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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 23, Issue 186, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning September 25th, 2006
Publisher Perspective
NAB 2006, What do ya Think?
It was good seeing people I did not expect to see in Dallas - and the one that stands out is Gary Stevens. You are saying, "Gary who?" Yep, Gary Stevens once an on-air WMCA, NYC "Good Guy" who worked his way up the radio business ladder the old fashioned way. He built Doubleday Broadcasting with many programming innovations and then after the sale took his experience of radio into the financial business and was damn successful. Today Gary is semi-retired but is still quietly in business when he wants to be. I believe we need top guns like Stevens back in radio, or a least to sit in on various radio meetings to share ideas and insight or what is called "Intellectual Property." Young CEOs can learn from Stevens if he is willing to share his "Intellectual Property." I talked to one Television Group CEO, Perry Sook of Nexstar, who was not attending any events, but meeting with financial investors. He was picking up the vibes of what is happening in radio, as TV usually follows with the same problems that hit the radio biz. Sook was learning, as I could see his wheels turning. What I really came away with from this NAB is one fact that radio can not stand with its head in the sand and the executives in charge of Radio today will have to learn how to manage - and quickly. Get Wall Street out of your mind and focus on your content. Case in point: During one session it was noted that Wall Street had a negative view of the radio business and group heads at this same session admitted they do not see anything that will change that quickly. Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays said he is "trying to make lemonade out of lemons." What is lacking and needed now is called RESPECT. Many had their say on why radio is in trouble, but the true reason from my RBR perspective is lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, Respect, which radio has to regain in the eyes of not just Wall Street bean counters, but at the Advertising and Client level. Radio has taken a beating on negative press all over the place and nobody is to blame but themselves - and I mean the key executives that are making the headlines. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is what is needed First before Radio can Grow. Think about it as we can do this together.

Radio News ®

Advertising under attack from all quarters
It truly is a "slippery slope," Jim Davidson, Executive Director of the Advertising Coalition, told the NAB Radio Show as he warned of attacks on advertising from both parties on Capitol Hill, sometimes for very different reasons. The big target right now is prescription drug advertising. A Senate bill with bipartisan support would bar all direct to consumer prescription drug ads for two years, then require FDA pre-clearance for all ads thereafter. Davidson noted that Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), himself a physician, recently railed against prescription drug advertising on the Senate floor, calling for an end to all such ads - so the challenge is not coming from just a few legislators on the political fringes. Although past attempts to ban or tax advertising have largely been rebuffed (Editor's note: Cigarettes being a notable exception, though long ago), Davidson warned that once there is a success, efforts will gain steam to ban or restrict other "controversial" ads. Therefore, he called on broadcasters to be diligent at the grassroots level in battling attempts to restrict advertising, informing lawmakers about the very real impact that advertising has on the local economy in each market - that this is not just about Madison Avenue. Children's food advertising, he noted, is a 10-15 billion per year category, which affects pretty much every broadcaster - and that is the next big target after prescription drugs.

RBR observation: Showing self-restraint and compliance with voluntary guidelines on one of the most effective ways to head-off draconian government mandates. We applaud Arbitron for the new tool, free to clients, demonstrated at the Radio Show, to assure compliance with the beer industry's voluntary guidelines to advertise only on radio programming where the audience is at least 70% over the age of 21. For young-skewing stations, the new Arbitron reports may open opportunities to take some beer business in dayparts where the audience is a bit older, while providing definitive evidence that alcohol is not being pitched to people too young to buy it legally. But of course, there are already efforts afoot on Capitol Hill to make these voluntary guidelines mandatory - and increase the 70% line to 80% or 85%.

