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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 191, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning September 29th, 2005

Radio News®

RBR First
White Smoke at NAB, well, sort of
Confirmed - the committee's unanimous choice is David Rehr who currently is President of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Yes, Rehr is the unofficial named successor to President & CEO Eddie Fritts. RBR has confirmed that Rehr has a contract and the committee is anticipating to make an announcement this week or next. The reason for unofficial and the only issue holding up seeing the White Smoke is Rehr's lawyers are reviewing the contract offered by the committee. So until Rehr's lawyers approve and Rehr's signature is on the dotted line - we wait. The committee is unanimous on Rehr but it does not mean all were in total agreement as RBR pointed out 09/16/05 RBR #182 that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was posting his former aid and current Disney's chief DC lobbyist Mitch Rose while former Sen. Fred Grandy took himself out of contention.

RBR observation: Trust we see White Smoke soon and for the better - give the guy a chance.

Indecent descent?
Complaints way down

We thought indecency complaints were down in Q1 2005 over the final three months of 2004, over which time the total number received by the FCC was halved. Turns out that was nothing - - and nothing is pretty darn close to what the FCC had to handle in Q2 2005. The downslope from Q4 2004 to Q1 2005 to Q2 2005 is nothing less than breathtaking: 317.8K to 157.7K to 6.2K - - 6,161 to be precise. They were distributed with almost equally throughout the quarter, with each month's total coming in just over 2K. The FCC notes that these totals may include both duplicate complaints and/or complaints received about programming which in fact does not rise to the level of actionable indecency. Radio and TV accessibility was not a big issue in Q2 - - a total of 13 complaints came in to the Commission.

RBR observation: In Philadelphia at the NAB Radio Show 2005, FCC Enforcement Bureau's Kris Monteith said that numerous indecency decisions have made it most of the way through the pipeline and were almost ready to be released. It will be interesting to see how far back they go datewise. Otherwise, it would appear there is a major chill in the air, with broadcasters staying well clear of the gray area between the acceptable and the indecent. Also, look for the number of accessibility complaints to go up in Q3, and particularly in September, in response to problems getting emergency information to variously-challenged citizens during this particularly active hurricane season.

FCC Dems on the road again
Media watchdog Free Press, the University of Iowa Lecture Committee and a slate of local organizations is hosting yet another public forum on the media. The 10/5/05 Iowa City IA meeting will be attended by FCC road warriors Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein. The session - - entitled "Town Meeting on the Future of Media" - - will be held at the University of Iowa's Pomerantz Center at 7:00 PM local time. In preparation, Free Press and other local organizations have set up a slate of workshops "to help residents of Eastern Iowa prepare comments in advance of the forum." A spokesperson for one of the local groups, Trish Nelson of Iowans for Better Local Television, said, "People should come out and tell the commissioners what they would like to see changed. How often do we get a chance to have a conversation with someone in a position to shape the media? This is an incredible opportunity for people to participate in something that could actually have an impact."

RBR observation: Unfortunately for the citizens likely to participate in this session, the promise of an "incredible opportunity for people to participate in something that could actually have an impact" would seem to be utterly empty. It's fine to make some noise and, as much as possible, keep the opposition point of view out there, but the person who will have the greatest initial impact of the rules of the road for broadcasters remains unknown. But we know where that person will be sitting - - in the vacant Office #5 on the FCC's 8th Floor. President Bush gets to pick who that person will be, and we can pretty much guarantee that most of the participants at the "Town Meeting" won't be overly thrilled with his choice.


Tax tribulations for Tribune
Multimedia Tribune Company is facing a possible 1B tax hit over a financial maneuver relating to the Matthew Bender company. MB executed what it thought was a tax-free reorganization back in 1998, as did another company which, like MB at the time, was a subsidiary of The Times Mirror Company. Tribune inherited the problems when it bought TM in 2000, problems with vastly heightened headache-production powers following a United States Tax Court ruling disallowing the reorganization on those terms. The 1B hit is expected to cost the company 850M after allowable deductions. Tribune will try to head off that outlay, however. "We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said Crane Kenney, Tribune's general counsel. "We look forward to our appeal in the Seventh Circuit." Tribune owns newspapers, television stations and legendary Chicago clear channel AM WGN, as well as MLB's Chicago Cubs.

RBR observation: Ouch. With these kind of figures in play, we can only regret the foul words which passed our lips back when we lived in Maryland, when the county piggyback tax cut a little too deeply into our state refund.

