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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 121, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning June 20th, 2008
Jerry Lee puts his money where his Cume is
"I will make radio commercials that are more effective than television commercials. And I will do it for free." That's the offer WBEB-FM Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee is making next week to the Advertising Research Foundation in New York. Lee, of course, is well known for decades of pioneering efforts in radio - and this time he has all of Philadelphia radio behind him.With Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings demonstrating in Philadelphia that radio stations have much greater Cume audiences than previously reported by diary measurement, Lee is convinced that radio can deliver the same reach as TV at a fraction of the cost. And with quality, well researched commercials, he believes radio commercials can be more effective than TV. To prove it, he's making the offer to pay for the quality creative work. And he's been empowered by the Philadelphia Radio Organization to have WBEB VP/GM Blaise Howard sell select accounts for virtually all of Philly radio.

Satellites crash to earth
Only figuratively. Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Wienkes already had sell recommendations on both Sirius and XM, but he lowered his price targets for both and declared that "any 'imminent merger' related strength has passed." Both fell sharply in yesterday's trading. The headline that Fortune magazine's website used for its story on Wienkes' report probably didn't help either: "XM and Sirius circle a black hole."

Yes, there are young women on Long Island
Consultant Randy Kabrich took another swipe at Arbitron by sending reporters a data run for the May PPM report in Nassau-Suffolk showing no stations meeting minimum reporting standards for Women 18-24. Arbitron, however, demonstrated to RBR that clients can, indeed, get a May report for the market showing Average Daily Cume, Women 18-24, for lots and lots of stations. The difference? The report from Kabrich was Average Weekly Cume, where, as Arbitron confirms, Average Weekly In-Tab did not reach minimum reporting standards in May. But Average Daily In-Tab did meet minimum reporting standards, so it was indeed possible to run a Radio Ranker that listed 44 stations with an Average Daily Cume (W18-24) of at least 100 (including some with tens of thousands).

Citadel to bring back
WLS-FM in Chicago

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the fabled call letters of WLS-FM are about to light up the Chicago airwaves again. Citadel Broadcasting plans to ask the FCC next week to turn WZZN-FM (94.7), the "True Oldies" station, into WLS-FM-along with original imaging, liners and perhaps some more personalities. If approved, the change is expected to take effect June 26. The application is considered a formality since Citadel also owns news/talk WLS-AM (890). The station's local talent lineup already includes two hosts with strong associations to WLS' past, said the story. "Evening star and Radio Hall of Famer Dick Biondi was part of the station's legendary starting roster in 1960, while morning personality Brant Miller was on from 1977 to 1991."

Radio Success Stories: ESPN Radio's Mo Davenport

It's time to write a series of success stories about radio fighting back against all of the negative news. What is it that ESPN Radio is doing that's working so well? They're up healthy double digits in their station business and similarly up double digits in their network business-that's on top of double digit increases in the year prior. We're talking to the folks that are making that happen. Last Summer we spoke to SVP/ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Traug Keller on the special sauce that's making this all happen (8/23/07 RBR #165). Today, we're talking with Mo Davenport, SVP and General Manager of ESPN Radio.

What is the strategy(ies) behind ESPN Radio's successes?
You start out with the fundamental premise that one, content is king and then secondly if you serve the consumer--if you serve the listener--then you will have success. It's a fundamental principal which sort of guides ESPN. How do you continue to serve sports fans? That's the litmus test--if you're serving your sports fans then there's a good chance that you're also going to be able to make some money down the road. There are times frankly that we won't worry about the revenue implication. There was no way that we knew that we would be able to make any money at all by having a Sports Center from 5 o'clock until 6 o'clock. But that's a risk worth taking for us because if it's a good service and you know the commutes are getting longer why not see if that Sports Center resonates? The one thing that you sort of recognize in radio--I come from a little bit of a TV background. I've been doing TV 25+ years before I came to radio last year this time--I was accustomed to ratings almost instantaneously, next morning. In radio, we have to be patient. You have to go with your gut, you have to if you make a decision this is going to be good content, this is going to be a good service to the consumer and that will eventually allow ratings to catch up and then you as a business will be able to grow.

