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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 122, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning June 22nd, 2005

Radio News®

Journal stalking acquisitions
No doubt about it, Journal Communications is still trying to make acquisitions as other public companies sit on the sidelines. CEO Steve Smith told the Mid-Year Media Review in New York that he is actively looking for mid-market properties. "We are looking at both radio and television opportunities. We would prefer, as a first priority, to get deeper in markets where we already do business," he said. To that end, Smith reiterated his interest in some of the TV properties that Emmis Communications has up for sale (5/12/05 TVBR #94), since Journal already has radio stations in Wichita, Omaha and Tucson. Asked about TV pacings, Journal Broadcast Group President Doug Kiel described them as "spotty." He said, though, that June seems to be slightly improved and July as well. "We're being impacted clearly by the fact that we have three NBC affiliates...and their performance in primetime is causing us some issues on pricing. We've been focusing on news, adding some more news inventory, to make up as much of that shortfall as we can as we go through this year," he said.

Legendary Steelers color analyst
Myron Cope retires
After having spent 35 years as a color analyst in the Steelers radio booth, Myron Cope, 76, is retiring. At a meeting Monday Cope had requested with management of Steelers flagship stations WDVE-FM and WBGG-AM Pittsburgh, along with Steelers management, Cope informed all parties of his decision to call it a career, according to Cope has been troubled by health issues, none of them life-threatening, through the past three seasons, particularly last season. Nonetheless, until very recently, he planned to continue broadcasting this year, based on his expectation that the treatment he is currently receiving for hoarseness and leg problems will be successful. However, retired Steeler executive Joe Gordon - - a longtime close friend of Cope - - recently reminded him, "You've told me time and again that if I ever detected you slipping in your broadcasts, I should tell you so and you would retire. Well, last year you started slipping. At times, your focus on the field wasn't right. Your health was affecting your work." Cope replied, "Then that's that. I'm through." To occupy his time, Cope has in mind writing a book, which would be his sixth.

Publisher note: My home town and I had the privilege to work in the Steel City at then an ABC-O&O top 40 - 14 KQV and got to know Myron. There was only one sports person, Myron Cope, who invented the 'Terrible Towel' as a promotion for Steelers owner Mr. Rooney which drove the city into SteelerMania while driving any visiting team nuts. Waving Cope's 'Terrible Towel' with a pony bottle of Iron City or Rolling Rock, now that was a tail gate party you never wanted to miss. Cope back in the '70's on WTAE-AM, the Super Bowls and that surly voice with words like "Yoi!" - his version of "Wow!". Remember the "The Immaculate Reception", well that too was a Cope broadcast tag line after the game was over. I still have my terrible towel and still a Steeler fan. Done good Myron.

Armey mobilizes to free cable TV
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) is co-chair of FreedomWorks, which wants to open up the MVPD business to telephone companies and perhaps even to power companies. His organization will urge Congress " modernize outdated policies that harm consumers." FreedomWorks argues that the current system of localize franchising ultimately harms viewers, in part by putting up "...a roadblock to consumer choice." High speed networks, it says, will allow telecom companies to provide effective competition to cable. "Congress needs to act now to update outdated franchising laws," said Armey. "For too long, consumers have been denied the benefits of real cable competition: more choice, lower prices, and better service. It's time to allow local cable competition and put the consumer in the driver's seat."

Upstate newspaper calls for news room diversity
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle spent some of its editorial page ink on a call for more minority representation in the nation's news gathering force. It cited statistics showing that only 22% of TV news room posts are filled by blacks, Hispanics or other minorities (which is still better than the 13% showing by newspapers). It speculates that this disparity is one reason that kidnapping, missing person and murder stories tend to focus on white women and almost completely exclude similar stories concerning minority women. We've heard the tales of runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks and victim Laci Peterson. Why not the story of Tamika Huston, missing from Spartanburg SC for over a year? The RD&C quotes Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, who said, "To be blunt, blonde white chicks who go missing get covered and poor black, Hispanic or other people of color who go missing do not get covered."

