Radio and Miscellany

An excellent site for instructions to build a variety of things, like upside down and invisible book cases and remote control plugs is called instructables.com.  I learnt about it at a meeting on Monday – give it a look by clicking here – http://www.instructables.com/

Saw my old house yesterday and noted that the paint on the window sills was peeling off and the wood was beginning to rot.  I have up until now done all of my external paintwork, and ensured that any peeling paint is replaced early summer or October time.  I do the same in my current house, but cannot reach the soffit boards so have to get someone in to do those.

The British DX Club has just issued an excellent publication which you may like to consider buying  
A brand new 2010 / 22nd edition of BDXC’s ever popular publication “Radio Stations in the United Kingdom” will be available in early February and may now be ordered in advance. Copies will be despatched as soon as it is published.
This 72-page booklet follows the successful format of previous editions with its comprehensive frequency-by-frequency guide to domestic mediumwave and FM stations in the UK. It covers all BBC, commercial and community radio stations as well as the low power AM and FM stations operating with long-term restricted service licences.
Features include:
  • All stations listed by frequency as well as station name
  • Frequencies cross-referenced to show parallel channels
  • Transmitter sites, powers and transmitter polarisation
  • full postal addresses, web address and phone numbers
  • Comprehensive listing of long-term Low Power AM and FM stations at colleges, hospitals, schools, sports venues, prisons and army garrisons
  • Full details of the many new Community Radio stations
  • Separate section covers RTE and independent stations in Ireland
“Radio Stations in the UK” aims to be the most accurate and comprehensive guide to British domestic AM and FM radio for the DXer and UK radio enthusiast. Since the last edition there have been many changes and dozens of new stations have come on the air.

Interesting site by Colin Dale about Radio Sutch, with some interesting articles and pictures of Lord Sutch.  He also runs an internet station.  http://www.colindaleradiosutch.com/
It is bit of a drag that Big L on 1395 am has to go off air from 7pm to 10pm.  The signal around 5pm comes in well in my area of North West London but fades out and comes back in. Not the Luxembourg style fade though.  It is of course available on the internet as well.
I have just noticed that the DAB multiplexes in London have been numbered now.  No longer Drg etc.  No improvement in power yet on DRG with Chill, Virgin Classic Rock etc.  It does not look as if the London Update plan will be for all digital multiplexes?  Does anyone know any more about this.


Courtesy of Radio Today: London will be the first place in the UK to benefit from improvements to the DAB digtial radio transmission system.

Known as the London Update Plan, it will aim to accelerate digital take up by extending coverage into those areas where digital services are currently unavailable as well as increasing the strength of existing digital signals.

The area set to benefit from the initial London phase includes all locations within the M25.

The plan to improve coverage in London has been developed by Arqiva with the support of the BBC, Digital One, Global Radio, Bauer Media and Absolute Radio. The Digital Radio UK upgrade plans are running in parallel with a BBC programme of digital coverage build out which has already seen the corporation increase its number of digital transmitters.

Ford Ennals, Chief Executive, Digital Radio UK, said: “Digital radio boasts a host of benefits for listeners and it is our highest priority to ensure those benefits are universally available before digital switchover happens. The development of a plan to boost the signal in London is the beginning of a process which will see us build coverage and deliver a digital signal to everyone across the UK.”

Paul Eaton, Director of Radio, Arqiva, said: “We are working alongside the BBC and Commercial Radio to increase our network of transmitters to build out coverage in those areas of the UK where signal is currently weak or unavailable. Increasing the signal in London is the first step in this process.”

Tim Davie, Director of BBC Audio and Music, said: “The BBC built a new DAB transmitter on average every week during 2009, and has committed to building out its DAB coverage to 90 per cent of the population by 2012. We are currently finalising plans to complete the final phase of this build out programme, and we hope to complete coverage improvements in the London area by the end of 2010.”

Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive, RadioCentre, said: “Ensuring that digital coverage matches FM is essential if the radio industry is to upgrade to digital. Commercial Radio is delighted to be working alongside the BBC and Arqiva to meet the Government’s criteria for extending digital radio coverage in London, as the first step on a journey to full national build out.”


