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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 105, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning May 30th, 2007

Radio News ®

PPM's impact on ratings
After looking at the first month of PPM data from Philadelphia, Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller says radio may have to rethink how it sells itself to emphasize the greater audience reach than was ever reported by diaries. For one thing, he notes that Clear Channel's Philly cluster fell from #1 to #3 in ratings under PPM, but was still #1 in total cume. Comparing the March 2007 PPM data to the Winter 2006 ratings book (the last under diary methodology), Miller found that ratings were down for 24 of the 27 major stations in the market, with Greater Media's WMMR-FM the lone gainer and two stations flat. The Clear Channel cluster saw ratings decline 46%, Radio One 50% and CBS Radio 19%. The big declines for individual stations were CC Radio's Tropical WUBA-FM, down 60%, and Urban AC WDAS-FM, down 54%, and Radio One's Gospel WPPZ-FM, down 60%, and R&B WRNB-FM, down 57%. "Arbitron's prior PPM tests in Philadelphia and Houston had shown the African-Americans and Hispanics had over-reported radio listening under the diary method. However, the magnitude of the ratings declines at Urban and Spanish-language stations is surprising," Miller said in his analysis. But the cume story is a good one, with total cume for the Philly market up 82%. WJBR-FM, which Beasley just acquired from NextMedia, saw its cume jump 384%, although the station is officially in the adjacent Wilmington, DE market. The big in-market gainers were Jerry Lee's WBEB-FM and CC Radio's WISX-FM, each up 193%, with CBS Radio's WOGL-FM close behind at 192%. "The cume data shows that radio stations have been underselling their reach to advertisers," Miller told investors, while diarykeepers had been over-reporting TSL. "Radio has a much better 'reach' story to tell, but with listeners listening to more stations for a shorter period of time, sellers of radio ad time may have to adjust their approach to how they sell or position their stations in the market," the analyst said.

RBR observation: This is the new world. Get used to it. We've heard varying reports on how ad buyers are adjusting to the new numbers resulting from PPM. Stations may have to stand their ground and turn down some business if some of those buyers insist on applying diary CPMs to PPM ratings.

Campaign air wars kicking off early
Citizens are already hearing about some of the presidential hopefuls for the 2008 election, even though the earliest contests are still months ahead. With no incumbents, interested vice presidents or otherwise pre-ordained candidates in either party, the need for some to build name recognition is fueling the early beginning of air war action. Significantly, according to the Associated Press, candidates keeping their powder dry thus far include Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Democratic side, and John McCain and Rudy Giuliani on the Republican side. The reason is simple: they do not suffer from a lack of name recognition. That foursome will be expected to do well in the two earliest contests, the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, but for all other candidates, a reasonably strong showing may well be necessary just to make it to Super Duper Tuesday on 2/5/08. Significantly, two of the biggest spenders so far come from the ranks of the nation's governors, who are known in their own state but whose fame may not necessarily have spread much further. Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney and New Mexico Democrat Bill Richardson are said to be leading both packs in early spending. Also said to be in the early fray are John Edwards (D-NC) and Chris Dodd (D-CT). Romney is said to have already spent 2M.

RBR observation: The best-funded campaigns can afford to keep their powder dry now, but they are sure to unleash impressive barrages toward the end of this year and into 2008. Those already firing can be expected to intensify their activity. And the poorer campaigns will have no choice but to shoot off their entire arsenal and hope to generate enough of a showing to attract survival money after the early delegates are claimed. Cash should be flying hot and heavy in all directions. The combination of almost 20 serious candidates and a front-loaded schedule are unprecedented. We will all be sitting back and watching history being made, with the exception of broadcast traffic managers, who may well need counseling once this blows over.