Still room for entrepreneurs
"There will always be a place for independents," Perry Publishing and Broadcasting CEO Russell Perry told a room of people at the NAB Radio Show in Dallas, many of whom hope to become what he is - a successful independent broadcaster. Would-be station owners were advised to do their homework and find a mentor - but definitely to follow their dream. "Don't let anyone discourage you from pursuing this," Perry said, recounting how he had grown his business from a small company to being the largest independent broadcaster in Oklahoma - not the largest black-owned independent, he was careful to note, but the largest independent - period. "I'll tell you a secret - large markets are easy," said Ken Dowe of Service Broadcasting, who has plenty of experience in both large and small markets. But he and others on the panel said there are plenty of opportunities for first-time buyers to acquire stations - and, Dowe said, plenty of opportunities to compete with big groups by having a closer connection to what is going on in a local market. Retaining good employees was one concern of some of the independent operators. Larry Patrick of Legend Communications (and the brokerage firm Patrick Communications) noted that his company had acquired several stations where the employees had not previously had health insurance, so just providing some basic benefits will encourage people to stay with a station - along with encouragement. "We go out of our way to say thank you - and not just the sales stars," Patrick noted. It may be that small is better these days in radio, anyway. In another session on small market broadcasting, Joe Schwartz noted that his company, Cherry Creek Radio, is experiencing revenue growth of 10% this year and Sue Goldsen of WKHM-AM Jackson, MI said she is tracking up 6-7% - so they weren't singing the same tune as big groups who are keeping their fingers crossed to be up 1-2% in 2006. "It's all about working in the trenches," said Goldsen.

RBR observation: We always learn from any session with Jerry Lee of WBEB-FM Philadelphia as a panelist. Not exactly a small market entrepreneur but as an independent that runs with the big dogs - and generally eats their lunch - he has a unique perspective on how to improve sales for any radio station in any size market. Lately Jerry has been measuring name recognition and public perception of advertisers in Philadelphia - and delivering the tough news to businesses that have a problem. But he also offers a plan of action to fix the problems and you can bet that includes a heavy dose of radio advertising. That is a very sophisticated approach, but it still comes back to the basic idea of partnering with local advertisers to build their businesses, instead of just trying to sell them some spots.

Networks want FCC to back off
The networks have stated their case to the FCC in the remanded case of the fleeting expletive. For years, a fleeting and/or accidental dirty word was not considered to be an actionable case of indecent broadcast, and the networks want that policy back in place. "The Commission should use this remand proceeding to reverse its radically expanded efforts to regulate through punitive forfeitures what it considers to be 'indecent' speech...," wrote representatives from Fox, CBS and NBC/Telemundo. The filing praised previous FCC regimes which "...carefully observed a cautious and limited enforcement policy that paid serious respect to the First Amendment rights of broadcasters." It noted that even upon the adoption of the George Carlin 'Filthy Words' standard, the Supreme Court said that the ruling did "not speak to cases involving the isolated use of a potentially offensive word." The letter charges that the Commission "unexpectedly and without meaningful explanation" changed the enforcement policy." This "...sweeping departure from restraint in its approach to indecency has resulted in an unprecedented intrusion into the creative and editorial process ad threatens to bring about the end of truly live broadcast television."

RBR observation: The enforcement record since the FCC "clarified" the rules has been anything but clear. The first clarification attempt by former Chairman Michael Powell clearly showed that the inadvertent and fleeting use of words off the Carlin list were NOT actionable. Then came Bono and Janet Jackson, and everything changed. Indecency fines went from 440K in 2003 to almost 8M in 2004. But we didn't get a clear enforcement record. Sometimes there's a fine, sometimes, as in this case, not. Sometimes only one station gets fined. Sometimes only network O&Os. Sometimes every affiliate regardless of ownership gets hit. It's always, always, always wrong to use the f-word, we were told. Unless you're ABC doing a Spielberg WWII movie. Then it's OK. How about radio? According to the FCC's own chart, 663 shows have been the target of complaints from 2005 through the first quarter of 2006. Fines: zero. When is that going to hit the fan? What's going on there? Bottom line, the First Amendment is far more important than the danger of hearing a bad word for a fraction of a second.

As usual, the PTC does not agree
The Parents Television Council thinks the FCC should uphold its findings against the networks in the case of the fleeting expletive. PTC Executive Director Tim Winter wrote "...the Commission's original ruling accurately relied upon FCC precedent, as well as the rule of law." PTC also holds that the Supreme Court supports strict enforcement against f-bombs and s-bombs. "It is clear that the broadcast networks would prefer to assert a 'right' to air unlimited profanity at any time of day rather than submit to the established and reasonable principle of protecting children between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, a standard which has already been upheld by the Supreme Court," Winter argued. "That 'right' asserted by broadcast licensees is indeed their right, but only after 10:00 PM. In light of its own precedent, it is the Commission's responsibility to vigorously enforce the law as written and to carefully adjudicate the hundreds of thousands of indecency complaints it receives from the American people who own the broadcast airwaves."

