Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 212, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning October 30th, 2007

Radio News ®

Chopper wars:
Westwood One sued

Florida-based Pompano Helicopters has sued Westwood One for 362 million bucks, charging that WW1 and its Metro Networks subsidiary conspired to drive the chopper company out of business and take over its clients. Pompano alleges that WW1 spread rumors that it was an unsafe operator, leading to cancellation of many of its contracts to supply helicopters for broadcast stations. A spokesman for WW1 told RBR the company had no comment on the lawsuit

For years, Pompano Helicopters provided choppers and pilots to a number or radio and TV stations for traffic and news reporting. In its heyday, prior to a sharp decline beginning in 2002, the company operated 25 aircraft for stations in the Miami, West Palm Beach, Houston, Baltimore and Atlanta markets. But the lawsuit filed in Broward County, FL claims that "its once thriving business was destroyed by Westwood's spreading false and damaging information as part of a planned and orchestrated campaign of tortuous interference with contracts that Pompano ultimately lost to Westwood's subsidiary Metro." According to the lawsuit, Westwood employees spread false rumors that Pompano was an "unsafe operator" of aircraft and eventually "someone would get killed" due to faulty maintenance. Pompano claims that Westwood also usurped some of its key personnel, became privy to its confidential business plan, and scuttled a merger with another company that would have made the combined company a "formidable competitor" to Metro Networks. Instead, Pompano Helicopters today has no aircraft, but still exists as a corporate entity for its lawsuit seeking damages from Westwood One and Metro.

Senators request new hearing on net neutrality
Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) have reached across the aisle in the past to promote the concept of network neutrality. Concerns about cable and telephone companies playing an active gatekeeper role when providing internet access have prompted the duo to call for a new hearing on the topic. "Over the past several months there have been incidents that have raised serious concerns about the phone and cable companies' power to discriminate against content," they wrote in a letter to Commerce Committee chair Daniel Inouye (D-HI) (both are members of the committee). "Just recently, Verizon Wireless arbitrarily chose to block a series of text messages on the grounds that the subject matter was too controversial." They credited Verizon for reversing this decision, then added, "Then came news that AT&T reserves the right in its Terms of Service to discontinue the service of customers that criticize the company. And just last week, we saw reports of Comcast interfering with the popular file-sharing service BitTorrent." Noting that providers have provided assurances that they would not discriminate based on content, they concluded, "These recent events suggest that response is well short of being sufficient and this Congress should consider adopting targeted regulations to protect consumers and ensure an open and vibrant communications platform." They want a full committee hearing.

RBR observation: Put us down for net neutrality. You are reading this right now because you - and RBR - both have access to a free and open Internet. We occasionally are critical of companies that may be carrying us into the homes and businesses of our subscribers. The notion that this relationship between the press and citizens can be disrupted by the carrier runs counter to the founding principles of the United States and absolutely must be protected.


Edwards attacks pharma ads
Presidential candidate John Edwards (D-NC) believes that advertising is one of the reasons the cost of pharmaceuticals is rising so quickly, and is calling for a two-year moratorium on marketing after a new prescription drug is introduced to the market. A similar proposal was excised from a bill earlier this year. Edwards says spending on these ads has risen from about 1B to 4B in the ten years since advertising rules have been relaxed, and charges that the people paying the freight are the end users. Edwards claims that twice as much is now spent on marketing than is on research and development; that the drugs with the most profit potential are the ones that get a big push; that in some cases the drugs have not been proven to be safe; and that the ads are rarely reviewed before airing by the FDA. In addition to a two year moratorium on advertising, he wants all initial ad flights to be pre-approved by the FDA, and he wants to impose serious penalties for drug companies found to have stretched the truth. He said doctors, not ads, should be the major influence in what drugs are used by American consumers.

RBR observation: The bill passed by Congress this year did away with the proposed three year moratorium written into an early draft of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, courtesy of bipartisan team Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Steve Buyer (R-IN), who introduced a bill passed by a healthy 23-9 margin. In part, the reason is that in many cases, ads for a new drug can make consumers aware of symptoms they would otherwise fail to seek treatment for, providing an educational benefit. The bill did provide for punishment if a company goes over the line with its claims or promotes a product that turns out to be unsafe. Perhaps if we saw more remedies for serious conditions being marketed, rather than elective preparations, calls such as Edwards' would be toned down. In the end, it reminds us of the wisdom of former NAB honcho Eddie Fritts, who always says that in Washington there are now permanent losses and no permanent victories. Amen.