Barbara Cox Anthony dead at 84
Cox Enterprises announced the death Monday of Barbara Cox Anthony, the younger daughter of company founder James Cox. Barbara Cox Anthony and her surviving sister, Anne Cox Chambers, had continued family ownership of nearly all of Cox Enterprises stock, a company founded 108 years ago and now a multimedia giant in newspapers, radio, TV and cable, plus auto auctions and publications. Barbara Cox Anthony never held an executive position with Cox Enterprises, but served on its board of directors for many years. The company was headed, in succession, by her father, her brother (who died childless in 1974), her husband and, since 1988, her son. "She inspired me both personally and professionally. As we mourn my mother's passing, we will always be grateful to her for her leadership and constant support of Cox employees," said current Cox Enterprises Chairman and CEO James Cox Kennedy. According to the company's obituary, Barbara Cox Anthony played a key role in expanding Cox Enterprises into the media giant it is today. Describing her brother, James Cox Jr., as "tight," she had to convince him to overcome his fear of debt to make some important media acquisitions back in the 1960s. While she left the direct management of the media businesses to others, Barbara Cox Anthony was an active cattle breeder. She died in Hawaii, where she had spent much of her life overseeing all aspects of a 7,500-acre ranch. In addition to cattle, the ranch produces cut flowers and coffee beans.

RBR observation: As the Cox legacy begins to pass officially to the third generation, it is still a tight-knit family holding the reins of this media empire. James Kennedy has only one sister, Blair Parry-Okeden of Australia, and both siblings were at their mother's bedside when she died. Their aunt, who is 87, has three children. Despite being among the wealthiest people in the world, each with a fortune estimated at 12-13 billion, both sisters shunned the limelight. "Although frequently named one of the world's wealthiest people and the co-owner of a large, highly visible company, Mrs. Anthony managed to maintain a low public profile. Never a celebrity, she shunned limousines whenever possible. She delighted in the fact that she could fly by private plane into Sydney and walk unnoticed past the gathered paparazzi who were looking for the more famous media owner, Rupert Murdoch, who used the same airport facility," the company obituary noted. Cox Enterprises has also posted a photo retrospective of Barbara Cox Anthony on its website. We particularly like the shot of her as an adventurous young woman with her race car and helmet.

Hispanic group endorses satellite wedding
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has gone public with its support of the merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. The organization notes several Hispanic audio channels available on satellite now, and looks forward to more after such a merger is completed. "This is obviously important to LULAC and consumers with opportunities and choices," said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. "More programming means that the ever diverse American consuming public can look to satellite radio for news and entertainment." LULAC's Executive Director Brent Wilkes added, "More programming means more jobs - from the on-talent to production crews. And more programming means that the ever creative and entrepreneurial American spirit has yet one more potential outlet and distribution channel."

RBR observation: It hasn't been particularly easy to find advocates in favor of the XM/Sirius wedding, and one of the key objections made by some of the watchdogs we've heard is that it would increase the corporate chokehold on programmers. There would be one gatekeeper, not two, making decisions as to who is and is not included in the channel lineup, eliminating important leverage for programmers in an already difficult environment. It would end competition between two services for programming, allow programming lineups to be consolidated. And it's not like traditional broadcasting and other media outlets are devoid of Spanish-language programming. Anyway, we don't see one single reason to believe that the XM/Sirius merger would suddenly result in a renaissance of Hispanic programming beaming down from satellite.


Protest planned over music lyrics
A coalition of women's groups and civil rights organizations plans a protest today at the annual shareholders meeting of Viacom over sexually explicit lyrics in rap and hip hop music videos played on the company's cable channels MTV and BET. "Imus was a wake up call for us," Melanie Campbell of the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation was quoted as saying on BlackAmericaWeb.com, the web portal run by syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. According to BlackAmericaWeb, both Janice Mathis, southern regional director of Rainbow PUSH, and E. Faye Williams, executive director of the National Congress of Black Women, are Viacom shareholders, so they may attempt to address the annual meeting at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City. Various sororities, the YWCA and the National Organization for Women are among the groups in the coalition protesting today against the song lyrics.

RBR observation: The comment that got Don Imus taken off radio and TV has reinvigorated activists who want to hold corporate bosses to account for rap and hip hop lyrics that are indecent and/or denigrate women. We recall the protests that C. Delores Tucker, then head of the National Congress of Black Women, led in the early 1990s in Washington, DC to try to draw congressional attention to the issue. And today's protests may bring a flashback to when Tucker bought shares of Time Warner so she could stand up at the company's annual shareholders meeting to read aloud some of the offensive lyrics from songs the company was selling. Time Warner no longer owns a record label, although it doesn't appear that Tucker's protests had much to do with the decision to sell that business. C. Delores Tucker died two years ago, but it appears that new life has been breathed into the cause she cared so much about. Whether her successors in the crusade will have any more success than she did remains to be seen.

