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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 190, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning September 28th, 2005

Radio News®

Study: Average person
spends more time using
media than anything else

The average American spends more time using media devices -- television, radio, iPods and cell phones -- than any other activity while awake, says a new study from Ball State University. The Middletown Media Studies 2 (MMS2), the most comprehensive observational media use study ever undertaken, also found participants are adept at managing their use of two or more types of media at the same time. Researchers from Ball State's Center for Media Design (CMD) unveiled the key findings Sept. 26 in New York as part of Media Magazine's Forecast 2006 program. The research team includes Mike Bloxham, CMD director of testing and assessment; Robert Papper, telecommunications professor; Mark Popovich, journalism professor; and Michael Holmes, communication studies professor spending this semester as a CMD faculty research fellow. "As a society, we are consumers of media," Papper said. "The average person spends about nine hours a day using some type of media, which is arguably in excess of anything we would have envisioned 10 years ago." Research team members spent the last several months shadowing about 400 people -- collecting and analyzing data on 5,000 hours of media use -- in Muncie and Indianapolis. Recording information every 15 seconds, researchers measured participants' use of 15 media including television, books, magazines, cell phones, the Internet, instant messaging, e-mail and radio.
| Key findings of the research include: |

RBR observation: Read this again and again then compare it to your daily usage of a hand device, say your Blackberry. Then look at the young or start with the Class of 2009 and their usage of devices. Now the biggie - How is radio going to measure them and get an accurate reading of their radio media usage today? The study says it - it is not like it was ten years ago. Get on with life and on the electronic PPM stick because 'Technology waits for no one.'

Consumed with doubt: Confidence down
Hurricanes. Soaring gas prices. Bleak employment outlook. The Conference Board has done its monthly temperature-taking of the consumer herd, and there's no doubt about it - - the herd is spooked. The index, with conditions as they stood in 1985 equaling 100, dropped all the way from 105.5 in August to 86.6. The Present Situation Index dropped from 123.8 to 108.9 and the Expectations Index fell from 93.3 to 71.7. 25.2% of Conference Board's respondents think business conditions are good - - but 29.7% thought so a month ago. And those saying conditions are bad have risen from 15.1% to 17.7%. Looking six months ahead, 19.8% expect business conditions to decline, compared to only 10% in August. Still, Conference Board analysts see a shock factor here which they anticipate will not be long-lived. "Historically, shocks have had a short-term impact on consumer confidence, especially on consumers' expectations, said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Fuel prices remain high, though they have retreated in recent days, and when combined with a weaker job market outlook, will likely curb both confidence and spending for the short-run. As rebuilding efforts take hold and job growth gains momentum, consumers' confidence should rebound and return to more positive levels by year-end or early 2006."

BIGresearch seconds that bleak emotion
Shock or no, the findings of the Conference Board are underscored in thick, boldface black ink by findings from BIGresearch. Its September Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey documents consumer plans which are big on doing little, other than perhaps paying down debt. For example, in August only 47.1% felt they needed to focus on needs over desires when planning their spending. That number is now up to 60.2%. 60.2% say dealing with rising fuel costs by driving less; 43.8% are cutting back on vacation and travel expense; 42.6% are avoiding restaurants; 33.6% are spending less on apparel. In August, 36.3% were focusing on paying down debt - - that number is now up to 41.%. And 40.2% are planning to cut down on overall spending - - only 29.2% said the same in August. Looking ahead to the holidays, about a third of Americans - - 33.7% - - plan to spend along 2004 lines. But the bad news is that an even larger approximate third plan - - 34.7% - - plan to spend less. The worse news is that the pessimists are not counterbalanced by another third on the other side - - a mere 6.3% say they'll spend more. The remaining 21.7% don't know yet.

RBR observation: It looks like it's going to be necessary to convince advertisers that there only choice is to work harder to market their wares this year. To many, the first place to cut in hard times seems obviously to be advertising, since it is an indirect expense (compared to nuts and bolts like raw material, power, salary, rent, shipping, etc.). However, the annals of business history are littered with the bleached bones of companies that cut back on marketing during hard times, only to leave an opening for a competitor to move in and take market share. Your mission: Convince established accounts to avoid this mistake, and bring in new accounts to take advantage of any faltering from the old guard.

XM Satellite Radio surpasses
5 million subscribers

XM Satellite Radio announced that it recently surpassed 5 million subscribers, increasing its lead as the nation's number-one satellite radio company. "With more than five million subscribers today, XM continues to expand its position as the leader in the satellite radio industry," said Hugh Panero, XM CEO. "We are on track to have more than six million subscribers by the end of this year. Consumers are choosing XM because we offer the most choices, including the most commercial-free music and live sporting events, and the most advanced technology. With the winning combination of outstanding new channels and breakthrough products in advance of the holiday season, XM is poised for record growth during Q4."

