Madison IMCsta turned pro blogger Kristian Knutsen has written a three–part series on Clear Channel stations in Madison and Milwaukee selling the naming rights to their newsrooms.
Kristian queried Clear Channel corporate about the deals and whether they’re part of any national trend: he got a response from someone at Brainerd Communications, a PR firm which specializes in corporate crisis management. “[C]orporate offices are not commenting. These were local decisions made by local stations.” Kristian thus surmises “the company does not disapprove of this new business direction, and considers newsroom sponsorships to be appropriate.” Continue reading “Clear Channel Tacitly Approves Newsroom Name Sales”
Rayon Payne aka N$X sends word that he’s landed a deal with Orlando TV station WRDQ to produce a weekend “reality show like no other in existence, transforming a nightclub into a mini-television set.” A further teaser is available at 95Live.net. This is part of Payne’s ambitious plans to not only resurrect the 95Live sensation, but blow it up in ’06 to include “international promotion, a fashion line, merchandising, etc.” The first 95Live TV show airs on New Year’s Day.
The Hallmark Channel will screen the United Church of Christ-sponsored documentary LPFM: The People’s Choice on Sunday, January 8. This will be a re-run of the documentary’s extended version, which first aired on a smattering of NBC affiliates late last year. Continue reading “Radio-Related Video of Note”
Good news in New Orleans: after apparently having to make an emergency move earlier this month, Tulane University’s student radio station went back on the air last weekend from makeshift space. WTUL is live during the day and automated at night.
In Brattleboro, Vermont, the community group holding a construction permit for an LPFM station on 107.7 MHz has announced its intent to begin broadcasting next spring. Vermont Earth Works just kicked off a fundraising drive to raise more than $10,000 for Brattleboro Community Radio (BCR)’s basic station infrastructure needs. Continue reading “WTUL Returns; Brattleboro Community Radio Plans Launch”
More than 100 enforcement actions have been logged through early December, besting the previous record (2003) by a fair margin. It’s important to recognize that these are just numbers, though: FCC contact with most stations generates at least two data points in the Database (a visit followed by a warning letter). Thus, when broken down by actual stations busted, the number drops to far below 100. Continue reading “FCC in 2005: Busiest Enforcement on Record”
There’s been buzz about two Clear Channel radio stations in Wisconsin that have sold off the naming rights to their newsrooms. WISN in Milwaukee christened the “PyraMax Bank News Center” last year; come January, anchors at Madison’s WIBA will report from the “Amcore Bank News Center.” WISN and WIBA constitute Clear Channel’s primary news presence in both markets and both stations carry conservative-talk formats.
The deals have been portrayed as a kind of throwback to the “Camel News Caravan” days. Sort of quaint, even. Any working/teaching journalist who believes this should hang it up and bundle themselves into a rocking chair to reminisce on the golden years. The menace of such sponsorship is the perception it stands to engender about who bankrolls your news. Not to mention that it’s tacky as f*ck. Wasn’t appropriate then, still not now. Continue reading “Newsroom Naming Rights: A National Trend?”
It was an unhappy Thanksgiving for Panagiotis Frangiskakis. He runs a used car business in Lake Worth, on land that used to belong to a cab company, which included a small tower. Frangiskakis rented out office and tower space to people who ran two Haitian FM pirate stations from the premises.
Investigations into those stations began in February. In June, the stations were raided and Frangiskakis was charged with unlawful transmission – a state felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Note Frangiskakis did not actually broadcast himself: he was just the landlord. The authorities never figured out who actually ran the stations. Continue reading “First Florida Conviction Railroads Used Car Salesman”
The languishing state of digital audio broadcasting in the United States following its introduction more than two years ago has spurred the nation’s largest broadcast conglomerates to form an “HD Digital Radio Alliance” to facilitate the bona-fide rollout of digital service. Key to this campaign is the coming of what the Alliance calls “HD2 multicast sidechannels.”
The ability to broadcast multiple program streams on a single radio channel is relatively new to the U.S. digital radio environment. As initially developed over the last 15 years (!) the dominant U.S. digital radio protocol, now known as “HD Radio,” did not accommodate a multicasting feature: National Public Radio spearheaded its creation less than three years ago. Continue reading “Digital Radio Add-On Now Its "Killer App"”
After an FCC visit to Radio Algiers last month, community radio activists working on the reconstruction of New Orleans brainstormed the notion of utilizing the facilities of WTUL, the student-run station of Tulane University. WTUL had plans to return to the air in January.
This blog says University officials decided to demolish the building housing the station and The Hullabaloo, Tulane’s student weekly, on Tuesday. Station and paper staffers were given a weekend’s notice to move everything. Since then, no word.
As for microbroadcast activity: there have been no reports since mid-November, and the Radio Algiers stream link has gone bad.
Yesterday activists with Greenpeace launched a banner-deploying blimp at the international headquarters of Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, California. Supplementing this action was a microradio station broadcasting on 91.3 FM, which told nearby listeners to “contact HP CEO Mark Hurd” about the company’s use of toxic chemicals in its products, when safer alternative raw materials abound. It’s nice to see the onsite action-based broadcast model is alive and well.
The anonymous operator behind WSQT drops another audio gem about a suspicious fire at its transmit-site. I believe this DC-Indymedia feature here speaks of the same event. Perhaps WSQT was collateral damage, but “Mr. Squatman” already believes he is a target of special interest by the powers that be. This partially explains the hardcore buildout of the station. It’s heartening to know this is all going down in “the heart of occupied Washington,” as Squatman puts it.