Cable channel wants to
topple Adephia deal
The American Channel is a three-year-old basic cable network which is still trying to establish itself on America's cable system channel lineup cards. It has filed with the FCC to stop the plans of Comcast and Time Warner to divvy up troubled Adelphia Communications, according to an article in Buffalo First. TAC's Doron Gorshein wrote in a letter to the FCC, "Comcast and Time Warner have tremendous incentive to not launch independent channels, and this transaction, if consummated, will only increase their power to abuse the unreasonable gate-keeping authority they already wield."


Ray Warren named President
of Carat Americas; Verklin speaks
OMD Managing Director Ray Warren, pictured, has been named President of Carat Americas, replacing Charlie Rutman (now MPG CEO). Ray will oversee the operations of Carat USA, Carat Canada and Carat Latin America, announced Carat Americas CEO David Verklin. Warren brings 25 years of media experience to his new post, having worked not only in media buying but also in sports television and in network sales. Prior to joining OMD, Warren was president and CEO of Raycom Sports, an entrepreneurial leader in redefining sports programming and developing cutting-edge advertising opportunities. He joined Raycom Sports as EVP/Sales & Marketing in 1988, rose to COO in 1994 and became president/CEO in 1998, where he remained until 2002.

Verklin tells RBR/TVBR: "Ray Warren is the modern media executive. I mean if you really look at where the business is going and the skill set that you want to have, you're looking for a guy with Ray's kind of package of skills. He's a seasoned CEO, he's worked on the agency side of the business, in the middle of the media services revolution, building OMD from the beginning (2002). He has experience in the regional sports business with Raycom, and before that, at ABC. We looked at close to 25 people in the course of this search - - 25 of the most senior and seasoned media executives in the country, and I think Ray was clearly an executive with a special package of skills to take Carat to the next place. He's a very personable guy, he's got a real understanding of both the supply side and the demand-generation side of the business. He's a seasoned operator that can run a business of Carat's scale." Be sure to read our interview with Verklin in the July print edition of Radio & Television Business Report.

Broadcast upfront numbers firming up
to be down 200-300 million

Total broadcast upfront dollars for the 2005-06 season are projected to be two to three hundred million lower than year's totals: 9.2-9.3 billion vs. last year's 9.5 billion. The near final tallies: CBS 2.5-2.6 billion; ABC 2.1 billion (not including another 600 million for primetime sports); NBC 1.9-2.0 billion, Fox 1.6 billion, The WB 680 million, and UPN 380 million. Univision is projecting 900 million, 75% of the total 1.2 billion Hispanic upfront marketplace. The total amount of ad dollars committed the upfront fell for the first time since 2001. This time, though, it's not about uncertainty or the economy, as much as the rise of other ad mediums, the proliferation of DVR use and the overall debate about the effectiveness of TV ads. As well, P&G recently alerted network execs it was cutting back its upfront commitments. While the consumer goods giant spent 2.5 billion on TV ads last year, was expected to cut its broadcast upfront commitments about 5% and its cable upfront commitments as much as 25%. Before the upfront began, cable execs were predicting growth of about 10% in both overall upfront spend and CPMs. Now it's looking like cable may be looking at gains of 6% or 7% at most.

Sony issues denial of account
moving to McKinney & Silver

Denying press reports to the contrary, Sony issued a statement saying the company has not awarded its 100 million advertising account to McKinney & Silver of Durham, NC (6/21 RBR #212). Sony said it does not intend to select any single agency for the account and, instead, will use three: McKinney & Silver, Fallon Worldwide and Bagby & Co. "on a project basis for its strategic needs, said Sony. "We will not be engaging in an agency-of-record relationship at this time. We reviewed the capabilities of hundreds of advertising agencies before creating a shortlist of those whose skills, experience and team matched our needs. We look forward to working with all three agencies in the upcoming year." Universal McCann continues handling buying.

