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  1. #1541
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    Reporte Indigo is on the warpath again today with another story on the IFT's second-wave migration mistake and some of the reasons why. If you've been reading me, you might not be surprised at the answer.

    According to the article, experts point to the looming uncertainty over the impending expiration of President Gabriel Contreras's term, which has prompted the IFT to race the clock to get things done. It also appears Contreras, with his lack of political experience, is highly likely to be nominated to another term by the Senate. Remember that the antitrust regulator Cofece has its presidency end at the same time — but that agency had its head renominated to another term in April.

    Jenaro Villamil was interviewed for this article and pointed out another issue: that new players of size simply do not exist; new players are either small or covering for bigger groups, as was the case with Tecnoradio.
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  2. #1542
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    Tower collapses are rare. But they do sometimes happen. And bad weather claimed a tower this month in Hermosillo, Sonora.

    The SPR TV tower on Cerro de la Cementera (XHOPHA RF 27) fell on August 9, damaging the transmitter building. The SPR has sent engineers to review the situation and get the station back on air, but operations have been suspended due to the severity of the damage.

    No people were hurt in the tower collapse. Three other telecommunications towers at the site also fell.

    Here is a Meganoticias report on the collapse.

    And here's a still photo from that report showing the extent of the damage:

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  3. #1543
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    Editorial: Mexico Needs Cluster Limits

    If there's one thing Mexican broadcasting has never had, it's a sense of media ownership limits. This is, after all, the country of Televisa.

    But the same can be said in radio, where all over the country broadcasters enjoy regional monopolies or near-monopolies on their listeners. Even Mexico City is so thoroughly dominated by one group that more than half of all radio listening in one of the world's largest cities goes to one company - Grupo Radio Centro.

    Here are examples of some of Mexico's outsized and dominating clusters:

    Mexico City - Grupo Radio Centro has 57.2 percent of Mexico City's radio audience share as of March 2017.

    Monterrey - Multimedios rocks its home city, with a string of AMs but also no less than seven FM stations.

    Ciudad Mante, Tamps. - Organización Radiofónica Tamaulipeca owns all six commercial radio stations in this city. The only option listeners in Mante have for other radio is the state network. In Ciudad Victoria, they are also dominant.

    Tepic - Radiorama Nayarit operates six stations here.

    La Paz, Baja California Sur - The poorly defined, not-very-web savvy Promomedios California is the dominant radio force in La Paz. Not counting the one new IFT-4 entrant, it owns all the stations in this state capital but the state network, a university on AM and Radio Fórmula. It also has a near chokehold on the rest of the state's commercial radio listening, with only XHSJS Cabo Mil as an independent voice in the Los Cabos area.

    I could go on. But the remedy is clear. Mexico needs a law limiting the size of radio clusters.

    The US policy on this topic is eight stations maximum, no more than five on the same band. However, the reduced density of radio stations in Mexico (which never had the Docket 80-90 revolution that the US did) and the state of the AM band even after second-wave migration mean that even this level of service can be suffocating. Forcing AM station closures is a net loss. Forcing FM station sales is a net gain because most broadcasting activity and attention is on AM.

    For Mexico, I would propose instead this policy:

    No commercial party can control more than three FM stations, including AM-FM combos, in a given media market. Existing AM stations are grandfathered for ownership limit purposes in those markets that still have them in spades.

    No party can control more than half the total of stations in a market, on either band.

    Additionally, to bring social wolves in line, social stations owned by parties with an economic interest in commercial radio stations count toward these limits.

    Now, this policy would never fly. Broadcasters have too much political power, and sometimes the broadcasters also double as politicians at the state level and in both houses of Congress (and even as ambassadors!).

    But if you want to start improving Mexican radio, this is how you start — by making concentration much harder to achieve (and by triggering a round of station swaps and sales).
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  4. #1544
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymie View Post

    Mexico City - Grupo Radio Centro has 57.2 percent of Mexico City's radio audience share as of March 2017.
    I'd suggest, in parallel, looking at INRA, the ratings company.

    When I was involved with training seminars for Arbitron in Mexico City back when that ratings company measured the market, the results were far less favorable for GRC and ORF. Neither subscribed to Arbitron, but were staunch supporters of INRA.

    Back when I was doing consulting in Mexico City for Radiópolis, it was well known that the Organización Radio Centro promotion teams shadowed the INRA interviewing teams, giving prizes to people listening to one of ORC's stations.

  5. #1545
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post
    I'd suggest, in parallel, looking at INRA, the ratings company.

    When I was involved with training seminars for Arbitron in Mexico City back when that ratings company measured the market, the results were far less favorable for GRC and ORF. Neither subscribed to Arbitron, but were staunch supporters of INRA.

    Back when I was doing consulting in Mexico City for Radiópolis, it was well known that the Organización Radio Centro promotion teams shadowed the INRA interviewing teams, giving prizes to people listening to one of ORC's stations.
    Oh wow. That is quite the historical nugget there. Nielsen Ibope might do ratings measurement but only in the larger markets.

    I suspect something like PPM would turn the national radio market on its head, but be a headache to roll out.
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  6. #1546
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    Mexico City is getting its first ever community radio station.

    The station would be known as Violeta Radio and operated by Alianza por el Derecho Humano de las Mujeres a Comunicar, A.C. (Alliance for the Human Right of Women to Communicate). The concessionaire is composed of several organizations: Salud Integral para la Mujer (SIPAM, "Total Women's Health"), Mujeres en Frecuencia, Comunicación e Información de la Mujer (CIMAC), and the UNAM Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Sciences and Humanities (CEIICH).

