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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 242, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning December 13th, 2005

Radio News®

Radio companies
hold the line
Radio station ad inventories were down 9.6% in November, compared to a year earlier, according to the monthly tally by Harris Nesbitt analyst Lee Westerfield. Clear Channel continued to take its LIM medicine and cut the most: 26%. The analyst also notes that advertiser use of :30s is also taking off, now accounting for 21% of all spots in the top 10 markets. "And it's not just Clear Channel," he noted. "The percent increase of 30-second time was not wholly driven by Clear Channel. The bellwether is no doubt the leader, at 35% from 25-29% throughout 2005. However, all major operators increased their percentage of 30s as well. This is a very encouraging development that, when viewed alongside the HD Radio initiative, indicates a level of cooperation rarely seen in radio, normally a loosely aligned confederation," Westerfield said.

Cox study says expanded band
better than HD designation

A study commissioned by Cox Radio, with input from many other groups, found that members of the public would rather see HD Radio multicasts numbered like existing FM stations (108.1 and beyond), rather than HD-2, HD-3, and etc. Offered only those two choices, the national study by Bob Harper & Company found that people overwhelmingly preferred the "expanded band" over the "layered approach." Harper told RBR that panelists told his researchers to "make it as intuitive as you can" and to "make it simple." They found 102.3 HD-3 to be too much of a jumble of numbers and letters and believed that if such a system were to be used, the programming had to be related - - i.e., different types of Country formats on HD-1, HD-2 and HD-3 of the same frequency. "If you want flexibility, listeners preferred the expanded band," Harper said, since 108.1 would have no perceived link to 88.1.

Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil told RBR that his company funded the study and asked other companies for input because no attention was being paid to the question of how multicast channels should be displayed on HD Radio receivers. He worried that "sometimes things just seem to happen" and he didn't want HD numbering to be decided without research. Harper will be presenting the study results to the National Radio Standards Committee (NRSC) meeting in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A summary of the findings may be downloaded at bobharper.com. Although the new HD Radio Alliance (12/7/05 RBR #238) didn't sponsor the study, CEO Peter Ferrara attended several of the focus groups and told RBR he applauded Cox for funding it. In his view, the findings were fairly presented by Harper, but he added, "We need to look a little deeper." Ferrara wants additional studies and he says the industry needs to look at whether there are other possible numbering systems that should be considered.

RBR observation: Were they asking the right questions? It looks to us like people were offered two bad choices and they chose the one they found least objectionable. Can't we find something more consumer friendly than perpetuating the existing one-oh-whatever-point-thingamajig system? We think the radio industry needs to hire branding experts to try to come up with a more consumer-friendly way of numbering HD Radio channels. Harper told us that a few panelists offered other suggestions, "but none of them ever lit up the room." Maybe there isn't any better option than having the HD Radio FM band run from 88.1 to 247.9, but we'd sure like to see some other avenues explored. Radio has to get this right.

New Viacom announces stock buyback
Its stock isn't even trading yet (except "when-issued"), but New Viacom has announced a three billion bucks buyback. The move came just after the cable/movies side of Viacom confirmed a 1.6 billion deal to acquire the DreamWorks movie studio (12/12/05 TVBR #241). New Viacom said it will buy back shares of both its voting Class A and non-voting Class B shares from time to time under the buyback plan, beginning after Viacom splits in two on New Year's Eve - - the date now officially set. New Viacom will own MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land and many other networks around the world), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music. CBS Corporation will own the CBS Television Network, UPN, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, Viacom Television Stations Group, Paramount Television, King World, Simon & Schuster, Showtime and Paramount Parks.


MSOs set to unveil family tiers
Reacting to pressure from Capitol Hill, National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) CEO Kyle McSlarrow told a Senate hearing Monday that several cable MSOs are about to announce family-friendly channel tiers - - but he insisted no new law, such as a la carte, is needed. Although he had no information on pricing or just what channels would be included, McSlarrow said MSOs representing more than 50% of US cable households would be making announcements soon offering family tiers. He named Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Advance/Newhouse Communications, Insight Communications, Bresnan Communications and Midcontinent Media. Those companies are reviewing their contracts with cable channel providers to determine just what their options are for offering a new tier which would exclude any racy content. McSlarrow warned, however, against any attempt by Congress to impose its own solution, such as a la carte channel selection. "If the government intrudes in this space, it will get it wrong," he said.