Service to America winners named
Lenawee Broadcasting's WLEN-FM Adrian, MI, Allbritton's WCIV-TV Charleston, SC, Belo's KMOV-TV St. Louis, ABC Radio's KGO-AM San Francisco, Schurz's KYTV-TV Springfield, MO, Clear Channel's KFI-AM Los Angeles and Hearst-Argyle's WLKY-TV Louisville are this year's winners of the Service to America Awards, presented by the NAB Educational Foundation with major support from Bonneville International. As previously announced, Sir Elton John will receive the Leadership Award. All of the awards will be presented Monday, June 11th at a black tie gala dinner in Washington, DC. Here are details of the winning efforts.
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Ad Business Report TM

Russo adds more items to "soothsayer catalog"
Chalk two more successful predictions up for Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services. Below is an excerpt from "What would Russo do" from our May 2006 Radio & Television Business Report/SmartMedia Magazine. This is the closing paragraph of what we published. Note that K-Rock in NYC is now using Kevin Weatherly for the re-launch, just announced last week. They also have Trip Reeb involved as a consultant now. He (former GM of KROQ-FM LA) was one of the folks purged last June by former CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander.

Said Russo: "I need to go off on a rant here about NY radio and especially the CBS Radio debacle here. I am able to accept that replacing Stern is difficult, but I cannot accept with the amount of time they had, to have David Lee Roth come on the air so unprepared. It's unacceptable that this show is so un-listenable. It also beyond belief how bad Jack is doing here and how we have no true rock station here in NYC, WAXQ is OK for a classic rock station but really for lack of a better term is "vasectomy rock" The gap is so wide for this it's ridiculous, NY is the most important and most influential market in the world on many levels and it should have a rock station worthy of it. My beef with CBS Radio here is this-they have two of the most influential and legendary Rock PDs in the history of the medium. Kevin Weatherly at KROQ in LA and Norm Winer at WXRT in Chicago. Yet neither of these two ever seem to get involved in NY. Either of those stations just run as is on a NY station will out-rate any of CBS Radio's existing FMs and outbill as well-and that would be playing the stations as is without localizing it. It's unfathomable these guys don't have a hand here. Hopefully whatever ego exists at the top of the CBS Radio programming chain will soon let these guys play in NYC.
| Read More... |

LA to launch water conservation campaign via traffic spots
As record dry conditions grip the region, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California announced an intensive, region-wide radio campaign aimed at offering consumers easy-to-follow examples of how they can save water and stretch supplies. Launched Memorial Day through traffic report spots on 91 radio stations throughout the Southland, the concentrated five-week campaign encourages consumers to conserve water by offering a variety of simple tips for inside and outside the home, such as shortening shower times and reducing outdoor watering cycles. The "Let's Save" campaign directs listeners to log onto "bewaterwise.com" for more water-saving instructions. With rainfall figures in the LA Basin region at the lowest levels in recorded history dating to 1877, the region's water supply situation is complicated by dry conditions in the Colorado River and Northern California watersheds supplying imported water to SoCal. Traffic report messages in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese will run from Ventura to the Mexican border.


Media Business Report TM
The media did it
Why is Paul Wolfowitz leaving the presidency of the World Bank? If you've been following the story, you might think it had to do with his machinations to keep his girlfriend employed and well-salaried. The ethical concerns raised only served to heat up problems between Wolfowitz and the full-time employees of the bank, who were reported to have problems with both his policies, his management style and some of his close aides. So it will come as no surprise that the whole situation was the fault of the media. Wolfowitz told the BBC, "I think it tells us more about the media than about the bank and I'll leave it at that."

RBR observation: Isn't it nice that any public figure can accept full responsibility for their actions or the actions of their underlings and then turn around and blame the messenger? How far would this ploy go for an average citizen? We are grateful that our most recent malfeasance went undetected by the media. At least, when we nosed past the speed limit briefly this morning on the way to work (there was far too much traffic to speed the way we might have liked), WTOP-AM traffic reporter Lisa Baden did not comment on our transgression, and as far as we know we eluded the attention of all the other reporters working our market. Had Baden been able to bring our crime to light, we can see ourselves before the traffic court judge, pleading our case that it was all Bonneville International's fault. We're sure the judge would enjoy a nice chuckle before fining us to the full extent of the law.


