demographic - down 245,000 to 97.213 million.
Network rankings remained much as in the previous RADAR 109 ratings with figures for the 25-54 demographic showing Triton Media's Dial Global networks holding onto the three top ranks - with the Dial Global Contemporary Network, Dial Global Complete FM Network, and Dial Global Adult Power in the one-to-three spots as previously and also taking eighth rank with its Dial Global Female Perspective, which had been ninth in RADAR 109.
The remaining spots in the top ten went to Premiere with five entries and United Stations, whose Impact Network was seventh whilst Westwood One, whose Adults Network had been sixth dropped out of top ten as this fell to eleventh and Citadel(Now owned by Cumulus) whose Media Family FM had been eighth was also pushed out of the top ten - Media Family was down to 14th behind CMN Prestige PMD, which was up from 16th to 13th.
Amongst the 18-49 demographic Dial Global took the same four spots; Premiere five - Premiere Modern Women Network in fourth followed by Premiere Today's Men Network in fifth, Premiere Young Influencers:15 Network in seventh, Premiere Informed Network in ninth and Premiere Daytime Youth Network in tenth rank and United Stations one with its Impact Network in sixth rank.
The Top ten networks amongst the 25-54 demographic (Arbitron also posts details for the 18-49 demographic) were (with the RADAR 109 figures in brackets):
1 - Dial-Global Contemporary Network with an average audience of 4.304 million and an average rating of 3.4 (In RADAR 109the network was first 4.243 million and an average rating of 3.3).
2 - Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 4.260 million and an average rating of 3.4 (In RADAR 109 it was second with an average audience of 4.482 million and an average rating of 3.3).
3: Dial Global Adult Power with an average audience of 3.001 million and an average rating of 2.4 (In RADAR 109 the network was second with an average audience of 3.019 million and an average rating of 2.4).
4: Premiere Today's Men Network with an average audience of 2.842 million and an average rating of 2.2 (In RADAR 109 it was fifth with an average audience of 2.829 million and an average rating of 2.2).
5: Premiere Informed Network with an average audience of 2.796 million and an average rating of 2.2 (In RADAR 109 it was fourth with an average audience of 2.829 million and an average rating of 2.2).
6: Premiere Modern Women Network with an average audience of 2.616million and an average rating of 2.1 (In RADAR 109 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.631 million and an average rating of 2.1).
7: United Stations Impact Network with an average audience of 2. 283 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 109 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.206 million and an average rating of 1.7).
8: Dial Global Female Perspective Network with an average audience of 2.164 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 109 it was ninth with an average audience of 2.307 million and an average rating of 1.8).
9: Premiere Young Influencers:15 Network with an average audience of 2.120 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 109 it was eleventh with an average audience of 2.104 million and an average rating of 1.7).
10: Premiere Super Moms Network with an average audience of 2.022 million and an average rating of 1.6 (In RADAR 109 it was twelfth with an average audience of 2.025 million and an average rating of 1.6).
Previous Premiere Radio Networks:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 109)
Previous Westwood One:
2011-09-20: BBC Radio 2 has named the eight finalists for its Young Choristers of the Year 2011: All will perform in the final on Monday October 24 with a broadcast to follow on Sunday, November 6.
One boy and one girl will each be awarded the title BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2011 and the event is open to Choristers between the ages of 11 and 17 who sing regularly with their choir in services.
This year's finalists are:
Laurence Stannard, who sings at Coventry Cathedral and is also a member of the Coventry Blue Coat School Choir.
Peter Waters, who is a Quirister at Winchester College.
Richard Decker, who sings at The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy.
Donal McCann, who sings at St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast.
Ella Rainbird-Earley, who sings at Coventry Cathedral.
Helen Lacey, who sings at St Mary's Church, Lamberhurst, Kent
Katie May Allen who sings at Christ Church, Southgate.
Alexis Cooling who sings at Wakefield Cathedral.
Commenting on the event, Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2, said in a release, "As BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year moves into its 26th year, choral singing in places of worship remains an important part of our national life and Radio 2 is proud to be able to give these eight excellent young finalists a national platform, which for young choristers in previous years has provided that vital start to a professional singing career."
2011-09-20: Bangalore's only English music station, Radio Indigo, is marking its fifth year with a run of special contests - under the generic title "Christmas has come early".
The station airs a mix of Jazz, Rock, Pop, International hits, and also works by Indie bands such as Pentagram, Mother Jane, Avial, Galeej Gurus, and Thermal and a Quarter
In all there will be around INR 50 lakh (USD 105,000- a lakh is 100,000) with one special prize of INR 91,000 (USD 1,900) from the station and the rest from various sponsors: The stations programming director Sachin Moogi told Exchange4media that last year they had around 15 sponsors for their fourth anniversary on air but this year the number is around 50 and the prized will include a Signature series Fender guitar, an all-expense paid trip to Sri Lanka, free lessons from bands such as Thermal and a Quarter.
Other stations in Bangalore have moved away from English music to Kannada and Hindi genres and Radio Indigo's National Sales Director Suresh Sanyasi commented, "Bangalore has a cosmopolitan, mature audience with refined tastes and a more colonial leaning. They have a lifestyle to maintain. We understood this and stuck to our tag of being the 'only international radio station'".
Previous Indian radio:
2011-09-20: Nashville sports talk host George Plaster, who had a run-in with Cumulus eight years ago, has opted to walk away from his show on WGFX-FM (104.5, The Zone), following its takeover by Cumulus according to DNJ.com.
It quotes the host as saying, "I did have the opportunity to stay, but it was not an opportunity that I felt comfortable with" and continuing "I hope to be back on the air at some point, I don't know when. I'm going to take a break. Kind of just kick back for a few weeks and see what options are out there. I'm not opposed to looking at other options besides radio. Clearly, I've got some marketing and promotions skills that have always intrigued me, and this may well be a time to look at it and say to myself, 'Is this something that can get your juices flowing?'"
DNJ says that the host would not discuss the specific terms offered but notes that in 2003 Cumulus had attempted to block Plaster from leaving WWTN-FM, which it had bought from Gaylord Entertainment, and move his show to WGFX-FM, which was owned by Citadel.
Cumulus paid USD 65 million for WSM-FM and WWTN-FM (See RNW Jul 23, 2003) and Gaylord had claimed that the host was still under a four-year, USD 600,000 contract and could not move to Citadel.
Plaster launched a USD 3.6 million counter-suit in which he said that his contract was nullified because Gaylord had sent him a notice of termination in April 2003 after the decision to sell the stations.
He won a court ruling against Gaylord, with the judge commenting that the host would suffer harm if he was kept off the airwaves for two-years under the contract whilst no irreparable harm would be done to Gaylord (See RNW Oct 14, 2003 ).
It was not disclosed how much Plaster was paid but he moved back to his show, which at the time was being aired by WGFX and co-hosted by his colleagues co-hosts Willy Daunic and Darren McFarland
DNJ reports that the host said his current contract, which runs until the end of 2013, included a clause saying that he could end his employment if Cumulus bought WGFX and says local media observers expect he could be at another station soon.
His show, it adds, takes in nearly USD 2 million a year in advertising and it quotes Doug Combs, vice president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, as saying, "He has a dedicated following, and I believe he would have the stability in the marketplace to carry that following wherever he goes...Wherever he decides he wants to work, he'll be successful."
Amongst the possible options it suggests Cromwell Radio Group's WPRT-FM (102.5 The Game) - the former Hot AC WPRT-FM (The Party) that was flipped to sports last month (See RNW Aug 16); Southern Wabash Communications of Middle Tennessee, Inc.'s WNSR-AM; and Fox Newsradio 1510 WLAC-AM. Cumulus, says DNJ, did not return numerous calls made to its executive vice president and co-chief operating officer John W. Dickey.
RNW comment: What a pity that the state of the industry is such that morepeople are not in a position to give a two-finger response in the case of acquisitions.
Bearing in mind the power the larger groups have compared to those they employ, it would seem to us that in all takeovers talent should be able - as Plaster can in this case because of a specific clause in his contract - to walk away.
As long as they cannot do so and non-compete clauses can continue in such cases the talent is in the position of a serf and much weakened and it would seem quite reasonable to us to rebalance the situation and allow talent to opt to move should they not like their new employer whilst still requiring the company to honour all its commitment.
Previous John Dickey:
2011-09-19: Arbitron in preliminary details from its RADAR 110 network ratings report, which covers the period from June 24, 2010 to June 22, 2011, says that network radio commercials were heard by around 190 million people 12 and over during a typical week, 73.3% of the population.
The demographic breakdown was highest in the adult demographics - 76.6% of those 25-54 and 76.3 of those 18-49 and 73.6% of those 18 plus but lower amongst the elderly - for those 35 plus it went down from the previous percentage to 72.9%.
Arbitron notes that the sample size for the survey was 395,598 persons aged 12 and older and that it now measures 56 individual radio networks.
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 109)
2011-09-19: Washington DC classic rock station WVRX-FM (105.9 The Edge) has become the latest to fall victim to a switch away from music - in its case the former Citadel station, now in the hands of Cumulus following its takeover of Citadel, has been flipped to a simulcast of talk WMAL-AM.
A notice on the WMAL-AM site proclaims the start of the simulcast at noon with a link to a report whilst the Edge's site carries message "From Everyone at 105.9 The EDGE. Thanks for listening "and a link "Click here to leave a message" that of course requires name and e-mail details. (In other words gaining a list of some value from those who do send a message but offering nothing in return.)
The WMAL report starts," This may take a little getting used to - Rush Limbaugh in STEREO!" "and then says, "On Friday, we received new owners, and at Noon today, after 83 years at 630 on your AM dial, WMAL will make its debut on FM radio, at 105.9. WMAL's new signal addition is the very first action taken by our new corporate parent, Cumulus Media, since its purchase of our previous owner, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, was closed on Friday."
The page then includes the official announcement that starts, "In an effort to compete directly with nation's highest-grossing radio station, Cumulus media today at noon begins simulcasting news and talk programming from 630 AM WMAL on 105.9 FM WVRX -- providing FM listeners in the DC area with access to WMAL's 85 years of award-winning programming and community service. "
It later notes, "This simulcast uniquely positions WMAL/WVRX to compete head-to-head with WTOP, whose USD 57 million in annual ad sales make it the highest-grossing station in the nation [RNW note - this is getting on for six times WMAL's figures]. While WTOP has a repetitive news-wheel format, WMAL/WVRX programming is interactive through a mix of news reports and call-in shows that allow for engagement with listeners" and quotes Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey as saying, "When we grew to 570 stations nationwide last week fter closing the Citadel deal, I told my team to be creative at using innovative ways for the newly acquired stations to bolster our community involvement, and that's what our Washington, DC team has done so elegantly here."
The news of the impending switch had in fact been broken yesterday by the Edge's morning co-hose Mike O'Meara and afternoon host Cerphe Colwell in Facebook messages saying that they and the rest of the staff have been dumped by the new owners.
The Edge website:
WMAL report on flip:
2011-09-18: Last week saw the US again produce the main regulatory announcement, an approval of Cumulus's takeover of Citadel (See RNW Sep 14) and also as a result of a July decision not to extend the voluntary price caps proposed by Sirius and XM in connection with their merger (See RNW Jul 28) the decision by Sirius XM to increase its rates from the start of next year (See RNW Sep 14).
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has allocated the community licence for Bankstown, New South Wales, to Bankstown-Auburn Community Radio Inc (BACR).
It was one of four applicants for the licence- the others were Consortium of Australian Media Services Inc (CAMS), Bankstown City Radio Cooperative Ltd (BCR) and Bankstown and Surrounding Areas Community Radio Inc (BSACR) - all proposing to serve the general community.
The ACMA said it considered that BACR's proposed service would best meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community and that it demonstrated the greatest capacity to provide the proposed service, adding that it expects BACR to encourage members of the unsuccessful applicants to be involved in the operations and programming of its service.
The ACMA also ruled that acommercial station, Port Macquarie Super AM 532 PTY Ltd's 2PM in its response to complaint over an advert for Tumblegum Bakehouse and Café had breached rules concerning complaints handling but that it had not breached codes relating to standards of decency that had been the topic of the complaint.
The advert referred to food served by the company as "not just good, it's bloody great", wording that 2PM said was "in-part scripted by the owner of the baker shop in question."
It added that "it was he who considered the tone and tenure of the advertisement fitted with his targeted clientele." In responding the station had not, however told the complainant that there was a right to refer the matter to the ACMA if a complainant was not satisfied with a response and has thus breached the code concerned.
Canada was very quiet with just one radio licensing decision noted from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the approval of an application from City Church Halifax (CCH) for a licence to operate a 50 watts English-language, low-power specialty FM radio programming undertaking to provide Christian music in Spryfield, Nova Scotia.
The CRTC noted that the station is in the Halifax market, which also has a Christian FM station - International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc.'s CJLU-FM but that the new service will provide a different programming mix and also only cover a limited area. It therefore considered that there would be a negligible effect on other stations in the market.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland although there the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now posted its Broadcasting Code on Referenda and Election Coverage and in the UK, Ofcom also made only one radio-related posting, that of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld upholds three offensive language complaints - a new category (See RNW Sep 12).
In the US, the biggest decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was that already reported to approve Cumulus's now completed takeover of Citadel subject to a small number of station divestments, an approval that led to Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps to again express concern about the consolidation in the US media and telecommunications industries (See RNW Sep 14).
The agency also extended until Friday night the deadline for the payment of regulatory fees so it's now too late for those who haven't paid to escape penalties whilst as already noted following its decision earlier this year) not to extend the voluntary freeze agreed by Sirius XM to gain approval of the merger of the former separate Sirius and XM Satellite radio companies, the combined company has now announced that it is to increase its prices at the start of next year.
In relation to its Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules, the FCC has posted a Report and Order concerning the integration of a Common Alerting Protocol into rules governing the system and in particular calls by various broadcasters for an extension of the deadline by which time by which they have to be compliant. Those arguing for an extension included the US National Association of Broadcasters, the Prometheus Radio Project; The National Cable & Telecommunications Association; and equipment manufacturer TFT Inc - two other manufacturers (Monroe Electronics, Inc. and Sage Alerting Systems, Inc.) opposed a further extension. The FCC agreed that an extension was warranted because of the need for it to finalize all the key technical details involved before EAS participants could say it could receive CAP-formatted alerts and because participants required ample time to comply with any new rules that were ultimately adopted. The FCC has now set June 30 next year as the appropriate deadline.
On another technical matter, the agency has announced that it is to allow the use of Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) control technologies or algorithms that allow AM stations to use transmitter technologies that reduce power consumption while maintaining both audio quality and licensed coverage areas.