New Wave Media has joined UTV and UKRD by making their concerns about the future of DAB and the handling of the migration process public.

Managing Director Adam Findlay has slammed Ofcom’s understanding of radio and accuses them of relying too heavily on the advice of Global and Bauer, to the detriment of other players.

Adam continued to say “From the outset more than a decade ago the handling of DAB has been one of infliction against the radio industry. Radio operators were ‘incentivised’ to apply for the DAB multiplexes since the late 90’s, since which millions of pounds has had to be written off and an untold number of radio jobs lost as operators try to absorb the huge losses incurred over the past decade. It has been a disaster from the outset and operators of all sizes have been trying to recover ever since.

True, the larger radio companies were cajoled/bribed by the regulator to match the BBC expenditure by tossing millions of pounds down the DAB drain over many years. True, one understands their wish now to recoup some of that `investment’ but smaller stations throughout the UK will be put at a terrible disadvantage, particularly those in rural and island locations if those demanding a switch-off date have their way. Some could even disappear from the airwaves due to monopoly ownership of DAB transmitters resulting in uneconomic pricing or simply the lack of DAB in a given area.

Shareholders in the larger groups will come to rue the day they allowed their management to stumble blindly along the DAB path. I do however, accept that DAB does form part of the listening landscape as part of a mixed landscape which is likely to include analogue, internet and DAB. But DAB alone is not the one-stop-fix solution.”





I thought I would add a little comic touch to this post courtesy of You Tube.  We pass a road on the way back from swimming called Yeomans Acre, and it somehow reminds me of massed potatoes!



Interesting details from Media Guardian about BBC Expenses.

BBC expenses: details here

Which will be the eyecatching, or even extravagant, BBC expenses claims? Follow them here – and pitch in yourself

