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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 109, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning June 3rd, 2005

Radio News®

Infinity says it's already reduced inventory
Officials of Infinity Broadcasting aren't taking kindly to a Wachovia Securities report that the Viacom radio arm has failed to cut inventory on its stations (6/2/05 RBR #108). Rather than promising to cut spot loads on a third of its stations, the company says it's already made the inventory cuts. Infinity CEO Joel Hollander said in December that the radio group had reduced spot loads at 56 stations (12/8/04 RBR #238), but without any fanfare like the Less is More announcement by Clear Channel. In fact, he told RBR months earlier that Infinity was cutting spot loads (7/19/04 RBR #139), saying "We don't need to put out a press release for something we've been doing for the last year." Since those reductions had already taken place before the start of this year, there would have been no expectation of lower spot loads from the January 2005 baseline cited in the Wachovia Securities report. Infinity isn't disputing, nor is it confirming, Wachovia's analysis that it aired an average 13.3 units per hour on its top 12 market FM stations in May - - tied for 5th highest of the 21 owners listed by the Wall Street firm.

Boyle out at Wachovia Securities
The axe fell swiftly - - so swiftly that RBR/TVBR and some other news outlets didn't notice that Jim Boyle's name was missing from the cover of the monthly report on radio spot loads from Wachovia Securities (6/2/05 RBR #108). Rather, the report was authored this month by his long-time associate Marci Ryvicker, who is now the firm's lead analyst for broadcast stocks.

RBR observation: No one's talking about why Boyle got the boot. Wachovia didn't even put out a press release noting his departure. We can surmise, though, that the less than stellar performance of broadcast stocks lately had something to do with the decision to pink-slip the firm's senior and highest paid analyst in the sector. By cutting overhead, the firm seems to be signaling that it doesn't expect the radio and TV sector to heat up again anytime soon.

AFA not impressed by Trojan discourse
NBC and WB said the decision to air advertisements for Trojan condoms in primetime was about safety and disease prevention. But for watchdog and noncommercial Religious radio group operator American Family Association, it's about subjecting children to adult themes. "Now that that line is going to be crossed, we can only expect that these ads are going to get more risqué," said AFA's Randy Sharp. "They're going to get more graphic, they're going to get into an area which is has nothing to do with safety or health issues." He especially criticized WB for airing the ads during an episode of "Smallville," which attracts a lot of teenagers. He predicted that Trojan ads on TV would soon mirror ads run on radio promoting the product's recreational use.

RBR observation: Get real AFA and Mr. Sharp because - did you see the series on teen sex on NBC's Today show? Many local TV markets have had their own spins on the subject of teen activity. Mr. Sharp view and hearing the teens today describe key acts is like you going for a soda pop. Get real and put on a rain coat before you go out in the storm.

Political category keeps rolling along
The latest entrant into the political fray is a watchdog group hoping to derail a specific Bush appellate court nominee in the face of the recent Senate agreement to preserve the filibuster in exchange for up-or-down votes on three of the nominees. The campaign concerns one of them, Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court. The group is the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and according to the Associated Press, it is focusing its efforts on three states - - Rhode Island, Nebraska and Maine - - in an effort to influence what it hopes may be swing votes of each state's US senators. The group also plans to buy time on cable systems in the Washington DC area.

RBR observation: Within the next few weeks the number gurus will have their spins on the advertising categories - wonder if these wonder guys will finally make political official like auto.

Disney lawsuit on fast track
A Delaware judge has promised a quick ruling on whether he'll throw out a lawsuit by former Disney directors Roy Disney and Stan Gold which claims the current board defrauded shareholders by conducting a sham search for a new CEO (5/10/05 TVBR #92). Lawyers for Disney's independent directors told the court that their clients made no false promises to shareholders about their search for a successor to Michael Eisner. Disney and Gold claim they were "tricked" out of running their own slate of candidates for the board and seeking control of the company because the board vowed not to rubber-stamp Eisner's choice of his second in command, Bob Iger - - and that the board did just that shortly after being re-elected. Their lawsuit asks the court to void that election.


Shell Group account goes to MediaCom, Maxus
The Shell Group has consolidated its global media account at MediaCom and Maxus, which pursued the business in tandem. MediaCom NYC and Maxus London beat Initiative in the final round of a review for the estimated 240 million account.