The FCC notes that these technologies have long been used by international broadcasters operating high-powered AM transmitters and adds that in typical cases, the power consumption of an AM transmitter can be reduced by 20 to 40 percent although it also notes that MDCL algorithms may introduce some audio distortion or may decrease the signal-to-noise ratio in the receiver. In addition, it says, MDCL algorithms may erode coverage slightly at the fringes of the AM station's protected service area, but long experience of transmitter manufacturers and broadcasters abroad, and the initial reports from experimental operations in Alaska, indicate that such adverse effects are generally imperceptible.
Regarding use with a hybrid IBOC AM signal -such as iBiquity's HD on AM - initial tests says the FCC have shown that the technology is compatible with such signals and it is to permit its use provided that the signal remains compliant with various technical requirements.
Licensees who wish to use the technology, it says, are required to file with the FCC Audio Division a request for waiver of current rules and if this is granted will be issued with a modified station licence license indicating that a waiver has been granted to permit use of a specific MDCL technology, resulting in the variation of transmitter power to levels below 90 percent of the station's nominal licensed power. "We will require, however, "it adds "that the transmitter achieve full licensed power at some audio input level, or when the MDCL is temporarily disabled."
In enforcement actions the FCC confirmed a USD 17,500 penalty on Wyoming station owner Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting, Inc., for Emergency Alert System (EAS) and public file breaches and also failure to operate an aural studio-transmitter-link from its licensed location. (See RNW Sep 13).
It also issued a USD 10,000 forfeiture to Taylor Communications, Inc., licensee of WOXD-FM, in Oxford, Mississippi and owner of antenna structure number 1038246, for failure to inform the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of a malfunction of the antenna structure lighting and also failure to make available a public inspection file.
In response to a complaint, FCC agents had inspected the tower and found none of the red obstruction lights working and the following day accompanied by WOXD-FM's chief engineer and president inspected WOXD's main studio. They were told during this inspection by the chief engineer that he had known that the lights had been out since the antenna structure was struck by lightning approximately six weeks before the inspection but that he believed it was unnecessary to report the outage to the FAA because a nearby taller antenna structure was lit and by the president that that the public inspection file was not available because it had been stolen by a former employee. Regarding the lighting, the President said that repairs had already been paid for and replacement parts ordered.
The FCC issued a USD 13,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) - USD 3,000 for the lighting breach and USD 10,000 for the public file one to which the company responded by filing a request for cancellation or reduction in which amongst other things it said it had called the published local number for the FAA about the outage but that it was not in service and adding that during the inspection the FCC agent had only this non-working local number for the FAA.
The USD 3,000 penalty for this breach was reduced to USD 2,500 on this basis and on the grounds of a history of compliance reduced by a further USD 2,500 to USD 10,000 the total penalty.
The FCC also made a number of postings related to auctions including a call for comment on procedures for its Auction 93 in March next year of a total of 123 FM construction permits in 23 states of which 17 were offered but not sold or were defaulted upon in prior auctions.
Minimum opening bids for the auction are to run from USD 750 each for 14 stations to USD 100,000 for a permit in Cloverdale, California.
Comments are called for relating to a number of topics including the Auction structure (proposed is the standard FCC simultaneous multiple-round auction format); Upfront Payments and Bidding Eligibility; use of an activity rule that requires bidders to bid actively throughout the auction, rather than wait until late in the auction before participating; bid removal and withdrawal; and payments required at various stages.
It also posted a list of winning bids from its Auctions 37 and 62 in relation to which it is now prepared to grant construction permits subject to payment of the balance of the winning bid.
Auction 37 in November 2004 was of 288 FM Construction Permits and payment is required by September 29 for one permit - that for a station in Zapata, Texas, won by Hispanic Target Media, Inc.
Auction 62 was of 171 FM permits in 2006 and payment is required by September 29 for two permits - one in Narrowsburg, New York, won by Talkline Communications, Inc. and the other for Rugby, North Dakota, won by Edward Paul DeLaHunt.
Previous Licence News:
2011-09-17: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has cut back on its spending on lobbying the federal government according to its latest filing with the Clark of the House that shows it spent USD 1.25 million in the second quarter of this year compared to just under USD 1.4 million a year earlier and USD 2.05 million in the first quarter of this year.
Amongst the prime topics were music piracy and the introduction of performance royalties for terrestrial radio airplay: The fall in CD sales has hit recording industry revenues and the RIAA contends that this means the promotional value of airplay - the argument used for making it free for terrestrial stations - has gone down.
Performance royalties are paid by others in the US including satellite radio and online music services and is most countries of the world.
2011-09-16: Creditors of Nassau Broadcasting have filed a petition to put it into Chapter 7 bankruptcy according to a Bloomberg report that says the creditors are owed more than USD 83.8 million.
They include Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, which says it is owed more than USD 69.8 million; Fortress Credit Opportunities LP, which says it is owed more than 11.2 million and P.E. Capital LLC. , which says it is owed USD 2.8 million.
Filings were made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, relating to Nassau Broadcasting Partners LP; Nassau Broadcasting I; Nassau Broadcasting II; and Nassau Broadcasting III.
So far we have seen no response from the company whose President Louis (Lou) Mercanti did not return a call from Bloomberg.
Nassau came under the control of Goldman Sachs following a debt-for-equity deal and two years ago had to sell two stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) market caps as a result of the change of control (See RNW Sep 23, 2009). Also that month it sold its classical format WCRB 99.5FM to public broadcaster WGBH (See RNW Sep 22, 2009)
2011-09-16: This year's RAB/NAB (Radio Advertising Bureau/National Associations of Broadcasters) Radio Show in Chicago has attracted 2,206 Registered Attendees, up 24% on the total of for the first joint show held in Washington, D.C., last year according to the organizations.
They also announced that next year's show is to be held from September 19-21 in Dallas.
The NAB has also announced the winners of this year's NAB Marconi Radio Awards with the main national awards as below:
Legendary Station - WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.
AC Station of the Year - WMGX-FM South Portland, Maine.
CHR Station of the Year - KPWR-FM, Los Angeles.
Country Station of the Year - KYGO-FM, Denver.
News/Talk Station of the Year - WSB-AM, Atlanta.
Oldies Station of the Year - WOMC-FM, Detroit.
Religious Station of the Year - KNOM-AM, Nome, Arkansas.
Rock Station of the Year - WAPL-FM, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Spanish Station of the Year - KLVE-FM, Los Angeles.
Sports Station of the Year - WBZ-FM, Boston.
Urban Station of the Year - WHUR-FM Washington, D.C.
Other station awards were:
Major Market Station of the Year - WBEB-FM, Philadelphia.
Large Market Station of the Year - WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.
Medium Market Station of the Year - WDEL-AM, Wilmington.
Small Market Station of the Year- WLEN-FM Adrian, Michigan
Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year was Ryan Seacrest, who is syndicated by Premiere Networks, and other individual awards went to:
Major Market Personality of the Year - Kevin and Bean, KROQ-FM, Los Angeles.
Large Market Personality of the Year - Dave Ryan, KDWB-FM, Minneapolis.
Medium Market Personality of the Year - Van and Bonnie, WHO-AM, Des Moines.
Small Market Personality of the Year - Dennis Jon Bailey and Diane Douglas, WIKY-FM, Evansville, Indiana.
Spanish Format Personality of the Year - Edgar "Shoboy" Sotelo, KMVK-FM, Dallas.
NAB - Marconi Awards News release:
2011-09-16: Citadel Broadcasting is now no more with the completion of its takeover by Cumulus Media.
The completion means that Cumulus is what it termed in a release, "is the largest pure-play radio broadcaster in the United States, and owns or operates more than 570 radio stations in 120 markets and a nationwide radio network serving over 4000 stations."
As well as today's vote by Citadel stockholders approving the acquisition, which has already been passed by the Department of Justice (DOJ - See RNW Sep 8) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC - See RNW Sep 14), subject to the divestment of 14 stations, Citadel's stockholders also had to choose the split between cash and Cumulus shares in their payment. According to Cumulus, based on preliminary results is expects to pay around USD 1.418 billion in cash and issue approximately 26,229,056 shares of its Class A common stock and warrants to purchase 71,683,741 shares of its Class A common stock to Citadel security holders.
The demand for cash was sufficient to bring in a pro-rate payment for who wanted to receive cash - or did not make a choice - and they will receive approximately USD 30.40 in cash per Citadel share or warrant plus 1.521 shares of or warrants for Cumulus Media Common stock whilst those who opted for shares will get 8.525 shares of -or warrants exercisable for- Cumulus Media Class A common stock. Cash is to be paid in relation to any fractional shares that become due.
The closing is also tied to financing for the deal and Cumulus Media also repaid approximately USD 1.4 billion in outstanding senior or subordinated indebtedness and other obligations of Cumulus Media and certain of its other wholly-owned subsidiaries, and of Citadel. Cumulus Media's USD 610.0 million of 7.75% senior notes due 2019, issued in May 2011, remain outstanding.
The cash for the Citadel acquisition comes from borrowings of USD 1.325 million under a new first lien term loan, USD 200.0 million in borrowings under a new first lien revolving credit facility and USD 790.0 million in borrowings under a new second lien term loan, plus proceeds from the sale of USD 475.0 million in shares of Cumulus Media's common stock, preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock to certain investors in a private placement.
In addition to the above Cumulus has also issued and sold 51,843,318 shares of its Class A common stock to an affiliate of Crestview Partners II, L.P.; USD 125 million of a newly-created class of perpetual redeemable non-convertible preferred stock, on which dividends are payable in cash or through the issuance of additional shares of preferred stock and accrue at an initial rate of 10% per annum for the first six months from issuance, with increases in such rate every two years thereafter, to an affiliate of Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc.; and 2,445,392 shares of its Class A common stock and warrants to purchase 26,356,449 shares of its Class A common stock to UBS Securities LLC and certain other investors to whom UBS Securities syndicated a portion of its investment commitment. In addition and also as a part of the agreement governing the Equity Investment, Cumulus Media issued to Crestview warrants to purchase 7,776,498 shares of Cumulus Media Class A common stock, with an exercise price of USD 4.34 per share.
The various transactions will mean that when completed Cumulus Media will have approximately 238,839,650 shares of Class A common stock outstanding on a fully-converted to Class A common stock basis (The total listed above amounts if warrants are fully taken up to just above 37% of the total- Cumulus Media stock ended today down 4.9% at USD 2.33, which we note is well below the Crestview warrant price of USD 4.34).
Cumulus Media has also announced the appointment of two new board members - of Arthur J. Reimers, an independent investor and consultant, and Jeff Marcus, a partner of Crestview Partners II LP.
RNW comment: So all that is awaited regading Citadel now are details of how much too much payment is made to former Citadel CEO Farid Suleman and his sidekicks for presiding over a massive decline in the value of Citadel.
Meanwhile at the new Cumulus how soon will the job cuts come? And how severe will they be?
2011-09-15: The 2011 joint RAB/NAB Radio Show is now under way in Chicago and today heard speeches from Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Jeff Haley, and self confessed former or current idiot [see his comments below] National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO Gordon Smith on the value of radio.
In a keynote address Haley was upbeat about radio although he acknowledged short-term issues in its top five advertising categories that challenged radio to find new advertisers. He spoke of innovation in audio that radio had learned from and would continue to learn from and a growing diversification in radio's revenues mix to become "true marketing partners to our advertisers rather than just spot sellers " and spoke of a "glass is half full, not half empty."
Haley then went on to address three topics, those of scale; live and local content; and mobile; noting radio's advantage in scale as nobody else had as broad and deep a platform as terrestrial radio with some 11,000 stations.
Haley avoided mentioning competitors by name but had digs at Sirius XM (a niche player who after ten years have barely scratched 20 million subscribers); online services such as Pandora (None have near the scale that we have, and frankly they won't ever. The cost, and one to one technology being used is just not as efficient or scalable as broadcast radio) and the metrics used in making decisions on where to place advertising (Credible data that advertisers can count on. This is an issue across the entire web, but lately there have been players out there touting duplicative "listener hours" in an apples to oranges comparison for our unduplicated long standing cume metrics.).
Haley then went on to compare the metrics albeit first noting that the competitors had around 3% of radio's reach and commented that advertising customers "deserve better than self generated data and I urge all of us to pay attention to the hype and understand that this data is not scale. Scale is what enables Eddie Combs from Sears or Neil Golden from McDonalds to communicate their messages within well targeted appropriately formatted live and local content to every market in the US."
He then went on to live and local content, which was important he said because "live and local content is has context and it's personally chosen by you and me. We tune in daily to hear live hosts bring us a connection to our communities. This is an incredibly successful formula for scale."
He also noted radio's benefit during emergencies noting that the US has had "the perfect storm of natural disasters - Tornados, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Floods, wildfires and city wide blackouts - when disaster strikes, the power is out and the cell towers are inoperable - It's live and local broadcasters that matter, and sometimes it's a matter of life and death. No other medium comes close in scale to saving and building community in times of crisis than the live and local content of radio.
Regarding mobile", Haley said this was one of the key reasons for radio's strength, saying its "one to many technology was designed to be mobile, and it's always been mobile" but that the term today means a lot more because of new technology, regarding which he said that FM receivers were in 70% of MP3 players and growing nicely in smart phones although radio needed to continue its push here. [RNW comment: Perhaps time for a brief look at the facts - it's not strictly accurate to say that radio has always been mobile. The medium developed in the early 1900's with listening on crystal sets - hardly what one would call mobile until the 1920's and the development of vacuum tubes (again hardly mobile and maybe it's worth noting that Argentina was ahead of the US in starting regular "wireless" (as it then was termed) entertainment broadcasts in 1920. Maybe it's also worth noting reversals of patent decisions in the US relating to radio - first of those by Tesla (Applied for in 1897, granted and reversed in 1904 and just happening to favour Marconi, who had influential US backers including Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie and also to avoid having to pay royalties to Tesla. Then in 1943 the US Supreme Court decided one Marconi patent was invalid because of prior work by Tesla and John Stone Stone and just happening to mean that damages being claimed by Marconi for uses of its patents during the First World War. The first car radio didn't come until 1930 when the Galvin Corporation introduced the Motorola 5T71 so one could perhaps allow Haley the consolation of being nearly right and the US government and business that of perhaps being nearly honest!].