RBR observation: PTC should know about the hundreds of thousands of complaints, since it gets that many people to click a message to the FCC, often complaining about a program they never saw and hence could not have been personally offended by. They are flat out wrong about Commission precedent on fleeting expletives, and the FCC Enforcement Bureau got it exactly right on the Bono case, only to be overruled by Michael Powell when the Janet Jackson case made the kitchen a little bit too hot and wilted his prior strong commitment to the First Amendment. The fact is, the networks may get racy from time to time, but they are hardly the smut merchants that PTC makes them out to be. As Mel Karmazin told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, if indecency was the goal, they'd be all over it the second the clock struck 10PM. The FCC should not waste taxpayer money paying lawyers to defend this misguided flash-cut reinterpretation of its own rules.

Marconi Awards 2006:
A night to remember

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein (pictured) on harmonica was one of the more talented members of the broadcaster band "The Formats" as they performed last week at the Marconi Awards Dinner & Show during the NAB Radio Show in Dallas. We won't pass judgment on the lesser talents (but Jeff, don't give up your day job). It was a night to remember and a once-in-a-lifetime experience - at least, many people in the audience expressed that hope! Established in 1989, and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Los Angeles radio personality Big Boy, host of "Big Boy's Neighborhood" on Emmis' Power 106, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
| This year's recipients are |

Wall Street Media Business Report TM
NYT seeing red for Q3
Tribune troubles have been getting a lot of ink lately, but it looks like they'll have company from a similarly situated company. The New York Times Co. is expecting constricted Q3 results due to challenging conditions in the print advertising environment, and like Tribune is exploring the possibility of selling off television stations. The company says it is on track to earn 8-10 cents per share, which does not compare favorably with the 16 cents it earned during Q3 2005. Also, it's at serious variance with analyst predictions, which Thomson Financial placed at 18 cents per share according to the Associated Press. Times execs said August advertising revenues for its all-important newspaper division were off 3.8% from last year, contributing to a 2.2% overall decrease for the month. The company said last week that it has hired Goldman Sachs to shop its nine-station TV group, which is expected to posts 2006 gross/net results of 150M and 33M respectively.

Tribune opens doors
to all alternatives

Will Tribune Company be the next Knight-Ridder? The company has now opened itself up to any and all possibilities after reaching an agreement to restructure its partnerships with the Chandler family, former owners of the Los Angeles Times. CEO Dennis FitzSimons announced creation of a special committee of independent directors to oversee management's exploration of strategic alternative. FitzSimons had already been pressing forward with a plan to divest at least a half billion in assets - a goal nearly reached, primarily through the sale of various TV stations. But the latest move indicates that pretty much everything is on the table - up to and including a wholesale sell-off of the company's assets. The deal with the Chandlers has eliminated a potential tax impediment to such major sales. Wall Street was clearly excited by the move, sending Tribune's stock up 6.1% on Friday after rising 4.4% the previous day on rumors of a big announcement to come.

RBR observation: Under his previous program to sell off 500M in assets, FitzSimons had stated that nothing in the top three markets was for sale - keeping intact the TV/radio/newspaper assets that the company holds in New York, LA and Chicago. There was no such restriction this time. Tribune said the effort aimed at "exploration of alternative for creating additional value for shareholders" should wrap up by the end of 2006. Until then, we expect to hear many rumors about potential sales of the various pieces. Once the "for sale" has been hung up, there is an increasing likelihood that buyers will step forward for each and every piece.

Ad Business Report TM

KROQ teams with AT&T's Blue Room
AT&T's AT&T blue room gave fans front-row access to this year's KROQ-FM LA Inland Invasion last weekend. The experience, which has been a fixture of the CBS Radio station's lineup since 2001, was delivered via a live webcast featuring real-time performances and exclusive interviews with featured band members. The AT&T blue room (www.attblueroom.com/music) featured the KROQ Inland Invasion show, including performances from Guns N' Roses, Muse, Papa Roach, Avenged Sevenfold, Rise Against, Atreyu, Buck Cherry and 30 seconds to Mars on Saturday. Following the event, much of the content will be archived on the blue room, enabling fans to relive favorite festival performances. AT&T blue room is part of a strategic initiative to link the AT&T brand to premier communications and entertainment experiences, as well as to fuel sales and demonstrate how key products and services, such as AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and Cingular Wireless, can meet the increasing consumer demands for value, choice and convenience.

