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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 23, Issue 13, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning January 19th, 2006

Radio News ®

HD Digital Radio Alliance names markets, formats
HD Digital Radio Alliance, the joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the rollout of HD digital radio, announced the initial 28 markets that will begin broadcasting HD2 multicast programming under the Alliance's format-selection program. Alliance members are readying individual HD2 channel launches in each market, and the first are expected within a few days. Through the selection process, each market is guaranteed its own mix of new programming. Collectively, some 264 entirely new HD2 channels will carry a variety of music or talk formats. Member broadcasters are responsible for programming each of their multicast channels and all HD2 formats are initially commercial-free.
| Read More... |

Hey big spender: Government ad buys
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has toted up the amount of cash dropped by the federal government on advertising, hitting a figure over 150M going back to Fall 2002. The good news is that the bulk of the spending appears to be non-controversial, unless, say, your in favor of friends letting friends drive drunk and stuff like that. The spending encompassed just about the full spectrum of media, including TV, radio, Internet and various print outlets. The biggest campaign came from the Department of the Treasury, according to an Associated Press report, which spent 30M to push on-line tax filing. On the other end of the spectrum, the radio industry is no doubt still basking in the sunshine trying to sleep off the effects of a massive, 40 dollar outlay pushing volunteerism. The spending was criticized by public tax watchdogs as wasteful and ineffective, but defended by others, noting that series like the drunk driving effort noted above and another famous one starring Smoky the Bear have been proven to do the job.

RBR observation: Revelations last year about pay-for-say and stealth news stories in the form of VNRs set off alarm bells and prompted calls to get the government off the list of advertising users. Organizations representing the creators of such campaigns, and other interested organization such as RTNDA, cautioned would-be reformers about throwing the baby out with bath-water when trying to curb abuses. When the government is spending money with a clear, non-partisan societal benefit in mind, we see no problem with using the power of persuasion offered by broadcasters.


Spitzer campaign picking up steam
Well, if not steam, the bid of New York State Attorney General for the governor's mansion is certainly picking up cash. According to the New York Daily News, the payola foe is less than a million bucks shy of 20M in the cash-on-hand department. A possible primary challenger is said to be sitting on 3.5M in leftovers from a prior run, and there are no known Repubican contenders who have as much as 2M in spendable, bendable dollars at the moment. It cost sitting Gov. George Pataki (R) about 45M to gain a third term back in 2002. The wildcard is said to be billionaire Thomas Golisano, who also ran in 2002 and spent upwards of 75M. He could easily be a force again, because he is his own donor.

Susquehanna tendering for bonds
Thought you'd heard the last of Susquehanna Media? Not yet. With a 1.2 billion bucks buyout of its radio group by Cumulus Media Partners pending, Susquehanna is working on wrapping up its business affairs by making a tender offer for its 150 million outstanding of 7 3/8% senior subordinated notes, which are due in 2013. The exact payout to bondholders is to be based on a formula using US Treasury note yields. The tender offer is scheduled to expire on St. Valentine's Day, February 14th.

BCFM/BCCA heading to Florida
The Broadcasting Cable Financial Management Association (BCFM) and its Broadcast Cable Credit (BCCA) subsidiary have set their 2006 annual conference for June 11-13 in Orlando, FL, with "Networked for Knowledge" as the theme. "The theme for this year's Conference was chosen to highlight the impact that new forms of media and content distribution are having on the broadcasting and cable industries," said association CEO Mary Collins. The co-chairs for this year's event are Ed Diechman, Senior Vice President & Controller for Media General Broadcast Group, and Sam Bush, Chief Financial Officer for Saga Communications.