RBR observation: RBR has been warning for years that churn-subscriber turnover-is the threat that should be of most concern to shareholders of XM and Sirius. Management at both companies report that their churn rates remain "low" at 1.4% or 1.5% per month. Never mind that that works out to 16.8-18%, which is well above the 15% annual rate that both companies projected would be their churn rate when their business is mature-something that's still several years away. While 17-18% churn looks worrisome to us for these early stage companies, XM for the first time disclosed a number that should really frighten investors. It proudly declared that six out of 10 people who buy new cars with XM receivers installed are continuing to buy the service once the trial period built into the sticker price expires. That's a 40% churn rate for OEM sales!

Product placement just isn't write?
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has expressed his doubts about the use of product placement in today's commercial media environment - - particularly when the exchange of compensation for the placement is obscure. Another group has surfaced which also claims to be increasingly skeptical about the practice - - the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Newly installed WGA president Patric M. Verrone stated, "What we are seeing now in television, and in particular reality television, is that product integration is blurring the line between advertising and content. In many cases, sponsors' products are being integrated directly into the storyline and it is time for the advertising industry and the networks to recognize that unbridled product integration is a disservice to the American audience. What's next, the 30-second sitcom?" According to WGA, 27% of its members are cool to the practice, and 46% find it completely unacceptable. 74% say that "the line between content and advertising needs to be more firmly drawn." The writers particularly object to not having a seat at the table - - in particular, the Advertising Age "Madison and Vine" confab in New York - - despite the fact that the job of figuring out how to weave products into the plot. Said Verrone, "Given the critical role that they play in this process, one would assume that writers and editors would be welcomed as participants in a significant conference on this topic, but they were not."

RBR observation: Commissioner Adelstein has 'doubts about product placement in today's commercial media environment.' RBR says to the Commish get a life and pull your head out of the sand because you can not stop product placement. Our recommendation is to understand this - The client is the one buying the time and any quality programming will work as product placement is incorporated into the script without being noticed. It is not putting a Chevy Truck in a scene and blowing it up. To make our point even more clear relive the words of passion spoken by Jonathan Prince, creator & executive producer of American Dreams at 2005 NAB Vegas because Prince sees something lacking in TV today - Passion with Commitment. Put these two ingredients together and you have a winner as Prince is the king of product placement with quality content. Prince with American Dreams pulled together a number of branded product placements with Campbell Soup, Kraft Foods, and Ford Motor Co. Commish Adlestein read these remarks before you prejudge - Prince on Product Placement. If you need more examples just drop us a line.

State campaign cap appeal
headed for SCOTUS

The state of Vermont has a hard - - and low - - ceiling on the amount of money that candidates for state office can spend on their campaigns. It has survived a challenge in the Second Circuit Court, but opponents are going to take it all the way to the top. And the Supreme Court has agreed to hear their arguments. The caps were set in 1997 with the support of Howard Dean, who was governor at the time and is head of the Democratic National Committee now. They limit candidates for governor to 300K in spending. Lieutenant governor candidates can spend only 100K, and other state races are capped at 45K. Locally-selected state legislators are also capped. Challenges have been brought by a republican group, a right-to-life organization, a libertarian group and others. SCOTUS will also hear a challenge to provisions of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, brought by a right-to-life group in Wisconsin. In fact, Feingold figures prominently in the case - - the Wisconsin Right to Life wanted to run ads during his 2004 re-election campaign. At least one watchdog, Democracy 21, is prepared to aid in the defense of the provisions being challenged. Said Fred Wertheimer, "Democracy 21 will join with others involved in the successful legal defense of the McCain-Feingold law to participate in these two cases in order to ensure that longstanding and well-established precedents to protect against the corruption of democracy are not overturned or undermined by a Supreme Court currently in transition."


Best Icon and Best Slogan finalists named
Advertising Week organizers announced the names of the five finalists in the "best icon" and "best slogan" competitions as well as the creation of an Advertising Icon Museum, set to open in 2007 in Kansas City. The five finalists are: the Doublemint Twins, the Energizer Bunny, the Geico Gecko, Juan Valdez and the Budweiser Clydesdales. The five slogan finalists are: Nike's "Just do it"; Hallmark's "When you care enough to send the very best"; the US Postal Service's "We deliver for you"; Las Vegas' "What happens here, stays here"; and GE's "Imagination at Work." All winners in both categories will be announced today.

Advertising Week parade changes shape
A parade procession of advertising icons that was to move through Times Square and up Madison Avenue was put to a stop by the NYPD due to concerns about stopping traffic. But the Budweiser Clydesdales didn't show up. Instead, O. Burtch Drake, AAAAs CEO, and a number of ad icons including the Geico Gecko and the Doublemint Twins, sat in convertibles and quickly moved through Times Square. Drake shared his ride over with an M&M's character.