Intelligence Brief
What the users say...

In today's Traffic and Revenue Management System Intel Brief, we've gathered some quotes from radio and television traffic personnel responding to selected Traffic Directors' Guild of America (TDGA) questions. This is a bit of a "wish list," although they were welcome to get up on their soapboxes as well! We've asked vendors in the space to respond, where relevant to their product offering.

MTV and Sears go back to school
For the first time, MTV has teamed up with Sears to launch a new movie musical from the executive producers of "High School Musical." "The American Mall" premieres exclusively Monday, August 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV with the DVD and soundtrack hitting stores the next day. A multi-layered integrated marketing campaign built around the movie targets the core MTV audience on-air, online and in stores -- in time for the back-to-school shopping season.

Advice on making strong radio ads
Dan Hill's firm Sensory Logic, which for a decade has measured the emotional impact of marketing communications, recently completed a study of 10 radio ads to determine the most effective appeal. Of the spots scrutinized, a Comp USA ad was best, a State Farm ad second best, and a Car Sense ad took third place. "What makes for a strong radio ad? Some general guidelines include making the intimacy of radio work for you by talking in the first person, as if between friends (instead of shouting, literally or figuratively) and transforming it into a visual medium; make sure people can envision the situation being described," Hill says. Specifically, Hill offers five guidelines:

Hispanic action in Quad Cities 
Victoria Duran and her La Jefa Latino Broadcasting will be setting up shop along the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities IA-IL market. She has a $680K deal to acquire WKBF-AM Rock Island IL from Quad Cities Media LLC, headed by Randall Melchert. Duran will come up with $50K, characterized as an LMA deposit, and will use a promissory note for the remaining $630K.

$45K KHAL-FM CP Condon OR from First Broadcasting Investment Partners LLC (Hal A. Rose) to Haystack Broadcasting Inc. (Danny V. Manciu). Cash. Co is for Class C1 on 93.5 MHz with 35 kw @ 909'. [File date 5/2/08]

N/A WRSM-AM Sumiton AL from Sumiton Broadcasting Inc. (Mark A. Chapman) to Joy Christian Communications Inc. (Ed L. Smith et al). Donation to noncommercial entity. Earlier sale of station cratered, transmitter/studio building was vandalized and robbed, and JCC has the ability to restore the station to the airwaves. [File date 5/2/08]


On second thought... 
KJLA-TV Ventura, CA has wanted for some time to race into the digital transition and shut off its analog Channel 57 signal, leaving only its new digital signal on Channel 49. But the FCC turned down the station's request back in 2005, since some analog viewers would be inconvenienced and that turning off the analog signal wouldn't hasten the introduction of new services since the spectrum had not yet been auctioned (2/15/05 TVBR #32). Three years later, in February of this year, KJLA LLC asked for a review of the FCC's previous decision. This time the Commission found that circumstances had changed. The spectrum has been auctioned and, with the February 17, 2009 DTV transition looming, allowing early termination of analog by stations such as KJLA may help them achieve a "successful and timely transition." So, KJLA will be permitted to turn off its analog signal a few months before all stations are required to do so.

Michael Savage instrumental in dismissal
of charges on "Haditha Massacre"

TRN's Michael Savage and the listeners of The Savage Nation have been instrumental to the
vindication of Lt. Colonel Chessani, pictured, in relation to the "Haditha Massacre" in Iraq. For over a year on his nationally syndicated talk show The Savage Nation. Michael Savage said, he "would not rest" until Chessani was exonerated. Savage personally gave $25,000 to Chessani's defense fund and his listeners helped raise over $200,000 on the air. Earlier this week, a military judge dismissed charges against Chessani, a Marine officer accused of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis; however yesterday the government, through Lt. Col. S.M. Sullivan, filed a notice that it would appeal the case to the next judicial level.

