Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 11, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning January 17th, 2005

Radio News®

Alicia Keys boosts radio's competitors
Hip-hop singer Alicia Keys is one of the artists featured in the new spots distributed by NAB and some major radio groups to promote terrestrial radio (1/11/05 RBR #7) - - but you'd never know it from her comments in the cover story for the February issue of Lucky magazine. Instead, she's singing the praises of XM Satellite Radio and Apple's iTunes - - two new competitors for radio's listeners. In the "How I'm wired..." feature, there's no mention of Keys owning or listening to any AM or FM radio, but she has plenty of tech gadgets. "I have an XM Satellite Radio in my car. I love the variety of music, from jazz to hip-hop - - even 'The Smurfs'," she told the magazine. That comment, since Lucky is about shopping, is adjacent to a shot of a portable XM receiver, available at Circuit City for 350 bucks. "I'm addicted to iTunes. I buy one song and then another and the next thing I know, I've spent a couple of hundred dollars," Keys is quoted as saying. She carries those tunes with her on an ultralight Apple Powerbook G4, available at apple.com for 1,999. The article also talks about her Blackberry, cell phone and other devices. But, as we noted, there is no radio receiver to be found. "I've never heard of Lucky Magazine, so I can't comment on the interview," NAB Sr. VP of Communications Dennis Wharton told RBR. "What I can say with certainty is that Alicia Keys and all of the artists in our campaign are crediting local radio with playing the central role in launching their careers." Lucky, which calls itself "The Magazine About Shopping," is a Conde Nast title. We found it at the checkout of an Albertson's supermarket in Bradenton, FL.

RBR observation: Just as we noted Friday (1/14/04 RBR #10), all of the artists in the new PR spots are on satellite radio and everywhere else, so there's nothing in the campaign to tell people that terrestrial radio has anything unique to offer. Also Apple reported that it sold 4.5 million of the devices in the last quarter '04. Remember Naples, FL Is Calling in May '04: "Radio medium is resilient and can survive an onslaught from a number of areas including technology but can not survive an assault from everyone at the same time. We warned over nine months ago of new technologies like digital downloads, I-Pods, satellite radio , streaming, broadband and other forms of content were fast becoming available. Well here you go it is real. So examine closely and ask this question - Are broadcasters flushing 28 million bucks of airtime down the toilet to run these spots? Could be.

FCC opens payola probe
It looks like most of Washington has enough of an angle on the Armstrong Williams case to launch an investigation, and the FCC can make it a double play by looking into the more tradition music-related pay for play form of payola. And that is just what it is going to do. This from FCC Chairman Michael Powell: "In response to recent reports regarding potential violations of the 'payola' and sponsorship identification provisions of the Communications Act, I have instructed the Enforcement Bureau to open two investigations: One into issues regarding commentator Armstrong Williams; and the other into issues regarding station WKSE (FM), Niagara Falls, New York, licensed a subsidiary of Entercom Communications Corporation. These provisions govern disclosure and sponsorship identification regarding payments or other consideration in connection with broadcast programs."

RBR observation: RBR was there in 1985 when the real rebirth of payola was thriving, we reported first hand about it and did the network morning and evening news stints to educated what payola was all about and even had to educate former Los Angeles US prosecutor Marvin Rudnick on this topic. Mr. Chairman and all concerned with this word 'Payola' our recommendation is find the copy of these books 'Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business' by Fred Dannon and 'Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia' by William Knoedelseder. These are the real guides of knowledge, true investigations into that world of corruption. They are factual, educational read, and then you can speak about payola. If it is true payola it belongs in the Justice Department not the FCC.

Emmis completes "The Loop" swap in Chicago
Emmis Communications announced it has gained the necessary approvals and completed both its acquisition of WLUP-FM Chicago (The Loop) and its sale of three Phoenix stations (10/5/04 RBR #194). In the deal, Emmis is swapping KTAR-AM, KMVP-AM and KKLT-FM Phoenix for The Loop and 70 million in cash, which Emmis will use to pay down debt.

Wobbly ad revenues worry Westerfield
After hearing "fresh evidence" of unsteady ad pricing trends from ad buyers, Harris Nesbitt analyst Lee Westerfield has lowered his Q1 and full year 2005 forecast for the broadcast companies that he tracks. "Major network scatter pricing is a mere 0-2% higher than upfront, lowering the boom for spot radio and TV pricing," Westerfield wrote Friday in a note to clients. "National spot radio, up near 10% for Q1, is driven by January Auto clearances; that pace decelerates with February down and March flat. Spot TV [is] down near 5% for Q1 so far, before political comparisons become challenging in March. Westerfield isn't worried about Q4 results, saying that Wal-Mart and the big auto companies saved the quarter for radio. Of course, TV groups got a political windfall in October/November. The Harris Nesbitt is not optimistic about radio revenues, but he sees radio stock prices holding steady, because of stock buyback efforts. In fact, he expects giant Clear Channel to increase its buyback program. But he's lowered his price targets for a number of radio and TV companies.