AOL named Hill Holliday creative AOR
AOL has named Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos its new creative AOR. The assignment? To highlight the company's move into broadband communicate its new business model-a variety free ad-supported audio, video web content. The review included BBDO, New York, also a roster shop for AOL. BBDO is reportedly expected to remain on the roster, in a smaller role. Media is expected to remain at Initiative and OMD. AOL spent 422 million in measured media in 2005 and about 150 million over the first half of this year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Media Business Report TM
A grave entrant into the video business
Perhaps at some point in your life you have been moved to say, "now I've seen it all." We've grown far to smart to say that ourselves because the America is full of individuals and companies ready to top whatever it is that seemed untoppable. Today's attempt: The Video Enhanced Gravemarker. This is an upgrade of slide-show video grave markers (which we frankly didn't know about either), allowing an interested individual to pick up a remote control from a cemetery office and watch a wide variety of programming "...just like in their living room." It could even have Internet access. It and may even be set up as a "..pay-per-view coin operated or credit card operated" device.

RBR observation: And of course it would only be a matter of time before they'd start selling ads. So if you notice advertising agencies seeking ghostwriters, you'll know what's going down.

Media Markets & Money TM
Border lightens its load
With a 45M deal pending to acquire two San Antonio stations from CBS Radio (8/24/06 RBR #165), Tom Castro's Border Media Partners (BMP) is doing some portfolio house cleaning. Guadalupe Radio Network is picking up new affiliates for its Catholic Religious programming in both Dallas-Ft. Worth and San Antonio via two related non-profit entities. Chatham Hill Foundation, headed by President Joe Thompson Jr., will acquire KXEB-AM and KJON-AM Dallas-Ft. Worth, while KFNI-AM San Antonio will go to La Promesa Foundation, headed by President Len Oswald. American Media Services put together the two deals for a total of 7.5 million. LMAs for all three stations begin October 1st.

The owner takes a wife...
...and immediately sends her in for a face-lift. That's the case in Cincinnati, as Radio One launched its new duopoly partner for Urban Contemporary WIZF-FM. WIFE-FM has kicked off in the market, but with the 5M makeover in which it acquired the calls and Urban AC format of WMOJ-FM. It acquired the format from Cumulus Media Partners, and also just closed on the station itself, a Cincinnati move-in coming from Indiana which it acquired for 18M from Rodgers Broadcasting. Radio One also has an LMA to operate Black News/Talk WDBZ-AM in the market.

Done double deal in Peoria
Broker John Pierce reports that the pending wheels have stopped spinning in Peoria IL, meaning new ownership for five stations. Pierce helped Regent Communications sell WIXO-FM, WVEL-FM & WPIA-FM to David Jacobs' Independence Media of Illinois for 2.8M. That deal cleared the way for Regent to acquire WXMP-FM & WZPW-FM from AAA Entertainment for 12.5M.

Washington Media Business Report TM
Stevens pushing telecom bill
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) took the Senate floor to make a statement on behalf of his wide-ranging bill aimed primarily at creating competition between cable and telecom companies for video distribution, ISP and phone service. Of the bill, he said, "It seeks to reduce phone rates for our troops overseas. It makes 1B dollars for first responders available immediately...This bill creates caches of emergency communications equipment that will be located throughout the country. Equipment which is absolutely necessary in the event of an emergency particularly those caused by terrorist activity in the future. This bill encourages broadband deployment for consumers...This bill reduces consumers' cable rates which is vital to continuing the expanded use of cable in terms of communications. This bill creates choice for consumers for both video and phone service. It is a bill to level the playing field between the various providers of communications capability for all Americans. It broadens the base for Universal Service. This is a concept that makes communications available to rural America...." And so on.

RBR observation: And it contains controversial language on the topic of network neutrality. Take that language out to be considered separately on its own merits and all the things Stevens mentioned above, which do indeed have widespread bipartisan support, may come to pass very quickly.

