Share Ideas Working Now with RBR, MBR and SMARTMEDIA, a partnership in radio today.
Ideas Working Now Membership
Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 205, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning October 19th, 2007

Radio News ®

Arbitron on target,
focused on PPM

CEO Steve Morris reiterated that growth for Arbitron will begin in 2008 after a "trough year" in 2007 to get PPM off the ground. Q3 revenues were up 6.4% to 96.5 million, but EBIT dropped 15.4% to 27.2 million, largely due to costs for the PPM rollout. That was in line with the company's guidance and Wall Street expectations. Noting this week's announcement of a five-year contract with Radio One (10/16/07 RBR #202), Morris said the "sell-in" for PPM is nearly complete, although negotiations are continuing with some other important groups. So, the focus is now on rolling out PPM to more markets. Noting the recent controversy over in-tab levels in Houston and Philadelphia, the first two PPM markets, one analyst wanted to know whether Arbitron had decided yet on whether to narrow its current 6+ target guarantee to the 18-54 target requested by the Radio Advisory Committee. Morris has promised an answer next month and said no decision has yet been made. But he insisted there is no issue of data validity and noted that it is impossible to always hit 100 in every demographic cell. "The data is valid," he declared. As PPM rolls out to more markets in 2008, Arbitron noted that it will incur significant cost increases over diary measurement, but company officials also noted that the earliest PPM markets will also be generating higher revenues to offset those higher costs.

RBR observation: Morris was even asked about whether he expected anything of significance to come out of the planned test in Houston by would-be competitor The Media Audit/Ipsos, but the Arbitron boss said he had no information. Later in the call, Morris said that Arbitron was continuing to look into the possibility of using cell phones to gather PPM data, but noted that there are also problems with using cell phones, as opposed to the single-purpose pager-like devices now used for PPM. Use of Smart Cell Phone technology is a key part of the challenger's business model. But while the wannabe is still in the testing phase, Arbitron is running full speed ahead with the PPM rollout and PPM-related projects. A key decision is coming in early 2008 on whether major advertisers will continue to back Project Apollo and pay up to increase the national panel and commercialize the operation. Apollo uses PPM to track consumer behavior and produce very detailed single-source marketing information for advertisers and agencies. But that detailed data is also quite expensive, so going the decision to go forward will require a big financial commitment by the marketers.

Who bid for Lincoln Financial Media?
Bids were due this week for the potential sale of the Lincoln Financial Media stations. There was, indeed, lots of interest in the portfolio of primo properties, both radio and television - the former Jefferson-Pilot Communications. The real question, though, given the current credit market, is whether the bidding will be strong enough for Lincoln Financial Group, primarily an insurance company, to exit broadcasting. Back when this process began, well before the credit crunch, we speculated that the properties could bring around 1.5 billion (5/1/07 RBR #85). Will they get anything close to that in the current market? Or will the company say "no thanks" and hold onto the radio and TV stations for a few more years?

RBR observation: As we expected, Raycom apparently bid for the Southeast-focused TV group and Randy Michaels' Local TV LLC (and twin-to-be Local Radio) bid for the whole kit-and-kaboodle. We hear that Entercom and Greater Media bid on the radio package, as did former CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander with his new private equity backers. There were other bidders as well, we understand. Despite all of the rumors about Cox Radio coveting the radio properties and being the best fit, it is not clear whether the company made a bid. Will there be a winner? With a very low tax basis, Lincoln faces a big tax bite and may pass if the after-tax take doesn't do much for its balance sheet.

Martin pushing for
December ownership vote

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is looking to tie up whatever loose ends he thinks are dangling on the FCC review and redo of the 2003 ownership proceeding and bring the matter before the full Commission for a 12/18/07 vote. The pace, if nothing else, has already drawn fire from key senators from both parties. That pace includes wrapping up the relevant public forum schedule, which still has a hearing on ownership and another on localism to go and putting proposals before the public for commentary. Martin has long been a proponent of relaxing broadcast/newspaper cross-ownership restrictions, and it is widely believed that this is a lock to be on his agenda this time around. The issue is key to many companies which are operating such combos on waivers pending FCC resolution of the issue. It is of particular interest to Tribune Co., which has a transfer of control pending and has five TV/newspaper groups (one in Chicago also includes legendary WGN-AM).

It is unclear how much more Martin will try to get through. But Capitol Hill media issue point man Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has already fired a broadside, demanding in a letter co-written with key GOPer Trent Lott (R-MS) that the FCC conclude a separate study of localism before even beginning to consider relaxing ownership rules. According to the New York Times, Dorgan told attendees at a Commerce Committee hearing, "If the chairman intends to do something by the end of the year, then there will be a firestorm of protest and I'm going to be carrying the wood." In their letter, Dorgan and Lott wrote, "The Commission is under considerable scrutiny with this proceeding. Its last attempt at changing media ownership rules met with Congressional opposition and a reversal in a federal appeals court on both process and substantive grounds. This dubious track record makes it all the more imperative that this FCC conducts a transparent and thorough process and reaches a judicious decision."

RBR observation: The cross-ownership rules may be the biggest part of the 6/2/03 effort, and the Third Circuit Prometheus ruling actually noted that they are often result in a market's leading news operation. It had problems with the underpinnings and the associated station caps. The 2003 attempt to raise the national TV potential audience reach cap from 35% to 45% was handled by a legislative compromise setting it at 39% (a Republican tip of the cap to News Corp. and CBS). Easing restrictions on television duopolies, particularly in smaller markets, was sent back, as was a plank to allow three-television groups in very large markets. Changes in market definitions for determining local radio groups were allowed by the court, although how to eventually define unrated turf was unresolved and is still subject to the old contour overlap definition. The bottom line: Get ready for all interested parties to crank up their noise machines.

ABCRN moving Talk from McConnell to Boyce;
Imus syndication coming soon

Citadel CEO Farid Suleman is making more moves: ABC Radio Networks is officially moving most of its Talk responsibilities (Hannity and Levin) from SVP John McConnell to Citadel Broadcasting VP of News/Talk Programming Phil Boyce (not including Bob Brinker and Rick Edelmann). McConnell will probably be put in charge of music programming and other items, but we couldn't confirm that. ABCRN, under the new President, Affiliate Relations Dave Van Dyke, also offered to some of their affiliate staff to move to Dallas and let some go. We got no official confirmation from ABCRN, however, reliable sources did corroborate. Boyce will report to Mitch Dolan, who runs the former ABC Radio Stations for Citadel. Remember, both Levin and Hannity were hatched out of WABC under their leadership. Also remember Don Imus will likely be syndicated over ABCRN if the WABC show is a success. Our very well-placed source also said it may not take long to syndicate Imus...the proving ground will be short - like in January at the earliest.

Brownback exiting
presidential sweepstakes

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is said to be pulling the plug on his presidential campaign, with an announcement expected today. He has not fared well in either the polls or the money-raising contest. It is further reported that he will not seek re-election when his term expires in 2010, with an eye possibly cast on the Kansas governor's mansion. Brownback is best known to broadcasters as the Senate sponsor of the Broadcast Decency Act, which raised the potential fine for an egregiously indecent broadcast incident to 350K. No broadcaster has yet had the misfortune to experience Brownback's legacy to the industry.

Station groups strongarmed over Armstrong
Armstrong Williams famously received a contract from the US Department of Education to talk up the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program. Williams' production company has been cited for the situation by the FCC, and two TV groups, Sonshine and Sinclair, have received fines for airing Williams programming without attribution. Williams' Graham Williams Group (GWG) received an official citation threatening monetary punishment for similar future offenses. The FCC established that he was hired by DoED via Ketchum Inc. to push NCLB. He was cited for failing to notify recipients of his productions of this fact. These could amount to 11K per incident. Sonshine Family Television was hit 4K a pop for 10 apparent violations for a total of 40K. Five separate episodes of "The Right Side with Armstrong Williams" were played a total of 10 times. Sonshine was paid 100 dollars by GWG for each broadcast, which included NCLB promotions. The fines were for failure to disclose the compensation received, with the FCC not buying Sonshine's argument that they were negligible.

Sinclair was hit for running a GWG program, "2004 Election Countdown" intact without attribution on nine stations for a total hit of 36K. The FCC said the program fit the definition of "broadcast political matter" and the fact that it came from GWG had to be noted, whether or not Sinclair was compensated, and whether or not the decision to run it was their own choice. Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein said in an approving statement, "The repeated revelations of advertisers paying their way onto news programming without disclosure undercut the credibility of all journalists. When budget cuts in newsrooms lead broadcasters to substitute advertisements disguised by slick public relations firms as news instead of paying for their own work, viewers and listener wonder what they can believe. When newsrooms are too strapped or sloppy to perform their due diligence and provide disclosure announcements, as required by law, it leads to a crisis of confidence."

RBR observation: We wondered when Comcast was recently hit for running VNRs on its cable news program if broadcast outlets were waiting in the wings. We now have our answer. These fines, along with those levied on Comcast, can be appealed. But they are starting to flow out of the Enforcement Bureau. Make sure your newsroom is aware.

Ad Business Report TM

Vsurance launches radio campaign on CBS, CNN Radio
Vsurance, provider of pet health insurance, has launched a national radio campaign on CBS and CNN Radio beginning immediately. Company Ads will also be featured on XM. The campaign will focus on Vsurance's unique comprehensive pet health insurance programs, such as its Get HIP, as well as the company's opportunity in the burgeoning pet health insurance industry. 15 and 30 second commercials highlighting the company's products and investment opportunity air on mostly LA stations including KFWB-AM, KLSX-FM, KNX-AM, KROQ-FM, KRTH-FM, KTWV-FM and KFM-FM. The radio effort is part of a larger campaign which also utilizes television, print and outdoor.

JMA to handle ad sales
for "The Money Pit"

Jones MediaAmerica announced it will handle ad sales for home improvement radio program, The Money Pit. The call-in radio show helps listeners with their home repair and home improvement problems and is hosted by Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete. The Money Pit has been on the air for over 10 years, and can be heard every weekend on over 210 affiliates and XM.

Media Markets & Money TM
Radio One exits Miami
Radio One announced a deal to sell its lone station in Miami, WTPS-AM, to Salem Communications for 12.25 million. The deal is expected to close in Q4, but Salem has already taken over programming, with an LMA effective yesterday. That will leave Radio One with 54 radio stations in 17 markets. Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage represented Salem in the transaction. "The programmers who have been heard on our WKAT-AM 1360 will now have a new and expanded home at 1080AM, and the coverage of this new 50,000 watt signal is enormous, reaching from the Florida Keys to Boca Raton. Our new call letters on 1080 will be WMCU, acknowledging the heritage of great Christian programming in south Florida. Miami is the 11th largest radio market in the United States, and we are pleased to serve the large number of people there interested in Christian and family themes," said Joe D. Davis, Division President, Radio, at Salem.

Birach buying bash continues
For the third day in a row, Sima Birach has made dealmaker news. He's picked up AM stations in Johnstown PA, Tulsa OK and Little Rock AR. Now comes word he's the successful bidder for a pair of stations in Virginia's Tidewater area, better known as the Norfolk-Virginia-Newport News market. The stations are WVAB-AM Virginia Beach & WBVA-AM Bayside. They were originally sold by Bankruptcy Trustee R. Clinton Stackhouse to Nancy A. Epperson's Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp. for 775K. That fell through (although her group continues to run the stations in an LMA). Broker Ray H. Rosenblum stepped in and helped run an auction resulting in a 275K bid from TL Communications (Terry Suggs aka Terry Love). An opportunity for higher bidders to step in was announced, and Birach answered the call, getting the duo for 345K cash. Epperson, who is married to Stuart Epperson, a key executive with Salem Communications, owns and operates three other AMs in the market.

Washington Business Report TM
Toole time in Rome GA
Howard C. Toole was the winning Auction No. 70 bidder for a new FM CP in Plainview GA, in the vicinity of Rome GA, but Coosa Valley News asked the FCC to deny the CP. The charge was that Toole was an employee of Paul C. Stone's Southern Broadcasting and, despite listing himself as "sole proprietor" of the Plainville permit, was actually acting as a front man for Stone. The problem with the request for denial was that it was all based on hearsay evidence, or "hearsay-on-hearsay," which the FCC noted in some detail. One example: "[CVN] has been told by a media source that during a conversation between a McDougald family member and a media source..." The FCC said it wasn't obligated to try to track this type of evidence down, but in instances where the allegations were subject to possible verification, their attempt came up empty. In view of the lack of any reliable evidence, the CVN petition was denied and Toole is free to move ahead with building his CP.

Entertainment Business Report TM
Rusty Humphries adds eight markets
Talk Radio Network's The Rusty Humphries Show recently added eight stations and is now heard on over 200 affiliates. The new affiliate stations include: KKOL, Seattle; WWTC, Minneapolis-St. Paul; KTRO, Portland, OR / Vancouver, WA; WSBA, York, PA; KZNT, Colorado Springs, CO; WWPR, Sarasota-Bradenton, FL; WALT, Meridian, KS; and WEPG, Presque Isle, Maine.

Ratings & Research
Lycos list shows Stern most
popular talker with web users, again

Lycos announced its seventh annual list of the most popular talk radio personalities with web users, based on Internet searches. For the seventh straight year, Howard Stern continues to be the most-searched talker with web users, generating more searches than Tom Joyner and Opie & Anthony combined. Stern's online popularity remains strong, with search activity increasing 44% since making the move from terrestrial radio to Sirius. Tom Joyner takes the number two spot on this year's list, more than doubling in search popularity over the past year. Opie & Anthony, number three, were the biggest movers in 2007, generating four times more search interest than last year. Adam Carolla of CBS Radio's "Adam Carolla Show," saw the most significant drop on this year's list. Carolla, who reached #2 in 2006 just behind Stern, falls off the list completely in 2007. Also falling off this year's list is Tavis Smiley, plummeting in search popularity over the past year.

Two hosts generating a great deal of media attention offline, but failing to register big numbers on the search radar are Bill O'Reilly and Don Imus. This marks the second consecutive year that O'Reilly has not appeared on the Lycos list of Top Talk Radio Hosts. And while he still makes this year's list, the controversy and subsequent firing of Don Imus failed to boost significant online interest for Imus in 2007, with his search numbers cut in half. Joining O'Reilly and Smiley, other notables falling off the radar with web users in 2007 include Tom Leykis, Jim Cramer, Al Franken and Don & Mike. Replacing them and returning from last year are newcomers who made their debuts in 2006, including Wendy Williams, Emma B, Chris Evans and Sara Cox, who each continue to remain strong online. Returning to this year's list are Larry King, Mancow, Kim Komando and Paul Harvey.

1.8M KFJZ-AM Dallas-Fort Worth TX (Fort Worth TX) from Garden City Broadcasting Inc. (Jose Vasquez) to Siga Broadcasting Corporation (Gabriel Arango, Sylvia Arango). 100K escrow, balance in cash at closing. [File date 10/9/07.]

900K KNOE-FM Monroe LA from Noe Radio Enterprises LLC (George M. Noe) to Radio Monroe LLC (Clay E. Holladay, Norman Bradley Wilkinson). 45K deposit, balance in cash at closing. LMA 10/1/07. [File date 10/9/07.]

Stock Talk
Stocks end flat
A disappointing earnings report from Bank of America sent stocks lower at the opening bell, but by the end of the session, the market was pretty much back where it started. The Dow Industrials were off four points at 13,889, with other indices also little changed.

Radio stocks were also mixed. The Radio Index was down 0.477, or 0.4%, to 120.303. Arbitron jumped 3.9% after reporting its Q3 results. Entravision rose 2.5%. Beasley had the worst day, down 3.6%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel CDL
4.19 -0.04

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.




Debut Bcg.




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]

Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
Vsurance launches radio
Campaign on CBS, CNN Radio beginning immediately...

Washington Business Report
Toole time in Rome GA
Winning Auction No. 70 bidder for a new FM CP is...

Media Markets & Money
Radio One exits Miami
Deal to sell its lone station WTPS-AM, to Salem...

Birach buying bash
Continues, for the 3rd day in a row...

Stations for Sale

Hot Small Market Cluster
Own the streets with this money maker, locally dominant/multiple revenue streams. 4.8MM Inquiries781-848-4201 or [email protected]

Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

June Barnes
[email protected]

Radio Media Moves

to Cox

Cox Radio announced the appointment of Michael J. Mancini to General Sales Manager of WFOX-FM and WCTZ-FM serving Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut (Arbitron's Stamford-Norwalk market). Mancini's media career includes serving as the General Sales Manager at WHCN/WMRQ/WPOP in Hartford, National Sales Manager Clear Channel Hartford and Senior Account Manager at WKSS FM.

Hastings stepping down
The Broadcasters Foundation of America has begun the search for a new President, with Gordon Hastings stepping down after serving for 13 years. Hastings will remain in place until a successor is named and he will remain involved with the foundation, re-establishing Hastings Associates, which will contract to market the foundation's major events - Golden Mike Award, Celebrity Golf Tournament, NAB Golf Tournament and Offshore Fishing and Family Weekend.

Hodges to Metro
Westwood One's Metro Networks announced that, effective October 22nd, Madeline Hodges, will assume the position of General Sales Manager overseeing Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis. Hodges, who will be based in Cincinnati, was most recently a Sales Manager for Clear Channel.

More News Headlines

GM expands XM as standard equip
XM Satellite Radio announced it is a standard feature for the first time on all General Motors 2008 model year Buick, Hummer and Saab vehicles. XM is also now standard across many of the most popular vehicles in the Saturn, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac lineups, including: the all-new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, Silverado, Tahoe, Cobalt, Corvette and Impala; Saturn VUE, Outlook, Aura and Sky; GMC Acadia, Yukon, and Sierra; and Pontiac G5 and Solstice models among others.

Advisory Council elections underway
Arbitron has begun seeking candidates for election to its Radio Advisory Committee. Five seats are up for grabs for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2008. Client stations will elect one member each from a Continuously Measured Market ranked 51+; any Standard Market; a small market with a Condensed Market Report; representing Hispanic stations in the top 100 markets; and representing a youth format in the top 100 markets. Ballots will be mailed out in early November.

RBR Radar 2007
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Don Imus, down on the farm?
The NY Times website is reporting that Don Imus, who will begin broadcasting on WABC-AM NYC in December, is in "serious" discussions with Omaha-based RFD TV, a satellite and cable channel aimed primarily at rural demos and seen in 30 million homes (

RBR observation: If Imus were to sign with RFD, he'd only be seen in big cities by viewers who had satellite service - not cable viewers, as there are no carriage deals in major DMAs. RFD may be a great fit for Imus right now - they could be the only network that'll touch him at this stage; he has a good fit with rural America; and big cities may not be the best place for carriage now anyway. Needless to say, a deal with Imus would likely boost RFD's carriage and be an entrée into more popular programming. Typically, smaller cable networks like HDTV and the old TNN have grown carriage and become mainstream beginning with one or two "anchor" shows getting signed.
10/18/07 RBR #204

"Game over" in
electronic ratings race?

The folks at The Media Audit/Ipsos would no doubt disagree, but CL King analyst Jim Boyle says "it is game over, we think" now that Arbitron now has PPM contracts covering about 90% of the radio revenues in the top 50 markets. With this week's addition of Radio One, Boyle notes that Arbitron has signed PPM deals with nine of the top 10 groups and 13 of the top 15. Arbitron reports its Q3 financial results tomorrow and will provide guidance to The Street. Boyle has a "Neutral" rating on the stock
10/17/07 RBR #203

RBR Classifieds

New Listing
Account Executive
Have a passion for Sports and like South Florida then the #1 one sports station WAXY, Hollywood is seeking experienced AEs. Strive to be the best on and off the field of play in Sports radio today and join our team. WAXY, 790 The Ticket, We've got Game. E.O.E. See Radio Careers.

General Manager
Fisher Radio, 5 stations cluster in Great Falls, MT needs a GM with passion for radio and a proven track record. Getting involved with the community necessary and to lead by example as we at Fisher Radio are committed to our people and local communities, E.O.E. See Radio Careers.

Additional Positions
Available in RBR Classifieds.
See Radio Careers.

Hard finding that key person
to fill the important position at your organization? RBR Classifieds, Results with Service. Contact April McLynn at [email protected]

Find Your Radio Career

Post Your Companies Job Openings

Other Links

Help Desk

__EMAIL__ :
Having problems with our epapers?
Please send Questions/Concerns to:
[email protected]

If you wish to remove your name completely from our database use this link __UNSUB__

RBR Epaper -- 108 annual
or just 9 a month

©2007 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved.
Radio Business Report -- 2050 Old Bridge Road, Suite B-01, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 -- Phone: 703-492-8191