Media Markets & Money TM
Big AM buys for Davidson
Peter Davidson is using the name Blackstrap Broadcasting to get a couple of major market AMs which were peripherally involved - which is to say uninvolved - in the recent sale of The Sporting News by Vulcan Sports Media. Rose City Radio is the related radio company, and it's already spun off KMPC-AM Los Angeles to P&Y Broadcasting Corporation. Now Davidson has announced he's picking up the other two, WSNR-AM New York and WWZN-AM Boston. Look for Blackstrap to continue Davidson's focus on ethnic media. "Blackstrap Broadcasting's mission is to provide a platform and a welcoming home for immigrant communities on the public airwaves," said Davidson. "Immigrants are the source of America's strength and prosperity and Blackstrap Broadcasting was formed to celebrate, champion and provide mass media access to these newly arrived Americans." A price for the deal was not immediately announced.

Noalmark expands in Arkansas
Noalmark Broadcasting is one of those increasingly rare entities: a radio company that was in existence before the 1992 duopoly rules kicked in, not to mention the real M&A feeding frenzy after Telecom '96 was passed. William C. Nolan's group has just signed to pick up KVRC-AM/KDEL-FM Arkadelphia AR & KYXK-FM Gordon AR in a 600K deal with Jay Bunyard's Clark County Broadcasting Inc. Noalmark is in the area already with KPZA-AM/KBHS-AM/KLAZ-FM to the north in Hot Springs AR and with an FM CP earmarked for Bismarck AR. The resulting overlap scheme will result in two separate overlap clusters in the unrated portion of Arkansas southwest of Little Rock.


Washington Media Business Report TM
What if you gave a debate
and one candidate came?

Fox News is not a party of any of the six presidential debates sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee, but it did arrange to sponsor two, one to be held by the Democratic party organization in Nevada and another sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. The Nevada debate was pulled, but apparently the September-scheduled CBC event has at least one candidate committed to making an appearance, US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Leading candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have already indicated they will skip the event. "Certainly man Fox viewers are not part of the traditional Democratic base, but they have a right to hear from the Democratic candidates and we as candidates have an obligation to reach out to them," said Kucinich. He said he has taken issue with the way Fox covers the news on occasion, but said he's done the same with the New York Times. He accused the event-skippers of seeking to avoid hostile questions, "But taking questions from all sides is part of politics and part of being President."

RBR observation: It will be interesting to see if this event remains on the schedule and if it does, to see who actually shows up. Like a stateside PGA tour event when a lot of the top ranked players are overseas for the British Open, it may provide an opportunity for a second-tier candidate to leap out of the pack and grab the limelight.


HD Radio 2007
Sony introduces first two HD Radio products
Sony announced a new HD Radio table radio and in-car audio adapter and plans to develop and distribute a range of HD Radio-enabled consumer products over the next several years. Beginning in July Sony will begin selling the 100 dollar receiver-adapter and 200 dollar table top unit. Stations will promote the products as part of the HD Radio Alliance ad campaign as well. The AM/FM/HD table radio (model XDR-S3HD) features a large back-lit blue LCD display set in a mesh-covered front panel and cabinet with rich cherry wood finish. Sporting stereo speakers with a simulated surround sound function, a built-in AM/FM/HD digital tuner and separate bass and treble controls, the table radio with HD Radio capability offers high-quality sound in a small package. The HD Radio-enabled table radio and car adapter will be available online at www.sonystyle.com and at participating retailers nationwide.


Transactions
32M WIRS-TV and WJPX-TV, WLPV-TV & WJWN-TV Puerto Rico (Yauco, San Juan, Ponce, San Sebastian PR) from Televicentro of Puerto Rico LLC/Intermedia Espanol Holdings LLC (Peter Kern) to CaribeVision Station Group LLC (Carlos Barba et al). 3.2M escrow, 16.8M cash at closing, 12M note. WJPX-TV is flagship, others are satellites. [File date 5/11/07.]

6.45M KRDE-FM Phoenix AZ (Globe AZ) from Tri-Media Inc. (Linda C. Corso, Richard L. Potyka) to Sunburst Media-KRDE LLC (John Borders, Don Turner). 250K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Includes non-compete. Station is applying to upgrade to Class C1 at buyer's expense. [File date 5/10/07.]