Snapple includes local NYC bus driver
in "Return the Favor" Ad
Snapple, born and bred in New York City, is proud to be returning the favor to its hometown and local bus driver Stephen Mack, of Middletown, NY, who is about to drive his way into America's heart with his national television debut. As the star of Snapple's latest TV commercial-part of its ongoing "Return the Favor" advertising campaign-Mack is about to become the most beloved bus driver in town. The 30-second spot begins airing nationally on 6/6 and features Mack saying, "Snapple Peach Iced Tea is like no other tea, just like New York is like no other city in the world." Charlene Threewitts, a Brooklyn security guard and longtime rider of Mack's bus, is also featured in the ad. "I have to tell ya-I think I'm a natural," said Threewitts. "Only in New York is it possible to be 'discovered' riding the B43!" Both Threewitts and Mack are over the moon about their roles in the commercial. The spot entitled "Steve/NYC," is the eighth execution in the Snapple "Return the Favor" campaign. Created by Cliff Freeman & Partners, the ad is set to air on primetime and cable, during programs such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 7th Heaven, and CSI.

LPM Controversy
Buyers chime in on LPM letter
Broadcasters may be complaining about Local People Meters, but we're also hearing from major ad buyers who think the TV executives are off base.

Jon Mandel
, Chairman/MediaCom US and Chief Global Buying Officer MediaCom Worldwide, had a lot to tell us, and warn the industry about, regarding broadcasters' LPM concerns (voiced in a letter to Nielsen CEO Susan Whiting) and Nielsen's subsequent delay of LPM rollout in DC and Philly (6/2 TVBR #108):

"Look, I have all the respect in the world for the local station people that signed this letter. And I hate to grow my mother's finger [lecture], but I really don't understand why they have an issue. The thing is, the LPM is so far superior to what they have now that it's better off. The problem is they haven't figured out how to adjust their business to it. The LPM is better than a diary, by definition, because we can't pay for it and the advertisers can't pay for it. We do sample-based research-which is what Nielsen is (which is what every research is). We cannot afford to do census-based. Sample-based research works. Is it 100% accurate? No, but the Holy Grail is to make it as accurate as possible, and Nielsen keeps trying to do that. I had somebody from the Tribune company say, "They've always been bad in this area. If we don't draw the line in the sand, they'll never get perfect." Well you can't get perfect with sample-based. The alternative is census-based. Now, there is nobody that has census-based. There is somebody that has close to census-based, which by the way, will not measure the same people, but to a greater degree than what the broadcasters are complaining about, and that's the cable industry. So I would like to know, all these people who I think are some of the smartest people in our business, why they haven't thought about the fact that Nielsen is being very responsive to them. By definition, because they won't pay for it, they've got to do sample-based. The only alternative is census-based, and [that] is controlled by the MSOs. I can't wait to see how responsive the MSOs are going to be to the broadcasters when they're bitching about the research! What are they going to do, now that that they are forcing us into a situation where we're going to have to use as close to census-based as we can get, which comes from the MSOs - - who, by the way, are stealing all of their damn viewing and I am sure are not going to care two whits about measuring the audience that doesn't have cable. Which is many millions of people that the broadcasters serve that are at least being measured on a sample basis with some higher degree of accuracy with LPMs, that won't be measured at all. So the broadcasters are cooking their own goose, and I can't wait to hear them complaining to Comcast about, 'how come you're not measuring me right?!.' So I just think they ought to think about that."

PHD's Pat McNew favors LPM as well
Pat McNew, PHD's EVP, LMN Director of Operations, also gave RBR/TVBR his thoughts on the LPMs in Washington and Philadelphia:

"PHD believes the people meter is a superior method for measuring television audiences and we support its use in local markets. We believe accreditation is important, and we expect that Nielsen will continue to work through any issues to meet MRC standards."

Ray Warren says
Nielsen had a few "missteps"
Ray Warren, Managing Director, OMD, tells RBR/TVBR Nielsen is to blame for some of the problems and disagreements we're seeing with the LPM rollout, but we can't turn back now:

"Well, like the old
Dave Mason album, It's Too Late to Turn Back Now. But, I think that the stations and the ad community have had to suffer through the Nielsen missteps and why shouldn't we ask them to do a better job of counting the numbers."

What missteps are you specifically referring to?
"Well, the sample sizes have not been reflective, and I am not deeply briefed on every issue, but the top lines that have hit my desk are we know that when LPMs come in, numbers tend to go down because it gives cable more viewing and broadcast less. It sounds like Nielsen is in a rush to get that done to hit their deadlines, and I think what
Pat Mullin (Tribune Broadcasting President) was saying was, 'How about measure twice and cut once?'"