Shareholder sues over Fox buyout
No surprise here. A law firm has filed suit on behalf of a Fox Entertainment shareholder, seeking class action status, claiming that the buyout offer from News Corp. valued at 33.54 per share (1/11/05 RBR #7) shortchanges Fox Shareholders. The suit filed by The Weiser Law Firm Ltd. claims that the "meager 7.4% premium" to the previous trading price is "wholly inadequate." The lawsuit claims that News Corp. is trying to "freeze out" the public owners of the 18% of Fox not already owned by News Corp. and that officers of Fox - - most of whom are also News Corp. officers - - have "breached their duty of loyalty" to Fox shareholders. The lawsuit was filed in a New York state court.

They said it in 2004:
Kathy Crawford, President of Local Broadcast, Mindshare had one of the best thoughts as radio entered a New Year, "Here's the thing, radio is at a very interesting crossroads in its life as a business. And it has to decide as an industry what it wants to be when it grows up. Is this it?" Today: December 2004 | More... |

Today's RBR Opinion Poll Question
Just as NAB and big broadcasters begin airing spots from Alicia Keys boosting terrestrial radio, she also speaks on the record in Lucky magazine and sings the praises of XM Satellite Radio and Apple's iTunes - - two new competitors for radio's listeners.

Was someone had for 28 million bucks?
Or does Keys really love terrestrial radio?

1 - She still thinks about us, while listening to XM
2 - Those quotes in Lucky magazine were just made up by her publicist
3 - Decision makers wasted air time and money to please Wall Street


Social security debate create ad flak
Conservative group Progress for America is trying to promote the partial privatization of Social Security as proposed by President Bush, and they are using footage of Social Security creator Franklin Delano Roosevelt to do it. James Roosevelt Jr., one of FDR's grandsons, has asked them to cut it out, according to the Associated Press. Roosevelt said his grandfather would never have supported Bush's plan and asked that the flight, running on Fox News and CNN, be canned. PFA has refused, and plans to keep the ad intact and on the air through 1/19/05.

Regis to give away Pontiac minivans
GM, which created a buzz with the giveaway of 276 Pontiac cars on Oprah last year, hopes for a similar coup in February when "Live with Regis and Kelly" will hand out at least 20 Pontiac minivans. Beginning 2/1, the show will give away 1 million in prizes, including at least one all-new 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 minivan nearly every day of the month. Regis will also let winners spin a wheel to win a second prize, including add-ons for their minivan or a second Montana. The deal was done with Disney's Buena Vista Television, which syndicates the program.

Miller isn't renewing product placement deal
with "Rescue Me"
Miller Brewing has decided not to renew its sponsorship deal with "Rescue Me," the hot drama series about NYC Firefighters on FX. Last year Miller bought a 1 million ad package for the show, according to the Wall Street Journal, which included spots, product placements and single sponsorship of the commercial-free debut episode. Miller was also the exclusive beer advertiser for the first six 'sodes. Miller's involvement in the show raised eyebrows because the program, which featured Denis Leary playing a gruff, foul-mouthed alcoholic, was something many assumed a conservative beer marketer would keep its distance from. "It was a great opportunity for us to get into the ground floor of a show, but towards the end we were less comfortable with the show's content," says Peter Marino, a spokesman for Miller Brewing. "Coupled with the rising cost of the deal, we made a decision not to pursue the opportunity this year." FX doesn't seem to be worried about luring new sponsors. Ad sales on the show have been "phenomenal," an FX spokesman told the paper.

FDA bans all Celebrex ads
The FDA has asked for an immediate halt to all ads for arthritis drug Celebrex, which Pfizer did last month in advance of the agency's letter. A study in December found high doses of the drug were associated with an increased risk of heart attack. The government said the ads were misleading and unsubstantiated, overstating the pain reliever's benefits and understating the risks. The letter details the misleading and unsubstantiated claims in ads for Celebrex and a related drug, Bextra, that appeared on TV, print and direct-mail. Pfizer spent more than 70 million advertising best-selling Celebrex to consumers in the first nine months of last year, and much less promoting Bextra. When Pfizer voluntarily pulled its ads in December, the company said it planned to keep Celebrex on the market and would continue marketing the drug to the medical community. Vioxx, a drug in the same class as Celebrex, has been found to be associated with higher rates of heart problems and stroke. Merck pulled the painkiller off the market last fall. The FDA has said it is considering warning labels for Celebrex or ordering its withdrawal from the market altogether.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Petracom: Things looking up in Show Low
Now we ask you: What better state for a phoenix to rise from the ashes than Arizona, and who better to do the rising than Henry Ash? After turning over most of its broadcast holdings to financial backers, the erstwhile group is getting four stations back, although the AZ market is not exactly in the Phoenix league. The stations are KRFM-FM, KSNX-FM, KVWM-AM & KVSL-AM, all licensed to Show Low. They went, along with the better part of a Joplin MO cluster, to FFD Holdings I, which is an holding company owned by Petracom lender Textron Financial Corp. Originally bought in a 2.779M deal with Skynet Communications during 2001, Petracom is getting them back for 1.625M. The deal will reunite the foursome with KDJI-AM/KZUA-FM Holbrook AZ, a town about 50 miles to the north or Show Low - - contour overlap between the Show Low and Holbrook stations is strictly on the outer reachers of the signals. Show low is in the east-central portion of the state about 50 miles west of the border with New Mexico. It is unrated territory.

Washington Beat
Copps weighs in - Again and Again
Veteran FCC watchers know that Michael Copps has not been shy about using the bully pulpit available to those seated on the Commission. It therefore comes as no surprise that Copps has elected to mount the podium again on the occasion of the Armstrong Williams affair. "In a single day, the number of complaints coming into the FCC has grown from a few to thousands," he said. "Citizens across the country are asking the FCC to investigate whether there was a failure to disclose payments to commentator Armstrong Williams in return for promoting a Department of Education initiative in a manner that would violate the statute and our rules. People are concerned when their media are abused and misused. In this era of huge corporate media, it is becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between news and entertainment, to differentiate between information and propaganda. Copps continued, "This case cries out for immediate attention and an investigation conducted not only by the Department of Education but also by the FCC, the nation's independent regulator. The statute and our rules require disclosure of payments received in return for airing any matter. This and other recent incidents of payments involving local news shows and airtime for recording artists further highlight the need to complete the Commission's localism proceeding to ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest."

XTRA moves frequencies in SoCal
CC Radio RVPs Greg Ashlock and Roy Laughlin announced CC Radio's XTRA Sports 690 & 1150 will be moving frequencies to AM 570 on 2/3. This move is made with the simultaneous announcement that Don Martin has been named Station Manager. To coincide with the XTRA move, the Fabulous 570 (standards format) will be moving to AM-690. Ashlock comments, "I think most of the sports fans out there are saying 'it's about time'. It just makes sense to marry the premiere sports franchise in the country with the leading sports radio station in the market. The continuity of programming will sound better and the recycling of audience between dayparts will drastically improve. The other plus is that KPOP-AM San Diego flipped to progressive talk, leaving a void in the market. Using AM-690 we can service both LA and San Diego with the standards format which knows no geographical boundaries."

Ratings & Research
Webcast Metrics releases Internet radio rankings
Ando Media released the Webcast Metrics Top 20 Ranker for the month of December 2004. Audience figures listed on the Ranker are gathered directly from webcasters' media servers, making Webcast Metrics the only third-party audience measurement platform that accurately measures Internet radio listenership - eliminating the need for sample-based estimates that are common in terrestrial radio. The Webcast Metrics list of subscribing stations continued to grow in December. Among the new additions was progressive talk network Air America Radio, which placed fourth with an average quarter hour (AQH) of 2,599. (Monday to Sunday 6am - 12 mid daypart). Digitally Imported retained the first position with an AQH of 18,027. | More... |

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 12/6/04-12/10/04
What, did they reinstate the freeze? Hyey guys, the holidays are still a few weeks off. Suffice it to say, there were only five deals involving six stations, and no TVs, as most dealers took the week off.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Spinner on the Jersey shore
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week

WBMD-AM & WMGR-AM Baltimore MD from Infinity Radio to Family Stations Inc.

KTNS-AM/KAAT-FM Fresno (Oakhurst CA). 100% of California Sierra Corporation

| More... |

Stock Talk
Week ends on an up note
A bigger-than-expected drop in wholesale prices eased inflation fears and gave traders a reason to buy stocks on Friday. The Dow Industrials rose 52 points, or 0.5%, to close at 10,558.

Radio stocks went along for the ride. The Radio Index rose 1.624, or 0.8%, to 217.440. Leaders include the small and the big. Regent rose 4.7% and Clear Channel gained 2.4%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
14.15 -0.08

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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Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

We're hearing from more readers about the NAB's new PR campaign.

Ed Levine
President and CEO
Galaxy Communications
Scott Meier
RVP/GM Flint-Saginaw
Citadel Broadcasting Company
Jay Austin
McCook, Nebraska | More... |


Market Results
| Allentown |
| Bakersfield |
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| San Diego |

Upped & Tapped

Evans upped in Saginaw
NextMedia Group has promoted former Director of Sales Floyd Evans to General Manager of its Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, Michigan cluster of five stations. Evans has GM posts on his resume with Cumulus, Covenant Communications and Saginaw Bay Broadcasting.

Kingman is king in NC
General Sales Manager/Director of Sales Paul Kingman has been named General Manager of NextMedia Group's Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, NC cluster of nine stations.

Roman invades Vegas
Entravision's Santa Barbara, CA TV GM, Chris Roman, is heading to Las Vegas, where he'll be GM for the company's entire operation - -KINC-TV (Ch. 15, Univision), KELV-LP (Ch. 2, TeleFutura), KQRT-FM & KRRN-FM. Former Las Vegas GM Gabriel Quiroz is taking the Santa Barbara post.

Stations For Sale

Chicago 4-station Group
AMs $900K steady cash flow
Filed for major power increase Rare Opportunity!
Tim at AirTime Media
(847) 566-1793
[email protected]

West Coast Opportunities
Phoenix area FM
Central Valley CA LPTV
California "owner operator" FM stations, coastal and inland.
The Exline Team,
Andy McClure, Dean LeGras, 415-479-3484, [email protected]

More News Headlines

TVBR - TV News

Nexstar stands tough against cable MSOs
So far, no one has blinked in the standoff between Perry Sook's Nexstar Broadcasting and cable systems owned by Cox Communications and the Washington Post Company's Cable One, which pulled Nexstar stations on New Year's Day rather than pay for retransmission consent. The battle is now starting to get national media attention.

TVBR observation: There's no doubt that local broadcasters carrying the major TV networks are the most-watched channels on cable TV. It's only been in the past dozen years of so that the broadcasters have questioned why all of the other content providers for cable are being paid by the MSOs, but not the "free TV" channels that have been on cable since the days when people only needed cable in areas where over-the-air reception was poor. It's not surprising that the cable guys don't want to pay for something that they've always gotten for free, so this is going to be a brutal fight. The big multi-media companies have been able to do swap deals, so no actual cash changes hands (you get retransmission consent if you add my new cable network), but the stand-alone TV groups have nothing else to swap for, so they want cash and they earned it because they take all the risks and deal with all the problems that go with the public trust. Like the FCC and shall we remind you of indecent content. Every TV operator best unit on this one. | More... |

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

RBR Observation: What's missing from the new radio campaign?
The new PR campaign for radio is a feel-good move by the big groups, but there's no value proposition for the listener. That may not matter, since radio listeners don't appear to be the real target audience. Satellite radio is as hot on Wall Street as dot-com companies were in the 1990s. In truth, the new campaign is not so much for consumers anyway, but to assure Wall Street and Madison Avenue that radio is doing something to combat the "threat" of satellite radio. We hope you'll want to read our take - - and we await your feedback. 01/14/05 RBR #10

iPod sales soar for Apple
Wall Street may think satellite radio is a threat to terrestrial radio, but Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan last week repeated his view that iPods and the like are a bigger threat. Well, that threat is growing. Apple reported that it sold 4.5 million of the devices in the last quarter. RBR observation: Spend more money on PSA's. This PR tin can idea has been kicked from Seattle NAB 2002 convention and it is now 2005 and of course satellite radio will get good PR from the consumer press because it has no place to go but up including their stocks. Getting good PR? First it means running a class, profitable, and local operation. Then you get rave reviews from Wall Street suites. That brings good consumer PR. You read it here first and it didn't cost 28 million bucks.
01/14/05 RBR #10

They said it in 2004: November
As satellite radio is hot and now we have a new radio campaign it seem par for the course that this quote matches what you are reading this morning as we look back at the great one liners of last year. "This is a perfect opportunity for me because I want to lead a growth company that can reshape the landscape of the radio business. I took Infinity Broadcasting and Westwood One to leadership positions in the industry and am confident that Sirius will become a market leader in short order." - Mel Karmazin, upon being named CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio. 01/14/05 RBR #10

Sumner Redstone talks acquisitions; Moody's talks downgrade
Viacom back into seeking major acquisition targets has spooked analysts at Moody's Investor Service. Viacom's debt ratings are now under review for a possible downgrade. RBR observation: Open mouth, remove foot. Did Sumner not realize that the credit raters would be listening to such comments? And on another matter, we find it interesting that while Redstone continues to complain that Viacom's stock is undervalued, he's been selling some of his own stake back to the company under the buyback plan - - more than 200 million bucks worth so far. Of course, he's been selling back non-voting Class B stock, not any of the Class A stock, through which the Redstone family's National Amusements holds voting control of Viacom. Who says you can't be sharp as a tack at 81 years of age?
01/13/05 RBR #9

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