Watching campaign coverage
The Project for Excellence in Journalism, along with the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press say that press coverage of the current presidential campaign has it pretty much backwards. People want more coverage of where candidates stand in the issues, more debate coverage, more info on candidate backgrounds and experience and their sources of cash; and less info about how they're doing in the latest polls. Instead, though, they're getting a diet made of 63% of stories on campaign tactics and poll results. Personal background info (17%) and policy positions (16%) lag far behind.

Coverage has been relatively even-handed, however, with a few exceptions. Democrats have received favorable coverage 35% of the time, negative 36% and neutral 39%. Republican have been favorable 26%, negative 35% and neutral 39%. But take out positive stories about Barack Obama (D-IL) and negative stories about John McCain (R-AZ) and the coverage is said to be about even across both parties. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is said to lead the pack in coverage, but this isn't necessarily a good thing. She has been pounded relentlessly by conservative radio hosts, pushing her to the top of the total coverage heap with 17%. Obama is next with 14%, followed by Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) at 9%, McCain at 7% and Mitt Romney (R-MA) at 5%.

New name, same family
Morgan Murphy Stations has rebranded itself as Morgan Murphy Media. "This name change reflects how our industry and the media landscape has changed in just the past few years. I'm a third-generation owner and just as my grandfather pioneered in newspapers and my father in radio and television, my generation has welcomed the digital world as part of our news, information, and entertainment delivery service. It's only natural that we change our name to reflect today's reality in the media industry. Our company has grown beyond its 'station' base to expand into magazine and Internet ventures. We expect that expansion to continue and our new name allows that growth to occur under an appropriate corporate banner," said President Elizabeth Murphy Burns.

Madison, WI-based Morgan Murphy Media has two radio clusters - seven radio stations in the Spokane, WA/Coeur d'Alene, ID market and five radio stations in Southwestern Wisconsin. In TV, it operates three stations in Washington State and two in Wisconsin. Other media operations include Madison Magazine, a monthly lifestyle publication in Madison; and Murphy Entertainment Group, which produces programming for broadcast and cable networks and Internet delivery.


Ad Business Report TM

SoCal radio gets a slice of Honda Helpful Awards
This Thursday will be the final day to submit nominations for the 1st Annual Honda Helpful Awards, a celebration that honors Helpfulness among residents in Southern California. Friends, family, peers and co-workers will have the opportunity to visit a participating Honda dealership or the Southern California Honda Dealers Association website, SocalHonda.com, to nominate a helpful member of the community whose life would be significantly improved by a new Honda. Cars will be gifted during an official awards presentation hosted by the Southern California Honda Dealers in Los Angeles in January. The campaign, via Santa Monica-based creative agency Secret Weapon Marketing, uses radio, TV and outdoor.


Media Business Report TM
Citi Debuts campaign for Citi Cards
Citi announced the launch of its new national campaign for Citi Cards, the world's largest provider of credit cards. The first television commercial of the US campaign aired 10/28. The national campaign is an extension of Citi's global branding campaign "Let's Get it Done" that launched in May. Both TV and print ads illustrate how Citi Cards enable people to create the stories of their lives by providing the financial power to fund life experiences. TV will run on network and cable programs such as NFL, ABC College Football, ESPN, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Heroes and Dancing with the Stars. Print will run in ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, Time, US News, Vogue and In Style. Publicis New York developed.


Media Markets & Money TM
Price revealed in Indiana
Bruce Danziger's acquisition of a seven-station radio cluster in east-central Indiana has hit the FCC's deal database, revealing the price for the first time. Danziger's Vox Communications Group will pay 11.1M for the group which is partially in the Muncie-Marion Arbitron market. The seller is David Keister's Mid-America Radio Group Inc. The Muncie-Marion stations include WBAT-AM/WMRI-AM/WXXC-FM Marion and WCJC-FM Van Buren. The remaining three stations include WIOU-AM/WZWZ-FM Kokomo and WMYK-FM Peru.