MOViN 101.1 upgrades power, coverage 
Bonneville St. Louis Radio Group announced the completion of its transmission upgrade for WMVN-FM, MOViN 101.1. This power upgrade increases WMVN from 50,000 watts to 100,000 watts, expanding its coverage to better serve the St. Louis and surrounding communities in Missouri and Illinois, including Washington, De Soto, St. Genevieve, Wentzville, Troy, Warrenton, Farmington and Sullivan, Missouri; and Carlyle, Illinois. Said Vice President and St. Louis Market Manager John Kijowski: "Our signal upgrade now will make us competitive with the other leading radio stations in our market which, in turn, will help us reach more people in our goal to better serve our communities."
FOX News Radio

Gannett invests in Cozi Group
Gannett announced an investment in Cozi (, a free web service that helps families manage schedules, share information and stay in communication. As part of the equity investment, Gannett will receive a minority stake in Cozi and a seat on the company's Board. Gannett will market the Cozi brand and product throughout its media channels which include USA Today, its network of 85 daily and regional newspapers, hundreds of local websites and 23 television stations. Cozi launched in the fall of 2006 and now has more than 600,000 family members. Families can access Cozi from home, work or on-the-go with any computer or mobile phone so they are always connected to the information they need.

Arianna Huffington vs. Sam Zell
Now, that's an interesting battle. The UK's Guardian newspaper reports that Huffington revealed plans to have Huffington Post launch local news sites in dozens of US cities. The first is to be Chicago, home base of Zell's flagship Chicago Tribune, not to mention the spunky rival Chicago Sun-Times.

CBS Corp. and Ecomedia team with mayors to "Green" cities
EcoMedia, an environmental media company, and CBS Corp. announced a strategic partnership to work with U.S. mayors and local municipalities to "green" cities across the country. The project will utilize CBS's local resources and leverage corporate advertising and sponsorship revenue to improve the quality of the environment in key markets. The first national project from this new partnership for the environment will be the CBS and EcoZone "Green Schools Initiative." This program is expected to launch in Miami, Chicago and San Francisco this fall. A portion of the corporate sponsor revenues will fund a significant "greening" of a school in each city and create ongoing sustainable green projects and initiatives.
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Clear sailing for CBS's buy of CNET 
Dissident CNET shareholder Jana Partners has officially dropped its proxy battle for control of the company's board. Rather, it is banking on the pending buyout of the company by CBS Corporation. Jana, which owns 10.2% of the outstanding shares of CNET, had been pressing for major changes in how the company was being run and was leading a campaign to elect a new board of directors and take control of management. Then the deal to sell CNET to CBS Corp. for $1.8 billion was announced. Jana said in an SEC filing that it is likely the merger will be completed "regardless of any action taken by" Jana prior to the next annual meeting of shareholders, so it has "ceased to pursue" the proxy fight.

Gores Group is now a big part of Westwood One
Westwood One shareholders on Tuesday approved a transaction to have The Gores Group invest $100 million in the company. The first $25 million investment had already been made and, with the go ahead from shareholders, the remaining $75 million changed hands yesterday. "This financing is key to unlocking the future of Westwood One," declared President and CEO Thomas Beusse. The board of WW1 has now been expanded to 11 members and three representatives of The Gores Group have joined the board.


Small gains on Wall Street
Oil prices fell as China announced plans to raise price controls on gasoline and diesel fuel - a move that could ease world oil demand. That gave stock prices a little boost. The Dow Industrials rose 34 points, or 0.3%, to 12,063.

Radio stocks were higher as well. The RBR Radio Index gained 1.130, or 1.5%, to 76.852. Westwood One was the big gainer, up 9.6% as it closed on the last $75 million of a $100 million investment by The Gores Group. Beasley rose 6.4%.

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday





















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.





Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel*




Radio One, Cl. D*




Cox Radio*












Saga Commun.*




Debut Bcg.




