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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 23, Issue 128, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning June 30th, 2006
RBR will return after the 4th of July weekend. We will be back in your inbox on Wednesday, July 5th.
Enjoy the weekend.

Radio News ®

Who has the fewest commercials?
Following Media Monitors' presentation of data at the Bear Stears/Interep Radio Symposium in New York, Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller is out with an analysis piece showing Salem Communications stations with the shortest average time per hour spent on commercials - an average of five minutes, 36 seconds. SBS and Clear Channel each had 6:30 and Cox Radio 6:36. At the other end of the spectrum, the ABC O&O stations had an average of 8:54 - a figure that Miller attributes to ABC having a higher percentage of AM stations in its portfolio. So, do fewer commercials translate into higher ratings, as Media Monitors said it should? Miller agrees that they should, "though recent ratings trends do not support such a claim." He noted that Arbitron reported a decline in overall listening by Persons 12+ and Persons 25-54 in the Winter 2006 book. "This may have more to do with the loss of Howard Stern to satellite radio than the impact of reduced commercial clutter. Future analysis may provide a 'cleaner comparison.' We will continue to monitor these trends," Miller said.

Mixed flag bag: Raise one, table the other
Clear Channel's Andrew Levin appeared on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters before the influential House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet to discuss flagging material in digital video and audio content Wednesday. The TV flag? Let if fly. But an audio flag would be premature. The problem on the audio side is that the negotiations for some form of audio flag are still wide open and uncertain. But the transition to HD radio is not. Levin testified that over 800 stations have already put HD radio on the air and another 2K are about to do so at the expense of 100K in engineering costs. This investment could be compromised under certain encryption regimes and could set the transition to HD back a year or more. Further, radio listeners have been able to make copies of airplay for decades for their own personal use, and the issue of how fair use may be defined in the digital era is also very much up in the air. "In sum, deployment of digital radio is essential for terrestrial broadcasters to better serve their listeners and to remain competitive in today's digital marketplace," said Levin. "Because of the importance of a timely and successful roll out of digital radio, any system to protect digital content must not impede the transition." On the TV side, Levin testified that the FCC's 2003 decision authorizing a DTV flag, arrived at after lengthy study and voluminous industry input, should be given legislative blessings to overcome the DC Circuit's finding that the FCC lacked authority to implement it. In short, Congress should confer upon the FCC that authority.

FCC Democrats express
misgivings about NPRM

In Asheville NC, Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein were talking as if a rerun of the FCC 6/2/03 media ownership rulemaking is a done deal. Adelstein said the recently announced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was a "blank check" for media conglomerates to get even bigger. The forum, billed as a "Town Meeting on the Future of the Media," was held 6/28/06, and did give all sides a chance to speak. Gannett's Virgil Smith, publisher of the Asheville Citizen-Times explained his interest in adding broadcast to his arsenal. "Common ownership enhances coverage, without compromising the editorial independence of the newspaper. It would open up a multitude of opportunities for additional news and information products to be provided to consumers." Clear Channel was there too, in the person of Ken Salyer, VP/MM of the group's local cluster. He touted the benefits to the community conferred by his company's size, saying, "While opposing viewpoints indicate that consolidation is a negative for local communities, we believe we've utilized it to the advantage of our community by combining our resources to serve the community on a larger scale than would otherwise be possible." That opinion was countered by frequent Capitol Hill testifier James F. Goodmon, President & CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company. "Clear Channel didn't buy these stations to do 'Tools for Schools,'" he said. "They did it to make lots of money. It's not about serving the community or local autonomy. They want these stations because they want more money." Discussing the new ownership project, Adelstein said, "Last week, they got a wide open notice that's essentially a blank check to permit further media consolidation, without any accountability to local communities." Copps added, "I don't think I exaggerate at all in saying that the issue is whether a few large conglomerates will be ceded content control over our music, entertainment and information; gatekeeper control over the civil dialogue of our country; and veto power over they majority of what we and our families, watch, hear and read."

RBR observation: Get ready. There will be six more of these according to last week's procedural announcement. Maybe one of them will come your way. However, we still don't know exactly what rules are being proposed. If an amendment to the Senate version of the telecom bill update survives, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will have to clearly spell out what his plans are in advance of bringing it up for a vote by the rest of the FCC 8th Floor.