2.40pm update: Dominic Coles, the chief operating officer of journalism, claimed £27.20 to cover his mileage costs to watch motor racing on 21 June, giving as his reason: “British GP – Bernie et al”.
He also claimed for a £5.60 tube ride to see Hugh Robertson, the Tory MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, on 14 July.
Peter Horrocks, the director of the World Service, put in a claim for £3.00 for a “charge on cash withdrawal” on 24 May, adding as his reason “3.00 buy back guarantee”.
Richard Sambrook, the BBC‘s director of global news, filed a £16.95 claim for internet access to the BBC’s internal site on 29 June.
He also spent £10 each way on taxis when he visited the Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger on 9 July.
2pm update: To the BBC’s department of audio and music, or radio, as you might know it better.
The BBC Radio 3 controller, Roger Wright, racked up a huge number of taxi fares – more than 100 – in fact, many of them travelling between Broadcasting House and the Royal Albert Hall for the Proms.
Wright also had 18 minicab trips in the three months, including nine for more than £100 each. Away from travel, Wright also claimed £470.87 on a lunch entertaining Radio 3 talent, and £655. 20 “external hospitality” on a supper after the first night of the Proms.
The BBC Radio 4 controller, Mark Damazer, spent £290 to say thanks to the production team behind the station’s 90-part series on American history, plus another £51.98 to discuss “issues” on the Today programme.
The BBC Radio 1 controller, Andy Parfitt, claimed £273 for three successive monthly team meetings, and £509 on “internal entertainment” at the annual Sony Radio Academy Awards.
Bob Shennan, the controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, spent £284.35 on a business lunch for five people, and £193 for another business lunch for four.
1.15pm: The total claimed by the BBC’s 107 senior staff between July and September was £188,284.98, up from £174,650.42 the previous quarter.
Total spent on taxis and hospitality was down, but there was a big increase in the amount claimed for flights and a smaller increase in hotel expenditure. The BBC attributed this to the cost of flights to the annual LA screenings. The new figures also include travel to the annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, which took place at the end of August.
Overall, expenditure on taxis was £39,029.72, down from £46,110.25 the previous month.
Hospitality spending was £23,642.21, down from £30,314.87.
Flights cost a total of £70,870.96, up from £50,375, while hotel expenditure was £18,517.60, up from £16,678.34.
The average amount claimed per executive was £1,759.67, an average of £586.56 per month, according to BBC figures.
1.05pm update: Danny Cohen, BBC3 controller, claimed £1,555.10 for six night stay at Sunset Marquis hotel, Los Angeles, in May during LA Screenings, of which £173.10 was for meals. During the same trip he also claimed £7.61 for buying the New York Times for “research info on US pilots” and £4.12 for “business calls” from the hotel.
Cohen also claimed £250.83 over the three month period for “business-related calls and texts” on his personal mobile.
1pm update: Director of vision Jana Bennett’s minicab expenses have been eclipsed by the BBC’s director, future media and technology Erik Huggers.
Huggers claimed around £4,750 on cabs in the three month period, including one for £538.45 on 11 June last year, with another for £627.37 the following day. Presumably the return trip.
Elsewhere, Huggers’s list of expenses appears to include £7,514.80 for a flight between Seoul and London Heathrow.
The BBC’s chief operating officer Caroline Thomson also took a lot of minicabs – more than 90 of them, the most expensive of which was for £89.16 on 24 September last year.
BBC North director Peter Salmon, who is in charge of overseeing the BBC’s new Salford HQ, claimed £3,787.80 for a return flight to San Francisco on 5 July. Not surprisingly, his expenses also include quite a few train tickets between London and Manchester.
Salmon’s list of expenses are also show the lengths to which management are keen to explain why they incurred a particular cost. Take this £61.50 train ticket, which comes with the addendum “Meeting over ran and a later train was needed… previously purchased tickets were used by other team members.”
And this, next to five taxi fares totalling around £250: “Taxi shared with Richard Deverell and Alice Webb”. Never let it be said Salmon isn’t value for money.
Two other big flight claims from the BBC’s director of global news, Richard Sambrook, including £2,765 for a return flight from London to Beijing, and £4,990 for a trip from London to San Francisco.
The BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob‘s expenses including a dinner for 10 people totalling £317.19, and two three-figure “meetings to discuss future projects” which came to £108.75 and £147.43. Yentob’s total minicabs expenditure: £1,652.
12pm update: The total amount the BBC paid to artists, presenters, musicians and other contributors in the 12 months to 31 March 2009 was £229m – 6.56% of the £3.49bn licence fee income that year.
The BBC issued 300,000 contracts to talent during the year, but declined to provide any further breakdown of the information, either in terms of how many individuals are in each of the income bands listed below, or revealing how much an individuals earned.
This total amount is broken down as follows: Individual salaries/fees up to £50,000: £115m (3.29% of the licence fee)
£50,000 to £100,000: £44m (1.26%)
£100,000 to £150,000: £16m (0.46%)
£150,000 plus: £54m (1.55%) – this band includes the BBC’s highest paid stars, including Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton 11.30am: The BBC today published the latest details of salaries and expenses paid to its top executives, including nearly £2,500 of minicab receipts accrued by the BBC director of vision, Jana Bennett.
The corporation’s quarterly disclosure of the business-related expenses of its 107 most senior managers also includes, for the first time, gifts and hospitality enjoyed by its senior executives.
BBC director general Mark Thompson and his wife had days out at Glyndebourne, the Chelsea flower show, the Royal Box at Ascot and the women’s tennis final at Wimbledon. Thompson also went to the British Grand Prix, with his son, as a guest of Formula One.
The latest expenses relate to the three months between July and September last year. Bennett claimed for more than 50 minicab trips, including three of over £100, the highest being a claim for £156.42 on 10 September.
The statistics are both exhaustive – and exhausting – and I will be reporting further items of interest.
You can too, with the figures available in full on the BBC’s website. Please share your thoughts below.
The BBC spent a total of £229m on artists, presenters, musicians and contributors across TV and radio, or 6.5% of the licence fee.
Just over half of the total spending was on people earning £50,000 or less. But around a sixth – £54m – went to people earning more than £150,000 a year.


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