Radio & Television Business Report

Coming in the July issue:
Media Business Report:
"People Make the Difference" -- We've asked our readers to give recognition to the people that are making a difference in today's business environment.
GM Talkback:
Who in your company or stations deserves
a pat on the back and why?
Carat Americas CEO David Verklin: "Mastering a digital future" from advertising in a digital convergence world to improving metrics to the TV upfront and more.
Special Report:
Part II: "Going Private" - time to loose that chain around your neck. We show you how.
Media Markets & Money:
Mid Year Report -- "Going independent": Not many have taken this road, but in recent years Post-Newsweek's WJXT-TV Jacksonville, FL and Young Broadcasting's KRON-TV San Francisco have gone from being major network affiliates to being independent. RBR/TVBR looks at how they did it.

Reserve your Ad Marketing Space today. Advertising space is limited, contact:
June Barnes [email protected] -- or -- Jim Carnegie [email protected]

Media Markets & MoneyTM
What can you get for a buck these days?
Sometimes, if you can bring yourself to skip that small cup of convenience store coffee on the way to work, you may have saved enough dough to buy your very own FM radio station. That's the case for Mark A. Miller, who is transferring one lone engraving of our President George Washington to Michael L. Benson in return for a station. Of course, we're not talking big market here. In fact, we're talking just west of Death Valley on the inland side of California. That's where KWTY-FM and its city of license, Cartago, are located. So if you've got a buck, and don't mind serving a zip code with nearly a one-to-one relationship between people and square miles (square miles win, 320.5 to 301), then you'd be in business like Mr. Miller will be at closing.

Cumulus working on refinance
Cumulus Media said late yesterday it is negotiating a new 700 million bucks senior secured facility. That would replace an existing 350 million facility and a 350 million revolver. "The company is pursuing the possible refinancing in order to take advantage of current favorable market conditions," Cumulus said.

Washington Beat
Shield: Bush's perspective
Board members from the Radio-Television News Directors Association met with President George W. Bush yesterday, and a highlight of their discussion was the pending federal shield law which would protect reporters who are guarding confidential sources. Bush supports the First Amendment, but did not commit to supporting the pending legislation. "There's some information which could damage our ability to collect information, and that's where the real rub has been so far from my perspective," said Bush. "It's a very serious matter. It's a difficult tightrope to accuse somebody of doing something criminal, and then not be willing to step forward with the information." Discussing the Valerie Plame case, which brought the issue into the spotlight which has been heightened to laser intensity by the unmasking of Deep Throat, Bush told RTNDA, "This is an age-old battle. We're constantly trying to find the source in the White House, the unidentified source. Seems to me the balance is just right when you think about it. I'm sure your organization wants no reporters called into account. I don't know what the right balance is. On the other hand, I don't know what the law (the bill before Congress) says, so I can't tell you if I'm for it or against it. There are going to be some cases in the nation's interest. I'm not sure this is one of them." Bush also discussed Social Security, Iraq and other issues with RTNDA. The trade group says it's the first such session since the organization sat down with Harry Truman in 1946. It had a smaller-scale session with Jimmy Carter in 1977.

Shield: Two cents from Pence
US Rep Mike Pence (R-IN) is sponsoring shield legislation which would help reporters protect confidential sources, and used the recent unmasking of Watergate's Deep Throat to push for his pending legislation. Pence used his blog to say, "Two things are clear about the role that former FBI Assistant Director W. Mark Felt played in the infamous Watergate scandal: Deep Throat exposed corruption in high places because of his absolute confidence that his identity would be protected, and Deep Throat would not have that protection today. However motivated by patriotism and high ideals, it is unlikely that W. Mark Felt would reveal confidential information to reporters at the Washington Post today. As a litany of federal prosecutions attests, under current law, reporters may be forced to reveal the identity of confidential sources under circumstances similar to this case. Unless Congress enacts a federal media shield law, it is likely there will be no more Deep Throats because of the risk that government officials face by revealing information that the public has a right to know. Congress should ensure the accountability that attends confidential sources and a free and independent press. Congress should enact the Free Flow of Information Act (H.R. 581)."