In his comments, Smith spoke of two prime issues over the past two years for the NAB - of "performance tax" for radio (He means royalties, which are paid in almost every other country in the world for the airing of music and on which radio has no principled argument - it is making commercial gains from others work - only one relating to the scale of payments because of the promotional benefit of work being aired, a matter we have long argued would be best taken care of by the market through a tiered system of royalty charges that would allow artists to decide a tier of charges from nil upwards for their work and thus actually evaluate the promotional benefit) and spectrum re-allocation for TV (In other words the idea that the limited licence granted to broadcasters for spectrum use can be modified for the greater gain of all).
Smith went on to quote tales by President Lincoln and also comment of the pressures of being a lobbyist and his career as a Senator, which led him to quote Mark Twain. "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
Smith, who presumably can henceforth be described as a self-confessed idiot or self-confessed former or reformed idiot, then went on to argue on the importance to a politician of listening to the arguments of constituents drawing a comparison with broadcasters as "important voices in your local communities" who "can really educate your representatives about the issues critical to the future of broadcasting."
He then spoke of the success in fighting the Performance Rights Act through participating in good faith discussions while aggressively opposing current bill and also of launching a strategic on-air campaign that sent a strong message to Congress that America's broadcasters won't shy away from raising their voices on the air.
Smith then took up the issue of TV spectrum and efforts by both radio and TV stations in airing NAB spots opposing proposed changes that succeeded in killing them, arguing the benefits of joint action by broadcasters.
[See above re US govt and patents. Perhaps the logical response should be to declare all companies with radio interests and all work aired on radio to be available freely to all and incapable of having copyright - including the rights of syndication - so long as they do not pay performance royalties? And re TV to set a public interest test against which to judge whether it should retain the rights to spectrum or whether in many cases it would be in the wider interest to simply reclaim totally much TV spectrum - not just use "white space" - at the end of existing licence terms -the determination of which stations die to be made according to the assessed performance of stations in a market in terms of comparative public interest of existing station programming and public benefit from the alternative use of the spectrum. Obviously there is a very strong argument that it is to the public benefit that some broadcasters remain on air irrespective of other potential users being able to pay more than some of the existing broadcasts but not necessary all of them. Not much chance of arguments being presented fairly on this issue though!]
Turning to radio itself, Smith did name some of the newer competitors asking." Can Pandora claim to reach 93 percent of the total U.S. population? Can satellite radio? " and answering, "Not hardly - this is a reach only local radio can boast." [Even for a reformed idiot this isn't a very strong argument. The same could have been said about TV when it first came in but had very few viewers whilst radio was the dominant mass broadcast medium and cinema that for moving picture content.]
Smith then noted a significant revenue rebound for radio and also research showing "that investors are taking a fresh look at the sector -- thanks to cost-cutting, lowering debt leverage through restructurings, new online and mobile initiatives, and the resurgence of local automotive and retail ad spending." [In other words picking up assets at a fairly small fraction of a price they had attracted in earlier consolidation and benefiting from an economic uppick, even if for many people the issue of unemployment might reasonably be considered much more important, including many of those in the broadcast industry who have lost or will lose their jobs.]
Smith also went on to comment on radio's attempts to get HD radio receivers into automobiles and radio chips into mobile devices and of the medium's strength in emergencies [as in 9/11 when he said that Internet and cell phone networks went down radio did not] but spoke sceptically of a rush into streaming, noting that this year total online revenue is projected to be only 4% of radio's total revenue and adding, "I don't know the right answer, but as someone who does not come from the broadcast business, I can tell you what I observe: that local, regional and national advertising for over-the-air signals still provides the strongest source of revenue for stations.
"We can't abandon building the successful business model that radio delivers to listeners."
That said, Smith added that radio still had to find ways to expand reception of its main over-the-air signal, commenting, "Radio is an automobile-centric industry and the digital community is diligently working to subordinate local radio on the dashboard of every new automobile to other digital offerings.
"If you take a look at new cars hitting the market, you can see that our digital competitors are succeeding."
"Radio must find a way to get onto other devices, like smart phones - a challenging task in a very crowded and competitive media landscape.
"Yet, if we don't, we risk compromising radio's core mission of providing the American people with the services they depend on.
"So radio is confronted by the dilemma of choosing which path to take - does it focus on building its traditional business model or invest more dollars in streaming?"
RNW comment: We have used quotes above from the text of Smith's prepared speech and regret that given critical analysis it doesn't actually take anyone very far. It states much that is obvious, but not ways forward. It crows about success in using the advantages that broadcasters have in pushing propaganda to defeat change -- the spots that we have seen or heard hardly go for any sophisticated discussion of the merits of the cases being made; And in many ways it seems more accurately described as rhetoric to appeal to the self-interest of its audience than an intelligent comment on where broadcasters area and how they should go forward as technology changes. Unsure how far Smith is still a self-confessed idiot or a snake-oil salesman but there have to be a fair number of idiots in his audience if they take much notice of his speech. Haley's was a much better effort.
2011-09-14: Sirius XM has announced that at the start of next year it is to increase the base price of its Sirius and XM Select from USD 12.95 to USD 14.49 per month and will also "adjust prices on many of our other programming packages."
The announcement was made in conjunction with an update to its subscriber and financial guidance in which it says it now expects 2012 revenue growth of 10% to approximately USD 3.3 billion; adjusted EBITDA growth of 20% to approximately USD 860 million, and free cash flow growth of 75% to approximately USD 700 million.
CEO Mel Karmazin commented, "Our new guidance for 2012 demonstrates our expectation of robust growth next year. Sirius XM's outstanding financial performance in the midst of considerable economic uncertainty will continue in 2012 as we grow our subscriber base and free cash flow and anticipate that our revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth will accelerate."
Regarding the price increase - the company had entered into a voluntary agreement not to increase basic prices when the merger of Sirius and XM was allowed but this ended earlier this year - "In the 10 years since Sirius XM launched service, we have expanded our programming line-up to provide an unparalleled listening experience is the first price increase on our basic service packages since the addition of the NFL, NASCAR, Howard Stern, Martha Stewart and many college sports to our programming line-up. Through continued investments in technology, the best and most diverse programming in radio is available to our subscribers in cars, homes, offices, business establishments, on the internet and smartphones. We will expand our programming and technology further with the launch of Sirius XM 2.0 in the coming months."
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-09-14: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now approved the takeover of Citadel Broadcasting by Cumulus Media leaving the deal to be ratified by Citadel's stockholders tomorrow, which is also the deadline for them to decide how they want to split payment for their stock into cash and Cumulus shares.
The deal is subject to a total of 14 station divestures, six of them to comply with FCC market ownership caps and another eight because the transfer of control will end "the licensees' ability to maintain certain grandfathered ownership interests" in seven markets."
The two companies had already filed to transfer the 14 stations into a divestiture trust to be sold in future and the FCC order requires the trust to "take commercially reasonable efforts to effectuate a sale of the stations without delay" and makes the divestiture "prior to or simultaneous with" the completion of the merger a condition of the approval.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has already given the go-ahead for the deal subject to the divestiture of three stations to preserve competition (two stations in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where FCC caps also apply, and one in Flint, Michigan - See RNW Sep 8) :The other markets where stations have to be divested are Columbus, Mississippi; Dallas, Texas; Fayetteville, Arizona; Kansas City (Missouri-Kansas. 33 in Arbitron's rankings) ; Long Island, New York; Macon and Savannah, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday following the DOJ approval the companies say that Citadel is currently the third largest radio group based on revenues with 166 FM and 59 AM stations - the FCC says the transfer of control is of 228 radio stations currently licensed to Citadel - in more than 50 markets and Cumulus the second largest radio broadcaster based on station count with some 346 stations in 68 markets and considers itself the fourth largest based on revenues.
The takeover is structured to make Citadel a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cumulus Media Inc. (CMI) with CMI stock to be distributed to current Citadel stockholders and new investors in CMI from Crestview Radio Investors, LLC; MIHI, LLC; and UBS Securities, LLC. The new investors will acquire control of CMI.
In a statement commenting on the approval Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps expresses concern about continuing consolidation, noting not only the Cumulus-Citadel combination but earlier the Comcast-NBC one and other purchases, continuing, "Time after time and in market after market, there are fewer independent options and fewer local voices. To pass FCC and DOJ muster, Cumulus-Citadel needs to divest only 14 stations. Applicants will put these stations in a trust pending sale to, hopefully, women and minority owners. But too often such stations just languish, unsold, in a trust."
He then noted the recently denied petition concerning the transfer of CBS Radio's KFWB-AM, Los Angeles into a trust (See RNW Sep 9). commenting, "Just this month, in another proceeding, a petition to deny was filed as licenses in such a trust were being renewed after three-and-a-half years without being sold."
As to public benefits, he commented, ". Applicants also claim this merger will lead to additional funding for programming to serve local audiences, but chances are we won't hold their feet to the fire if they fall short. So round and round we go."
Copps then argued for more public interest requirements, concluding, "If the Commission is intent on continuing to bless consolidated control of more and more of our broadcasting outlets by fewer and fewer big interests, isn't it time to ensure that we have some public interest guidelines so that consumers and citizens can be assured of at least some level of local programming, real news about real issues, independent production, and coverage of issues of interest to the diverse populations that make up local communities?"
2011-09-13: Latest Australian radio ratings just released show the leaders increasing their dominance in the two largest metros with Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB in Sydney up from a 14.8% to a 15.6% share and Fairfax Media's 3AW in Melbourne from 14.9% to 16.9%.
Although 2GB held its lead in the Sydney breakfast slot where Alan Jones' share was up from 18.2% to 19.2%, its nearest rival ABC 702 narrowed the gap as it took its share up from 12.9% to 14.2%. In the FM race Southern Cross Austereo's Kyle and Jackie O Show (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson) also held on to their spot with their 2 Day share up from 9.8% to 10.1% with nearest rival DMG Radio Australia's Nova slightly narrowing the gap as it took its share up from 6.4% to 6.8%.
In mornings Ray Hadley for 2GB increased his share slightly - up from 18.7% to 18.8% whilst ABC 702 slipped back from 9.6 to 8.4, the largest fall in the slot and 2 Day kept top FM slot with 9.1%, down from 9.2%.
In the drive slot, ABC 702 kept the top rank and increased its share from 11.3% to 11.9% although 2GB narrowed the gap as it moved up from 9.2% to 10.5% in third rank behind 2-DAY, which was in the FM lead with 11.1%, down from 11.8%.
2GB's commercial rival, Southern Cross Austereo's 2UE slipped back with overall share down from 6.3 to 6.0: It only increased share in evenings where it was up from 6.3% to 6.6% (2GB was up from 15.7% to 17.0%, the largest rise for the period) although it held on to unchanged shares in Afternoon and Drive and at weekends.
In Brisbane, Australian Radio Network's 97.3 FM held onto top spot but fell back from 12.6% to 11.9% while in Adelaide its Mix 102.3 moved into top rank with 16.8 (15.3), swapping places with DMG Radio Australia's 5AA, which was down to second rank with 14.8 (16.6). In Perth Southern Cross Austereo's Mix 94.5 increased its lead with 15.4%, up from 15.1%
Southern Cross Austereo in its comments emphasised the success of both the "dominant" Today network and Triple M, "celebrating convincing share gains in Melbourne and Sydney."
Director of Southern Cross Austereo Metro Radio, Guy Dobson said, of the results that claiming 1st and second FM breakfast shows and overall in Melbourne and first and third in Sydney is outstanding and "is a credit to the talented on air and off air teams."
"This survey," he concluded, "proves yet again we are in the best position to deliver winning content and great results for the market".
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: Mix 102.3 with 16.8 (15.3) - up from second; 5AA with 14.8 (16.6) - Down from top rank; ABC 891 with an unchanged 11.6 - same rank.
SAFM then remained fourth with 10.6 (10.5) followed by Nova, which was up a rank with 8.3 (8.0) ahead of Cruise 1323, which was up a rank to sixth with 7.7 (6.1). 5MM was down two places from fifth to seventh with 7.4 (9.1), and 5JJJ remained eighth with 6.1 (5.7)
*Brisbane- 97.3 FM - with 11.9 (12.6) - Same rank; B105 with 11.4 (11.9) - Same rank; Nova with 11.2 (11.1) - Same rank;
*4MMM was then back up a rank to fifth with 10.6 (10.1), swapping places with ABC 612, which was down a rank to fifth with 10.3 (10.2), after which there was another swap as 4BC rose a rank to sixth with 7.9 (6.8) and 4KQ was down a rank to seventh with 7.4 (9.0).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 16.9 (14.99) - same rank; ABC 774 with 10.6 (11.9) -same rank; Fox FM with 10.3 (11.4) - same rank;
*3MM with 7.2 (5.7) was then up from sixth equal with Magic to fourth followed by Nova which remained fifth with 7.2 (6.5) then Gold, which was down from fourth to sixth with 6.6 (7.2) after which Mix 101.1 was up from eighth to seventh with 6.1 (5.6) followed by MAGIC, which dropped from sixth to seventh with an unchanged 5.7.
DMG's Melbourne's 91.5, formerly Classic Rock and Vega before remained 11th with 3.0 (3.5) and Melbourne Talk Radio remained next to bottom with 1.9 (2.0) while ABC News Radio in bottom rank retained a 1.5 share.
Perth: Mix 94.5 with 15.4 (15.1) -same rank; ABC 720 with 11.6 (11.7) - up from third; 6PR - up from fifth with 11.5 (11.1) followed by Nova 93.7, whichwas down from second with 11.1(11.7) then 92.9 which was down a rank to fifth with 11.0 (11.2) and then 96FM which remained sixth with an unchanged 10.0
*Sydney - 2GB 15.6 (14.8) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.4 (10.5) - same rank; 2-DAY with an unchanged 9.3 same rank;
*After this WSFM remained fourth with 6.8 (7.2), followed by Nova, which remained fifth with 6.7 (6.5), ahead of 2UE, which remained sixth with 6.0 (6.3) and 2CH, which remained seventh with 5.4 (5.6) ahead of Mix, which remained eighth with 5.4 (5.5).
DMG's Sydney's 95.3, the former Classic Rock and previously Vega, remained 11th with 3.4 (3.6).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Radio Network (ARN):
Previous Australian Ratings.
Previous Fairfax Media:
Previous Kyle and Jackie O:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Previous Southern Cross Austereo:
2011-09-13: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 17,500 penalty on Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of KRAL-AM, KIQZ-FM, and WHB734, in Rawlins, Wyoming, for Emergency Alert System (EAS), public file breaches for the first and failure to operate WHB734, an aural studio-transmitter-link from its licensed location.
It had issued the penalty in January last year, then rejected arguments put forward for a reduction and has now dismissed a petition for reconsideration from Mt Rushmore.