Likewise, retired Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) chief Jack Valenti warned against government intrusion and cited polls which found that while many Americans object to some of the content on TV and cable, they also overwhelmingly oppose having government decide what they can watch. Valenti is working as the point man to make the TV ratings system line up more closely with the long-established movie ratings system, which he said most people understand. He's pushing for a free market solution to indecency concerns by giving parents more information about the TV ratings system and how to use v-chips. "We're trying to make American parents understand that today they have total control," he said. Afterward, Chairman Stevens was noncommittal on whether offering family tiers would be enough to head off new cable legislation. "We'll have to see how this new family tier concept is presented and how the American family, people, respond to it," he said. But he did say there's no need for legislation now. "We have to give it a chance to work and see if it works," Stevens said.

RBR observation: Monday's hearing was overwhelmingly focused on cable TV, but Chairman Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) did bring up one subject near and dear to the hearts of terrestrial radio and TV broadcasters when he asked about pending bills to dramatically increase indecency fines. Valenti came to the defense of broadcasters, declaring that a three-strikes and you're out proposal, which would revoke the license of any radio or TV station for three indecency citations was unfair because it is so subjective for anyone to define what is or is not indecent. "It seems not only absurd, but fearful," Valenti said of such legislation.

Martin applauds family tiers
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was quick to endorse the plans by major MSOs to begin offering family-friendly programming tiers. "For several years, I have been urging the cable and satellite industry to give parents additional tools to help them address the increasing amount of course programming on television. Offering a family-friendly package has always been one of the options I supported," Martin said in a statement.

RBR observation: We hear that Martin has been doing some arm-twisting of his own in this regard - - putting the screws to Comcast and Time Warner Cable to offer family friendly tiers to win FCC approval of their pending deals to carve up Adelphia Communications.


Adbiz©

What increases are being paid
for the 2006 radio upfront?

Now that the 2006 network radio upfront is getting finished but is still hot, we thought we'd get a few opinions on how it's going - - up, down, flat, and why. What increases, if any, are being paid? (continued from Monday). Today, we asked Kim Vasey, Senior Partner/Director of Radio, mediaedge:cia: "So far flat for low-end syndication. Four to five percent on RADAR. Premiere is pushing for the highest increase, 12 to 15 percent. ABC and Westwood are pushing for 8 to 10 percent - we're not willing to pay those and are pushing back to try to keep things flat to 4 percent. We just got in to the upfront very late so we haven't finalized anything yet, but that is where I hope to end up."

Jeep launches MobiTV channel
Jeep has launched its own mobile phone channel via MobiTV, with content available to about 500,000 subscribers using Cingular, Sprint, Alltel and other networks. Jeep (and now body spray company Axe as well) is also running 30-second spots once an hour per channel on 18 of the 24 available MobiTV cellphone channels, reported AdAge. This, in place of the two to three minutes of local advertising across MobiTV's channels that include networks like MSNBC, Discovery Channel and Fox Sports. The MobiTV channel continuously loops the existing four short films of "The Mudds," the outdoor-loving family that happen to drive a Jeep Commander.


Media Markets & MoneyTM
Hispanic Christian light a Florida Candelario
An AM CP south of Kissimmee FL, which in turn is south of Orlando, is being sold for 562.8K. WOYE-AM CP is licensed to St. Cloud, just down Florida's Turnpike from Mickey Mouse's eastern stronghold. It is going from Jose J. Arzuaga's Amedia to Centro de la Familia Cristiana Inc., equally owned by President Roberto Candelaria, VP Ramona Candalaria and Treasurer Carlos Thillet. An LMA will commence if construction of the station is completed prior to closing.

Peoria price tag revealed
We now know what Triad is paying for the two stations it is buying from AAA in Peoria, IL (12/2/05 RBR #235). The paperwork has been filed at the FCC and the price tag for WDQX-FM & WXCL-FM is 5.2 million.


Washington Beat
Sex offender allowed to transfer licenses
Lane Broadcasting Corporation and two related companies have gotten the OK from the FCC to transfer the licenses of three radio stations in the Scranton, PA market, even though their 100% shareholder, Douglas Lane, is currently serving prison time after being convicted of several felony counts involving child molestation and child pornography. Lane, however, won't get a penny of the 1.9 million in proceeds. Under an unusual court settlement worked out by the local DA (6/10/05 RBR #114), all proceeds left after the stations' creditors are paid will go to Lackawanna County to be disbursed to Lane's victims and to local non-profit agencies which assist abused children. Because of that, the FCC says "it is appropriate to exercise our discretion not to pursue further the issue of Mr. Lane's qualifications and to approve the subject assignment applications." Thus, WYCK-AM, WICK-AM and WWRR-FM may now be transferred to Bold Gold Media Group, a partnership formed by area radio veteran Bob VanDerheyden and recording studio owner Vincent Benedetto.