    There will also be a new community station at Tacámbaro, Michoacán, operated by Xanarapani Tacámbaro. They seem to have operated a pirate in the past on 90.7 MHz. They could move to the Article 90 reserved band, though.

    Also from the IFT, Gala TV is coming to Durango and Los Mochis on Canal 5 subs.

    Additionally, one of the larger community radio station associations in Mexico announced that they are supporting an applicant seeking to bring the first community station to Colima. That press release also says another of their members, Guna Caa Yuni Xhiña, A.C., will be getting a concession next month for a station to be built at Juchitán de Zaragoza, in the Istmo region of Oaxaca.
    Este programa es público, ajeno a cualquier partido político. Queda prohibido el uso para fines distintos a los establecidos en el programa.

    Read the Mexico Beat | Download Mexican FM Station Coordinates v2 | View my HD Radio in Mexico map

  7. #1547
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    In "headlines I missed"...

    The identity of one of the last remaining "masked" bidders in IFT-6 has been revealed.

    Tele Saltillo, S.A. de C.V. is Grupo Zócalo, expanding its broadcast reach (radio/TV) to pretty much all of Coahuila bar the Comarca Lagunera at this point.

    You may recall owner José David Juaristi Santos won the only Coahuila FM station in the IFT-4 radio auction, 90.5 at Cuatro Ciénegas (which will be a Monclova rimshot). Much like in IFT-4, Zócalo unmasked itself.

    The last corporate bidder whose identity is unknown is Radio-Televisión de Nayarit, which won both stations in that state. All other winners are companies whose principals are known, or they are individuals.

    A meeting note also revealed the identity of one of the eight aspirants who was not let into the bidding process: Media TV, S.A. de C.V., believed to be the sister company to Media FM, whose parent of course owns cable stations in Michoacán.

    Meanwhile, most of the attention has been going again to the IFT's presidency problem. This excellent column from Irene Levy explains some of the quirks surrounding the IFT's structure. Here are some important notes:

    -IFT commissioners have a nine-year term. However, because of staggering, some terms have been short in this first part of the institution's life.
    -Should there not be a new president named, the post passes to the longest-serving (or oldest, if there are two people with the same seniority) commissioner. This is Adriana Labardini. Her term expires in February 2018, however. An interim period could provoke unrest within the rank and file of the agency.
    -New commissioners are proposed by the president (after meeting requirements) and confirmed by the Senate. The presidency is delegated exclusively by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

    Half of Aleida Calleja's column for La Silla Rota was also devoted to the topic this week.
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    TV Azteca's local-national project a+ has expanded now to 51 transmitters, accounting for about half of the Azteca 7 network. (The most recent authorization primarily filled coverage gaps in Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas.) But one place it hasn't gone yet was the city of Puebla, which has been missing from every authorization so far (even as Tehuacán was in the most recent list).

    This might be the reason why. For 20 years, AS Media (owned by and named for Raimundo Alonso Sendino) has been one of TV Azteca's few local partners, producing local newscasts for air there (as well as in Tabasco and Oaxaca, according to its own site). Even as other partnerships have ended, AS held on.

    But they're out now. According to a now-unemployed former anchor, the decision was a mutual breakup. After two months of negotiations, TV Azteca decided to take the reins itself, leaving Azteca Noreste (Publimax) as the last of the partners in place.

    Some of the anchors, reporters and other journalists will be hired for the new Azteca Puebla operation, while AS Media will retain the others. Azteca will also move to new studios, as AS Media owns the existing site. (They also own the transmission facility, which may explain why XHVC-FM is also on the tower, though AS does not own XHVC.)

    Hechos AM Puebla is being fronted by new anchors, who worked at Azteca Puebla under AS and have been hired for the new operation.

    I suspect the decision, besides being related to the end of a 10-year contract, will allow for Azteca to launch a+ in Puebla, which might not have been truly feasible with AS Media in the way.
    Este programa es público, ajeno a cualquier partido político. Queda prohibido el uso para fines distintos a los establecidos en el programa.

    Read the Mexico Beat | Download Mexican FM Station Coordinates v2 | View my HD Radio in Mexico map

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    Another legal battle has thrown Grupo Radio Centro's TV plans into doubt. Again.

    In two tweets (summarized here), Javier Tejado Dondé (who broke the Tecnoradio story wide open months ago) and a report in Reforma stated that a judge had frozen $32 million of Grupo Radio Centro's accounts that the company owes to José Gutiérrez Vivó. (This never ends, does it?)

    Available information says that the 31st Civil Judge of Mexico City ordered the payment of 32 million dollars (the original award of $21.5 million plus interest) to Gutiérrez Vivó, who still has to pay the 770 million pesos (around $43 million) that is owed to GRC.
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    One station expected to come to air by now excited attention from experts when it was announced.

    But XHPBUG-FM 89.7 San Andrés Cohamiata (Mexquitic Municipality), Jalisco, planned to be a local Wixárika station under the auspices of the Universidad de Guadalajara, has fallen significantly behind.

    Unfortunately, the primary reason is not a good one, as this NTR report from late May explains the reason why. The assassination of one of the indigenous community's leaders, Miguel Vázquez Torres, along with his brother Agustín, put a damper on two related efforts from the U de G: a virtual school facility and the radio station.

    In the piece, it was stated that the former was almost certain to happen, but the station was at more risk. At the time, the university's rector, Itzcóatl Tonatiuh Bravo Padilla, hoped for a reestablishment of the link between university and community. It was also stated that technical studies were still ongoing for the radio station.
    Este programa es público, ajeno a cualquier partido político. Queda prohibido el uso para fines distintos a los establecidos en el programa.

    Read the Mexico Beat | Download Mexican FM Station Coordinates v2 | View my HD Radio in Mexico map

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