Washington Business Report TM
Local watchdogs
attracted to localism session

A heaping healthy portion of the watchdog community is located in Washington DC, just like the FCC, and they are planning to have a presence at FCC headquarters Wednesday 10/31/07 when the FCC combines its October Open Meeting with its final localism forum. The FCC says the session will feature a presentation from the Media Bureau, "summarizing the record the Commission has received on the topic of localism." There will also be a panel, including several of the protesting watchdogs. The participants include Marcellus Alexander, NAB/NABEF; Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America; Bob Edwards, AFTRA/XM Satellite Radio (formerly with NPR); Kim Gandy, President, National Organization for Women; Jim Goodmon, Capital Broadcasting; Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Jesse Jackson Sr., Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Media Access Project; Christopher Sterling, George Washington University; and S. Derek Turner, Free Press. The moderator will be Louis Sigalos, Chief of the Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division, Consumer Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC. The panel session will be followed by an opportunity for public comment.

The watchdogs said they will attempt to rally the public outside FCC HQ. They complained that the latest session allowed little time and is not spacious enough to allow the public to properly participate. Signing onto the release announcing plans to rally were Jackson; Gandy; Brent Wilkes of League of United Latin America Citizens; Josh Silver of Free Press; Gene Kimmelman of Consumers Union; Schwartzman; Bob Edgar of Common Cause; Cheryl Leanza of United Church of Christ; and Amina Fazullah of U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Meanwhile, across the mall, the House Commerce Committee will be looking into the DTV transition again. The panel there is supposed to be made up of industry stakeholders. So far there has been no word as to who exactly will testify.


HD RADIO 2007
Broadcasters form European HD Radio Alliance
Another step in moving HD Radio worldwide: iBiquity Digital announced that European broadcasters have formed the European HD Radio Alliance, an organization designed to promote and support the deployment of HD Radio technology throughout the continent. The first meeting of the European HD Radio Alliance took place earlier this month in Lucerne, Switzerland, during which time the following officials were elected:

Chairman - Juerg Bachmann, Energy Zurich, Switzerland
Vice Chairman - Andriy Karpiy, First Ukrainian Radio Group, Ukraine
General Secretary - Markus Ruoss, Ruoss AG und Radio Sunshine, Switzerland
General Director - Andrea Sentinelli, Europejskie Radio dia Bialorusi, Poland
Treasurer - Perry Priestley, iBiquity Digital, USA


Entertainment Business Report TM
Celebrating in Boston
The Boston Red Sox wrapped up a World Series victory Sunday, but that was in Denver. Today, the local heroes come home and the celebration continues. Entercom says Sports Radio 850 WEEI will be broadcasting live from Fenway Park today to celebrate the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Starting at 6:00 am, "The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show" will broadcast live from WEEI's Lansdowne Street Studio with special guests throughout the morning. At 10:00 am "Dale and Holley" will also be live from Fenway Park and will have live coverage of the Red Sox Victory Parade beginning at noon. Meanwhile, sister station WMKK-FM "93-7 Mike FM" will be known today as "Mike Lowell FM," to honor World Series MVP Mike Lowell.

Steve Dahl returning to WJMK/Jack FM Chicago
Steve Dahl, popular Chicago talker, will make his return to morning radio on CBS Radio's Jack-FM Chicago (WJMK-FM). Premiering 11/5, Dahl's show moves from afternoons at sister WCKG-FM there in the Windy City. Looks like WCKG is preparing for a format flip, as the NBA Chicago Bulls have signed to return to ESPN Radio's WMVP-AM. WCKG is rumored in the Chicago Tribune to flip to AC as "Fresh FM" any day now. We've heard that is much more likely than the rumors of a Spanish language flip.

Cooper Lawrence appears on FNC, Tyra Banks today
Dial Global's Cooper Lawrence will spend today running from set to set to be on both Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends at 7:15AM live discussing the latest Rosie and O'Reilly controversy. Then it's off to Tyra's new studios in New York to help viewers see their relationships in a whole new light and then it's off to her radio show 7-10pm.


Internet Business Report TM
AWRT to partner with Verizon Foundation
for Internet Safety campaign

American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) announced they will be partnering with the Verizon Foundation in a campaign to promote Internet safety. AWRT and Verizon will be hosting a tele-seminar on 11/7 entitled Listen In Before You Log On. It will provide advice on how to protect yourself and your system from viable Internet threats.