2011-09-13: The US Department of Justice (DOJ_ has now completed its Antitrust Review of the takeover by Cumulus of Citadel Broadcasting (Yes we know they persist in calling it a merger but why should anyone else?) and the deal is now in its final stages: The DOJ had previously said it would not block the takeover subject to three station divestitures (See RNW Sep 8) and Citadel stockholders are to vote on the deal on Sep 15 (See RNW Sep 10).
The deal also needs the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is expected soon..
2011-09-12: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is again involved in a public spat over the issue of FM chips in mobile devices following a CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Internet Association - The Wireless Association) blog post defending the industry's performance during the recent earthquake that shook the east coast and other emergencies.
In the post Christopher Guttman-McCabe seems to misrepresent the NAB's most recent position in relation to a statement released by the NAB welcoming "[Federal Communications Commission - FCC] Commissioner [Michael J.]Copps's timely call for a discussion on the merits of radio-enabled smart phones" and going on to contrast broadcasters performance with that of the telecommunications industry - "While cell phone signals jammed and power was down during Hurricane Irene and the recent East Coast earthquake, it was the robust 'one-to-many' transmission architecture of local broadcasting that kept listeners and viewers in touch and informed.(See RNW Sep 8).
The blog comments, "On Friday, I read another statement from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) calling on government to intervene in the wireless handset ecosystem. This most recent NAB statement seeking FM chipsets in mobile phones contradicts NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith's testimony at a recent spectrum hearing that it was not calling for a technology mandate to place broadcast chips in mobile devices" and then goes on to add, "last week's rhetoric goes back to the same false statements and calls for misguided technology mandates in the wake of the natural disasters that NAB has issued before. Whether it's simply not understanding the wireless industry or seeking to advance a self-serving agenda, it's important for policy makers to know the facts in light of NAB's advocacy." [RNW comment: We cannot see in the NAB statement from Smith that it calls for a mandate as opposed to discussion on the issues of information during emergencies].
Guttman-McCabe then says it is a fact that in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, "the wireless networks worked. In fact, contrary to some reports of 'outages,' wireless networks saw a 400 - 600 percent surge in call attempts and processed calls at a rate significantly higher than normal busy-hour calls. The networks actually processed significantly more calls than normal, not less. .. No wireless towers went down and no networks failed as a result of the 'one-two punch' of the earthquake and Hurricane Irene. "
[RNW comment: The NAB statement says the networks jammed and power was down. The former is a matter of degree but not the same as outages and power out to homes does affect mains powered equipment even if cell phone towers remain in operation. Not a bad argument for a battery-powered device such as a radio!].
The next "Fact" listed is if anything an argument for radio in our view - that spectrum is finite and surges in demand put more pressure on them [The response proposed is to have more spectrum available...we wonder if this means white spaces or trying to kick broadcasters off some spectrum?].
Guttman-McCabe then says that "NAB's statement that broadcasters are the only ones delivering emergency information is flat wrong" and goes on to detail use of the wireless networks to deliver timely information about the situation in particular networks through "text messages, tweets or Facebook updates", to argue that the NAB argument is "moot" as "there are dozens of mobile devices currently offered with enabled FM radio In fact, 6 of PCWorld's top 10 "best" smart phones have FM radio, including 4 of the top 5" and those who want to "to receive FM radio on their mobile wireless devices already can (and have plenty of choices to boot!)." [RNW comment: If we assume that the NAB has - and in our view it is a sensible stance - dropped the idea of mandated FM in cell phones then Guttman-McCabe's comments are to a considerable degree moot as his argument goes away in that people can choose to have wireless devices both with and without FM and the NAB is sensible to point out that there are advantages in having FM capability.]
The NAB in a response from Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton is comparatively low-key saying, "Broadcasters welcome a debate on whether broadcasting is more reliable in times of crisis than cell phone networks, which is why NAB supports VOLUNTARY activation of radio chips in cell phones."
Wharton then doe shave a dig at the cell phone companies commenting that "tens of thousands of Americans were unable to connect with loved ones after the recent East Coast earthquake because of an overload in the 'one-to-one' cell phone network" before he goes on to argue the case for the broadcasters who he says "take seriously" their role "as first informer in times of crisis, and our 'one-to-everyone' transmission system makes local radio and TV stations the gold standard in delivering a reliable signal in lifeline situations.."
His final sentence however seems redundant and contradictory of his earlier comments "We understand the need for CTIA to defend its members, but in an era when public safety is paramount, we're hopeful that cell phone makers do the right thing and activate radio chips in cell phones."[RNW comment: If we take it that the NAB supports VOLUNTARY activation of radio in cell phones then the logical corollary is clearly that devices should be on the market with and without the facility and the suggestion that makers "activate radio chips in cell phones" becomes propaganda. A little more restraint on the NAB on this one would have made its point more forcefully and we would agree that there is a strong argument to be made concerning the benefits of broadcast information in emergencies just as there is a benefit in having one-to-one communication or means of transmitting more localised information - which a cell phone system can handle better because the phone's location can be tracked - than a broadcast can provide.
Overall, however, nothing but good can be done by taking the issues involved to as wide a possible audience as possible and it would probably increase the take-up of FM-enabled devices.]
2011-09-12: UK Media Regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upholds complaints relating to offensive language in three radio cases and considers a further three such complaints resolved through action taken by the broadcaster.
The bulletin is the first to separate out such complaints and it also upholds standards complaints (which previously encompassed those relating to such language) in one radio and six TV cases and considers a further four TV standards complaints resolved through action already taken.
Other cases listed include a breach of licence condition ruling against one radio station; the upholding of fairness and privacy complaints involving one radio and one TV station and partial upholding of a further TV complaint in addition to which details are given of one radio and seven TV fairness and privacy complaints; advertising scheduling breaches and - again another first for this category - one TV Access Services case in which a complaint was upheld (The complaint was that subtitles had not been aired but the licensee was unable to produce a recording - due it said to a server error - leading to the ruling that there had been a breach of Ofcom's codes).
In relation to the offensive language complaints, Ofcom notes that in view of its concerns about the issue, particularly broadcasts at times children are particularly likely to have been listening, it is asking a number of radio broadcasters who transmit such programming to attend a meeting at Ofcom to discuss such material.
The complaints that were upheld were against:
* Brick FM -a community radio station providing a service for the people of St Boswells, Newton St Boswells and the surrounding area in the Scottish Borders.
Ofcom monitoring showed that on Feb 23 this year songs it aired between 3 p.m. and 4p.m included the word "fuck" (15:07 -"More Punany1" by Dr Evil) and "fucking" (15:24 -"Pass Out" by Tinie Tempah).
Brick FM said the show concerned was from a "live feed" from a local school programme and the words were broadcast within the "Rory's Reggae Roots" segment of the programme, which it had now ceased to broadcast.
It added that a Punany was a "sandwich sold locally and is made of Italian bread with cheese and tomato which is heated up" and therefore did not accept the song "More Punany" had sexual connotations. It also noted the common use of the words when people were angry or upset or something had gone wrong and did not then carry sexual connotations.
Ofcom rejected the explanation and specifically noted other words in the song - "last night I had a crazy threesome"
"I like to see the girls in the sexy bikini ni ni
Want to take my chilli and push it between ni ni"
"I like pun-na-na-na-ni even if it's a virgin"
The word was it said urban slang for vagina and was used in a sexual context
It also noted the station's initial failure to identify the output concerned and noted previous breaches relating to retention of recordings, providing the service it was required to, and the provision of information to Ofcom to enable monitoring of the station.
It recorded breaches of two rules and added that it "has serious concerns about Brick FM's approach to compliance and may consider regulatory action if further breaches occur."
*More FM's commercial service Total Star, Wiltshire that in its regular weekday breakfast programme "Howard Taylor at Breakfast" aired the Outhere Brother's single, "Boom Boom Boom".
This included two verses, which were repeated, regarding having sex including the lines "Girl your booty is so round I just wanna lay you down Let me take you from behind I won't cum until it's time and also a chorus, repeated 11 times, that included the line "I say boom boom boom, now what the fuck I say way-oh".
The station said the wrong version of the track had been "loaded on the play out system by its programme and IT support supplier in Cheltenham and added that given the number of complaints it had received from Ofcom "it was clear that this supplier was not fit for purpose, having "consistently broken Ofcom rules and codes of practice when supplying services to More FM."
The station said it was now broadcasting from dedicated studios and had appointed a programme controller and a head of music, who vetted all music prior to inclusion on its playlist.
Ofcom noted that station staff had taken no action at the time of the broadcast but welcomed its admission that the track was aired in error and steps taken. It recorded a breach of one rule.
*County Durham community station Bishop FM and a School's Out programme that consisted of various songs being played, with different school children introducing and dedicating these songs to different people.
On one programme just before 18:15 the children introduced the Eminem track "I Need a Doctor" but instead the station aired the track "No Love."
This included lines containing the phrases "But it's fuck the world! get a child out her"; and "you niggers skipping scenes"; "Yeah, put a dick in their mouth, so I guess it's fuck what they say!
After the words, "I got this world stuck in the safe, combination is the G-code" the broadcast, was faded out by an adult presenter who then continued with the programme.
The station said that at the time of the broadcast volunteers were "working with the children in the studio to plan their next link and unfortunately the song played out for over a minute before they realised the nature of its content."
They did not mention the incident during the programme but a "full apology" was given by the station's Volunteer Director in the following week's edition.
It added that the presenter in this case brought in the song in breach of its rules requiring presenters to seek assistance from the studio manager in obtaining songs and had accordingly been disciplined. Other members of staff had been reminded of its Code of Conduct and Style and Presentation Guide.
Ofcom welcomed that station's actions but recorded breaches of two rules.
The three other cases regarded as resolved through action taken by the broadcaster involved two BBC stations and Global Radio's Capital Radio East Midlands.
The last aired "Do it Like a Dude" by Jessie J. that a complainant said included the words "fucker" and "motherfucker" (Ofcom could only find the last - in the line" You think I can't get hurt like you, you motherfucker").Global said the original version, which contained two uses of "motherfucker" had been loaded in error but the presenter identified the error within the first 30 seconds and edited the track, whilst it was playing, to prevent airing of the second instance. Because priority was given to this the presenter took the view that the opportunity to immediately apologise on air had passed. It added that internal disciplinary action had been taken and all presenters reminded of their responsibilities and Ofcom considered that this was sufficient to resolve the matter.
The BBC cases involved BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio Essex: In the Radio 1 case a live broadcast from the Radio 1's Big Weekend event in Carlisle went to a live broadcast by Black Eyed Peas around 19:50, preceding this with a warning about the "naughty language" the band was likely to use.
Ofcom then notes that two minutes into their first song -"Let's get it started" the words "What the fuck's going down" could be heard clearly and 1 minute 50 seconds later the line "This song's for all the fucking crazy people" and 20 seconds later "Have you ever had that moment when you just wanna go to the edge and just lose your motherfucking mind."
A further 20 seconds later the song was dipped and the presenter have another warning "there may be some strong language - as there just was - so just to warn you." and at the end of the song apologized, saying, "This is live Black Eyed Peas from Radio 1's Big Weekend in Carlisle and we're sorry for the bad language that you just heard in that last track. The rest of this set may contain some more strong language - so if you are offended by that we do apologise, maybe come back later."
A further apology was aired at the end of the Black Eyed Peas set and the BBC said in response to an Ofcom enquiry that before the event it had ensured that all the performers were aware that it would be a live broadcast and that they should not swear. In the case of Black Eyed Peas they had performed live at a number of previous BBC Radio 1 events without incident or strong language. They had also taken into event the time of the event in deciding to opt for a live broadcast.
Ofcom noted the situation and said that on balance it should consider the case resolved.
The BBC Radio Essex complaint involved its BBC Introducing in Essex programme presented live that broadcasts songs by unsigned artists from the area and a song "Tigerface" by the band Baddies that included the line "Make this fucker feel alive".
The BBC said that all items for the programme are previewed in advance of transmission, and on this occasion, the producer and presenter had concerns over the track and checked the song lyrics with the band. It said that the band informed the BBC that "the word in question was "sucker" and on that basis [the producer and presenter] mistakenly believed that the track was fit for airplay."
It added that it has taken steps to ensure this oversight is not repeated and in future "the production team will refer all questionable musical items to a member of the local management team before transmission."
Gain Ofcom ruled that there had been a breach of its Code but considered the action taken to have resolved the matter.
RNW comment; Either the truth is being told in which case this is an example of a dumb band since they are hardly likely to get invited back or alternatively a clever presenter who's cover his tracks very imaginatively.
The radio fairness and privacy complaint that was upheld involved a report on Forth One's news that named a victim of a murder before the family had been informed of his death.
The victim's sister complained that she and her mother heard of the death from a friend who had heard the news item and that police had confirmed that at the time of the broadcast the name had not been released into the public domain.
The station explained that the name was given to its reporter at the scene by a main claiming to be the victim's best friend and that a subsequent call was made to the police press office and they were told it would "not be wrong" to go with the name. The station added that it was not told that the family had not been informed nor was there any suggestion the information should not be used on air.
They also understood that the name had been used by other media who also had the name confirmed by the police.
Ofcom noted that its codes prohibited the naming of victims of accidents or crimes unless and until it is clear that the next of kin have been informed of the event or unless it is warranted.
In this case the station had, it said, broadcast the name before it had been made clear that next of kin had been informed and it upheld the complaint.
The breach of licence condition ruling was made against West London community station OnFM which broadcasts in Hammersmith and has a particular focus on serving the local Irish community as well as other ethnic groups.
Ofcom monitored the stations output on four days in June this year having been corresponding with the Licensee since November 2010 regarding the station's broadcast output and its compliance with its "key commitments" following a complaint from a listener.
The station's programming commitment says that "daytime output overall will typically comprise 40% music and 60% speech" and "by the end of the first 12 months on air, the service will typically be live, for at least 8 hours per day" and in February this year the station had been found to be in breach of these requirements (See RNW Feb 21).
The latest monitoring was conducted as a follow-up and Ofcom found that on all the days the station did not deliver its live output commitment or its promise to broadcast 60% speech programming during the day.
It again wrote to the station and was told that the shortcomings had been addressed and an overhauled schedule had been implemented, resulting in the station "consistently meeting the required speech to music ratio and the live content. Recordings of a week's output in August were provided and Ofcom found that the station was now "delivering fully against its key commitments on a daily basis."
Ofcom notes that it is continuing its dialogue with the station and will monitor its output again in due course: In the meantime the licensee has been put on notice that continued non-compliance with its key commitments may result in further regulatory action being taken.