Media Business Report
Cinema chains to merge
The nation's second and third largest theater chains, AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex Entertainment, announced a deal to merge. Even combined, they'll still be #2 behind giant Regal Entertainment. No price was released for the transaction, but it's not to hard to make a ballpark guess, since both companies changed hands last year - - AMC sold for 1.67 billion and Loews for 1.46 billion - - so combined they're worth at least 3.13 billion. The merged company will take the AMC name and be headquartered in Kansas City. It will have about 450 theaters with 5,900 screens spread across 30 states and 13 countries.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
New buyer for Vegas-area FM
KADD-FM was going from M&M Broadcasting to Bruce Buzil's 3 Point Media, but faced a regulatory hurdle arising from the new Arbitron-based radio market definitions - - Las Vegas chapter. Apparently the hurdle was too high, because a new deal with a new buyer has surfaced at the FCC. Utah-based Simmons Media Group, using licensee name Western Broadcasting LLC, is paying the same price as Buzil would have, 8M bucks. KADD is licensed to Laughlin, south of Las Vegas, but has a CP to move to Logandale to the northwest. Another Simmons station, KZHK-FM, is currently licensed to St. George UT but has a reallocation order allowing it to migrate to Bunkerville NV, which is not far from Logandale and will team with KADD for a fringe FM duopoly.

RBR observation: The 3 Point cluster would have had five FMs, a total the market is slightly too small to support. It would have been no problem under the old contour overlap rules, especially since one of the stations, KPKK-FM Amargosa Valley does not come even remotely close to hitting the L.V. city limits, and other stations, including KADD, were on the fringe of the market. Apparently 3 Point's arguments fell on deaf ears.

Washington Beat
Keep those tower lights burning
And don't forget to paint regularly, either. Two companies have let their tower sites fall into a state of disrepair to the extent that the FCC is issuing one of those strong reminders that have a dollar sign attached in front. Mega Communications was cited for painting and lighting violations at its Silver Spring MD site, and has been hit with a 10K fine. In Ocala FL, Vector Communications will have to fork over 20K for failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting.

Ratings & Research
Time Warner in long-term ratings deal
Nielsen Media Research is celebrating a new contract with Time Warner which extends its national and local ratings agreements through 2008. That's a three-year extension to the original seven-year contract announced in 1998. The agreement includes three Local People Meter markets - - New York, Los Angeles and (beginning next year) Atlanta - - and covers Time Warner's broadcast, cable and syndication businesses, including Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting, The WB, HBO, Court TV and Warner Brothers Domestic Television Distribution.

TVBR - TV News
NBC upfront closes below 2 billion
As expected, NBC closed the upfront with less than 2 billion in primetime ad commitments - - the last of the Big Four to complete its sales, which totaled about 900 million less than it secured in 2004. Only last year NBC was in first place in primetime ratings in the 18-49 demo. Ad buyers said NBC initially asked for 2% rate increases, even though its primetime ratings had dropped 17% in the 18-49. NBC eventually blinked and cut its rates to 3% lower than the 2004-2005 upfront. NBC also ended up selling less inventory than it had in past years, when it sold about 80% of its primetime spots. Reports indicate NBC is also holding back an additional 5%-8% of its primetime inventory for scatter. While the other broadcast nets say they averaged CPM increases of 4%-5%, analysts are seeing NBC's CPMs flat to +3%.

2.1M WILI AM & FM Willimantic CT. 100% of Nutmeg Broadcasting Company from Herbert C. Rice Family (72.1% to 0%), Michael C. Rice (9.3% to 0%), E. Robin Rice (9.3% to 0%), Colin K. Rice (9.3% to 0%) to Hall Communications (Bonnie H. Rowbotham, Bonnie H. Rowbotham & Howard S. Tuthill Sr., Erin Alayne Rowbotham, Arthur J. Rowbotham, 0% to 100%). 90K escrow, 1.61M cash at closing, 100K post-closing escrow account, three 100K consulting agreements (with Michael C. Rice, Elizabeth Robin Rice and Colin K. Rice). Duopoly with WICH-AM/WCTY-FM Norwich CT, which are part of New London Arbitron market. WILI AM & FM are outside all markets. [File date 5/12/05.]

400K WBBV-FM Vicksburg MS. 100% of Bishop Broadcasting Inc. from New South Radio (F.E. Holladay) to Holladay Broadcasting of Louisiana LLC (Robert H. Holladay). 20K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Duopoly with KBYO AM & FM Tallulah LA. Father is selling stock to son. [File date 5/12/05.]