NABEF inaugurates Scholars Program
The NAB Education Foundation has launched a new NABEF Scholars Program to provide 10 scholarships to be awarded to outstanding communications students to complete their undergraduate degree and begin careers in broadcasting. The 10 universities to award the scholarships were selected based on the quality of their communications programs and on regional distribution. Each communications school will select a student who is a woman or person of color to receive the scholarship, based not only on financial need, but also on the students' demonstrated ability and promise. The 10 schools are:

* Bowling Green State University
* Brigham Young University
* Murray State University
* Pennsylvania State University
* University of Alaska, Anchorage
* University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
* University of Florida, Gainesville
* University of Nevada, Reno
* University of Southern California
* University of Texas, Austin

Univision confirms 300 million break-up fee
That's the financial hurdle that Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga Jean will have to clear if his investment consortium tries to top the 12.3 billion bid from Haim Saban's group that was accepted by Univision's board of directors. Confirmation of the 300 million bucks break-up fee was confirmed as Univision filed the agreement with the SEC. That's the payment that Univision will have to make to the Saban group, now officially called Umbrella Holdings LLC, should the Univision board either change its recommendation that shareholders accept the 36.25 per share buyout or agrees to accept an unsolicited superior proposal. Conversely, should Umbrella Holdings not be able to secure financing or regulatory approvals, then it would have to pay Univision 300 million. Here's a bit of news that will interest Univision shareholders: if closing doesn't occur by April 26, 2007, 10 months after the contract singing date, they will begin receiving interest at a rate of 8% per anum from that date forward until closing, with the total consideration to be paid at closing.

Ad Business Report TM

David Verklin sees bright future for radio
Carat Americas CEO David Verklin spoke with RBR after his very well-received speech at the Bear Stearns/Interep Radio Symposium in New York this week. David mentioned he had the wrong information on the number of stations HD Radio could add for broadcasters, using Clear Channel's near 1,200 stations as an example:

"I misspoke yesterday, but what I said was Clear Channel owns 1,200 stations, and with the new HD digital signals, each signal could add up to two more. So that would mean 3,600 stations they'd have to work with in the marketplace. However, I later realized the AMs don't add an extra HD station and FMs usually just add one extra HD station-HD-2."
| Read More... |

Media Markets & Money TM
Gunslinger does the KIMM-possible?
Duane D. Butt's Gunslinger Radio is entering a third market, although in a relatively small way. He has a 50K deal to acquire KIMM-AM Rapid City from Matthew L. Ward's KIMM Radio. Gunslinger has a double duopoly in Huron in the eastern portion of South Dakota (Rapid City is in the western side), and a pair of AMs in western Kansas. KIMM is and will continue to operate as a standalone, barring further dealing by Gunslinger in the market.

RBR observation: Most contracts do not include a clause called "Drop Dead Date," but this one does. No big deal, usually, but given the licensee name of the buyer, does it carry unusual significance, not to mention danger, for the seller? Well, no. If the FCC has left the transaction to languish for a year, the seller will turn over the non-license assets to the buyer, who in turn will turn over the cash, and both will redouble their efforts to get some action at the Commission. We doubt it'll come to that.

Washington Media Business Report TM
Net neutrality barely
edged out of new bill

As passed by the Commerce Committee, Ted Stevens' (R-AK) bill has a new name. It is now the "Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform Act." Its main thrust is to move to national franchising of MVPD services, thus paving the way of telcos into the business in competition with entrenched cable operators. One of the hottest points of contention, however, was net neutrality, and the defeat of that concept does not look to be a done deal just yet. The vote on the Olympia Snowe (R-ME)-Byron Dorgan (D-ND) amendment which would have protected net neutrality ended in an 11-11 tie, which under Commerce Committee rules was taken as a defeat. The tenacious Dorgan has vowed to soldier on, saying, "While we were unsuccessful in preserving the freedom of the Internet, the 11-11 vote, and unanimous support by Democrats, underscores the importance of this issue. Any telecommunications legislation adopted by the Senate must preserve Internet freedom, and I will continue to press this issue with my colleagues as this measure moves to the floor for consideration." That sentiment was echoed from the Republican sponsor as well. Snowe said, "Today's decision does not serve the interest of the nation, the consumers of today, or the internet users of the future, and I am hopeful the mistake made here today can be undone before the full Senate."

RBR observation: No matter what happens on the Senate floor, the Senate version of what at its heart is supposed to be a bill opening competition to cable companies via national MVPD franchising is so wildly different from its counterpart in the House of Representatives that it is utterly impossible to predict what will be in it and what won't. And you never know what's going to come out of those conference committees...

Entertainment Media Business Report TM
WALK-FM adds Country on HD-2
WALK 97.5, Long Island's Best Variety From Yesterday and Today, begins broadcasting today an additional HD digital radio channel that is all Country 24 hours a day called Long Island Country 97.5 HD2. This is the first Country station on Long Island since 2001.

8M WRNX-FM Springfield MA (Amherst MA) from 6 Johnson Road Licenses Inc., a subsidiary of Pamal Broadcasting Ltd. (James J. Morrell) to Clear Channel Communications Inc. (Mark P. Mays). Like-kind exchange for WSYB-AM/WZRT-FM Lebanon-Rutland-White River Junction VT (Rutland VT), WGHQ-AM/WBPM-FM Poughkeepsie NY (Kingston, Saugerties NY) and WPYR-AM Baton Rouge LA. Value is an RBR estimate. Superduopoly with WHYN AM & FM, WNNZ-AM, WPKX-FM. [File date 6/9/06.]