Salem Comm.*








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.*








Westwood One*








XM Sat. Radio













*Component of the RBR Radio Index

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Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
MTV and Sears

Go back to school for the
first time, launching a
new movie musical

Media Business Report
Arianna Huffington vs. Sam Zell

Now, that's an interesting battle.

Internet Business Report
Gannett invests in Cozi Group

Free web service that helps
families manage schedules
Media Moves

St. Louis radio veteran Rick Sanborn has joined Emmis' KFTK "97.1 FM Talk" as News Director. Sanborn has been familiar to St. Louis listeners for over 20 years as both air talent and news reporter.

Damsky to Citadel
Former WXRT-FM (CBS) Chicago VP/GM Michael Damsky is joining Citadel Broadcasting as Vice President-Director of Sales for its Chicago combo. His first day will be July 7th.

Chessare jumps
to WW1

WLTW-FM New York General Sales Manager Stephen Chessare has been named Sr. Vice President of Sales at Westwood One, effective June 30th. Chessare will work closely with Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Hersam in managing advertising and sponsorship sales across all Westwood One divisions -- radio, television, events and digital -- on both the local and national levels.

Upped in NYC
Clear Channel's WLTW-FM New York has promoted Bernard Weiss to General Sales Manager. He had been Local Sales Manager.

Kelly advising VSS
Former AOL Media Networks President Michael Kelly has joined the Board of Advisors at Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a private equity firm focused on media.

Music To Go Player - Click for Demo
Stations for Sale

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Northern New England
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3kw FM. Thriving market near 2 major ski-areas, University town with several local banks, county seat. Upgrade to 6kw possible, owned transmitter site, only commercial FM signal. Priced at 7x trailing cash-flow $799,000. Visits, conference calls with seller possible. Inquiries 781-848-4201 or [email protected]

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Second source sees Tate as possible merger wildcard
Seems to prefer as hands-off a stance as is possible when private business affairs, such as the proposed merger between XM and Sirius.

RBR observation: We tend to doubt that Tate will make any attempt whatsoever to hang her nomination on this one vote. We think Tate's vote will come down a choice between her free market tendencies and the strength of the arguments against the merger from her friends in broadcasting.
06/19/08 RBR #120

Arbitron touts PPM progress
Just as company officials did last week when they announced that the PPM rollout would resume in September, Arbitron repeatedly noted in their conference call how metrics had improved since the rollout was put on hold last October.
06/19/08 RBR #120

Down 8%, but it could be worse
At least you're not in the newspaper business. Gannett reports that May newspaper ad revenues fell 14.3%, Media General's publishing division revenues dropped 14.6% and May ad revenues for the New York Times News Media Group fell 13.2%.

RBR observation: Our advice remains the same. Put sales people on the street and train them properly. In fact, that was our advice back when radio was still enjoying predictable annual revenue gains. Invest in the product and invest in your people. Those are clichés, but they are also correct and more than one major radio
06/19/08 RBR #120

Surprise! Anti-consolidation measure surfaces
New version of the Dorgan's Resolution of Disapproval, which would remove the force from the FCC's easement on cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 DMAs, was slipped into FY 2009 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill by Jose Serrano (D-NY) and his Financial Services Subcommittee.
06/19/08 RBR #120

Radio revenues took a dive in May
Tally for May was twice as bad as the Wall Street consensus that revenues would be down 4%. That's right - a whopping 8% decline for the month.
06/18/08 RBR #119

Stand up and deliver
or stand up and be posted?

The subject of posting radio seems to the topic dujour of late in the industry. Personally I have gotten a little tired of reading why radio can't, won't post, etc.,. Now there is another key viewpoint.
06/18/08 RBR #119

Best growth markets for radio
Small-to-midsize markets in the Pacific region, especially in metro areas with large Hispanic populations, are the US radio markets having the greatest growth potential. Also, after a decline in 2007, the annual report projects that there will be growth for radio revenues over the next five years. Top growth markets at
06/18/08 RBR #119

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