Internet Media Business Report TM
TRUE.com launches targeted
on-site ad placements

TRUE, a major online relationship service, is now providing in-depth ad placement to advertisers as a way to effectively target its 10 million-plus member base. TRUE is utilizing its metrics-based ad-marketing program to provide online advertisers a customized, measurable advertising vehicle on its site. This also marks the first time the online relationship service will sell its advertising and expertise directly, rather than only through third parties. TRUE offers companies a targeted approach to advertising by partnering its members with products and services that directly appeal to their unique interests. Members are offered products and services that may be of interest based on initial public membership info provided during the registration process. This offer allows TRUE to filter irrelevant ads for its members by working with companies to present consumers with the most appropriate products and services.

New Owners
New owners: What makes them tick? New entrants just venturing into radio and/or TV-why are they getting into it? What do they see that others that are bailing out don't?

New owners taking the broadcasting plunge
The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to take up the issue of local and national broadcast ownership caps, as well as the issue of broadcast and newspaper cross-ownership. New rules which we passed on partisan lines at the Commission 6/2/03 were not struck down by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, as you read various places from time to time. They were not even labeled as being bad rules. They were instead said to be poorly justified. They were sent back to the Commission to either be rewritten or better explained. It is well known that Kevin Martin is particularly in favor of easing restrictions on newspaper/broadcast combinations. As we've noted many times, that concept was almost endorsed by the Third Circuit, which noted that in many markets where such combinations exist, they are demonstrably the finest news operation in town. Still, the Court had a problem with how the Commission arrived at the local media counts that would be permitted for markets of varying sizes.
| Read More... |

Still resistance to electronic invoicing
"The TV stations are delivering," but many radio stations are still dragging their feet on electronic invoicing, Chris Abbate, Director of Radio Exchange at Interep, told a panel on accountability at the NAB Radio Show. But the news is not all bad. Radio Advertsing Bureau (RAB) Executive VP of Marketing Mary Bennett noted that radio was applauded at the 4As meeting this year for making progress on electronic invoicing. David Prager, Chief Information Officer at Katz Media Group, bristled, however, when recounting cases where agencies or advertisers have told him that a certain station couldn't provide electronic invoices, when he knew for a fact that the station was equipped to do so. It seems that some station employees either aren't aware of the electronic invoicing capability, or just don't want to learn how to deal with the paperless system. All Clear Channel stations, he noted, are electronic invoicing capable, and the same is true for many other groups as well. Admittedly, the current system is limited to invoicing for spots, so the next big move, included in the XML invoicing standard now being worked on by RAB and the two major rep firms, is to be able to invoice electronically for anything that can be invoiced on paper. The XML standard will also be able to include a link to third-party verification providers, which should curtail advertiser requests for notarized paper invoices. Now that radio stations are getting their arms around electronic invoicing for national accounts, Bennett says the next thing is to make local invoicing electronic as well.

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 8/7/06-8/11/06
Summer doldrums? Just not much goin' on around here, Slim. The Boston portion of a Greater Media/Nassau/Charles River triple play was filed this week (it also involved a Philadelphia station, the paperwork for which was a little slower making it to Washington). If it weren't for Boston, you might not notice the week even happened.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Boston two stepper swings through Philly
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
After weeks of dominating the action,
TV takes a nap

220M KKMJ-FM, KAMX-FM, KXBT-FM & KXBT-FM Austin TX (Austin, Luling, Taylor, Rollingwood); WMC AM & FM, WMFS-FM Memphis TN (Memphis, Bartlett); and WKRQ-FM/WUBE-FM, WGRR-FM & WAQZ-FM Cincinnati OH (Cincinnati, Hamilton OH, Ft. Thomas KY) from CBS Radio Stations Inc. (Les Moonves) to Entercom Communications Corp. (David J. Field). Cash. Superduopoly in Memphis with WM,BZ-FM, WRVR-FM & WMTQ-AM; existing superduopolies in Cincinnati and Austin. [File date 8/28/06.]

42,456,094 WOLF-TV/WQMY-TV Wilkes Barre-Scranton PA (Hazleton, Williamsport PA); WPXT-TV/WPME-TV Portland-Auburn ME (Portland, Lewiston ME); WDSI-TV Chattanooga TN; WTLH-TV Tallahassee FL-Thomasville GA (Bainbridge GA); and WGFL-TV Gainesville-Ocala FL (High Springs FL) from Pegasus Satellite Communications Inc. (Bradley E. Scher et al) to New Age Media, a subsidiary of CP MEdia LLC (Charles E. Parente et al). 2.5M escrow, balance in cash at closing. In Chapter 11 proceeding, buyer overbid MM Broadcasting LLC. Includes five low power/Class A television stations. Existing duopolies in Wilkes Barre-Scranton PA and Portland ME. WOLF-TV is a Fox affiliate on Channel 56; WQMY-TV is an MNT affiliate on Channel 53; WPXT-TV is a CW affiliate on Channel 51; WPME-TV is a MNT affiliate on Channel 35; WDSI-TV is a Fox affiliate on Channel 61; WTLH-TV is a Fox affiliate on Channel 49; WGFL-TV is a CBS affiliate on Channel 53. [File date 8/28/06.]