8M WSYB-AM/WZRT-FM Lebanon-Rutland-White River Junction VT (Rutland VT), WGHQ-AM/WBPM-FM Poughkeepsie NY (Kingston, Saugerties NY) and WPYR-AM Baton Rouge LA from Clear Channel Communications Inc. (Mark P. Mays) to 6 Johnson Road Licenses Inc., a subsidiary of Pamal Broadcasting Ltd. (James J. Morrell). Like-kind exchange for WRNX-FM Springfield MA (Amherst MA). Value is an RBR estimate. Superduopoly in Lebanon-Rutland-White River Junction VT with WJJR-FM, WJEN-FM, WEBK-FM. Pamal is selling WJAN-FM in the market. [File date 6/12/06.]

Stock Talk
Stocks jump on Fed hint
The Fed raised rates for the 17th time, but Wall Street leaped on a hint that 17 might be enough. "Recent indicators suggest that economic growth is moderating from its quite strong pace earlier this year, partly reflecting a gradual cooling of the housing market and the lagged effects of increases in interest rates and energy prices," were the words from the Fed statement that gave hope to the markets. The Dow Industrials jumped 217 points, or 2%, to 11,190.

Radio stocks joined the rally. The Radio Index gained 4.275, or 2.9%, to 149.514. Salem led the advance with a 9.6% gain. Beasley rose 6.9%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.







Radio One, Cl. A




Citadel CDL
8.88 +0.07

Radio One, Cl. D




Clear Channel








Cox Radio




Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio














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Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
David Verklin misspoke
Yesterday at Interep/Bear Sterns but sees bright future for radio...

Media Markets & Money
Gunslinger does the KIMM-possible

Entering a 3rd market, although in a relatively small way...

Washington Media Business Report
Net neutrality
Barely edged out of new bill...


Market Results
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NBA Minute

Radio Media Moves

Retirement comes today
Sam Hall, News Director and morning news anchor at WQXR-FM New York, concludes a 50-year-plus career in radio today. On the air since the age of 13, Hall's career took him to a number of New York and LA stations, as well as CNN Radio, before landing at WQXR.

Greater Media
names Gregg Henson WPEN PD

Greater Media Philadelphia announces Gregg Henson has been named Program Director at the new Sports Talk 950 WPEN-AM. He will officially begin his new duties on July 10th. Henson previously served as the Program Director and afternoon drive on-air personality at KWNX/KZNX Austin, Texas.

Mike Opelka to
produce "Wake Up With Whoopi!"

Clear Channel Radio announced veteran radio and television producer and director Mike Opelka will serve as producer and director for "Wake Up With Whoopi!" - the adult-contemporary morning show launching July 31st and syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. Opelka was most recently executive producer of WKTU's Baltazar & Goumba Johnny morning show, a position he'd held since joining Clear Channel in 1997.

More News Headlines

Lawsuit to proceed against Viacom
A state judge in New York has ruled that a lawsuit brought by some shareholders against directors of Viacom can continue. The lawsuit, which deals with events in 2004, well before the company was split into Viacom and CBS, charges that the board of directors overpaid Chairman Sumner Redstone, Tom Freston (now CEO of Viacom) and Les Moonves (now CEO of CBS) in a year when the company lost money.

Two fired for
F-word broadcast

The Tampa Tribune reports that veteran newscaster Dennis Roper was fired under Clear Channel's zero-tolerance policy after a recorded weather update, which he though had been erased, aired with the notorious F-word included. Also dismissed was Amy Newman, who was the on-air personality when the slip-up aired.

Digital Magazine

Take a look at what's in the June RBR/TVBR Solutions Magazine:
OneonOne: Jim Farley, VP/News and Programming, handles WTOP, Washington Post Radio and Federal News Radio (Bonneville DC). He talks about coordinating the news flow back and forth from WTOP, WFED and Washington Post Radio; How he finds and cultivates local talent; what he thinks about radio cutting news operations a bit too much across the country; and more.

These and other hot industry issues addressed in June.

Read RBR/TVBR in 2 simple steps:
1.Create a simple account with Zinio and download the Zinio Reader.
2. You can then download the
June Issue of RBR/TVBR

RBR Radar 2006
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Coen slashes Radio forecast
Universal McCann Ad guru Bob Coen's 2006 forecast for radio has fallen off a cliff since his optimistic prediction in December that both national and local would grow 4% this year. His revised numbers are for national (network & spot) to grow 1% and for local to show no growth at all. Radio, cable and newspapers took the biggest hits.

Publisher observation: Either agree or disagree the bottom line is radio does not have front mind awareness and is being over looked and treated as very old media not the buzz of New Media. As one high level CEO told publisher Jim Carnegie, "Ad Agencies just do not believe in us (radio) any more and we did it to ourselves." Yep, not every one in radio is doing wrong only the ones that continue to grab the press headlines. The bickering, lack of forward movement in all areas of our radio business is driving the wooden spike deeper and in some ways there is a cancer Inside of Radio that has to be cut out for radio to be saved and regain a healthy body. When someone figures it out well you let me know. Now view the forecast and weep.
06/29/06 RBR #127

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