Stock Talk
A cautious day on Wall Street
Stock prices crept up on Tuesday as investors applauded a takeover bidding battle for ABN Amro, a big bank based in The Netherlands. But there was also caution, with the Fed set to release minutes of its most recent meeting, which could give new hints about future rate plans. The Dow Industrials rose 14 points, or 0.1%, to 13,521.

Radio stocks were mostly higher. The Radio Index gained 0.723, or 0.5%, to 162.002. The big gainer was Citadel, up 3.2% after announcing a June closing for its acquisition of ABC Radio and a big dividend for current shareholders. Two penny stocks had a good day, with SBS up 3.8% and Regent 2.4%.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

51.33

+0.75

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

26.39

+0.33

Beasley

BBGI

8.69

-0.06

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.78

-0.07

CBS CI. B CBS

33.29

-0.36

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

72.73

+0.14

CBS CI. A CBSa

33.29

-0.32

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

7.62

+0.02

Citadel CDL
8.79 +0.27

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

7.66

+0.02

Clear Channel

CCU

38.38

+0.14

Regent

RGCI

3.40

+0.08

Cox Radio

CXR

14.92

+0.13

Saga Commun.

SGA

9.22

-0.11

Cumulus

CMLS

9.56

+0.13

Salem Comm.

SALM

12.38

-0.02

Disney

DIS

35.59

-0.44

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

2.92

+0.02

Emmis

EMMS

10.32

-0.16

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

4.87

+0.18

Entercom

ETM

26.93

+0.23

SWMX

SMWX

0.25

unch

Entravision

EVC

9.50

+0.15

Westwood One

WON

7.99

-0.05

Fisher

FSCI

49.89

+0.56

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

11.98

+0.18

Google

GOOG

487.11

+3.59

-

-

-

-

-


Bounceback

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Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
Soothsayer Catalog
Chalk 2 more successful predictions up for Rich Russo, JL Media...

Media Business Report
The media did it
Paul Wolfowitz of the World Bank called - blame the messenger...

Media Markets & Money
Big AM buys for Davidson
Using the name Blackstrap Broadcasting to get a couple of major market AMs...

Noalmark expands in Arkansas
signed to pick up KVRC-AM/KDEL-FM...



Stations for Sale

NE Louisiana FM
Great stand alone market!
Offered at 6 X 2006 BCF
cliff@cliftongardiner.com
(303)758-6900

CA Coastal Class A
Rated Market $1.5M
CO Rated Market C.P.
Class C1 $400K
Brett Miller - 805.543.3466
mchenterprises@mchentinc.com

OR Coastal Class A FMs
Positive Cashflow $795K
ND Small Market C.P.
Class C1 $150K
Brett Miller - 805.543.3466
mchenterprises@mchentinc.com


Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

Contact
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jbarnes@rbr.com



Radio Media Moves

Blazer to Boston
Greater Media / Boston announced that Grace Blazer has been named Program Director of WTKK "96.9FM Talk" Boston, effective next Monday, June 4th. Blazer previously spent 11 years at WPHT-AM in Philadelphia, where she served the first five years as Executive Producer and the past six years as Program Director.

Named to Hall of Fame
Iconic ABC correspondent and host Barbara Walters, veteran FOX 5 News television news anchor Ernie Anastos, Long Island broadcasting entrepreneur Paul Sidney, respected Albany broadcaster Ed Dague, Buffalo radio legend Dan Neaverth and much admired Syracuse radio owner Albert "Bud" Wertheimer make up the 2007 Hall of Fame announced today by the NYS Broadcasters Association. The nominees will be inducted during gala banquet ceremonies at NYSBA's 46th Executive Conference slated for June 25-26 in Bolton Landing, NY.


More News Headlines

Talkers make
their own agenda

Two events tied for first place in the Project for Excellence in Journalism news survey for the week of 5/13-18/07. Both events in Iraq and the 2008 campaign came in with 10% of the news hole, with PEJ awarding first place to the Iraq story. Talkers, who generally follow the lead of the news and amplify the top stories, went off on their own path this time. They did hit hard on the 2008 campaign, giving it their top slot with 24%; but the #2 story was immigration at 19%. Events in Iraq was way down the list at #7 with only 2% of the talk hole (Iraq policy bested it at #3/7%). Immigration had amounted to 9% of the news hole, and Iraq policy had consumed 5%. Lou Dobbs on CNN has made immigration a signature issue for some time, and helped fuel the surge of talker interest, and was joined by many on the conservative side of the spectrum.