Stock Talk
A day of going nowhere
After a day of stock traders fretting about high oil prices and what Congress might do about Social Security reform, the market ended up just about where it started. The Dow Industrials lost nine points to end at 10,600 and other indices were mixed.

Radio stocks were narrowly mixed. The Radio Index slipped 0.640, or 0.3%, to close at 204.028. Saga was down 2% and Salem 1.4%. Journal Communications rose 1.3% after presenting at a New York investor conference.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
11.91 -0.14

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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Upped & Tapped

Harvill to the Bay
Infinity has moved Sacramento market manager Doug Harvill to the Bay Area to be Senior Vice President and Market Manager for Infinity San Francisco. He'll also serve as GM of KCBS-AM and KFRC-FM.

BEN gets an OM
Bill Schultz has been named Operations Manager/Creative Services Director of Greater Media's WBEN-FM Philadelphia, making him responsible for creating all the imaging associated with BEN-FM. He had previously been Assistant PD/Creative Services Director at Infinity's WNEW-FM New York.

USRN names new Assistant PD
United Stations Radio Networks announced Don Glasgow has been promoted to Assistant Program Director, reporting to EVP/Programming, Andy Denemark. Glasgow began with the company as the Producer of Nina Blackwood's Absolutely 80's and Lou Dobbs Financial Reports in 2000. Recently he's been overseeing the company's digital distribution mechanisms.

Masters to MobiTV
Radio and cable veteran Jarl Mohn, better known to many by his air name Lee Masters, has joined the board of directors of Idetic, the company which created MobiTV to deliver video to mobile phones.

Stations for Sale

Class A FM in Carolinas
Fulltime AM in Top 160 Market
Florida Panhandle 2 FMs, 1 AM
Louisiana AM-FM, Ranked Market
Gordon Rice Associates
(843) 884-3590 or Email
[email protected]

Upgradeable 1kw
Growing suburban
Albany, NY AM -- 199k
New solid state transmitter
New studio & automation

More News Headlines

Sirius to add BBC1
Sirius Satellite Radio announced it will add the BBC's popular modern music channel Radio 1. BBC Radio 1 will be broadcast with a time-shift, so that most Americans can enjoy the channel's lineup as it was intended - with Chris Moyles' Breakfast Show in the morning, Scott Mill's show in the afternoon, and kicking off the weekend with Pete Tong's Friday night Essential Selection. BBC Radio 1 plays a mix of current pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop music, and extensively covers music events taking place worldwide.

Self proclaimed King of All Media gone
Howard Stern has split with E! Cable TV after 11 years with 2,000 episodes and in the process 15 staffers got pink slipped. Last show will be taped on July 1 and aired on the 8th. Key is the re-runs which will most likely air on E! as they retain the rights the Stern library. Talk in Hollywood has Stern in talks with Spike TV the cable channel branded as TV for men especially young male demo. If you didn't know, Stern has a cartoon series in development stages with E! TV. Stern's website clock is ticking with 6 months left until he is gone from Infinity Broadcasting and on Sirius radio. 2006 will be an interesting year for satellite radio and cable TV with "The Howard".

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

Wall Street analyst
ratchets down radio
Back down your 2005 radio revenue expectations again as Wachovia Securities analyst Marcia Ryvicker has reduced her growth expectations by one percentage point for most of the remaining months of this year. For the full year, that means that she is now expecting industry growth of 2.6%, rather than here previous estimate of 3.4%. She expects Q2 growth of 2%, rather than 3%, Q3 growth of 3%, rather than 4%, and Q4 growth of 3%, rather than 5%. " concern remains: Is the radio industry so far behind that during its race to catch up, it is likely only to run into disappointment after disappointment?" RBR observation: Whatever happened to 7% and 8% annual growth? That's supposed to be "normal" for radio, but it's been a while since we had a "normal" year. Ryvicker noted that only a few of the panelists at last week's Interep symposium expressed confidence that radio will return to those "normal" growth levels. Rather, she and other industry observers are looking for normal growth to be redefined at a lower level. We hope she's wrong, but given how this year has been going, we aren't going to claim that she's shooting too low with her forecast that 2005 growth won't even make it to 3%.
06/21/05 RBR #121

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