Stock Talk
Gloom and doom on Wall Street
Most stock prices fell Friday as investors worried about indications of declining economic growth. The Dow Industrials dropped 25 points, or 0.2%, to 11,508. Almost all radio stocks were lower. Cumulus Media fell 2.4% as the worst performer. Westwood One dropped 2.3%, as did Fisher Communications.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.







Radio One, Cl. A




Citadel CDL
9.52 -0.07

Radio One, Cl. D




Clear Channel








Cox Radio




Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio














Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

On "Mark Mays is Wrong"
(9/22/06 RBR #185)...

I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Evans. While I may enjoy listening to Alice Cooper on my local rock station six-nights-a-week, I know he is not in Denver! And what's up with running satellite-fed national comedians 12 hours every day and only one or two "local" jocks? What the heck is a "CD SIDE" anyway? Enough is enough, let's get back to local.

Mark Walker
Director of Media Partnerships

Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
KROQ teams with AT&T's
Blue Room
Was delivered via a live webcast featuring real-time performances...

Media Business Report
A grave entrant
Into the video business and you will have to say "now I've seen it all."...

Media Markets & Money
Border lightens its load
With a 45M deal pending to acquire 2 San Antonio stations...

Still resistance to
electronic invoicing
" TV stations are delivering," but many radio stations are still dragging...

Radio Media Moves

Stern takes NPR helm
Ken Stern has been named Chief Executive Officer of National Public Radio, effective 10/1. Kevin Klose, who joined NPR as President and CEO in December 1998, will continue as President and as member of the NPR Board. Stern has served as Executive Vice President since coming to NPR in November 1999, directing the senior management team and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the media company.

Perlman sets retirement
Lawrence Perlman announced that he is retiring next Spring as Non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Arbitron and will not seek re-election to the board. Arbitron said the Nominating and Governance Committee of its Board of Directors will begin a search for a nominee to succeed Perlman. Lawrence Perlman has served as Chairman of the Board at Arbitron since it separated from Ceridian in 2001. He retired as Chairman of Ceridian in 2000, a few months after stepping down as CEO.

More News Headlines

AOL names Tom Kraeutler Home Improvement editor
On the heels of AOL Real Estate's recent redesign and content expansion, the channel is expanding its consumer-focused offerings, adding practical home improvement help and advice from Tom Kraeutler, co-host of "The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show." He will offer visitors easy-to-follow tips and advice to increase the value of their homes, as well as the quality of their lives.

Spinach growers weighing media response
Once bagged spinach is cleared for consumption, growers are anxious to get it back into the diets of American consumers. Just when that will happen, however, is anybody's guess. Professors at Kansas State University say that losses to producers in what they say is a 200M per year crop category figure to be substantial. Advertising Age says that the FDA may be on the verge of declaring the E. coli outbreak to be a California-only incident, which would free up growers in other areas to get back in the market. But California is said to be home to 70% of all US production. Spinach was riding a lengthy high tide before the E. coli incident, benefiting from the growing nationwide emphasis on healthier lifestyles. The United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association is exploring its advertising options to restore Popeye's favorite food to its previous level of popularity as swiftly as possible.

Post radio critic ousted
Howard Stern is being blamed for getting John Mainelli fired from his job as radio columnist for the New York Post. Stern had been railing at Mainelli since early last week when he, along with numerous other publications, reported rumors that Stern was seeking to return to traditional radio. According to the Radar Online website, Stern complained to Post management that Mainelli was biased because of his work consulting radio stations. Mainelli insisted that the newspaper knew all along that he did consulting work, but Post editor Col Allan gave him an ultimatum - give up the consulting or the newspaper column. Mainelli told the website he couldn't live on just what he was paid by the Post, so he considered the ultimatum a firing.