Media Business Report
Internet's pie piece small but growing
Advertisers spent 3B on the Internet in Q2, taking the mid-year total to 5.8B - - a 26% increase over the same period of 2004, according to a Price Waterhoue study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The total advertising take during that period was 71B, according to TNS Media Intelligence. 40% of the income is from paid search ads, with display advertising accounting to 20% and classified advertising making up 18% of the total.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
It's refi or bye-bye for Ohio five
The judge has spoken: Stop 26/Riverbend Inc. must either refinance its five-station, two-market Ohio radio group, or it must find a buyer. Through its agents, it is fielding offers to go either way for stations in the Columbus and Youngstown/Warren markets. The stations are WVKO AM & FM in the Columbus market and WRBP-FM, WASN-AM and WGFT-AM in the Youngstown-Warren market. John Pierce & Company ( and General Capital Partners ( are handling inquiries by authority of the United States Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Ohio.

Clear Channel adds in Albany
The largest radio company is the world is getting better in the smaller US Albany, as measured and ranked by Arbitron. That would be the one in Georgia, where CCU is picking up a fourth FM and fifth station. The station is WMRZ-FM, licensed to Dawson GA. According to Eddie Esserman of Media Services Group, who represented seller Staton Broadcasting, the price is 875K. Although in its FCC filing Clear Channel said the station is not technically part of the Albany GA market, it said it anticipated it may wind up being listed there by BIAfn, and it does overlap stations in the market. It will be included in a cluster that also includes WJYZ-AM/WJIZ-FM Albany, WOBB-FM Tifton and WRAK-FM Bainbridge. CCU will operate the station in an LMA until closing day.

Washington Beat
Hear ye, hear ye
A number of hearings are on the Congressional docket that touch on electronic communications issues. Today at 9:30 AM, the Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing testimony in a session entitled "Protecting Copyright and Innovation in a Post-Grokster World." Two panels of witnesses are tentatively scheduled. Panel One includes Mary Beth Peters of the Copyright Office and Debra Wong Yang, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California and Chair of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Cyber/Intellectual Property Subcommittee. They'll be followed by RIAA's Cary Sherman, CEA's Gary Shapiro, Stanford U. law professor Mark Lemley, Ali Aydar of SNOCAP and Sam Yagan of eDonkey and Overnet developer MetaMachine. Then at 2:00 PM, Judiciary's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hold a session on called "More Consolidation, or New Choices for Consumers?" Speaking will be Mr. Glenn Britt of Time Warner Cable, Kyle McSlarrow of NCTA, Forrest Miller of SBC Communications, Doron Gorshein of The America Channel, Scott Cleland of Precursor and Mark Cooper of Consumer Federation of America. Tomorrow, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee will take a look at "Public Safety Communications from 9/11 to Katrina: Critical Public Policy Lessons."

RBR observation: We'd call these Capitol Hill communications warm-up acts. The front headline acts - - DTV and indecency - - are yet to come.

The Word Network files with FCC against Sirius
Hours after The Word Network sued Sirius Satellite Radio (9/27 RBR #189),
The Word Network also filed a letter with the FCC requesting a formal investigation
into Sirius' racial policies.
| Read the Letter |

Ratings & Research
August Webcast Metrics ratings
Ando Media has released its monthly Internet Radio Top 20, a listing of the top-performing Internet radio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform. Webcast Metrics' top stations rose an average of nearly 15% in August from July's reports. The reports show an increase in both unique listeners and the average listeners listening concurrently for almost all of the reporting stations during the month.
| View the Charts |

950K WKMT-AM Charlotte-Gastonia NC-Rock Hill SC (Kings Mountain NC) from Geddings & Phillips Broadcasting Corp. (Kevin L. Geddings) to CRN Communications LLC (Daniel J. Fontana). 95K escrow, balance in cash at closing. [File date 8/23/05.]

500K FM CP Elko NV from College Creek Broadcasting Inc. (Neal J. Robinson) to Ruby Radio Corporation (Ken Sutherland, Mary J. Sutherland). Swap for KCLS-FM Ely NV. Duopoly with KHIX-FM Carlin NV. Price is an RBR estimate. CP is for Class C on 94.5 mHz with 90 kw @ 1,604'. Has applied for CP to Class C0 with 36 kw @ 1,519'. [File date 8/23/05.]

Stock Talk
Greenspan calms the herd
Media issues were up and down, generally modestly, again. The market as a whole rebounded somewhat after hearing economy guru Alan Greenspan's soothing words about how the economy was successfully absorbing fuel price increases.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
13.60 -0.01

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Viacom, Cl. A








Viacom, Cl. B








Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio




International Bcg.










Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Reaction from
NAB Radio Show 2005

You know it's just that all too often I feel that our so called industry leaders tend to take themselves way too seriously. In fact, their perpetual state of self-denial is quite a comical albeit substantial threat to the business that we "veterans" love so much. I, too, found the NAB Radio Show last week not just a little depressing. I whole-heartedly agree that most attendees who were ISO solutions and guidance in dealing with the bevy of vexing challenges that confront Free Radio left the Show with at best band-aid ideas. Yet, the sessions that offered more were among the most sparsely attended. Whose fault is that? In my view, this was due primarily to the widely held mis-impression that today's Radio Big-Guns have all the answers. Clearly this is not the case. That said, you did seem somewhat comforted by about half of what was said at the Dickstein Shaprio Conference, (Broadcast Financing 2005: Radio on the Rebound An Annual Program of The NAB) that opened the Show on Wednesday (I noticed you and Kathy standing outside the conference room, but you seemed pretty busy). I must tell you that your optimism over the emergence of a new source of funding for the industry might best be tempered with a dose of reality. It is interesting that Ivan (the Terrible) Zinn (HBK Investments) was brutally honest when he addressed the issues of "high reward" for "high risk" and the fact that hedge funds are largely unregulated (that is until January 1, 2006, a salient point to be sure). There are many owner/operators struggling in today's economic environment who may be lured into thinking that refinancing themselves out of their current troubles by entering into an agreement with a hedge fund will allow them to "wait out" the current station trading multiple down-trend. For those who might be in this frame of mind, I would caution that tractional funding sources (banks, credit companies, private equity, etc.) are not traditionally interested in being in the business of owning radio stations. This is not the case with (unregulated) hedge funds.

Paul W. Robinson, CEO
Emerald City Radio Partners
Baltimore, MD


Market Results
| Albany |
| Birmingham |
| Charlotte |
| Fresno |
| Memphis |
| Nashville |
| Oklahoma City |
| San Antonio |

Radio Media Moves

KZJK-FM Minneapolis taps Lassman as PD
John Lassman has been named PD of Infinity Broadcasting's KZJK (104.1 JACK-FM) in Minneapolis, it was announced by Mary Niemeyer, SVP/Infinity Minneapolis. The appointment is effective 10/3.

Stations for Sale

Santa Fe New Mexico
Price Reduced!

A Market #237 FM ready to go! Santa Fe is a unique and rich market with a great opportunity for an aggressive, innovative operator!
Cliff at Clifton Gardiner & Co
[email protected]

More News Headlines

September Digital Magazine Now Available

Media House 2005
GM Talkback - They have challenges Bill 'Fig' Figenshu offers solutions

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1.Create a simple account with Zinio and download the Zinio Reader.
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RBR Radar 2005
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

GM Planworks taps Rosen, Shaw;
launches "Video Investment Group"

We told 'ya so: GM Planworks, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group and the media planning, buying and research unit dedicated to General Motors (GM), named Mike Rosen its Chief Investment Officer. Rosen will oversee investment in network, broadcast, cable and nationally-syndicated television and radio.
09/27/05 RBR #189

Stern accuses K-Rock GM of hiking rates, slashing commissions
Apparently, the ad department at WXRK-FM NY has been doing great business in the months before the King of All Media bolts for Sirius Satellite Radio. Howard Stern accused his K-Rock WXRK-FM NY GM Tom Chiusano of jacking up its ad rates and slashing commissions at the same time.
RBR observation: Got to say it RBR has heard these rumors like many others on Infinity cutting sales commission but now getting it confirmed over the air and by 'The Howard' himself. We also have heard various other rumors but until those go from speculation to confirmation we say - keep talking Howard.
09/27/05 RBR #189

Publisher Perspective
NAB 2005 Overview
No time to either sing praise or be critical but the time is now to think the balance of the decade. Yes there is a need for a pure radio convention which is Management, Sales, Programming and Engineering driven with exhibit space for vendors to discuss their products. Many did not receive what they came for which was a quick fix answer because there is none. Not seen at all are the so dubbed the industry leaders. For the most part they were out of sight, or a no show, and people asked where are they, the talking heads of the business. You read their names in RBR, they plan meetings behind closed doors for the what is best for the radio business or just their business and they are a no show to talk the subject openly and collective with the radio broadcast community the every day broadcaster. Time for a pure radio convention and maybe with out these talking heads. It is your radio business you decide as there are more of every day radio people than the biggies collectively. 09/26/05 RBR #188

ABCRN Producer
ABC Radio Networks needs a motivated, creative, talk radio producer for a nationally syndicated daily talk show targeted to women. Must have a love for news and current events, possess superb writing skills, a terrific sense of humor, and work well under pressure. No Calls. EOE
See Radio Careers

GSM Nations Capital
Washington DC Business Talk station has an immediate GSM opening. Must have proven experience in large to major market sales. Full benefits added incentives and extraordinary growth potential. AE positions also available.
See Radio Careers

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