Ad Business Report TM

Wal-Mart lures Julie Roehm
away from Chrysler

Julie Roehm, Chrysler Group's Director of Marketing Communications at since 2001, is leaving to join Wal-Mart. She said she will likely start at the Arkansas company 2/8. Roehm tells RBR/TVBR about the great offer she couldn't refuse: "It's all good Carl. I have had a once in a lifetime experience with the great people here at Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge and with its agencies and I think the opportunity at Wal-Mart can also be described as once in a lifetime. I feel truly blessed and really lucky. Not the edgy quote you were looking for, but straight from the heart!" She began there in 2001 as Dodge's Director of Marketing Communications and was upped to her current role in 2004. From 1995-2001, she was Ford's marketing and communications manager, overseeing the successful U.S. launch of the Ford Focus in 1999.

RBR observation: Roehm was an active proponent of radio advertising at Chrysler. We wonder whether her move to Wal-Mart, which doesn't use much radio at all, could mean more bucks for radio down the road. "Too soon to tell" was all she would say yesterday.

BBDO scores Starwood Hotels
BBDO Worldwide has been awarded a piece of business from Starwood Hotels and Resorts to develop a project for the Four Points by Sheraton brand, the agency told AdAge. Four Points has been previously handled in-house by Starwood. Starwood spends 2 million a year to advertise the budget alternative chain, according to TNS Media Intelligence, and most of the spending is concentrated on magazines and national newspapers.

M-CARE chooses
Campbell-Ewald

M-CARE, one of Michigan's leading health care plans, has announced that Campbell-Ewald has been selected as its advertising AOR. "We're looking forward to working with Campbell-Ewald to develop advertising strategies that will enhance and strengthen M-CARE's position in Southeastern Michigan," said M-CARE Director of Marketing and Strategic Services Tim George. "Campbell-Ewald's campaign for our parent organization, the University of Michigan Health System, has been very well received, and there are many benefits in having the M-CARE and UMHS accounts reside with one agency." The agency immediately begins work with strategic planning and research to create M-CARE communications launching in 2006. M-CARE's previous agency was Copper, Kalamazoo, MI.


Media Markets & Money TM
Langer reclaims Boston AM
Alex Langer is the owner, once again, of WBIX-AM in Boston, following FCC approval of his takeover from a court-appointed receiver. "I am extremely happy to reclaim ownership of WBIX," said Langer. "When I purchased the station in 1997 it was a 1,000 watt off-the-air daytime signal. Today it's a 40,000 watt signal broadcasting around the clock." The station had been in the hands of Brad Bleidt, a disgraced financial advisor who recently was convicted of defrauding investors. Langer is retaining the station's Business format. It forms a Beantown duopoly with Langer's WSRO-AM. The receiver, upon whose motion the FCC acted, was attorney David Vicinanzo of Nixon Peabody LLP.


Washington Media Business Report TM
Will SCOTUS slice up
McCain-Feingold?

There is a Supreme Court challenge afoot to the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). In Wisconsin Right to Life (WRL) v. Federal Election Commission, WRL is protesting the fact that it has to stop running issue ads that it runs all the time, during the two months leading up to an election, if the ads mention the name of a political candidate. A similar challenge to BCRA was turned down 5-4 in 2003, according to the Associated Press, but the issue about issue ads is back, and this time around, newly-installed Chief Justice John Roberts has been asking pointed questions as to the viability of the rule. WRL has argued that the ad clearly was an issue ad, since, although it mentioned both Russ Feingold (D-WI), who was up for re-election, it also mentioned Herb Kohl (D-WI), who was not. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted the eerie coincidence that once the election was over, the ad stopped running, but WRL said it was its own right to determine when to spend money on the media to push its agenda. Another justice noted that the issue has been heard before, and the arguments are basically the same now as then. Roberts, if he sides with WRL, would be echoing the vote of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. If frequent swing-voter Justice Sandra Day O'Connor exits before the next occupant of the ninth seat is confirmed by the Senate, that would potentially set up a four-four deadlock.

RBR observation: Legislating campaign financing is just about as slippery as trying to legislate indecency. In both cases Congress is playing around with freedom of speech, one of the most basic and treasured US liberties. Senators McCain and Feingold may find it tough going in that courtroom across the street from the Capitol once President Bush has a warm body in the seat soon to be vacated by O'Connor.