The numbers above compare with three community radio stations found in breach of their licence conditions in the previous in which Ofcom upheld one other radio complaints against another community radio station; upheld standards complaints involving three TV broadcasters and advertising scheduling cases involving three more TV broadcasters and gave details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint that was not upheld. It also found one TV channel to have exceeded the time allowed for time devoted to television advertising and teleshopping spots and considered resolved another case, which resulted from schedule changes related to a strike and live programming combined with equipment problems. A further case related to the number of breaks in a film (movie) arose from transmission in an incorrect file format and was also considered resolved through action subsequently taken.
In addition to the above Ofcom listed a further 471 TV complaints against 194 items and 26 radio complaints against 26 items that were assessed but not further investigated - this compares with 251 TV complaints against 154 items and 19 radio complaints against 19 items in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2011-09-11: Last week saw a steady flow of radio-related posting from the regulators although there were none from Ireland and only one from the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found breaches of their licence conditions by three community stations.
Two of them - Darwin community radio 8TFM and Ballarat community radio 3BBB were found to have broadcast adverts - and a third to have breached conditions relating to corporate governance policies and procedures; internal conflict; complaints handling; volunteering; rights to make complaints; and resolution of complaints but not of a complaint regarding to financial membership.
The station concerned - Music Broadcasting Society of Victoria Limited's 3MBS - was the subject of complaints made to the ACMA in May from a former volunteer at the station.
He specifically alleged that he had asked an employee who had been hired in September last year where he could obtain copies of the new employees musical compositions as there were none in the stations library but received no response and then made checks with two overseas organizations to verify a past and future musical engagement by the employee who then responded with a threat to invoke the disciplinary procedure and suspend the complainant should he pursue such enquiries about him or any other person. Two months later the employee concerned suspended the volunteer for misconduct alleging failure to respect the confidentiality and the rights of others to be treated justly and fairly; Take direction from appropriate paid staff; Abide by the laws of copyright, the station objectives, policies and principles; and Value and support other team members.
A month later the volunteer resigned and three months later complained to the current 3MBS President who responded saying the documents provided seemed to support the employee's warning and suspension decision but did not, the ACMA found, make every reasonable effort to resolve the complaints.
A second complaint raised issues under the headings already noted. In its ruling the ACMA round breaches of seven codes:
In the case of Charles Darwin University's 8TM the complaint related to rebroadcasts of commercial station Sydney 2GB's Rugby League coverage on Sundays and in particular the airing of "multiple references to 2GB sponsors and advertisers." The station had said that it did not have the facilities to remove embedded credits (live commentator sponsor acknowledgements) from the broadcasts because of their live nature and that other stations who took the cover had advised it to treat the mentions as accidental or incidental advertisements that are allowed.
The ACMA did not accept the argument and found that the station had broadcast adverts but that the action taken in removing the programming concerned from its schedules was sufficient to resolve the issues raised.
In the case of Ballarat Community FM Co-Operative's Limited 3BB, the station was found to have both broadcast adverts and exceeded the five-minutes per hour allowed for sponsor announcements. The ACMA noted a previous ruling against the station for similar breaches after which the station provided training for presenters about their responsibilities and the legal requirements but that the breaches complained about took place before the training and introduction of new processes. It took the view that the actions are sufficient to address the issues raised.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a number of radio postings including the following (In order of province):
*Approval of application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. to increase from 3,000 watts to 60,000 watts the power of its CFIT-FM Airdrie. The application was opposed by an individual. Zane Mastin, and from CAB-K Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CKLJ-FM and CKJX-FM, Olds. It expressed concern about encroachment into the market of Olds and its surrounding communities north of Airdrie.
The CRTC did not consider that the approval will cause any significant incremental harm to CAB-K's stations in Olds but the approval will be subject to a condition of licence restricting the solicitation of advertising from the Calgary market into which the new signal will extend.
*Approval of frequency swap and power changes between Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership, and Vancouver Co-operative Radio under which Pattison's CKPK-FM, Vancouver, will switch from 100.5 to 102.7 and increase its power from 2,800watts to 51,000 watts and Vancouver Co-operative Radio's community station CFRO-FM will move from 102.7 to 100.5 and reduce its power from 5,500 watts to 2,800 watts.
Co-op Radio also proposed to change the antenna site for CFRO-FM to co-locate with the existing CKPK-FM antenna, while Pattison committed to providing technical, financial and marketing support to the community station amounting to CAD .437 million (USD 1.441 million) over a period of five years.
Comments were submitted by CJSW Radio and Gabriola Radio Society and opposing interventions by Radio Malaspina Society and some individuals. The CRTC in approving the application noted an earlier conversion of Pattison's CKBD-AM to FM using the 100.5 frequency and also noted that approval of both of the applications would result in an increase in coverage and population served and no loss of service to the communities currently served by the stations.
*Notice of consultation with an October 7 deadline for interventions or comments relating to application by Astral Media Radio G.P. to relocate the transmitter cite and increase from 138.4 to 147.5 metres the effective transmitter height for its English-language commercial station CFQX-FM, Selkirk.
*Denial of application from Instant Information Services Incorporated to change the frequency of its English-language, low-power tourist information station CIRM-FM, Moncton and increase its power from 22.4 to 500 watts and change its status from a low-power unprotected service to a protected status.
It said the changes would allow it to reach the entire urban population of Greater Moncton with its signal including its safety and emergency messages and also noted an application for a service in Saint John, New Brunswick using its current frequency.
The CRTC in refusing the application noted that the application for the current frequency had now been withdrawn and commented that the applicant had not provided compelling evidence to justify the change. It also noted that the station has not filed its annual returns for the last broadcast year and that it would take up this issue as part of CIRM-FM's licence renewal application.
*Notice of consultation with a Sep 22 deadline for intervention or comments relating to applications for services to Montréal using the frequencies 690 kHz and 940 kHz that are to be considered at a hearing beginning on 17 October 2011 in Montréal.
There are three applications for the 690 kHz licence - from Dufferin Communications Inc. (for a 50,000 watts French-language spoken word and music programming commercial service directed to Montréal's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community); Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership (which wishes to change the frequency of its English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKGM from its current 990 kHz frequency, which from poor night-time coverage of Montréal), ,and 7954689 Canada inc. (For a 50,000 watts French-language news information, public affairs and debate commercial AM).
In addition there are two for the 940 kHz frequency - from Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. (for a 50,000 watts French-language traffic information service: Metromedia is owned by Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions inc, which has a three-year contract with the Quebec transport department for the service - See RNW Sep 5); and 7954689 Canada inc. (for a 50,000 watts English-language news information, public affairs AM).
As already noted There were no radio postings from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom posted its August radio update in which it noted the ending of two satellite commercial services and awarded one local FM commercial licence amongst other actions (See RNW Sep 7)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued penalties of USD 14,000 to a Louisiana AM for public file offences and operating at night on daytime licence (See RNW Sep 8) and also proposed a USD 12,000 penalty on a Florida Low-Power FM which not only used an uncertified transmitter and interfered with air control traffic but also refused to turn it off when first asked by agents (See RNW Sep 7).
Licensing decisions included rejection of a petition to reconsider the assignment of the licence of CBS Radio's KFWB-AM to a divestiture trust (See RNW Sep 9) and two decisions relating to NCE (non-commercial educational) FMs.
*Denial of petition to reconsider the grant of a permit to construct a new non-commercial FM station at Lancaster, New York, to Holy Family Communications, Inc. Holy Family was tentatively selected in preference to an application from the Mary V. Harris Foundation for a new NCE FM at Williamsville, New York.
Harris filed a petition to deny as a result of which two points granted to Holy Family on the basis of diversity of ownership were deducted but this still left Holy Family with three points to Harris's two.
Additional objections from Harris were rejected and it petitioned for reconsideration on the basis that Holy Family should be deemed unqualified because it was not yet incorporated at the time of application; that it should have been preferred because the Harris proposal to provide a first or second NCE service to 9.46% of the population within the proposed service area came close to the ten percent minimum needed for a fair distribution preference; and that HFC did not qualify for points as an established local entity because no business was conducted at HFC's claimed local headquarters which was also the residence of two of its principals.
The FCC commented that Harris was not showing material error or action in the original decision or raising additional facts on the other matters and dismissed the business address argument. The original decision was upheld and the petition denied.
*Denial of petition from the Board of Regents of New Mexico Highlands University to reverse decision to grant a permit for a new FM station at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, to Cultural Energy.
CE's application was mutually exclusive with the University's application for a station at Espanola, New Mexico, and had been tentatively selected on the principle of "fair distribution of service."
Both applicants had claimed fair distribution preferences but the Board's claim was, because it had not considered outstanding authorizations for other NCE stations, found to be defective as its service would not provided a first service at all. Accordingly its application was eliminated.
CE had raised concerns on this basis about the University's application and the University claimed that its application would have been selected but for this objection which it considered an "abusive and disqualifying filing."
The FCC found that no case had been made that abuse by CE or prejudice on its part had affected the decision and rejected other arguments by the university. It upheld the original award and dismissed the petition.
The FCC has also proposed the deletion of twenty vacant allotments in various communities in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.
All the allotments concerned have been offered in two or more FM auctions and were considered unsold in FM Auction 91 as no bids were entered for any of them.
They are in Cove and Saust, Arkansas; Alamo, Georgia; Clayton, Louisiana; Grayville, Illinois; Harrison, Michigan; Alton, Missouri; Ennis, Montana; Buffalo, Erick, Haworth, Leedey, Reydon, Taloga, Thomas, and Wright City in Oklahoma; Weinert, Texas; and Boscobel, Owen, and Tigerton in Wisconsin.
A public notice listing them asks for comment on the proposal.
Previous Licence News:
2011-09-10: The winners of this year's New Artist 2 Radio (NA2R) music competition run by Australia's commercial radio industry have been announced by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The pop award goes to Sydney based artist/songwriter Danielle Blakey and the rock winner was Gold Coast band Nine Sons of Dan, which was formed in 2008.
They were chosen from eight finalists (See RNW Aug 22) and will both perform at the NA2R showcase event to be held on the Gold Coast on October 14 in front of key music and program directors with one of the winners being invited to perform at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards on October 15.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-09-10: The rise in the price of copper and other metals including lead on world markets has led to increasing thefts including an incident in Kansas in which two radio stations were taken off the air because of a theft from a radio tower near Weir.
In the UK the spate of thefts produced a headline from the Daily Telegraph of "Copper thefts leave police struggling to prove their mettle" with a report that referred particularly to thefts from railways and roofs but also off funeral plaques and door knockers: In the US the Joplin Globe reports that a man suspected of the theft is in jail and likely to face felony theft and felony property damage charges after copper wiring though to be from the tower in his vehicle.
He had been arrested after being held at gunpoint by a homeowner north of Columbus who had reported a possible theft in progress at his house. The stations involved were the Pittsburgh State University's public radio station KRPS-FM and American Media Investments country-format KKOW-FM.
Joplin Globe report:
UK Daily Telegraph report:
2011-09-10: Cumulus Media Inc. and Citadel Broadcasting Corporation have announced an extension of the deadline for holders of Citadel common stock or warrants to purchase Citadel common stock to decide the mix of stock and cash they wish to take when Cumulus takes over Citadel.
The deadline has been moved from Sep 9 to Sep 15 and now coincide with the date for the special meeting of Citadel's stockholders to approve the takeover (or merger as the two term it).
2011-09-09: Australian metropolitan advertising revenues which in July fell by 1.65% compared to a year earlier were down by 0.22% to a total of AUD 59.02 million (USD 61.11 million) in August according to figures released by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.
The 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue figures, sourced by Deloitte show growth in Adelaide - up 2.33% to AUD 5.62 million (USD 5.82 million) - and Melbourne - up 3.71% to AUD 18.40 million (USD 19.05 million).
This was counterbalanced by falls of 3.58% in Brisbane to AUD9.35 million (USD 9.68 million); of 3.65% in Perth to AUD 7.60 million (USD 7.87 million) and 1.52% in Sydney to AUD 18.03 million (USD 18.95 million).
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner commented of the results, "The market appears to be reflecting the economic uncertainty being felt at the moment in many sectors, a fall in retail sector spend and a general overall softer advertising market."
Previous Australian Radio Revenues (July):
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-09-09: Inner City Broadcasting's Chapter 11 bankruptcy now seems to be progressing with the company finally accepting the filing from Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies, Fortress Credit LLP and Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund LLP.
The case is to be heard in New York by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman and court filings on Thursday show details of the amounts owed to the 30 largest unsecured creditors, who stand to get all that is owed to them under the proposed pre-packaged bankruptcy deal (See RNW Aug 23) and who have been putting pressure on the company.
Amongst the largest claims are USD 791,571 listed as owed to the Skadden Arps law firm; USD 466,972 owed to Guardian Insurance; and USD 416,667 owed in a disputed claim to "Air American Radio" - taken to be Air America, the now defunct progressive talk syndicator.
Others down as owed more than USD 100,000 are Premiere Networks (USD 213,750) and Eastman Radio (USD 189,000) and listed as owed more than USD 20,000 are Sound Exchange (USD 70,640); Arbitron (USD 69,612); BMI (USD 37,509) and ASCAP (USD 24,086) with others owed less than USD 10,000.
Previous Inner City:
2011-09-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied a petition from Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc. challenging its approval of the transfer of the licence of KFWB-AM, Los Angeles, to the KFWB License Trust.
What is now CBS- then part of Viacom whose radio operations were under its Infinity Broadcasting subsidiary - - was required to divest itself of a station in 2002 when Viacom agreed the purchase of KCAL-TV, which would have taken it above the FCC market cap of two TV stations and six radio stations.
In May 2002 Viacom was allowed to go ahead with the purchase of KCAL and granted a six-month waiver to come into compliance with the radio-TV cross-ownership rules in Los Angeles.
In November that year Infinity filed to divest the station into a trust but last year CBS Radio, the successor to Infinity, amended the Divestiture Application and submitted revised trust agreements in line with divestiture trusts agreed by the FCC in cases involving Citadel and Clear Channel. The changes included prohibiting the Trust from changing the format of KFWB and the amended Divestiture Application was granted on the day it was filed.
Mr Wilson, whose owner Saul Levine has challenged other moves by large owners in the Los Angeles market and who has spoken against CBS being allowed to keep KFWB for years in a divestiture trust, challenged the granting of the application arguing that the prohibition of a format change meant that CBS had a "cognizable interest in KFWB" and that the licensee - in this case the trust- had to remain ultimate control over the programming.
The FCC disagreed and noted that in the context of divestiture trusts it has accepted other identical trusts and the trust agreements are designed to "require trustees to maintain the status quo and preserve the assets being placed into trust pending their sale to another party."
