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The Tickle File
short takes on daily media news

From Last Weeks ftm Tickle File

Bad news getting you down? There’s lots of music on the air
mood enhancing?

“Paris will always be Paris,” headlined French radio business news portal La Lettre Pro de la Radio (April 27). That sums up the latest Greater Paris (IDF) Mediamétrie radio audience estimates. Results for Greater Paris are never quite like the whole of France.

RTL still leads, up slightly year on year to 13.3% market share. Other national channels offering lots of news or a news-talk mix, mostly, had a bad day similar to the national audience estimates released a week earlier. Public channel France Inter, still number 2, dropped to 11.4% from 12.0%. After suffering a huge drop in the national rating, Europe 1 moved up to 3rd place, 7.8% from 7.5%. (See Greater Paris IDF radio market share trend chart here) (See France national radio share trend chart here)

RMC took a real drubbing, dropping to 4th with 6.4% down from 8.1% one year on. All-news France Info held 6th place, 4.4% market share down from 4.9%. Also lower was FIP (France Inter Paris), 2.0% market share from 2.6%.

Similar to the national survey results, national music channels were mostly up. NRJ kept 5th place while dropping slightly to 4.9% market share. Skyrock was up a bit to 3.8% market share. After that, Nostalgie was up to 3.3% from 2.3% year on year. Fun Radio had the biggest gain and best showing ever in Greater Paris, 3.2% market share from 1.8%. Both Radio Classique and public channel France Musique were up significantly.

Local Paris stations were mostly unchanged, except for Radio Latina and Tropiques FM, both noticably lower.

Controversy seeks the greater platform… like Spotify
no business like show business

Controversy keeps show business personalities in the headlines. It is, actually, part of the business. Being sued by a reviled politician can be a gift to any comedian.

After German comedian Jan Böhmermann delivered that little verse aimed at Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a satirical TV show a month ago it seemed he’d committed a Jeremy Clarkson style career-ender. The Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded prosecution under the arcane but still on the books Lèse-majesté law protecting foreign heads of state from insults. Being between a (legal) rock and a (political) hard place, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called Herr Böhmermann’s contribution to the small screen “deliberately offensive”, allowed the prosecution to go forward. Public TV network ZDF then suspended Herr Böhmermann’s appearances on the late night show until mid-May.

Herr Böhmermann and musician Olli Schulz have for the last three years presented a weekly radio show produced for RadioEins of regional public broadcaster RBB. The show - Sanft & Sorgfältig - has also been available of several other regional public radio channels as well as by podcast. This week they announced - on Facebook, of course - the show will be moving to Spotify, the popular online streaming service. Terms have not been disclosed.

Lèse-majesté laws mostly disappeared with absolute monarchies. Germany’s version has been on the books since the 1870’s and politicians are scrambling to make it go away. Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Spain have legal provisions to penalize insults to heads of state. Of course, Turkey has theirs and President Erdogan has over 1,800 cases currently pending against various citizens, reports Reuters (April 26).

Switzerland also has it’s version, which Turkish authorities recently attempted to invoke. A large photographic mural installed near the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva (UNOG) depicts a Kurdish teenager killed in the 2013 Taksin Square protests captioned “The police killed me on the orders of the Turkish prime minister”. Swiss authorities refused to bite.

“Switzerland has adopted the principle of freedom of expression, also for artists,” explained Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jean-Marc Crevoisier, quoted by Tribune de Genève (April 26).

Media assets shuffled among friends and bankers
miners, literally and figuratively

The comings and goings of Russian media owners is a source of endless fascination to Russian media watchers. While television, newspaper and online media proprietors have mostly consolidated within well-known government-friendly groups, national radio channels are traded in a blink. It is, of course, Russia and mysteries abound.

Music producer Vladimir Kiselev, apparently, has acquired a majority stake (78%) in Russian Media Group (RMG), buying out shareholder IFD Kapital, reported rbc.ru (April 26). Financing was provided by the very large VTB Bank, RUB 3 billion, roughly €40 million, through a stock guarantee. The remaining 22% stake in RMG is held by founder and former CEO Sergey Kozhevnikov who said he would be interested in entertaining offers. RMG owns Russkoye Radio, Maximum Radio, Hit FM, DFM and Radio Monte Carlo. (See more about media in Russia here)

Last year RMG shareholders agreed to a merger with Russian State concert promoter Gosconcert. Mr. Kiselev was a RMG executive at the time and had earlier proposed the transaction to Russian Federation Vladimir Putin as a means of promoting “patriotic music.” Several Russian music scene luminaries objected to the plan, reported Billboard (August 10, 2015), and, sometime there after, Mr. Kiselev, considered a FOP (friend of Putin) from the St. Petersburg days, left RMG.

Adding to the confusion, the company owned by Mr. Kiselev receiving the loan, Business Garant, lists Yuri Kostin as president. Not me, said Gazprom Media radio executive Yuri Kostin. “I work only for Gazprom Media,” he said to rbc.ru. “There are a lot of Kostins, which is good.” Indeed, VTB Bank’s chief executive is Andrey Kostin.

Another Russian radio transaction could be coming, reported radioportal.ru (April 26). Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) is, apparently, interested in acquiring a majority stake in European Media Group, owner of Europa Plus, Radio 7, Radio Retro and others, currently owned by Siberian Business Union (SBU).

Previous weeks complete Tickle File


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week of May 2, 2016


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new ftm Knowledge

Media in the Middle East and North Africa – new

The striking contrasts in the MENA region’s media are the hopes for new media, fears for traditional publishing and broadcasting amidst conflict and insecurity. This ftm Knowledge file notes the accomplishments and the reversals. 90 pages PDF includes Resources (April 2016)

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Media Measurement - Changing Times

The times are changing and so is media measurement. Everybody wants more, faster and better. As online and mobile metrics grow measurement of all other media must adapt. 101 pages PDF (March 2016)

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Streaming Everything

Great streams of media are flooding digital devices, faster and faster with each new G. Streaming audio and video are either the surfboard riding the digital wave or just another tech Titanic. As investors pile in the cash broadcasters experience another panic attack. This story's just beginning. 49 pages PDF (January 2016)

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Media in Poland

Poland is the largest media market of the newest EU Member States and the changes have often been surprising, sometimes radical and never ending. Publishers, broadcasters and new media are plentiful, talented and under constant stress not only from competitors. 122 pages PDF, includes updated Resources (January 2016)

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Friday April 29, 2016
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