Infinity launches latest in
"How Far Will You Go?"
Infinity announced the next component in its "How Far Will You Go?" branding campaign aimed at promoting the value of Infinity's 180 local stations to advertisers. Throughout the next several months, Infinity stations will broadcast a series of locally customized :60 commercials promoting their value and how they are doing more to help advertisers reach their audience then ever before. This marks the first time Infinity will utilize its airwaves to promote the unrivaled reach and efficiency of its stations. Initially launched in January with a three page ad buy in many national trade mags, the "How Far Will You Go?" campaign, created by The Via Group, has also included outdoor advertisements on bus shelters and billboards, and feature ads in the New York Times and Ad Age. The campaign has also been incorporated into the sales and marketing efforts of local Infinity stations across the country. "Just four months ago Infinity made a bold move to position radio's strengths and amplify the message that we are one of the most effective components in a client's marketing mix," said Joel Hollander, Infinity CEO. "Through a highly targeted campaign we have been able to raise the visibility of Infinity in the ad buying community - something that has never before been done by this company. We are pleased with the feedback we've received and you can be assured that we will continue to be aggressive in advertising what we can deliver on behalf of our clients in the future."

Publisher note: Did you listen to the spot? Excellent 'Bro' Joel. Now this is called Rich Media and when put with a solid marketing visual idea you are utilizing internet marketing 101. Don't forget - you want video to go with that - Well RBR/TVBR does that too. Remember it was run first in RBR/TVBR at N/C.

4.85M KSON-AM San Diego from Jefferson-Pilot Communications Company of California (Clarke Brown Jr.) to Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Licensee LLC (Arthur S. Liu). Cash less LMA payments incurred from 7/1/05 on. LMA 7/1/03 @ 100K/month. [File date 4/29/05.]

75K WLYC-AM Williamsport PA from James R. McKowne to Sentry Communications License LLC (Jeffrey Andulonis, James R. McKowne). Cash. LMA 5/1/05 @ 100/month + expenses. [File date 4/29/05.]

Stock Talk
2nd June trading day is also up
A rise in factory orders and fairly decent reports from major retailers gave stocks a modest boost. The Dow Industrials rose four points to close at 10,553.

Radio stocks did a bit better than the blue chips. The Radio Index gained 2.122, or 1%, to 205.675. Radio One led the way, up 3.9% as Deutsche Securities began coverage with a "buy" rating. Salem gained 2.4%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
11.94 -0.05

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Viacom, Cl. A








Viacom, Cl. B








Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio




International Bcg.










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This is your column, so send your comments to [email protected]


Market Results
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| Charlotte |
| Miami |
| Orlando |
| West Palm Beach |

Upped & Tapped

English to Regional VP
Clear Channel Radio announced the appointment of Tom English to Regional Vice President, Nashville Trading Zone. He will be responsible for 27 radio stations in the Chattanooga, Cookeville, and Nashville, TN and Dalton, GA markets and will report directly to Senior Vice President Mid-South Region Alene Grevey.

Big Dawg barks again
Alan "The Big Dawg" Wells has returned to Beasley's WSFL-FM Greenville, SC as host of the afternoon drive "Man-Made-Show."

Hillis to
Prophet Systems
Who knew there were two high tech firms in Ogallala, NE? Jeff Hillis, formerly of Syport LLC, has joined Prophet Systems Innovations as customer support manager.

Stations for Sale

Santa Fe Market #237 FM
New market FM entrant ready to go! Santa Fe is a unique and rich market with a great opportunity for an aggressive, innovative operator!
Cliff at Clifton Gardiner & Co
[email protected]

More News Headlines

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

When will Infinity cut spot loads?
Announced plans to reduce spot loads on 60 of its more than 180 stations, but former Wachovia Securities analyst Jim Boyle says he hasn't seen any evidence of it yet in his monthly analysis of top 12 market data from Media Monitors. So when is the effort by many groups, led by Clear Channel's Less is More initiative, going to pay off? Boyle says it is already - - but not for all stations or all markets. To view the chart of who is doing what see 06/02/05 RBR #108

Nielsen blinked, LPM delayed
Faced with heavy criticism from broadcasters, Nielsen Media Research has agreed to put off today's scheduled launch of Local People Meters in Washington, DC and Philadelphia but only until June 30th. Nielsen says that extending the test period for another 28 days will give broadcasters time to understand LPMs. But the broadcasters say they already understand LPMs and that what's needed is for Nielsen to fix its problems. TVBR observation: TV is facing many problems at once and like radio can not be hit from all sides at once. Key factor TV execs are trying to do is to protect the flat upfront money as this is their last party come this fall. Numerous reasons why and TVBR will examine soon but in a nutshell - TV is just trying to - CYA. 06/02/05 RBR #108