Other trust requirements on the business organization of the station and disposal of assets it said were in line with this same intent and accordingly it denied the Mt Wilson petition and re-affirmed the decision to put KFWB into the trust.
2011-09-08: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that subject to the divestment of three stations in two markets, already planned by Cumulus, it will not block Cumulus's acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation.
To go are two stations in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and one in Flint, Michigan: Cumulus was already planning the divestment and has put the two Harrisburg stations into a trust to satisfy Federal Communications Commission (FCC) market ownership caps.
The DOJ in a news release noted that its Antitrust Division had filed both a civil antitrust lawsuit in United States District Court in Washington, D.C ., to block the proposed acquisition and also a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the lawsuit and the department's competitive concerns.
According to the DOJ filings Cumulus's acquisition of Citadel as originally proposed would have eliminated the competition in these markets, increasing prices and reducing levels of service in the sale of radio advertising time. In each case the divestments will mean that Cumulus's share in advertising revenues in each market will fall below 40%.
Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, added of the proposed conditions, "The divestitures required by the consent decree will enable radio advertisers to continue to receive the benefits of competition in Harrisburg and Flint."
The deal still needs approval of the FCC - is expected soon; the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Citadel shareholders.
2011-09-08: Yet another US radio station is to be flipped from music to sports this time Entercom's Boston WMKK-FM (Mike FM) which on Monday will start to simulcast the signal of the company's sports-talk WEEI-AM.
The move had been rumoured - and previously denied- for some time and was formally confirmed this morning on the "Dennis and Callahan Show," with WEEI VP of programming Jason Wolfe commenting, "This is an extremely exciting day for our brand, our clients, and most importantly our listeners. It has always been our goal to deliver the most compelling and entertaining brand of sports talk to Boston, and I'm thrilled that we can now present that brand in crystal clear FM. 20 years ago, WEEI was a single radio station. Today, WEEI broadcasts across the largest regional radio network in New England, with the most complete line-up of content in sports radio today. Plus Red Sox radio on FM! Boston sports fans will love listening to Red Sox play-by-play in crystal clear FM as they drive toward another playoff run."
The move is being made in what the Boston Herald terms "a desperate bid to break its[WEEI's] fall from the graces of Hub sports fans after getting battered in the ratings war with [CBS Radio's] rival upstart "98.5 The Sports Hub."
The Sports hub had already been responsible for kicking a music station of FM: CBS launched it (bringing back the call signs WBZ-FM - which had been used by Westinghouse but after spells airing classical music then rock on the 106.7 frequency was sold to Greater Media as its first Boston station and re-launched as "Magic") in August 2009 as part of a shuffle that saw Hot AC WBMX-FM (Mix 98.5) moved to the 104.1 frequency and active rock WBCN-FM from 104.1 to an HD channel on 98.5. The station is now ahead of WEEI-AM in the ratings and the latest figures show it beating WEEI in the most desired male demographics - the 18- to 34; 18- to 49; and 25- to 54.
In the spring ratings The Sports Hub had an 8.8 share and was first in the men 25-54 demographic and WEEI with a 5.1 share tied for sixth although it moved up to fourth with 5.6 when the figures were amended to include the Boston share from its Providence-based WEEI-FM.
WKKM aired a jockless diet of rock and pop and the Herald says that in December Wolfe shot down speculation that Entercom was moving WEEI programming over to the lucrative 93.7 FM, which it termed "a low-cost money-minter."
The paper notes that Entercom had already made significant changes to WEEI including dropping midday co-host Dale Arnold and paired up-and-comer Michael Holley with 'EEI power-hitter Glenn Ordway on "The Big Show", the station's once dominant afternoon drive program: it had also started to count in its figures listeners to WEEI-FM (103.7) in Providence which led former station personality Pete Sheppard, dumped in January last year as a result of what the company termed "challenging economic times", to comment that it didn't include the figures when calculating ratings bonuses.
In keeping with the practice of US radio companies showing how much they really care for listeners, neither station when we checked was noting the forthcoming expansion and death respectively on its website.
RNW comment: Two interesting points arise from the move of sports from AM to FM, one the issue of the future of AM as a medium. The other is one of paying for content since presumably sports as much as music gets a promotional bonus from broadcasts about activities. Will the same companies whinging about the idea of music royalties - because they got away with it (almost uniquely) in the US for so long - take the same attitude to paying teams?
Boston Herald report (before morning showannouncement):
2011-09-08: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has welcomed comments made by Democrat Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps calling for a discussion about incorporating FM receivers into mobile devices.
Copps made his remarks at a webinar and workshop on the proposed extension of outage reporting and on network reliability and continuity that he said "couldn't be a more timely workshop, coming on the heels of the events of the past couple of weeks that reminded us, very pointedly, about the importance of reliable communications during times of crisis: an East Coast earthquake, hurricanes, tropical storms and, this week-end, the tenth anniversary of the tragedy of September 11."
Copps added that "the experiences of the past few weeks demonstrate very clearly that many citizens encountered serious communications problems" and then went on to say "we share a duty to think creatively about how we can arm consumers with additional ways to communicate during disasters."
He then went on to bring up the topic of radio, commenting, "While it may be somewhat beyond the scope of today's meeting, I'd raise just one example. I think the time is here for a thorough, calm and reasoned discussion about FM chips in handsets. We all acknowledge the need for redundancy in communications--especially emergency communications--and last week, during the earthquake, a lot of folks were only able to get information through radio."
Amongst the questions he suggested should be considered were "What are the pros and cons of an FM chip? To what extent have other countries had experience with this?" and he went on to add, "There will be a lot of questions to answer, but with the stakes so high, we should be open to discussing any and all reasonable ideas."
Responding to the comments, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith issued the following statement in which he said, "NAB welcomes Commissioner Copps's timely call for a discussion on the merits of radio-enabled smartphones. With the 9/11 anniversary looming, it's notable that broadcasting remains the unchallenged leader in delivering emergency information to the masses faster and more reliably than any other communications platform."
"While cellphone signals jammed and power was down during Hurricane Irene and the recent East Coast earthquake," he added "it was the robust 'one-to-many' transmission architecture of local broadcasting that kept listeners and viewers in touch and informed."
"Radio chips in cellphones," commented Smith "require no additional spectrum and could be activated immediately in many devices. From a public safety perspective alone, it's time to give citizens access to lifeline information provided by America's hometown radio stations."
RNW comment: Recalling NAB attempts- misbegotten in our view - to make FM chips mandatory in mobile devices, we find ourselves wondering whether this idea will surface again. In our view it should be left buried as compulsion in such marketplace issues is in our view unwise. At the same time we understand that the low take-up of radio-enabled phones is in part due to the US system under which phones may be exclusive to a network provider, a system that is not in effect in most of the rest of the world where phones can usually be used with any network when "unlocked." This allows the telecommunications companies to offer at a lower price phones that tie the customer to their network but does not prohibit people choosing which phone they want to use and as they may switch in future many people go for unlocked phones or ones not offered by their network.
Technologically this relies on a swappable SIM-card that can be moved from one phone to another, a system much to be preferred from a long-term consumer point of view to one that builds the relevant facilities into the phone itself.
Forcing telecommunications companies to open their networks to all suitable equipment - as is already the case with landline equipment - would in our view be the appropriate market and consumer-friendly approach to adopt thus retaining market principles and giving customers more choice which in our view would be likely to increase the take-up of radio-enabled devices, particularly if the radio industry has the sense to promote them and point to their value whenever there are emergencies.
2011-09-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 14,000 penalty to Crocodile Broadcasting Corp., Inc., licensee of KGLA-AM, Gretna, Louisiana, for operating at night outside its licensed hours and failure to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
The agency had already issued a NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for this amount after finding following an inspection that the station, which was only authorized to operate until 20:30 local, had been operating at reduced power throughout the night for several years. The public file produced to agents by the general manager was missing a copy of the current station authorization, the most recent license application, and the eight most recent quarterly issues/programs lists.
Crocodile responded by requesting a reduction based on the fact that it had mistakenly thought that it was allowed to operate at night; a history of compliance; limited resources to devote to public file maintenance"; "programming responsive to community needs and interests during the two years prior to the NAL"; and remedial actions taken to remedy the public file deficiencies following the inspection.
The FCC dismissed all the arguments commenting of the prior record that it "may take into account the duration of a violation in considering whether a licensee has a history of overall compliance" and that in this case the station had admitted to night-time operation for several years. It confirmed the full penalty.
2011-09-07: Chicago radio is to see the return of another radio veteran according to Robert Feder: He reports in Timeout Chicago that Robert Murphy who in July was given a two-week run on Merlin Media's then WKQX-FM, the former Q101.1, before it clipped to news as WWWN-FM (FM News 101.1- See RNW Jul 19) has now been hired by Hubbard Broadcasting as morning host at its adult hits WILV-FM (Rewind 103).
Feder comments that Murphy had been amongst Chicago's highest-paid radio personalities and was amongst those who put Q101 on the map as an adult-contemporary powerhouse.
WILV's program director Barry James told Feder, "Greg (Hubbard senior vice president of programming Greg Solk) and I are thrilled with the success of Rewind 100.3 but are always challenging ourselves to find compelling ways to take it to the next level for the listeners. Murphy's personality and style are a perfect complement to a station designed to let the listener 'feel good' - and there's never been a more important time to offer them this sort of escape."
Feder also notes that Hubbard operates Hot AC WTMX-FM and concerns that any growth Murphy brings to Rewind won't come at the expense of its sister stations morning team of Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart.
In the latest Arbitron ratings Rewind tied for 20th place in mornings with a 2.0% share but amongst women 25-54 doubled the share to 4.0% to take seventh rank.
Feder goes on to report Murphy's comments n his comeback saying amongst other things that he always considered a return to Chicago and had received informal advances from several stations but "nothing ever seemed like the right fit until this offer."
Timeout Chicago - Feder report:
2011-09-07: A Florida Low Power FM station, whose signal was found to be interfering with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Jacksonville Center Air Traffic Control frequency 133.75 MHz, has been issued with a USD 12,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Power Ministries' WRLE-LP, Dunnellon, was told on June 11last year that its signal was creating a safety hazard by FCC agents who had traced the interference but the only person on duty refused to turn off the transmitter unless the station engineer was present but after this was done some half-hour later the interference ended.
The FCC agents noted that the station was using a transmitter that had not been certified by the agency and the licensee admitted in response to a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) that it had used the non-certified transmitter from March 19, 2010 until the inspection. It had subsequently installed FCC certified equipment, which went into full operation on July 19 last year.
The FCC in increasing the proposed penalty from a base level of USD 5,000 to USD 12,000 commented that the violation was "particularly serious because the interference to FAA operations posed a hazard to the safety of life and property" and added, " The violation was further exacerbated because Power - through the conduct of the representative available at the Station at the time the agents arrived, and later by its owner - deliberately disregarded the FCC agents' request that it immediately turn off the Station's transmitter."
2011-09-07: UK media regulator Ofcom in its August radio update notes the ending of two commercial services - the satellite services of Voice Radio UK Ltd's Voice of T Radio and Amar Radio Ltd's Indian Subcontinent entertainment service Amar Radio; re-awarded one local FM licence to the current holder; re-advertised one local commercial licence; and invited two licensees to re-apply under its fast track procedure.
Re-awarded for seven years under its fast track procedure that applies when only the incumbent responds to a pre-advertisement, was the licence for Jersey currently held by Channel Radio Ltd.
In the case of the licence for Ceredigion currently held by Radio Ceredigion Ltd, Ofcom notes that it was to be pre-advertised this month but the incumbent said it was not prepared to commit itself to the station's existing format. Accordingly the licence is to be re-advertised on October 4 this year.
In the case of the Alton and Haslemere and Londonderry licences, currently held by Delta Radio (Kestrel FM) and Northern Media Group (Q102.9) only the incumbents responded to a pre-advertisement. Ofcom is therefore now to invite them both to re-apply under its fast-track procedure.
Three stations were allowed to make format changes. They are:
*West Berkshire Radio Limited's Newbury Sound which wants to change its character of service from that of a "a family focused, intensively local, broad music and information station for adults aged 25 - 54 years, in Newbury, Hungerford, Thatcham and surrounding villages" to "a locally oriented, broad music and information station" for the same area.
It is also to be allowed to change locally-made requirements from at least ten hours per weekday and four hours during weekend daytime with local news at least hourly peak times to reduce the weekday requirement to seven hours.
*Andover Sound Limited's Andover Sound which is to be allowed to co-locate with Newbury Sound in either Andover or Newbury (a co-location in Andover was agreed in March 2007) and to programme share.
*More FM Ltd's Total Star - Somerset (Bridgwater and West Somerset) which is to be allowed to produce locally-made programming within the Bristol area as well as the Bridgwater and West Somerset one as at present and share programming with the Bristol licence
A number of digital changes were allowed including the removal of Traffic Radio from 33 multiplexes in England plus the:
*Addition of NME Radio to the Reading and Basingstoke multiplex.
*Replacement of Jazz FM with classic rock and speech Real Radio XS on the London 1, West Midlands and North West multiplexes.
*Replacement of Smooth Radio with Real Radio XS on the Central Scotland multiplex.
*Replacement of Rock Radio with Smooth Radio on the Edinburgh multiplex.
*Replacement of Jazz FM with Smooth Radio on the Glasgow multiplex.
On the community radio front no licences were issued during the period; one licence was surrendered - that of Wayland Community Radio's Wayland Radio; and four were extended for five years - those of Diverse FM, Luton; HFM Radio Limited's Harborough FM; Market Harborough; Nusound Radio Limited's Nusound Radio 92fm, Forest Gate, London; and East Lancashire Community Action Project Ltd (ELCAP)'s Pendle Community Radio, Nelson, Lancashire.
Changes in key commitments, which require Ofcom approval, by two community stations were also noted. The stations were Salisbury Plain Army Radio Limited's Garrison FM 106.8, and Aldershot Army Radio Limited's Garrison Radio 102.5
Garrison FM 106.8, whose service is currently listed as to "typically be live, and produced locally, for at least 5 hours per day" is to reduce this to at least four hours per weekday; conditions relating to allocation of 40 places a year for media training are to replaced with "The service will encourage members of the target audience to participate in radio training and work experience programmes and will endeavour to meet these demands within its resources"; a condition relating to the composition of the Board removed, and a fourth commitment regarding accountability also amended.
Garrison Radio 102.5 is to make a similar change in reducing live hours and regarding to training and accountability with the condition relating to the board of management also to be removed.
2011-09-07: Eastlan Ratings says that what it terms "dramatic growth" means its revenues this year will be more than 22% ahead of its previous best year, allowing it to make a number of new appointments that its President and CEO Mike Gould says will allow it to "further enhance the level of service we can provide to our customers."