Ratings & Research
Mall Radio Network
releases Edison Media study of in-mall advertising

Mall Radio Network, a media and music company with a nationwide broadcast network in shopping malls reaching 44.6 million listeners per month, announced the findings of a new study conducted by Edison Media Research. The research, solicited the opinions of shoppers toward new forms of in-mall advertising and entertainment, as well as their purchasing decisions within malls. The study found: Near universal awareness among shoppers of digitally-enhanced, custom programmed music being played in the common areas of the mall, with 88 percent of those surveyed indicating that they noticed music in the mall. Ad recall was nearly 60% in some locations that participated in the research. By more than a 4-to-1 ratio, respondents said that the music made their visit to the mall more enjoyable. A majority of shoppers indicated an interest in advertising delivered via Mall Radio Network, especially sales, specials, and new products available at stores within the mall. Advertising awareness increased with the length of time spent in the mall. As consumers are increasingly overwhelmed by the barrage of media messages delivered via traditional broadcast and print media, advertisers are searching for ways to more effectively reach and influence their prospective customers. The goals of the Edison Media Research study were to determine what level of recognition, retention, and response shoppers had to targeted advertising via this new delivery channel, and to examine the impact digitally-enhanced, custom programmed music had on the shoppers' in-mall experience. The study results revealed that mall shoppers are not only aware of messages delivered through Mall Radio Network, but in fact demonstrate a high recall rate of those messages.

Where did online shoppers head for the Holidays?
Avoiding long lines and crowds at brick and mortar stores, busy shoppers surfed the 'Net for holiday gift purchases. 55.6% purchased at least one gift online this holiday season, while 14.8% opted to do more than half of their holiday shopping online, according to BIGresearch's January Executive Briefing, a recap of this month's Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey (CIA) which surveyed more than 6,500 respondents. Younger shoppers were more likely to purchase online this season. 57.9% of 18-34 year old and 58.4% of those 35-54 bought at least one gift online, compared to fewer than half (49.3%) of 55+ shoppers. Overall, shoppers made most of their purchases from Amazon (18.3% indicated so), followed by eBay (13.0%), WalMart.com (4.7%), Overstock.com (3.1%), and JCPenney.com (1.4%). Top sites varied by age, with those 18-24 shopping eBay and WalMart.com over Amazon:
| View the Chart |


RBR Stats
Radio traffic salaries increase 13.8
Releasing the first of three phases of its Annual Traffic Survey, TDGA - The Traffic Directors Guild of America noted significant gains for both Radio Traffic and Continuity personnel, and hints TV Traffic is also up but at a slightly slower pace. The numbers are included in the Associations compilations from 2,518 respondents to their study. The 19-page Radio Report was released to Members and actual participants in the Study this week, with the TDGA Television Report due for release on 2/1 and Individual State Breakout Reports set for March 1st. TDGA has undertaken a 10-State pilot program this year in cooperation with State Associations to start giving Management and staff the numbers they've long been requesting. The chart below consolidates salaries, although the actual report breaks out salaries by market sizes, job descriptions such as Business Managers, Office Managers, Traffic Department Heads, Staffers, Continuity Directors, Networks, Commercial & Public and multiple other categories.
| Read More... |


Sales
Cumulus chooses SalesImaging.com
for sales websites

Sales Imaging announced it has entered into an expanded partnership with Cumulus Media to produce dedicated sales and marketing websites and agency-quality sales literature for many of its U.S. markets. Cumulus' COO, Jon Pinch, commented, "We are excited about our expanding partnership with Sales Imaging, which provides our sales operations new and innovative platforms to interact and generate business with local, regional, and national advertisers."