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

Mark Mays is Wrong
Let me explain, from my perspective, why Mark Mays is wrong. First of all, we, in the radio industry, do not have to do things differently. We just have to do things better. The very first principle that Clear Channel forgot years ago was Radio is Local. In his statement, Mr. Mays compared radio to cable, newspaper and television. First of all, newspaper is a flailing industry in which consolidation hurt rather than help. Local television got hurt by cable, but has sustained local audiences with local content. Cable, for the most part, is national. Terrestrial radio is local. ... For the complete Executive Comment read in 09/22/06 RBR #185

Adelstein worried about
indecency enforcement
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told the NAB Radio Show in Dallas that he used to be able to tell broadcasters to look to past Commission decisions for guidance on the FCC's indecency standard, but he's not so sure anymore. "I'm a little confused myself, which is not good for you," There is more to the current issues click and read the full report in
09/22/06 RBR #185

Study: Radio holds 92% of lead-in audience during spot breaks
Radio ratings data from Arbitron's Portable People Meter and commercial occurrence data from Media Monitors indicate that the lowest rated minute during an average commercial break is 92% of the size of the audience before the spots began, according to a new study by Arbitron, Media Monitors and Coleman. "What Happens When the Spots Come On: The Impact of Commercials on the Radio Audience"

RBR observation: Ironically 92%-94% is pretty darn close to the level described last week by CBS-TV Research Guru David Poltrack for television. He said for broadcast network primetime, tune out was about 5-6%. For cable, it was 11%. So for broadcast media in general, if people are viewing or listening to a program, the level of staying put is in the low to mid 90 percentile range. That's great news to bring to presentations, no doubt.
09/22/06 RBR #185

Nielsen: TV's popularity
still growing

Nielsen Media Research reported that average American television viewing continues to increase in spite of growing competition from new media platforms and devices, such as video iPods, cell phones and streaming video. During the 2005-2006 television year, which ended on 9/17, traditional in-home television viewing continued to hold its own with audiences, and even gained among technology-savvy teenagers.
09/22/06 TVBR #185

No magic bullet for radio
Wall Street has a negative view of the radio business, but group heads in Wednesday's financial session at the NAB Radio Show in Dallas admit they don't see anything that will change that quickly. Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays says he is "trying to make lemonade out of lemons" by continuing to buy back stock. Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth thinks the key is for everyone to focus on improving the growth rate for radio. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan credited that change in view to several years of low growth. The group heads disagreed a bit over why radio fell out of favor.
09/21/06 RBR #184

Lenders still bullish on radio
The good news at the financial session to open the NAB Radio Show came in the panel with lenders, who say they still see plenty of reason to lend money for radio acquisitions, despite the difficulties of public companies on Wall Street. More details in
09/21/06 RBR #184

The new EOE:
Exposure, outrage, email
First came the revelation from Barbara Boxer that a suppressed 2004 FCC localism study had been unearthed, followed by the revelation that it had somehow survived destruction orders. Then came cries of protest from all corners of the far-flung anti-media consolidation universe. Now comes the inevitable click-and-send email campaign, aimed at the FCC.

RBR observation: Ouch! All we know is the Willie Sutton theory, which holds that if you're going to rob something, rob something that has money. RBR has pointed out a pile of money which pharmaceuticals are going to spend. Perhaps their product is one which would benefit from awareness above and beyond the professional medical community. Maybe you won't get the entire budget. In fact, you probably WON'T get the entire budget. But maybe you can get into the mix.
09/21/06 RBR #184

Boxer receives another
suppressed study
...and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has already ordered an internal investigation into the matter of the media ownership studies which seem to have been shelved while the FCC considered directly related rulemakings. Josh Silver of watchdog Free Press said, "This is a scandal. Apparently, FCC officials are willing to deep-six any research that contradicts industry's pro-consolidation claims. They can't be trusted...However, Martin, Powell and former Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree have denied any knowledge of the reports (the first one, anyway), let alone having a role in their suppression.

RBR observation: We believe Martin when he said he had no clue as to the existence of these documents, and his swift action to address Boxer's concerns would also bear that out. He has expressed in the past a desire to clear the way for more local newspaper/broadcast combos, but we haven't heard any specific opinions one way or the other on the topic of upping local broadcast caps. This is definitely a stay tuned item.
09/20/06 RBR #183

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