The appointments include the promotion of David Hasting , Director of Client Services-West, to the newly-created one of Director of Operations, responsible for the training and satisfaction of all Eastlan customers.
His former position is being filled by new hire Dennis Soapes, who has some 35 years of experience in local radio syndication and advertising including spells with Broadcast Electronics, Jones Radio Networks and Timeless Cool.
Another radio veteran, Donna Halverson, is to join Eastlan as Director of Client Services-South. She has more than 40 years in local and network radio under her belt including time in affiliate sales with ABC Radio Networks and Citadel Media Networks.
Gould added of the appointment, "The big winners today are those broadcasters who've chosen to trust Eastlan as their ratings vendor. These moves will allow us to continue to provide them the excellent service they deserve while ensuring the rapid acceptance curve of Eastlan Ratings continues. As if this weren't enough, our new private equity partnership means we are fortunate to now have a good deal of dry powder on hand to strategically accelerate growth of our company."
Amongst gains Eastlan announced in April last year the addition of six more markets - Casper, Wyoming; , Elko, Nevada; Fairbanks, Alaska; Klamath Falls, Oregon; Owensboro, Kentucky; and St. Cloud. Minnesota. In August it announced that Federated Media was to use its services in three Indiana markets - Fort Wayne, South Bend and Elkhart- and in January this year it announced that it was to provide ratings for Dix Communications in the Gainesville/Ocala market in Florida.
Big brother Arbitron meanwhile has released its August Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings (covering July 21-August 17) including those for Merlin Media's new stations in New York and Chicago: They show significant audience losses compared to predecessor Emmis stations.
WEMP-FM in New York, which launched on Aug 12, had a 1.1% share for those 6 plus compared to a 2.6 share in June for rock WRXP and in Chicago WWWN-FM, which launched on July 29, had an 0.5 share for the same demographic compared to alternative rock WKQX-FM's 1.9 share in June.
2011-09-06: The Birmingham Business Journal reports that Cox Media Group, which last week flipped its New Country WNCB-FM (The Buck) in Birmingham, Alabama to become sports The Zone on the 97.3 frequency, has confirmed that it made an offer to Citadel WJOX-FM host Paul Finebaum to move to the same 1400-1800 time slot on the new station if he can either get a release from Citadel or a court rules that his current contract is invalid.
Finebaum is involved in a lawsuit over the contract, alleging that Citadel breached it and has underpaid him (See RNW Aug 26) and the Journal says that court filings in this case included an email from Citadel attorney James "Jay" Mitchell to a law firm representing Finebaum that said, "Citadel is unwilling to entertain any offers from Cox or anyone else to buy out Mr. Finebaum's contract. As you know, Mr. Finebaum is under contract with Citadel through January 2013."
David DuBose, vice president and marketing manager for Cox in Birmingham, who had initially declined comment on an offer, told The Journal, "It's been some weeks back now. Cox certainly is interested in Mr. Finebaum, but it is all contingent on his release from his existing contract or from a court order that his contract is no longer valid."
He declined to give any financial details.
2011-09-06: Steve Cochran is to start his new show for Salem's WIND-AM in Chicago on October 3 according to Robert Feder in Timeout, Chicago.
Salem last month announced that it had hired Cochrane who is to hose the 1700-1900 slot on the station (See RNW Aug 11) and the host was quoted by Feder in response to suggestions that he might move to the right - he replaces the syndicated Michael Savage Show - as saying, "My intention is to do what I do - which is to play it down the middle and point out what dumbasses are on both sides. I intend to live where I've always lived. I'm really looking forward to telling people the truth."
Timeout Chicago -Feder report.
2011-09-05: More US music stations including two from CBS Radio - WKRK-FM in Cleveland, which on Labor Day moved from alternative rock to 92.3 The Fan, and WYSP-FM, Philadelphia, which made the flip from Classic Rock to simulcast the company's sports WIP-AM on Friday - have been flipped from music to sports formats in the run up to and on Labor Day.
The WYSP flip drew Howard Stern back from satellite radio to FM for a farewell interview conducted by Spike Eskin, son of WYSP and WIP host Howard Eskin, whose afternoon show was the last on WYSP before it played "Fade To Black" by Metallica and after a few seconds of silence went to WIP output of Eagles pre- and post-game and fill-in highlights. Spike Eskin is amongst those out of a job because of the flip and his father, after a career of more than 25 years with WIP, retired on Friday although he says he is to remain working as a sideline reporter for Eagles games and possible host some shows.
WYSP has posted on its site the Stern interview in which the host credits the station for launching his national career - it was the first to simulcast Stern in syndication in 1986.
"Philadelphia was so good to me. I love WYSP. It's very strange to hear WYSP isn't going to be there anymore because, you know, I had dreams of being on the radio since I was 5 years old," said Stern, continuing, "But then, when I went to college and I dreamt of being on the radio there were certain radio stations that were legendary like WBCN in Boston, which is no longer music this was like my dream. If I could one day work at WYSP it would be-nirvana. I mean, I couldn't even imagine when I was starting in radio "
He then sounded a note of warning that more stations may flip, commenting, "I really love the medium and all this change is really-I'm nostalgic about a station like WYSP. It's hard for me to imagine that it's not going to be there. But, you know, I guess it just points out that people are getting their music from other places now."
In Cleveland, the Plain Dealer, comments that the debut of the Fan is likely to put the city's sports-talk station WKNR-AM, formerly on its own with the format, under pressure although Craig Karmazin, the founder and CEO of Good Karma Broadcasting, which owns the station, says the new station "is certainly not anything I'm worried about Never underestimate the passion of the Cleveland sports fans [This city] "could support four, five or even six stations in the right conditions."
Also making a flip in the past week have been Cox’s new country format WNCB-FM (The Buck) in Birmingham, Alabama – now The Zone on the 97.3 frequency and Cumulus Media’s WTCY-FM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, formerly R’n’B The Touch on 95.3 FM.
It made the switch on Aug 31 to an ESPN Radio format – a simulcast of Cumulus’s WHGB-AM (1400 AM) whose frequency had carried The Touch until its flip to sports in August 2008, and its website currently carries a "Thank You" to its former audience for “YOUR FRIENDSHIP, LOYAL LISTENERSHIP AND SUPPORT OVER THE YEARS. (Its capitals).”
The message continues, “IT HAS BEEN OUR PLEASURE TO SERVE YOU AND THE HARRISBURG COMMUNITY SINCE 1993, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY AND LACK OF SPONSOR AND ADVERTISER SUPPORT MEANS THE TOUCH HAS TO SAY GOODBYE AND IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS.”
As well as syndicated shows the flip also meant the end for the four-hour Sunday Morning local show “Gospel Cavalcade Live”
The loss of The Touch will affect information to the Black community in Harrisburg as will the death of WTMP-AM , Tampa Bay, Florida, whose 57 years of serving as the voice of Tampa's black community. Its previous owners Tama Broadcasting filed for bankruptcy and had to sell its Tampa Bay WTMP-AM and FM and seven other stations to pay off outstanding debts.
A receiver was appointed in 2008 and the station is now being programmed by the Davidson Media Group whose 32 stations in 12 markets are largely Hispanic centred.
Davidson is paying the receiver, who hopes a successful operation will raise the value of the station and allow it to be sold to help pay off a USD 20 million loan owed by to Tama by the Fortress Investment Group, to run the station. It flipped it to Spanish Tropical format "La Bahia" (The Bay) at 18:00 on Friday.
Update note: The station's website had a plain"under construction" message in the morning Sep 7 but by the evening (GMT) was a Bahia site under construction.
Cleveland Plain Dealer on WKRK flip:
WYSP website (currently carries audio of Stern interview):
2011-09-05: While US stations are flipping to sports from music, Montreal is to lose its only French-language sports radio station tomorrow when Cogeco Diffusion flips CKAC-AM to traffic and weather following a CAD 1.5 million (USD 1.51 million) a deal reached with the Quebec Transport Department in May to create two radio stations devoted to giving Montrealers non-stop traffic information, one in French and another in English.
Some of the sports programming that currently airs on CKAC - including the broadcast of Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact games - will be moved to sister station French language talk format CHMP-FM (98.5 FM) with the sports mainly to be aired in the evenings and most of the daytime output remaining unchanged.
The flip will take place at 04:30 local and has aroused opposition from competitors including Bell Media, Astral Media Radio and Tietolman-Tétrault Media: It is to be considered at public hearings to be held by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on October 17.
Cogeco Diffusion Executive vice-president Richard Lachance told the Montreal Gazette that they made the change because they felt it was important to launch the new stations as soon as possible and added, "The opposition of our competitors to the project took us by surprise because none of them had shown any interest in the 690 and 940 frequencies after Corus closed Info 690 and 940 News in January 2010."
He continued, "It's not with a happy heart that we change the vocation of CKAC. At the same time, we think we've made the best decision given the circumstances because Montrealers desperately need continual up-to-date information on traffic and roadwork. So it was urgent that Radio Circulation get on air by early September."
Cogeco has withdrawn an application for a licence for a frequency to operate the French-language stations but is still applying for the 940 AM frequency for the English-language one.
Montreal Gazette Report:
2011-09-04: Last week saw the US unusually quiet as regards radio-related announcements and there were none from the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found out in an audit of six regional stations that three of them had not met meet the minimum service standard for local news cover. In one case it accepted an enforceable undertaking to ensure future compliance and in the other cases the stations have put forward various measures and will be monitored. (See RNW Sep 2).
The ACMA also ruled that two community radio stations had breached licence conditions.
In New South Wales, Shoalhaven Community Radio Inc's Nowra station 2UUU was found to have breached conditions relating to the influence of sponsors in regard to the announcement of items from the entertainment guide; to provide regular on-air information about Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice and how audiences may obtain them (now addressed by the regular airing of a recorded announcement); and by not providing a copy of the Code to the complainant - the station commented that the complainant, who had been dismissed by the station was already well aware of his rights in this area as he had previously supplied each and every member of the management committee with a copy of the code although in future it said it will now send a copy to any complainants. Complaints on a further 11 matters were rejected and the ACMA is to take no further action for now.
In Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology's 6NR, Perth, was found to have breached regulations related to the broadcast of advertisements and exceeding the five minutes per hour allowed for sponsorship announcements.
The station had been found to have breached these conditions in a 2008 investigation and the ACMA had at that time accepted measures thee station said it would implement to ensure compliance including the broadcast of only standard 30 to 60 second sponsorship spots; the ending of pre-recorded weekly or monthly "chats" with sponsors; the ending of five to ten second announcements and live reading of sponsorship announcements and ensuring the checking of each sponsorship announcement by at least two of three nominated people before it was put to air to ensure adequate timing and tagging of all sponsorship announcements.
A subsequent 2009 investigation found the licensee was compliant.
In this case the licensee said that on the basis of its improved compliance it had after two years decided to re-introduce live sponsorship reads of sponsorship announcements if 30 to 60 seconds with provisions as to checking and a limit of 4minutes 30 seconds per hour. It accepted that the station sponsor tag had not been applied to three "live to air" sponsorship announcements and a subsequent investigation found that the script was approved but later changed at the sponsor's request but the change had not gone back to the station manager for approval.
The station said it has now reverted to a policy of no live reads for a six month period after which the policy of live reads might be revisited in consultation with the ACMA and formally reprimanded two members of staff. It will also pre-record a tag to be aired in relation to prizes, acknowledging the donor as a station sponsor and will make all presenters aware that they cannot embellish or be seen to embellish the credentials of commercial entities.
The ACMA found that mentions made in a number of cases - including interviews - did constitute advertisements under its regulations but that it did not exceed the five-minutes per hour limit on sponsorship announcements.
The ACMA says it will now liaise with the station regarding measures to be implements to assure compliance including the ending of live reads for two years with any re-introduction to require consultation with the ACMA; ensuring that presenters and guests are aware of the rules concerning advertising and sponsorship; pre-recording a tag to be aired acknowledging prize providers for quizzes aired by the station; and provision of updated lists of any not for profit or community groups that are station sponsors to all presenters.
Canada was rather busier - and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also found a number of stations not to have met regulatory requirements and following changes to its compliance policy issued mandatory orders requiring the licensees to comply with various licence conditions (See RNW Sep 1).
The CRTC also renewed a number of other licences including administrative renewals running from Sep 1 to the end of March next year.
RNW note: Interruptions mean we are working through this list. We will update this part of the report later.
There were no radio postings from the UK but in Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now signed a contract for a new community FM in Limerick (See RNW Sep 1) and also launched a public consultation regarding the commercial promotion of food and drink to children in broadcasts (See RNW Aug 31).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had a quiet week as regards non-routine radio matters although one pirate operator found to his likely cost that interfering with the a Police Department's frequency is definitely not welcomed.
Estevan J. Gutierrez of Las Vegas, New Mexico, has been issued with a USD 25,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture - a significant increase on base penalties - after complaints of interference to the LVPD's main dispatch channel. The interference was said to have included obscenities and threats against police officers and their families and the voice was identified by a police sergeant as that of Gutierrez.
The signal was traced to a duplex in which Gutierrez was seen to with a handheld radio that was subsequently found to be tuned to the police frequency.
The FCC noted that the base penalties were of USD 10,000 for operation without a licence and USD 7,000 for interference but in this case added an extra USD 8,000 to take the total to USD 25,000 because "the unlicensed operation included wilful and malicious interference to the LVPD's operations [and] included threats against the officers and their families, and required the LVPD to operate on a backup channel."
In radio licensing decisions the FCC has granted a request from The Cromwell Group, Inc. of Illinois to waive its rules and allow the company to move translator station W263AQ, licensed to Mattoon, from there to Effingham so that it can serve as a fill-in translator for WCRA-AM, Effingham.
The proposal does not meet FCC minor change requirements and Cromwell argues that a waiver to allow the fill in service would be in the public interest as it would allow the service to commence in a "reasonable time," will "avoid unnecessary and onerous translator move expenses," and will "preserve Commission staff resources that would otherwise be required to process several interim step applications" under current processing standards.
The FCC noted that the Cromwell Group did not have a history of filing serial minor modifications and is not trying to relocate the Effingham via such HOPS"; that the proposed site and the licensed facility are mutually exclusive; that it did not bring up concerns raised by the Commission recently regarding LPFM; and that the translator would be rebroadcasting an AM service - a practice allowed under deregulation introduced in 2009. It granted the application.
In Oregon, the agency denied a petition filed for Oregon State University requesting reconsideration of the agency's dismissal of an application for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM station in Brookings, Oregon.