Wilson Wearn
dead at 87

Wilson C. Wearn, who held the titles of President, CEO and Chairman at various times during his long tenure at Multimedia Inc., has died in Atlanta at age 87, having spent most of his life in Greenville, SC. Multimedia at one time had dozens of newspapers, seven radio stations and four TV stations, plus a TV syndication company. It was sold to Gannett in 1995.

KPIG founder Laura Ellen Hopper, dies at 57
Laura Ellen Hopper, the longtime PD and co-founder of KPIG in Monterey-Santa Cruz, CA, died Monday from lung cancer. Hopper was also the midday DJ who championed emerging country/folk singer/songwriters on the highly praised and respected station that was instrumental in establishing the Americana format.




RBR Radar 2007
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

ABC Radio will be June bride
The nuptials are set for June 12th to unite ABC Radio with Citadel Broadcasting, joining the 22 big market ABC stations and ABC Radio Networks with Farid Suleman's Citadel Broadcasting to create the third largest US radio group in terms of billings, behind Clear Channel and CBS Radio. The parent of the bride, Disney, will not exit radio completely with this 2.7 billion bucks divestiture, since ESPN Radio and its O&Os and Radio Disney and its O&Os will remain with the company.

RBR observation: Why the huge dividend to Citadel shareholders? It's not because Farid Suleman has more money lying around than he knows what to do with. For this deal to be tax-free to Disney shareholders, they must end up owning more than 50% of the merged company. To balance the relative values of Citadel and the ABC Radio holding company, Citadel must take on more debt and make the payout to shareholders so that its total equity is slightly below that of the ABC Radio entity. Citadel's share price should drop in relation to the payout, but we and everyone else will be watching to see if that price moves back up quickly as Citadel becomes a much bigger player in the radio business, particularly in larger markets, and continues to pay a hefty regular dividend.
05/29/07 RBR #104

Tribune shareholders vote for cash
As we predicted, the Tribune Company tender offer for 126 million shares at 34 bucks each was waaaaay oversubscribed. The company says 224 million were tendered, which is 92% of all of the Tribune shares that exist. So, most of the shareholders who tendered will get to sell only about half of their shares - unless and until the FCC approves the license transfers and accompanying waivers of the crossownership rule so Sam Zell and a new Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) can complete their buyout of the public shareholders.

TVBR observation: This notion of "going private," while it clearly has some advantages, is not as easy as it might look. Read the memo and details in TVBR.
05/29/07 TVBR #104

Is it "game over"
with PPM winning?
That's the view from CL King analyst Jim Boyle, now that long-time critic Bob Neil at Cox Radio has signed a contract with Arbitron for PPM (5/24/07 RBR #102). "It appears in our view that the long struggle between Arbitron, the near-monopolist in radio audience research with its new, higher-priced electronic measurement, and the radio station groups is 'game over.' With most of the influential radio groups signed up, including the two largest, it seems effectively over,"
05/25/07 RBR #103

Free FM set free as K-Rock returns
New CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason is making his mark in New York. The company yesterday blew up the "Free FM" talk format on 92.3 after the Opie & Anthony morning show and brought back K-Rock. The WFNY calls are also being jettisoned, with the WXRK call letters, which have been warehoused in Cleveland, returning as well.

RBR observation: The more things change, the more they stay the same. David Lee Roth was a disaster as Howard Stern's replacement, but CBS eventually found that O&A weren't as awful bad boys as they thought when the company previously fired them. But the attempt at hip, young-skewing talk all day long didn't work out either. So now we are back to pushing the envelope, almost raunchy, but staying within the FCC's (ever-changing) limits in morning drive and DJs playing rock the rest of the time. Hey, it only worked before for about 20 years.
05/25/07 RBR #103

Broadcasters gear up
for violence defense
Harvard Law School constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe is on the case. According to reports, a loose consortium of broadcast networks and media associations has hired him to mount a defense if need be. And the case is the potential First Amendment attack which may be coming from Congress on the issue of broadcast violence.

TVBR observation: We don't believe Congress can successfully define violence - note that the FCC didn't even try, and since there is no smoking gun evidence, it would appear that Rockefeller faces an impossible task. But that probably won't stop him from trying, and neither will it stop a lot of other politicians from signing on to "protect our children." Stay tuned.
05/25/07 TVBR #103


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