Broadcasters welcome delay,
but want more
Tribune Broadcasting President Pat Mullen who had written to Nielsen President Susan Whiting on behalf of many major group owners (6/1/05 TVBR #107), is hopeful that the move to delay LPM in Washington, DC and Philadelphia creates an opportunity for further discussions with the ratings company. TVBR observation: From where we sit, it looks like Nielsen and its broadcaster clients aren't even on the same page in discussing LPMs. Nowhere in Nielsen's notice delaying the DC and Philly roll-outs does it even mention fault rates or Media Rating Council accreditation, but those are the issues we hear broadcasters complaining most about.
06/02/05 RBR #108

Analyst: Clear Channel
needs a Plan B
tried to wow Wall Street by announcing a major restructuring -spinning off CC Entertainment, selling 10% of CC Outdoor in an IPO, upping the company's regular dividend and paying a special three bucks per share dividend. But while the stock got a brief bump, it has since been hurt by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst dumping its stake and is now back at its 52-week low. So, Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller says Clear Channel management needs a Plan B. RBR observation: Admittedly unlikely to happen, but an interesting proposition from one of Wall Street's more creative thinkers. One problem, though, is finding someone willing and able to pay 1.5 billion or more for CC Entertainment. Although competitors House of Blues and JAM Productions are reportedly interested bidders, it appears they only want the concert promotion business - - and as we noted previously, it would be very difficult to find buyers at decent prices for some of the other pieces of CC Entertainment. It would have to be all or nothing to make sense for the seller. Millers recommendation see 06/01/05 RBR #107

CBS and NBC want hold
on LPM rollout
Large number of station groups have now asked Nielsen Media Research to put LPMs on hold while the ratings company works on Media Ratings Council (MRC) accreditation in its existing LPM markets. For the first time, both CBS and NBC have joined in the growing chorus of broadcasters calling for a halt to the LPM roll out. As signatories to a letter written by Tribune Broadcasting President Pat Mullen, the list of objecting broadcasters includes long-time LPM opponent News Corp./Fox, along with other major groups. Ms Whiting also spoke with TVBR late last night and stated "LPM will roll forward in DC and Philly as scheduled." As for being perceived as not hearing or wanting to listen to broadcasters concerns Whiting said "Is further from the truth as we (Nielsen) don't want to be at odds with so many large clients and at the same time we are trying to balance reporting information and accomplish the best of all clients concerned." RBR observation: Talk about politics well this is it. First party ready to roll out LPM and move forward to the future with technology and the other side not wanting or ready to improve until they are faced with a crisis then react to the crisis. Bottom line nobody likes change or improvement until a crisis hits them in the face. | The letters: | Broadcasters to Nielsen; Nielsen to Broadcasters; Broadcasters reply to Nielsen. Kicker is the last letter sent to Nielsen by Broadcaster (Mullen) late yesterday, 5/3/1/05, Broadcasters did not wait for a Nielsen reply to which Mullen stated he would be on the next plane to NYC to discuss the issue(s). Instead, Broadcaster just fired off a PR release last night to what you have just read. 06/01/05 RBR #107

Verklin on the TV upfront
I think it's much softer than anyone wants to talk about - - much softer. I've been saying it to you guys in the beginning, that I didn't see the upfront going higher than 3% CPM increases. I think I'm actually high - - I think we'll end up at one or two percent when all the smoke clears. Budgets, are probably down by 10% overall. 06/01/05 RBR #107

Mergers & Acquisitions
Firm Est. 1959 needs 'Rainmaker' in the Southeast and New England territory. Looking to get established in the media brokerage business this is the time.

GSM Opportunity with Emmis
Legendary KSHE-95 St Louis needs a strong GSM with minimum 5 years battle experience and NTR skills a plus. Generous benefits and compensation await. Are you ready for this challenge!

See Radio Careers

Dear Cathy- What a great job RBR/TVBR did recruiting top talent for W.B. Grimes & Company!! The quality and sheer number of candidates RBR/TVBR produced was just outstanding. You out-pulled all the other publications and on-line recruiting sources we've used ten to one. Every member of our broadcast brokerage team was introduced to us through RBR/TVBR. Thank you.

Larry Grimes, President
W.B. Grimes & Company
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