Programming
Sirius launches Christian Talk channel
FamilyNet and Sirius have launched Christian Talk on channel 159. The new channel airs FamilyNet's most popular programs, including preaching from some of the nation's top pastors, innovative radio-specific programs, and leading evangelical talk personalities. FamilyNet is the broadcast arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.


Ratings & Research
RADAR 87 tallies 52 networks
Arbitron announced that the RADAR 87 Radio Network Audience Report results will include American Urban's STRZ Entertainment and Westwood One's FM Morning. The increase in RADAR sample size from 90,000 to 95,000 is part of the ongoing quality enhancement program for the RADAR service. By the release of RADAR 88 in March 2006, the RADAR radio network service is scheduled to be based on an annual sample size of 100,000 diarykeepers. Initial findings in RADAR 87 indicate that, over the course of a typical week, radio reached 95% of Persons 18+ who live in a household with an income of 75,000 or more. 95% of college grads listened to radio, as compared to 91% of people who did not go to college. 81% of Persons 18+ listened to radio while in their cars. On 12/19, Arbitron will release the complete RADAR 87.


RBR Stats
News/Talk radio used to
target tech-savvy people

Media Monitors says its latest study shows News-Talk radio being used by online or high-tech advertisers and specialty electronic products not normally associated with the format. This is not to say those advertisers are only targeting News/Talk radio, of course. But traditionally, the news/talk format is often incorrectly thought of as appealing to older demos and non-technical listeners. 50% of the Spot Ten advertisers on News/Talk stations during the most recent week of December 5-11 were online or high-tech advertisers or specialty electronic products not normally associated with this format. Specifically, Geico auto insurance (#1), CompUSA (#3), Guitar Center (#4), Magellan navigation system (#7) and International Star Registry (#9). But wait, there's more: within the top 25 this same week we noted Network Solutions (#11), Overstock.com (#16), Quicken Loans (#19), Priceline.com (#24) and Bose (#25) plied their wares on News and Talk formatted radio stations.


Transactions
2M KRMX-AM & KNKN-FM Pueblo CO from Metropolitan Radio Group Inc. (Mark L. Acker) to Janegary Inc. (Lupe B. Brown, Stephen P. Brown). 20K escrow, balance in cash at closing. [File date 11/17/05.]

350K WLWR-FM Fond du Lac WI from Cornerstone Community Radio Inc. (Richard L. Van Zandt) to Educational Media Foundation (Richard Jenkins). 35K escrow, balance in cash at closing. [File date 11/17/05.]


Stock Talk
Dow down, broadcasters up
Broadcast stocks bucked a bad day for the Dow Industrials, as the Blue Chip index was pushed down by a mistrial in a liability case involving Dow component Merck. The Dow was off 11 points to 10, 768, while other broad indices were slightly higher.

The Radio Index rose 2.294, or 1.3%, to 186.451. Spanish Broadcasting System led the way, rising 8.4% and pushing back out of penny stock territory.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

39.69

-0.05

Jeff-Pilot

JP

55.55

+0.14

Beasley

BBGI

13.76

+0.20

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.85

unch

Citadel CDL
13.37 +0.10

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

10.98

-0.05

Clear Channel

CCU

32.50

+0.25

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

11.01

-0.02

Cox Radio

CXR

15.06

+0.07

Regent

RGCI

4.72

+0.12

Cumulus

CMLS

13.06

+0.22

Saga Commun.

SGA

11.30

+0.17

Disney

DIS

25.15

-0.04

Salem Comm.

SALM

18.90

+0.51

Emmis

EMMS

19.89

-0.11

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

7.46

-0.41

Entercom

ETM

29.95

-0.05

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

5.05

+0.39

Entravision

EVC

7.25

unch

Univision

UVN

30.29

-0.06

Fisher

FSCI

45.26

+0.17

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

34.71

+0.29

Gaylord

GET

45.82

+1.07

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

34.65

+0.24

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.22

+0.17

Westwood One

WON

16.46

-0.08

Interep

IREP

0.38

unch

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

29.96

+0.92



Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

This is your column, so send your comments and
a photo to radionews@rbr.com

Further regarding Westwood One...