Transactions
2M KHTO-FM Tri-Cities WA (Milton-Freewater OR) from Alexandra Communications Inc. (Thomas D. Hodgins, Cheryl Hodgins) to Bustos Media of Eastern Washington License LLC (Amador S. Bustos). Trade for KMMG-FM Weston OR. Bustos will also pay 900K cash and 50K non-compete. Total value is RBR estimate. Duopoly with KZTB-FM. KHTO-FM is on 97.9 mHz, and calls will migrate with Alexandra to 101.9 mHz. Likewise, KMMG-FM is on 101.9 mHz, and calls will migrate with Bustos to 97.9 mHz. 97.9 mHz facility holds CP to upgrade to Class C1 with 100 kw @ 899'. [File date 12/29/05.]

2M KMMG-FM Tri-Cities WA (Weston OR) from Bustos Media of Eastern Washington License LLC (Amador S. Bustos) to Alexandra Communications Inc. (Thomas D. Hodgins, Cheryl Hodgins). Trade for KHTO-FM Milton-Freewater OR. Bustos will also pay 900K cash and 50K non-compete. Total value is RBR estimate. KHTO-FM is on 97.9 mHz, and calls will migrate with Alexandra to 101.9 mHz. Likewise, KMMG-FM is on 101.9 mHz, and calls will migrate with Bustos to 97.9 mHz. 97.9 mHz facility holds CP to upgrade to Class C1 with 100 kw @ 899'. [File date 12/29/05.]


Stock Talk
Techs tank, take others along
Disappointing earnings results in the tech sector hurt stock prices on Wednesday. The Dow Industrials fell 41 points, or 0.4%, to 10,854.

Radio stocks held up fairly well. The Radio Index inched up 0.236, or 0.1%, to 179.630. The best performers were two companies of quite different size. Broadcast giant CBS gained 2.4% for its Class B stock and 2.1% for Class A. Meanwhile, Regent, one of the smallest public radio companies, rose 2.6%.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

39.50

+0.32

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

23.81

+0.17

Beasley

BBGI

14.01

+0.21

Interep

IREP

0.52

+0.13

CBS CI. B CBS

25.67

+0.61

Jeff-Pilot

JP

57.57

-0.17

CBS CI. A CBSa

25.62

+0.53

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.24

+0.17

Citadel CDL
12.99 +0.01

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

10.26

+0.04

Clear Channel

CCU

31.44

-0.05

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

10.28

+0.01

Cox Radio

CXR

13.92

-0.14

Regent

RGCI

4.79

+0.12

Cumulus

CMLS

13.21

-0.06

Saga Commun.

SGA

9.88

-0.05

Disney

DIS

25.20

-0.18

Salem Comm.

SALM

15.69

-0.04

Emmis

EMMS

17.55

-0.10

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

6.29

+0.09

Entercom

ETM

30.08

-0.05

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

5.45

-0.02

Entravision

EVC

7.13

+0.07

Univision

UVN

31.39

-0.06

Fisher

FSCI

42.14

+0.04

Westwood One

WON

15.88

-0.15

Gaylord

GET

41.79

-0.21

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

28.08

-0.42

Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
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a photo to radionews@rbr.com




Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
Julie Roehm exits Chrysler
Heads for Wal-Mart tells RBR about the great offer she couldn't refuse...

Ratings & Research
Where did online shoppers head
Busy shoppers surfed the 'Net for holiday gift, stats impressive...

Media, Markets & Money
Langer reclaims Boston AM
Is the owner, once again, of WBIX-AM...


Radio Media Moves

Pepple to the exit
Cox Radio says Rolf Pepple has submitted his resignation as the company's Market Manager in Louisville, effective at the end of this month. No word yet on a successor.


Stations for Sale

Houston 50 kW AM
New transmitter site
& transmitting equipment
John W. Saunders
(713) 789-4222 or e-mail
theradiobroker@aol.com

Northern NewEng
AM & FM stations. Separate
operations. Gross 450K+-.
Good upside. 850K.
salesgroup@beld.net or
lv msg @ 781-848-4201


More News Headlines

Keating hangs
out his shingle

Radio management veteran Jim Keating has launched Gulf Radio Management Services to consult broadcasters and lenders and offer an outside view on operations. "I offer an unbiased opinion," he told RBR. Keating retired from Clear Channel in December after a long career in radio, most recently as Market Manager in Ft. Myers, FL. He may be reached in Bonita Springs, FL at 239-495-5552.