NAB keeps the heat on for multicast
The battle over multicast must carry is still percolating on Capitol Hill. It was scheduled to be history by now, but Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have conspired to divert the move a great deal of the congressional workload back - - in this case, it backed it up just about an entire month. The National Association of Broadcasters notes that these same hurricanes serve to underscore the critical role played by broadcasters in times of emergency, especially when its the type of emergency that knocks wires down, rendering cable useless. It has bought some more display space in popular Capitol Hill dailies to keep this thought top of mind among the legislators who will be deciding the issue, most likely in mid-October.
| Here's the NAB ad |

Interep announces scholarship for
historically Black
Colleges and Universities

Interep announced it will institute an annual Interep/NABOB scholarship to be awarded to a communications/ broadcasting student attending one of the nation's historically black colleges and universities. The announcement was made by Interep President and COO, George Pine, at the 29th Annual National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) Fall Conference in Washington D.C. last week. This year's scholarship will go to a student attending Florida A&M University, one of the leading historically black colleges and universities in the country. NABOB will announce the recipient of the award in the next few weeks. NABOB Group Shot: Pierre Sutton, Chairman/CEO, Inner City Broadcasting; Bernie Howard, Interep; George Pine, President/COO, Interep; Jim Winston, Executive Director, NABOB; Sherman Kizart, SVP/Urban Radio, Interep


Adbiz©

Kathy Crawford on dealing
with Katrina's aftermath

In our November RBR/TVBR Solutions magazine, we ask stations (including Entercom New Orleans Market Manager Phil Hoover and WWL-TV GM Bud Brown), engineers, agencies and rep firms about life during and after Katrina. In our AdBiz section, Kathy Crawford, MindShare President/Local Broadcast, speaks about how Katrina affected marketing, planning and buying for her clients. How are media agencies working through this?
| Read an excerpt: |

Kevin Cassidy on dealing
with Katrina's aftermath

Interep tells New Orleans in Q4 is down 50% for national spot, which equates to approximately 1 million dollars. However, Kevin Cassidy, Interep's D&R Radio Sales President (reps Entercom stations in New Orleans), who also comments in our November RBR/TVBR Solutions magazine, tells us from a national standpoint, activity has been extremely robust (given the situation) on a lot of different levels. "Just from a wide disparity of advertisers. Everyone from Target Stores and other major retailers who are reaching out to employees to find out if they're OK and still alive. You have that going on in New Orleans, and I'm in Dallas a lot and I heard spots the other day basically saying, 'Hey, you've been displaced from the Gulf region and you're currently residing in Dallas. You're eligible for re-hire in a Dallas-area store'."
| Read More... |

CC Radio converts Kroger's,
American Equity Mortgage to :30s

CC Radio announced that its Creative Services Group recently hired Elizabeth Smith as its Creative Director, developing local, regional and national campaigns strategies and shorter length commercials for CC advertisers. She will also contribute to the ongoing training of CC AEs and commercial production talent. Smith is based in Atlanta and her position was effective as last month. The Creative Services Group recently completed two major advertising promotions, including one to introduce a new retail concept for Kroger Market Place using :30s; and has also worked with one of its Top 20 national advertisers, American Equity Mortgage, in converting :60s to :30s.


Media Markets & MoneyTM
Langer's return to WBIX ends Bleidt blight
The long saga of WBIX-AM in Boston is closer to resolution, as receiver David Vicinanzo has an agreement which would return the station to former owner and current operator Alexander Langer. The station, under Bruce Bleidt, was in flames in the wake of a investor swindling scandal. Bleidt was running a business format on the station after buying Langer's stake for 10M, but at the same time, he was bilking clients of his financial advisory and management business out of millions of dollars - - he's pleaded guilty to charges and is awaiting sentencing. Under the deal filed with the FCC, Langer will pay 1.5M to cover, among other things, receivership and attorney fees, will assume 433K in debt, and will forego any further payment from Bleidt. Langer's been running the station per an LMA agreement with Vicinanzo since 11/30/04, rent-free but covering normal station operating expenses. He also owns WSRO-AM in the Boston market. According to BostonHerald.com, Langer's 7.5M lien on the station outweighed any offers fielded by the receiver. If Langer is successful in reselling WBIX, the receiver stands to collect 25% of any amount over 10M to go toward settling any outstanding claims.

Will radio stocks be a
swell Q4 investment?

Wall Street's Bear Stearns notes that for the last three years, radio stocks have used the Q4-into-Q1 period as somewhat of a launching pad, rising (roughly) from 20% to 26% each time. Will 2005-into-2006 be more of the same? Bear notes this trend, and speculates, "And one could make the case that 2006's tone should finally improve. Is it that time of year again for radio stocks?" That said, Bear says that at the moment, private equity firms and company stock buybacks are the source of most broadcast investment action - - traditional investors as a whole are decreasing their holdings. Bear says business is still sluggish. It likes Entercom, which has experienced a tough year so far, despite its problems in New Orleans. Bear says Entercom figures to be a player if and when Disney sells part or all of ABC Radio, and will sit out the Susquehanna station bazaar. Bear sees good possibilities at Clear Channel. Finally, it says to stay on top of Emmis, with the juxtaposition of good fundamentals and "near-term issues on timing of TV asset sales" throwing some question marks into the mix.


Washington Beat
More markets get TV election extension
Regarding carriage on cable and satellite MVPDs, television stations are facing a 10/1/05 deadline to pick either retransmission consent of must carry status. The FCC has already extended this deadline for stations in the path of Hurricane Katrina. Now, those which got up close and personal with Hurricane Rita have been extended the same extension. The new date, for stations in the Alexandria LA, Lake Charles LA, Lafayette LA and Beaumont-Port Arthur TX DMAs, is now 11/15/05. As with Katrina stations, the extension does not allow affected stations which have already made their choice to change their minds.


Transactions
500K KCLS-FM Ely NV from Ruby Radio Corporation (Ken Sutherland, Mary J. Sutherland) to College Creek Broadcasting Inc. (Neal J. Robinson). Swap for FM CP Elko NV. Price is an RBR estimate. [File date 8/23/05.]

65K WEEO-AM Shippensburg PA from Cary H. Simpson to Shippensburg Broadcasting Inc. (Eric J. Swidler). Cash. [File date 8/24/05.]

N/A KBNY-TV CP Las Vegas (Ely NV) from Kaleidoscope Foundation Inc. (Greg Fess) to Nevada Channel 6 Inc., a subsidiary of Equity Broadcasting Corp. (Larry E. Morton et al). Price will be the value of specifically identified assets. Duopoly with KEGS-TV Goldfield NV. KBNY CP is for Channel 6, KEGS is on Channel 7. No overlap between stations. [File date 8/23/05.]


Stock Talk
Flat to down day
Most radio stocks were flat to down some change. Standouts included Beasley down 0.46, Gaylord down 0.37 Fisher down 0.63 and Arbitron down 0.35. Salem and Westwood One led the pack, up 0.17 each.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

39.50

-0.35

Jeff-Pilot

JP

50.44

+0.23

Beasley

BBGI

13.82

-0.46

Journal Comm.

JRN

14.86

+0.03

Citadel CDL
13.48 -0.12

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

13.24

+0.05

Clear Channel

CCU

31.83

-0.08

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

13.27

+0.07

Cox Radio

CXR

14.85

-0.11

Regent

RGCI

5.20

-0.04

Cumulus

CMLS

12.19

-0.11

Saga Commun.

SGA

12.98

-0.12

Disney

DIS

23.37

+0.01

Salem Comm.

SALM

18.42

+0.17

Emmis

EMMS

22.68

-0.12

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

6.39

-0.12

Entercom

ETM

30.78

-0.17

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

6.90

unch

Entravision

EVC

7.61

-0.16

Univision

UVN

26.10

-0.19

Fisher

FSCI

45.95

-0.63

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

33.08

+0.11

Gaylord

GET

46.06

-0.37

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

32.91

+0.09

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.90

-0.07

Westwood One

WON

19.32

+0.17

Interep

IREP

0.55

unch

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

34.02

-0.03

International Bcg.

IBCS

0.01

unch

-

-

-

-

-



Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Great to see you and the RBR pros in Philly -- Without beating a dead horse -- didn't it seem strange to you that there were no NAB panels -- devoted strictly to Station transactions and how to best operate in transition after sale formally announced? Dickstein ( Carnegie II) got into it -- but they're not NAB employees. Combining the Radio NAB with R&R makes no sense -- except to R&R. R&R must be picking 50% of the convention tab. If NAB must combine -- do it with RAB. [Also see Boyle's other recent NAB comments (09/22/05 RBR #186)] Interesting that FCC now has a booth on exhibit floor. There were 2 women and one guy "manning" it. I asked what I thought was a simple question. Now that the FCC has awarded all "singleton" grants for the #84 AM (started in Jan 2004) CP auction -- as of April 2005 -- when are the FCC Final grants going to be issued? Answer -- we don't know -- but please call us next week at our offices. My question --" FCC has over 400 AM CP's up -- how can you not know about when you're going to make final decision -- when you have two FM Auctions also ongoing? This is like the US Atomic bomb Manhattan project.. Isn't this a big enough deal to be know what the final decision making time frame will be?" Better answer than "We don't know"-- woulda been -- "take aspirins and call me next year"....

Frank Boyle


Arbitrends

Arbitron
Market Results
| Charleston |
| Chattanooga |
| Columbia |
| Knoxville |
| Raleigh |
| Tulsa |


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
(303)758-6900
[email protected]


More News Headlines





September Digital Magazine Now Available

Media House 2005
Peter Davidson buying as others sit on the sides. Close-up One on One


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

XM Satellite Radio surpasses
5 million subscribers

surpassed 5 million subscribers, increasing its lead as the nation's number-one satellite radio company. XM says they are on track to have more than six million subscribers by the end of this year.
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!
09/28/05 RBR #190

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).
RBR observation: WGA and 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 Prince on Product Placement
09/28/05 RBR #190


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