While some could arguably say that Ms. Greer (12/12/05 RBR #241) may be a "disgruntled former employee" and we do not know that, or she is a gutsy sales person who has had her fill of the corporate invisibility of personnel with the weight of a company's success on their back. I prefer to err on the side of a hard-working seller who has the guts to speak out while it may cause her to get stiff armed in the pursuit of her career. Joel Hollander has a huge responsibility directing traffic for as many divisions and people. It does not release him or any corporate types to forget who makes that engine run. The sales departments. It takes much more than good or big incomes, incentives and big budget goals to hit. It also requires a good environment to work to these goals that makes a company often a winner against big odds. With the troubles these days in broadcasting, new FCC issues, sales-related issues, Internet sales taking budgets form TV and Radio, make sure your employees are product smart, competition aware and assisted in their goals with humor, work ethics and respect. You will achieve the goals.

Stan Elgart
Felsgart Communications


Arbitrends

Arbitron
Market Results
| Hamptons |
| Middlesex |
| Nassau |
| New York |
| Riverside |


Below the Fold

Ad Biz
What increases are being paid for the 2006 radio upfront?
Kim Vasey, Senior Partner/Director of Radio, mediaedge:cia: So far flat for low-end syndication...

Washington Beat
Sex offender allowed
to transfer licenses
Lane Broadcasting Corporation OKed by FCC to transfer shareholder, Douglas Lane, currently serving prison time ...

Programming
Sirius launches
Christian Talk channel
FamilyNet's most popular programs on channel 159...


Radio Media Moves

Promotion at ABCRN
ABC Radio Networks has promoted Vincent Badolato to Manager of Hispanic Sales for the Northeast region, based in New York. He had been an AE and, prior to that, Director of Affiliate Relations for ABCRN.


Stations for Sale

NEast CapCity FM
Suburban FM, strong revenue history-less than 8.5x BCF - 2M.
salesgroup@beld.net or
781-848-4201

NYC Prime Radio
Time for Lease

7 days a week available p/t-f/t Business, Foreign language, religious, Health, Infomercials accepted. 212-769-1925 tcntalk@aol.com
TV & Satellite time also available. Station Inquiries welcome






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

Entercom cuts Q4 guidance
Stock price fell 1% on Friday, 12/09/05, after the company said its Q4 revenues would come in about four million bucks below its previous guidance. Entercom's announcement cited "the deterioration of national sales conditions," so we asked the head of its national rep, Interep President George Pine, about current conditions. "The 4th quarter pacing obviously looks down slightly at this point," RBR observation: Are other shoes about to fall? Pine doesn't think many other radio companies will have to cut their Q4 guidance because of national sales shortfalls, since no other company is so dependent on one soft market, as Entercom is in Boston.
12/12/05 RBR #241

Four caught in public file dragnet
The FCC will be defraying the national debt to the tune of 40K if the latest quartet of notices of apparent liability on the public file rap stick. All four 10K fine proposals had a children's programming element.
RBR observation: Anyone else notice that if you have one file omission - - worth 10K - - you can have two or even three more at no extra charge. Publisher note: Look for RBR's Special Report on what you need to know about your Public File and not cost your station a 10K fine. Written for RBR by FCC leading lawyer Gregg Skall, it will be emailed in a PDF printable format as our Christmas present to you. Only daily members of RBR will receive this special report. Have it or it could cost you 10K in a fine. To say the least, this report alone is worth the price of a 1 year gold subscription.
| Renew at RBR subscriptions |
12/12/05 RBR #241

Westwood One lowers guidance
Shane Coppola as the head guy as barely more than a month ago Westwood One (WW1) was telling Wall Street that Q4 revenues and operating income would be up in the low single digits. That's not going to happen so Coppola is gone and former CEO and current CEO of Infinity Broadcasting Joel Hollander, is back in charge on a temp bases. Hollander is putting emphasis on getting someone who is "very aggressive" to run WW1.
RBR observation: Aggressive is one key if you also return marketing budgets. It is no secret that under the Mel Karmazin reign, in which Hollander was the major player, no dollars were ever spent in any area on Westwood One. That theme carried over into the Coppola tour of duty. Aggressive? If Hollander speaks aggressive give Westwood the budgets, tools and attitude of the man that founded the company - find another Norm Pattiz.
12/09/05 RBR #240


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