TVBR - TV News

TV by Jake
is strictly VOD

Comcast announced that it had teamed up with Jake Steinfeld, of "Body by Jake" fame, to launch exercisetv. The new video offering won't be on any cable tier, but rather strictly video-on-demand. The twist is that this VOD service is funded by advertising. Subscribers to Comcast and Time Warner Cable digital cable with VOD service are now able to access more than 90 exercise programs at any time without any additional charge. Rather, there are sponsor-branded messages imbedded into the programming. New Balance is the first brand to sign a multi-million bucks deal with exercisetv, which makes it the network's exclusive athletic footwear and apparel sponsor. New Balance and Time Warner Cable are also equity partners in the venture, along with Comcast and Steinfeld. "Exercisetv represents the next generation of television networks we are developing that are created for time-shifted, on-demand viewing," said Comcast Cable President Steve Burke.


RBR Radar 2005
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Google jumps into radio
with dMarc buy
Internet giant plans to integrate dMarc's RevenueSuite inventory buying technology into the Google AdWords platform, "creating a new radio ad distribution channel for Google advertisers." The companies put the cost of the deal at 102 million in cash maybe an 800-lb. Gorilla in the making. Google sees radio as 14,000 candy stores spread out all over the country. This technology makes the buys automated for advertisers. The thinking may be there's no reason to have national sales organizations like Interep or Katz going forward. Meanwhile radio seems happy about the move: Said Val Maki, SVP/Market Manager/Emmis LA and Emmis Radio Division VP: "Emmis Radio has signed an agreement for the automated advertising platform by dMarc, which announced earlier today it was being acquired by Google. On the Ad Agency side - Kathy Crawford, MindShare President/Local Broadcast, says she understands why one might think this might curtail the need for the reps, however, "I'm not convinced we're going down an inevitable path today. I think we all have to take a deep breath and say, 'Where are we really going?'

RBR observation: We've said the day and age of electronic media is here. The day and age of transmitting and hitting the audience with a fast, precise message in content presentation is the way it's going to go. And it's the way it is right now. Unfortunately many of the people in the agency world on the creative side do not know how to actually utilize the new technology to reach the consumer. They're still stuck in 1996. They haven't gotten themselves out of that environment. The industry must fully examine, for the betterment of their clients, their creative departments. If they can't understand how to utilize technology in the new world of marketing, they better find people who do. The radio inventory management space is moving quite quickly and starting to attract new advertisers. Agencies and advertisers have been pushing vendors to get more electronic and accountable for years with some success. While some of these strides have been made from the springboard of remnant inventory, the entire process of buying and selling all inventories is evolving beyond. We're not sure Google/dMarc will change the game completely, but the dam is breaking. We're practicing what we preach - - RBR, TVBR, MediaMix and our print RBR/TVBR solutions magazine are all electronic (the magazine via Zinio.com and via PDFs) and presented in rich media.
01/18/06 RBR #12

ABC Radio still waiting
for sale decision
Disney CEO Bob Iger had originally promised investors a decision by Thanksgiving whether or now ABC Radio would be sold. We've now also gone past Christmas, New Year's and Martin Luther King Day as well - - still without a decision. But that doesn't mean a sale is less likely, or more likely, to happen.


RBR observation: For months now, the grapevine has been saying that the bidding for ABC Radio is down to two suitors - - Entercom and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (which doesn't seem to have aligned with an operator, but has former Jeff-Pilot radio head Clarke Brown as a consultant). Bidding has apparently gone beyond the 12 times cash flow multiple of Susquehanna Radio. More details see
01/17/06 RBR #11


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