The application was in the same group as application from IHR Educational Broadcasting for a new NCE FM station in Fort Dick, California, and the latter was tentatively selected on a points basis.
Oregon filed a petition to deny IHR's application but that was denied and the FCC has now ruled that the petition to reconsider raised no new facts or changed circumstances. Accordingly the latest petition has been denied.
Previous Licence News:
2011-09-04: According to the UK Sunday Mirror (which has a better headline - "Slash and Vern" - in print than online) BBC 1 Radio 1 is likely to axe a number of its veteran Djs in a shake-out under the station's deputy controller Ben Cooper, who has been acting controller since Andy Parfitt stepped down at the end of July (See RNW Jul 21).
Cooper implemented a major revamp of the station in September 2009 that included moving Fearne Cotton to weekday mornings, Greg James to lunchtimes and Dev to early breakfast; as well as introducing a new specialist line-up. He also revamped the line-up of the stations digital sister station 1Xtra in January this year.
The paper notes comments that the station is not pulling in enough of a younger demographic and quotes an unnamed BBC source as saying, "A few of the DJs have grown up at Radio 1 and in some cases have settled down and have families. But that means they're not as in tune with the younger generation as they used to be."
Amongst those it forecasts as being at risk are Vernon Kay, who hosts a Saturday morning show and has stood in for weekday breakfast host Chris Moyles on a number of occasions; Edith Bowman, currently co-hosting the weekend breakfast show to which she was moved from weekday afternoons in 2009; Sara Cox, a former breakfast host for the station who now hosts a Sunday morning show as well as standing in for others; and Trevor Nelson, who as well as his shows on Radio1 and 1Xtra also hosts a Wednesday evening show on BBC Radio 2.
UK Sunday Mirror report:
2011-09-03: Cumulus Media Inc. and Citadel Broadcasting Corporation have set next Friday (Sep 9) as the date for holders of Citadel securities to decide the split they want between shares and cash under the takeover of the company by Cumulus.
On offer to the stockholders are a combination of cash and stock - USD 37 in cash or 8.525 shares of Cumulus Class A common stock for each Citadel share or warrant to purchase Citadel stock.
2011-09-02: Attorneys for Birmingham, Alabama, sports-talk host Paul Finebaum have filed a motion to move his lawsuit against Citadel Broadcasting back into Jefferson County Circuit Court following failure to reach agreement with the company according to the Birmingham Business Journal.
Finebaum's case was originally filed in the Jefferson Court but transferred to the Alabama Northern District Court after Citadel argued on the basis of a "complete diversity of citizenship between the Plaintiff and Defendant and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of USD 75,000, exclusive of interest and costs." (See RNW Aug 26)
The Business Journal says Finebaum's case would be get more favourable treatment in the Jefferson Court and his attorneys have argued that the federal court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit, in which the host is claiming that Citadel breached its contract with him - he alleges that this prohibited it entering into a federal bankruptcy reorganization without his approval and also that it coerced him into signing an amendment to the contract that favoured the company - and underpaid him. They also say the amount involved does not exceed USD 75,000.
The Journal says that filings by the host include an affidavit in which the host denies that allegations he was overpaid by Citadel, which broadcasts the popular Paul Finebaum Radio Network: The company has said that an accounting error led to it overpaying the host between 2007 and 2010 although the amount involved has been redacted from documents released by the court.
Details of the negotiations also remain unclear.
Birmingham Business Journal report:
2011-09-02: The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA), which carried out an audit of six regional commercial radio stations in March last year as part of an investigation into regional commercial radio's compliance with local news and information obligations, has found that half of them did not meet the minimum service standard for local news.
All the stations concerned were audited because of "trigger events" - such as a change of ownership affecting their licences: Obligations to conduct such audits were introduced following the removal of cross-media ownership restrictions in 2007.
The three stations that failed to meet the requirements were 5RM, Riverland, South Australia; 3GG ,Warragul, Victoria; and 4HI, Emerald, Queensland: The other three stations audited - 2CSF, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales; 6RED, Karratha, Western Australia; and 7XXX, Hobart, Tasmania - met all the minimum service standard.
In the case of 5RM the agency has accepted an enforceable undertaking to fix a systemic breach of the local news requirements involving staff training programs and compliance monitoring processes, as well as providing reports to the ACMA.
The licensee, Fairfax Media-owned 5AU Broadcasters Pty Ltd. did not dispute the findings that its news bulletins did not meet requirements for a daily minimum of 12.5 minutes - they ran from eight minutes 52 seconds to 12 minutes 18 seconds, including repeated material - and in additions 14 of the 20 bulletins audited appeared to consist wholly of material previously broadcast with four bulletins repeated three times and one twice. Other requirements relating to minimum standards for local weather; local community service announcements; and emergency warnings standards; were met.
3GG, owned by Resonate Broadcasting Pty Ltd., and 4HI have reached agreement with the agency on measures they are to take to prevent recurrence including enhanced procedures, staff training and reporting to the ACMA.
3GG had been found to have broadcast six bulletins that appeared to be wholly repeated material and had said this occurred because of an error on the part of the outsourced news provider responsible for compiling the bulletins and a miscommunication regarding repetition. In addition the broadcaster failed to meet the required 12.5 minutes a day on two days. Resonate says it has taken up the matter with its news provider to ensure future compliance; updated its audio logging so it can identify non-compliance and required its program manager to review bulletins on a daily basis.
4HI, owned by Radio 4HI Pty Ltd., had said that during the week chosen for the audit the station has been affected by a number of "extraordinary" factors out of its control: It had provided audio of only 16 bulletins, explaining that the bulletins were transferred to an automation computer ready for replay but that on the week in question there were a large number of technical issues with the computer system and the station was "in the middle of a series of very serious natural disasters."
"Given the violent weather and constant telecommunications and internet outages being experienced at the time," it said it was possible that some files were transmitted from Noosa to Emerald "but lost in Cyberspace."
In this case the audit found daily bulletin durations had been between six minutes and two seconds and twelve minutes 13 seconds on four days but 13 minutes on the Monday of the week monitored. In addition five bulletins were broadcast that papered to be entirely of repeated material regarding which the licensee said it suspected some bulletins could have been lost in transfer and the announcer then made an instant decision to substitute previously aired bulletins.
The licensee had has taken measures to make sure staff are aware of the mandatory requirements for news; to ensure four bulletins are aired each broadcast day; and following the transfer of local news to Emerald at a time when a competent person is still on duty to ensure that the news files are listened to and any problems referred to production so that the files can be retransferred.
ACMA summary report (7-page 158kb Word document- site also has links to details of each audit):
2011-09-01: Although it has renewed their licences on a short-term basis, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued mandatory orders regarding compliance with regulations on a number of stations. The change to a system of issuing mandatory orders follows a revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations set out in May this year.
The station singled out most was Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CFUN-FM, Chilliwack, whose licence also covers transmitters CFUN-FM-1, Abbotsford, and CFUN-FM-2, Vancouver (They were formerly CKCL-FM, CKCL-FM-1 and CKCL-FM-2).
CFUN in 2007 had its licence renewed for four years only due to its lack of locally relevant programming for the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley areas which it is licensed to serve. At that time, the Commission also re-imposed requirements relating to local programming for the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley areas so as to ensure that the station did not broadcast exclusive Vancouver content.
This time the renewal was only for a year, requests to change some of the clauses relating to local programming were denied, and mandatory orders were issued requiring the station to:
*comply at all times within the term of the licence granted in its decision with the condition of licence requiring it to broadcast at least once every half hour a station identification which includes specific reference to the frequency and location of the Chilliwack transmitter.
*comply at all times within the term of the licence granted in its decision with the condition of licence requiring it to refrain from identifying CFUN-FM and its transmitters on a basis that includes exclusive reference to Vancouver
*comply at all times within the term of the licence granted in its decision with the condition of licence requiring it to include in the programming broadcast on CFUN-FM and its transmitters on a regular basis each day coverage of local news, sports and events of direct and particular relevance to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack.
*comply at all times within the term of the licence granted in its decision with the condition of licence requiring it to include in each traffic report and each weather report broadcast on CFUN-FM and its transmitters a specific reference to the areas CFUN-FM is licensed to serve, including Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley
The other licenses where mandatory orders were issued were the following:
*La Radio communautaire du comté's French-language community radio station CKMN-FM, Rimouski and Mont-Joli, whose licence was renewed for four years from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2015. It appeared to be in non-compliance regarding annual returns for the 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2009-2010 broadcast years and was issued with a mandatory order requiring it to comply at all times with regulations related to the filing of annual returns.
*1158556 Ontario Ltd.'s English-language Christian music commercial specialty station CHIM-FM Timmins, and its transmitters CHIM-FM-1, North Bay;CHIM-FM-2; Iroquois Falls;, CHIM-FM-3, Kirkland Lake; CHIM-FM-4, New Liskeard;CHIM-FM-5, Red Deer; CHIM-FM-6, Sault Ste. Marie;, CHIM-FM-7, Elliot Lake; CHIM-FM-8, Chapleau; CHIM-FM-9, Wawa; and CHIM-FM-10. It also got a four year renewal from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012 with mandatory orders in this case relating to the filing of annual returns and complying with regulations relating to the contributions to Canadian content development initiatives
2011-09-01: Despite extra security, protesters have disrupted the live broadcast by BBC Radio 3 of tonight's performance at the BBC Proms by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO): After earlier singing by protesters the Orchestra was about to perform Bruch's Violin Concerto when demonstrators shouted as its Music Director for Life Zubin Mehta stood and other audience members booed.
The station said it has to interrupt the broadcast twice - the first time around 19:45 and the second an hour later because of "sustained audience disturbance " and in a Twitter message added, "We're sorry that the concert was taken off air following hall disturbance. Glad both pieces were heard by the audience in the RAH. (Royal Albert Hall)"
A statement on the Radio 3 website says, "We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air" and adds "We will broadcast part of the concert on 7 September at 2.30pm."
The statement is followed by an exchange - from before the concert - concerning the IPO's appearance with the first saying that it has "has a deep involvement with the Israeli state - not least its self-proclaimed 'partnership' with the Israeli Defence Forces" and quotes another letter from Professor Emeritus (LSE) Jonathan Rosenhead as quoted by the Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and saying, "For years now the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been promoting 'Brand Israel', a deliberate PR campaign to divert people's gaze from what they are doing to Palestinians. The idea is to craft a new image by focusing on Israel's cultural and scientific achievements. This Prom concert by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra is part of the Brand Israel campaign."
The letter does not call for cancellation of the concert but does ask Proms Director and BBC Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright whether reference will be made to the controversy.
It is followed by a response by Jonathan Hoffman, economist and Honorary Co-Vice Chair, Zionist Federation in which he welcomes the visit and whose comments include defence of the orchestra as " an orchestra open to all who live in Israel - Jews, Arabs, Christians and all others" and adds "Israel is a democracy under fire - again, the only democracy in the Middle East [RNW comment: Follow the link at the end. Before reading this we were amongst those opposed to the call for a boycott and we remain opposed but Hoffman - presumably without intending to - rather sustains the points being made about the use of the IPO in a deliberate PR Campaign].
Before the concert the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in a message on its site had called for a boycott of the concert and urged its cancellation, saying the Orchestra showed "complicity in whitewashing Israel's persistent violations of international law and human rights".
The broadcast began at 19:30 and was scheduled to run to 20:15 (Webern: Passacaglia, Op. 1 & Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor) with a break then for "Twenty Minutes" and resume at 20:35 for the second half (with pieces by Albeniz and Rimsky-Korsakov): After an interruption when protesters sang loudly to the tune of Ode to Joy as the orchestra played Passacaglia, Op. 1 by Anton Webern, it was again interrupted after the interval by demonstrators who brought out Palestinian flags. They were ejected but police made no arrests and although the live broadcast was terminated the performance continued (The broadcast next Tuesday will be of the concert without the protests and the site is currently not offering a listen-again version).
The BBC online report on the incident notes previous disruptions of classical music performances by anti-Israel protesters including a 2008 concert by the Jerusalem String Quartet at Edinburgh's Queen's Hall.
BBC News report:
BBC Radio 3 - statement re interruptions and letters/comments postings:
2011-09-01: Emmis has completed the transfer of three of its stations - WKQX-FM (101.1 MHz, Chicago, IL), WLUP-FM (97.9 MHz, Chicago, IL) and WRXP-FM (101.9 MHz, New York, NY) to Merlin Media LLC - to Merlin Media and of a controlling interest in Merlin Media to Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR and Randy Michaels [Merlin Chairman and CEO] but the sale hasn't taken it out of financial thickets despite getting around USD 120 million in cash for the deal.
It retains USD 28.7 million of preferred equity in Merlin and 20.6% of Merlin's common stock and has used the net cash proceeds to repay approximately 38% of the company's term loans under its senior credit facility but has now received a de-listing warning from the NASDAQ stock market.
The warning came because its shares as of Wednesday had closed below the minimum USD 1 per share requirement of the market (They closed at USD 0.66 today and have ranged between USD 0.61 and USD 0.96 since they last closed above USD 1 on Jul 29).
Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said of the deal and the warning, "While it is difficult to part with these stations, we are pleased to remain involved as an investor in Merlin Media. The proceeds of the sale allow us to significantly de-lever the company and evaluate a variety of exciting opportunities for the next era of growth at Emmis The notice from NASDAQ was not a surprise, but the timing is ironic coming the very day before we closed the Merlin transaction and repaid approximately USD 120 million of our debt."
Smulyan added, "We are optimistic that the performance of our businesses and our continued efforts to rationalize our balance sheet will enable us to achieve compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Rule before February 27, 2012 (The date by which its stock has to have closed at a minimum of USD 1 or more for ten consecutive days, to regain compliance).
Emmis says it intends to actively evaluate and monitor the bid price for its Class A Common Stock between now and February 27, 2012, and consider implementation of various options available if the stock does not trade at a level that is likely to regain compliance.
2011-09-01: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has signed a ten year contract for a new community station for the areas of the areas of Boher, Pallas Grean and Cappamore in Limerick.
Boherroe Broadcasting Company Limited's East Limerick Community Radio will go on air on September 19 with a seven-day programme schedule to incorporate a mixture of special interest speech, current affairs, music, religious and sports programming.
Speaking at the contract signing, BAI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe congratulated the new station and added, "Community Radio can contribute to the building of a strong sense of community in a locality and we wish the station every success in the years ahead".
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem.
Regarding external links, we give links where we can but an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA).
Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
Back to top :
- August 2011 - - October 2011 -
Radionewsweb.com, 38 Creswick Road, Acton, London W3 9HF, UK: