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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 110, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning June 6th, 2005

Radio News®

Jack in the city
Infinity shocked New Yorkers on Friday by blowing up long-established Oldies outlet WCBS-FM to launch a "Jack" format with a playlist of more than 1,200 songs. Jack debuted with "Fight For Your Right" by the Beastie Boys - - which no doubt shocked listeners who moments before had been listening to Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind." Simultaneously, Infinity replaced its Oldies outlet in Chicago, WJMK-FM, with the Windy City's "Jack." In an attempt to mollify listeners in both markets, Infinity says both Oldies stations will continue to exist, but as Internet-only stations. In New York, where the front page of the New York Post called the format change a "bloodbath," those off the air included such big names as "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Harry Harrison, former "Monkee" Micky Dolenz and Bill Brown. Off the air in Chicago were such veterans as Dick Biondi, Fred Winston, Greg Brown and Paul Perry. Newspapers in New York were all over the format change, quoting Oldies listeners who accused CBS-FM management of "abandonment" and "selling out." And there were hints that the Oldies niche won't be left open for too long. The Daily News quoted Bruce Morrow as saying "My audience won't be without me for long." As of yesterday, it was unclear which DJs will continue working for the Internet-only stations. (However, RBR sources say Dolenz's contract for morning drive in NYC is up next month, which may have played a role in the timing.) Both websites carry letters from Infinity's local GM (Chad Brown in NY and Dave Robbins in Chicago) promising that each of the Oldies stations will be coming back to on-air broadcasting as HD Radio multicasting is implemented.

RBR observation: According to BIAfn, WCBS-FM billed 34.1 million last year, so Infinity is blowing up a big revenue center to go in a new direction. And WJMK's 20.3 million was nothing to sneeze at. One programming source who contacted RBR noted, however, that Infinity's top dogs saw what happened in LA, where KCBS-FM jumped to 5th 25-54 in its first month as "Jack," while Oldies K-Earth fell to 17th. That source noted that the Oldies format has only three years left until its core demo is 55+. "Take your poison now and beat anyone else to it," they said. But we got quite a different view from programmer Mel Phillips, who was once at WCBS-FM. He questions whether a format with 1,200 songs can really counter the threats from iPods and satellite radio, which have 10,000-plus. And he says it will be "extremely hard" for the new Jack station to identify and qualify the type of music it's playing. "You just can't broad-brush the music as everything from the 50s to the 90s. My question is what kind of music from the 50s to the 90s ? I'm sure this is the question both listeners and the advertising community will want answered. You can't just sell the glitz without telling them what's in the glitz. Lite-FM (Clear Channel's WLTW) will be the recipient of this format change and they'll likely go from a 6+ share to an 8+ share. I don't question the need to change the format but what I do question is a format intended to compete with iPods, mp3s, the Internet and satellite radio. CBS-FM cannot compete with 1,200 titles against 10,000. There is also this: for the most part, every one of those 1,200 songs can be heard on the existing stations in New York, so my final question is this: Why should they listen to you instead of them?" Phillips said. (More from Madison Avenue's Rich Russo in AdBiz.)

Publisher note: Make all the excuses you want but in New York City it is so big oldies will work and can remain viable and grow with a progressive program director (PD) that has the passion for the content and presentation and now no competition. 710-AM WOR, Buckley Broadcasting. should be the new home of current and future legends with live entertainment that takes on the meaning of live and community involvement. Plus a built in 3.1 and 31 million bucks that goes with Buck-ley. My recommendation is pick up the phone and call Joe McCoy and Mel Phillips they can toss the switch and integrate your talk in hours. Can hear the jingles now - 710- WOR.

Non-spot pads radio's April slip
Traditionally, when the Radio Advertising Bureau reports monthly radio revenues, and national business slides 2% and local is flat, and combined there's a 1% revenue drop, we're looking at a red ink month. But the relatively new addition of non-spot revenue to the mix saved the month, bringing it back to flat. That category enjoyed a 6% increase over the same month last year. YTD, radio is up 1%, on a 1% gain in local a 2% gain in national and flat revenue in non-spot.

RBR observation: In a statement, RAB President/CEO Gary Fries said radio was in an evolutionary phase. Does the choice of the word "evolutionary" make anyone else a little nervous? How about you, Mr. Triceratops? There are so many technologies out there that may be able to play the role of the catastrophic climate-changing meteor. Still, on the plus side, radio has weathered many such meteors in the past, not the least of which was the advent of television. Maybe it's still the one media species which cannot be bumped off. Hmmmm...

Click to Enlarge
Groups held the line in May
Harris Nesbitt analyst Lee Westerfield says the results of his monthly Radio Airtime Monitor for May startled him - - groups slashed commercial air time by nearly 10%, yet revenues still improved by an estimated 2-3%. And he says it's not just Clear Channel that's cutting back. "At 12.6 minutes per hour, Infinity was down 4.1%, but continues to run the most commercial time across its entire group of stations in the Top 10 markets," Westerfield noted. And while he said Infinity has a higher mix of AMs in those markets than Clear Channel, the analyst said that doesn't entirely account for the difference. Use your mouse to enlarge the chart.

RBR observation: While last week's spot load analysis from Wachovia that got noses out of joint at Infinity (6/3/05 RBR #109) compared month-to-month spot loads since January, Harris Nesbitt's Westerfield is comparing each month of 2005 against the same month of 2004. Thus, his numbers do show that Infinity has been reducing inventory for some time, although it still carries heavier spot loads than many of its competitors.

Supremes probably decide to decide on today
...and according to at least one inside observer, the smart money is betting that the nine members of SCOTUS will let the Third Circuit's decision on FCC media ownership rules stand. That would mean its back-to-the-drawing-board time in earnest at the FCC. Andrew Schwartzman of Media Access Project said that the Supreme Court held its private conference on whether or not to hear arguments, and that while there is no hard and fast rule, a Thursday conference often leads to a Monday announcement. The National Association of Broadcasters and a lineup of big media companies thinks the FCC's 6/2/03 ownership ruling in some cases overstepped its bounds by introducing new regulations and in other cases did not go far enough in eradicating regulations in accordance with deregulatory legislative intent expressed in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Watchdogs on the other side suggest that the FCC went completely overboard in extending local and national television ownership caps and allowing greater instances of broadcast/newspaper cross ownership. The FCC and DOJ elected to stay on the sidelines, which some believe may influence SCOTUS to do the same.

Boyle praises successor
He still has nothing to say about his own departure from Wachovia Securities (6/3/05 RBR #109), but Jim Boyle wants RBR readers to know that Marci Ryvicker, who is now lead broadcast analyst at Wachovia, was more than "his long-time associate," as we termed it, which he took to mean a junior subordinate. "Instead, she was my very close, highly knowledgeable partner for three years [chronological & many more in Street yrs.]. In the last two years she was truly my peer, my trusted and insightful colleague and fellow media analyst, without whom I would have been a much less impactful Street and Industry presence. Your article short-changes her in my humble view," Boyle said in an email. "Marci is extraordinarily valuable to clients and to dozens of companies, and is very well regarded on her own, internally at Wachovia and externally. Wachovia should not miss a step with her coverage of several broadcasting names going forward, since she had already been covering many of them for years," he said.
Publisher note: Jim it is a pleasure to publish your honesty and integrity.

Hinson exists Univision
Just over 14 months after being named Chief Financial Officer at Univision Communications (3/23/04 RBR #57), Jeff Hinson has left the company. Univision announced Friday that Hinson was leaving "to pursue other interests in Dallas where he and his family reside." Sr. VP/Chief Strategic Officer Andrew Hobson has taken on the additional title of CFO. "In 13 years with the company, Andy has been an outstanding leader with unmatched financial expertise, knowledge of the media business and strategic vision," said Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio in announcing the appointment.

RBR observation: It has to be difficult to be part of the senior management team of a company based in Los Angeles when you're in Dallas. Like fellow Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. veteran Mac Tichenor, who stepped down as President of Univision Radio last December (12/9/04 RBR #239), Hinson likely found the close-to-the-vest, top-down management structure at Univision more restrictive than the way HBC operated. And like Mac, he has many millions in Univision stock and options from the merger to allow him to do other things that may interest him. Hobson, on the other hand, is one of Perenchio's closest associates and should have no problem dealing with the demands of the reclusive billionaire.


Madison Ave. buyer reacts to "Jack" flips
You've previously read comments on the "Jack" format from Rich Russo of JL Media (4/5/05 RBR #67), so it's not surprising that he was quick to deliver an assessment of what's he's hearing on the new "Jack" in New York. Here's Russo's take on the format flip: "CBS-FM lost its cache awhile back, so flipping it out of format is not a big deal nor will too many clients be upset. The bigger issue is the motive, Infinity was beaten to the punch on a jack type format in SF by Bonneville, where rumor has it, they were beaten by one day as well in Philly and Boston, which were done by Greater Media and Entercom, beating Infinity to the punch again. I think they didn't want to have that happen again especially in key markets like NYC and Chicago. The most ironic thing is that CBS-FM in its heyday was probably the original Jack, when other oldies stations were on a tight playlist, CBS-FM was able to go from Doo-wop to disco to rock to funk in a single stopset. When they stopped doing that is when they started to go downhill, leading to this change. In my opinion they should have gone back to the original CBS-FM because... What I am hearing this weekend, isn't the spirit of the "Jack" format, it's a flank to get the name, and really is a full frontal assault on WPLJ, which has always been vulnerable and now they will get their first dead on competitor in awhile. This CBS-FM "Jack" isn't playing what they want (they aren't even using that tagline), they are playing what WPLJ wants to play but isn't or can't. Based on the state on NYC radio, this is better than what we had last week, but still far off as to what we should have, so hopefully this chess game plays out to what is needed in NYC, which of course is a solid well thought out Rock station...."

Kathy Crawford
on LPM Controversy
In our ongoing series, we asked Kathy Crawford, MindShare President/Local Broadcast, for her thoughts on the latest LPM controversy, sparked by 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): "This delay is really nothing. All it does is give them time to adjust to the numbers. The numbers aren't going to change, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a 100% improvement over what we've had before. Yes, it's very dramatic - - the changes in the marketplace - - but you know, so be it." (Tomorrow Crawford outlines details)

Dyson account goes in review
The Dyson Group, which makes high-end vacuum cleaners for the home, has confirmed contacting agencies about its U.S. ad account. Fallon Minneapolis has handled the business since 2002, but is now parting with Dyson. The client spent 50 million on U.S. ads in 2004.

TargetFirst launches ad network
The TargetFirst Network, a contextual, pay-per-click online advertising network, launched Friday, utilizing a proprietary technology, called Value Rank to real-time monitor the effectiveness of every ad spot in the network. These value rankings are used to ensure the top paying ads are always being placed in the best performing locations. For advertisers this means that their contextual ads are being served to the placements that best fit exactly what they are paying for. In the TargetFirst Network, publishers with the best performing traffic will always be served the highest paying ads, ensuring maximum revenue. The TargetFirst Network will utilize validated content channels to ensure that each advertisement is perfectly targeted for the audience. In addition, advertisers will have the ability to target geographically to focus their resources on only the audiences they want to reach. "One of the big problems that many online advertisers have experienced with Google or Yahoo! Search Marketing Services is paying high cost-per-click fees and getting low ROI," says TargetFirst Network Co-Founder Jim Busse. "TargetFirst attacks this problem head-on and delivers maximum parity and value to both online advertisers and Web site publishers."

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
Clear Channel snips a loose end
Clear Channel Communications has told Earl Kim to go the Helen. Helen, Georgia, that is - - that's where he'll find the FM station the radio giant is selling to his Radio Seoul Georgia LLC. WHEL-FM is in the mountainous - - and unrated - - northern portion of the state, and is a loner in the generally interconnected CCU radio station portfolio. Kim will pay 650K for it. Helen is located on the southern edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Close encounter in Corcoran
Corcoran CA is in the Visalia-Tulare-Hanford market, home to KXQX-FM, which according to broker Greg Guy of Patrick Communications, is now happily ensconced in the portfolio of Adam Nathanson's Mapleton Communications. On the other side of the dealing table, Robert LaRue and Albert Perez of RAK Communications are happily counting up their new 2.1M dollar stack of cash. Guy told RBR that although Mapleton has 26 other stations scattered about in California and Oregon, none of them are in the Visalia area. RAK retains three AMs in nearby Fresno.

New analyst analyzes a dozen broadcasters
Stepping into the role of lead broadcast analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities following Drew Marcus' move to the investment banking side (2/24/05 RBR #39), James Dix is out with his initial recommendations on 12 radio, TV and satellite radio companies. "Niche broadcast media should be better than general market broadcast media at fighting technology threats, managing commercial inventory and pushing price increases. For the general market broadcasting stocks, we are looking for catalysts relating to media usage trends, advertising time inventory management and share gains from non-broadcast media," Dix said. The Deutsche analyst gave his only "buy" recommendations to Entravision, Univision and Radio One - - all ethnic niche players. He began coverage with "hold" ratings for ACME, Beasley, Clear Channel, Entercom, Hearst-Argyle, LIN, Salem, Sirius and XM.

Washington Beat
Martin staffs the Media Bureau
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has announced that Donna Gregg is the new Chief of the Media Bureau, filling a slot left empty by the departure of Ken Ferree. Her resume includes stints as VP/Legal and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel for CPB, and she was a partner at Wiley Rein & Fielding. This will be the second time she's hung her nameplate at the Commission - - she started out as a staff attorney in the old Cable Television Bureau. She will have the head of the old Mass Media Bureau at her side in the form of Roy Stewart, who has 40 years of FCC service on his resume. He will be Senior Deputy Chief of the MB. Acting Chief Deborah Klein, who has been tending the helm since Ferree's exit, will stay on as Deputy Chief. "Donna brings a wealth of experience and expertise on media issues to the Commission." said Martin. "I have long been impressed by her intellect and engaging personality, and I am grateful she has agreed to continue her commitment to public service by returning to the Commission. I also want to thank Roy and Deborah for agreeing to continue their excellent work in the Media Bureau in these new capacities."

RBR observation: We'll probably find out today just how full Gregg's plate is going to be, when the Supreme Court announces whether it will review FCC ownership regs. If it doesn't, it will fall mainly on Gregg and staff to revise or rejustify them.

FM Table on the FCC menu
On the Thursday, 6/9/05 Open Meeting of the FCC, "The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning procedures for amending the FM Table of Allotments and other procedures for making certain modifications to broadcast facilities." The plank hearkens back to a filing by move-in specialist First Broadcasting asking that the process for such amendments be streamlined, according to broadcast engineering guru Al Kenyon of Denny & Associates. Table modification currently is handled as a rulemaking at the commission level. Proposed changes would move it down to staff level and reduce paperwork by as much as three-fourths. There were three main propositions in First's filing: (1) that city of license changes be reduced to the level of a minor license modification; (2) that FM licenses are allowed to be surrendered as is the case with AMs; and (3) that the process of reducing a station's class from Full C to C0 (C-zero) status be streamlined.

RBR observation: Is this good or bad? Kenyon noted that the saga of a North Carolina stick's move from Albemarle to Indian Trail (and into range of Charlotte), complete with blocking maneuvers, took well over five years. If you're outside Charlotte and want in, making such moves easier is a good thing. If you're in Charlotte and think there's plenty of competition now thank you very much, it's a bad thing. Likewise, if your neighbor is operating on a short stick, changing the stick to a C0 is a good thing. Maybe it's not so good if it's your own short stick - - maybe you're not ready to choose between taking that zero or getting approval and paying for an upgrade. The same goes with dumpstering one station to improve another - - it's all a matter of perspective. Stay tuned.

FCC tees up off-air DTV reqs
Broadcasting finally is on the FCC Open Meeting agenda - - not that that is necessarily a good thing - - and the television industry will share in that recognition 6/9/05. More specifically, television manufacturers will be in the spotlight as the FCC considers "a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning its rules requiring new television receives to include the capability to receive off-the-air digital broadcast television signals."

RBR observation: We have no idea where the Commission is going on this one. We did hear a high-ranking retailer tell the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet that he could save everybody a lot of money if he wasn't forced to sell the off-air DTV apparatus to customers who rely completely on cable or satellite for their reception. But then again, if there's an emergency, and your cable system is knocked out, you may need that off-air capability to get vital information. Stay tuned...

7M KABL-FM San Francisco (Walnut Creek CA) from Chase Radio Properties LLC (Van H. Archer III) to Contra Costa County Radio Inc. (James E. Levitt, John F. Levitt). 350K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Superduopoly with KKIQ-FM Livermore, KUIK-FM Vacaville. LMA 10/1/05 is closing has not yet occurred. [File date 5/2/05.]

2,061,972 WSWB-TV Wilkes Barre-Scranton (Scranton PA) from KB Prime Media LLC (Guyon W. Turner) to Mystic Television of Scranton LLC (Daniel J. Duman). Estimated cash payment pursuant to 4/14/98 purchase option formula. Buyer is taking over deal for Pegasus Satellite Communications Inc. (Marshall W. Pagon, Ted S. Lodge et al). Will continue in duopoly with Pegasus's WOLF-TV. TBA since 6/26/97. WSWB is a WB/UPN affiliate on Channel 38 (DTV Channel 31). WOLF is a Fox affiliate. Buyer also owns WILF-TV, a Fox affiliate at Williamsport PA on the western fringe of the DMA. Pegasus, in its initial application was seeking waiver to acquire WSWB as a failed station. [File date 5/10/04.]

67.5K WALD-AM Walterboro SC from Jacquelyn Collier Pembroke to Glory Communications Inc. (Alex Snipe). 1K deposit, balance in cash at closing. LMA 5/1/05 @ 2K/month. [File date 4/29/05.]

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 4/25/05-4/29/05
April finished off on a fairly robust note, considering that once again there was no action on the TV side of the spectrum divide. Big markets were involved in the action, but don't let that fool you too much - - the stations were mostly FMs on the fringe, small AMs or AMs in Puerto Rico. Still, another 200K and it would have been a 300M month.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Denver dealer takes top two slots
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
Still dormant

Stock Talk
Jobs down; stocks down
A weak employment report sent stock prices lower on Friday. The Dow Industrials fell 93 points, or 0.9%, to 10,461.

Radio stocks also retreated. The Radio Index was off 1.482, or 0.7%, to 204.193. Entravision dropped 4.1% as the day's worst performer. Beasley fell 3.1%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
11.95 +0.01

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.










Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

WCBS-FM is now Jack,
we hear from Joe

It happened almost a year to the day (6/2/04) since I left WCBS-FM. Surprising? No. When the Sales Department continually complains to the GM that they are having a problem selling it because of low 25-54 ratings you expect a change is going to come. GM's and Upper Management do not come from Programming. They have no attachment to the audience or the format, just the bottom line. I guess the question is why change a station that makes millions of dollars when you can change one that has been treading water for 3 years? Namely WNEW-FM. It's hard to image N.Y.C. without an Oldies Station but, maybe it won't be for long. If some company has the foresight to talk to me and the CBS-FM jocks they would have a "plug-in" 3+ share (12+). What really bothered me was that there was no retro-montage of a Legendary Radio Station before it switched format. I think 33 years as "America's Most Listened To Oldies Station" deserved at least that.

Joe McCoy
Former WCBS-FM - PD
(I am retiring from Viacom/Infinity on July 12th but not Radio)


Market Results
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| Columbus |
| Denver |
| Fresno |
| Seattle |

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]

TVBR - TV News

Nielsen says
LPM is better

After being caught unprepared by anti-LPM campaigns in New York and Los Angeles a few months ago, Nielsen Media Research is the PR offensive in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, even after agreeing to delay Local People Meter implementation for 28 days (6/2/05 TVBR #108). Using topline data from its ongoing preliminary LPM run in DC and Philly, Nielsen claims the new meters are more accurate, more representative and that the sample is larger than for the Metered Market meters that LPM is replacing. The company has sent out data showing an increase in total viewing across a broad range of demos and ethnic groups, as measured by LPM in the May sweeps. Fighting back against claims that LPMs undercount minorities, Nielsen says the LPM sample is bigger - - 609 households vs. 439 in DC for its existing set meters - - with the number of African-American households increasing from 113 to 146, Latino households from 23 to 51 and Asian American households from 15 to 35. "Because the LPM sample is much closer to the estimated universe of Africa-American, Latino and Asian households, it more accurately captures viewing within those communities," Nielsen said. In Philly, the ratings company says the number of households with LPM has increased to 809 from 508 with set meters, African-American households from 103 to 167, Latino from 20 to 45 and Asian from 12 to 22. wNielsen will distribute May sweeps data to its subscribers in both markets by mid-month, but preliminary number-crunching shows total viewing recorded by LPMs up for a broad range of age demos and ethnic groups. But, of course, there are winners and losers among individual broadcast and cable channels. Nielsen notes that some of the "smallest viewing sources" are seeing some of the biggest percentage gains in audience.
| View the Charts |

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

Infinity says it's already
reduced inventory
Aren't taking kindly to a Wachovia Securities report that the Viacom radio arm has failed to cut inventory on its stations. 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 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, saying "We don't need to put out a press release for something we've been doing for the last year." 06/03/05 RBR #109

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 -"The thing is, the LPM is so far superior to what they have now that it's better off. The problem is they (TV) haven't figured out how to adjust their business to it." - Pat McNew, PHD's EVP, LMN Director of Operations "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, 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." 06/03/05 RBR #109

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." 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

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