Transactions
4M KHTE-FM, KKSP-FM & KOLL-FM Little Rock (England, Bryant, Lonoke AR) from ABG Arkansas License LLC, a subsidiary of Archway Broadcasting Group LLC (Gordon Herzog, CFO et al) to Crain Media Group LLC (Larry Crain Sr. et al). 400K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Superduopoly with KCNY-FM Greenbrier AR. LMA 11/1/07. [File date 10/16/07.]


Stock Talk
Very scary: Waiting for the Halloween Fed
Yes, Halloween this year is the "Night of the Living Fed," with the next decision on a rate cut or not coming Wednesday. Will it be a trick or a treat for Wall Street? Investors were optimistic Monday that the Fed members will be in a cutting mood. The Dow Industrials rose 64 points, or 0.5%, to 13,870.

Radio stocks, however, were lower. The Radio Index fell 1.257, or 1%, to 119.853. Saga had the worst day, down 4.6%. Entravision was down 2.6%.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

50.14

-0.11

Google

GOOG

679.23

+4.63

Beasley

BBGI

7.71

+0.03

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

23.07

+0.33

CBS CI. B CBS

28.88

-0.12

Journal Comm.

JRN

8.92

-0.12

CBS CI. A CBSa

28.84

-0.17

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

66.87

+0.29

Citadel CDL
4.38 +0.02

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

3.47

-0.05

Clear Channel

CCU

37.81

-0.04

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

3.49

-0.04

Cox Radio

CXR

12.32

-0.19

Regent

RGCI

2.28

-0.06

Cumulus

CMLS

10.41

+0.01

Saga Commun.

SGA

7.11

-0.34

Debut Bcg.

DBTB

0.89

unch

Salem Comm.

SALM

8.55

-0.12

Disney

DIS

34.68

+0.30

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

3.61

+0.03

Emmis

EMMS

5.13

-0.10

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

2.65

+0.03

Entercom

ETM

18.66

-0.14

SWMX

SMWX

0.02

unch

Entravision

EVC

9.11

-0.24

Westwood One

WON

2.24

unch

Fisher

FSCI

48.89

-0.87

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

15.17

+0.15


Bounceback

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Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
SoCal radio
Gets a slice of Honda Helpful Awards...

Media, Markets & Money
Price revealed in Indiana
Acquisition of a 7-station radio cluster...

Washington Business Report
Local watchdogs
Attracted to localism session..



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Radio Media Moves

Burak joins MMG
Media Management Group announced that radio ad sales veteran Larry Burak has joined the company as National Sales Director. Formerly with Katz Radio Group and Statenets, Burak will coordinate the company's relationships with the national rep firms and oversee special sales projects. Media Management Group represents major talk radio talent as well as personalities in other media.




More News Headlines

Howie Carr still in limbo
A Massachusetts appeals court yesterday ruled that Howie Carr may not broadcast on Greater Media's WTKK-FM Boston while fighting in court against Entercom, which claims to have dibs on keeping Carr at his former radio home, WRKO-AM Boston. "We respect the Court's decision, but we continue to believe that Howie Carr should be able to work for the station he chooses. We are keeping all options open as we decide how to move forward," said a statement from Greater Media.

Big bucks on the line
A 1,000-bucks grudge bet hangs on next Sunday's NFL game between the Patriots and Colts. Jeff Smulyan, Indy-based Emmis, and Peter Smyth, Boston-based Greater Media, have put their cash on the line and the loser will personally write a 1K check to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Porter Wagoner
dead at 80

Country music legend Porter Wagoner has died at age 80, after recently being diagnosed with lung cancer. Wagoner was a long time fixture on radio, with more than 80 chart singles, and hosted "The Porter Wagoner Show" on TV for 21 years. Along the way, Wagoner also launched the career of Dolly Parton. He never retired, having released his final album in June.



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

Publisher Perspective
At the stroke of midnight
Right now, RBR goes completely electronic. We cease printing SmartMedia mag but the content goes electronic. We have stated numerous times, "Technology Waits for No One." LPM and PPM are rolling, gathering real time data. Therefore, I am not waiting for the New Year's baby to arrive to bring forth our electronic improvements. This is the 2nd time in 25 years I have had to make this hard decision. The first time was 07/08/02 RBR Epaper #1 and my radio friends and colleagues thought I was friggen nuts. When we wish all a Happy New Year 2008, RBR/TVBR will turn 25 years young, our Silver Anniversary. (Reason and looking ahead worth a read see RBR)
10/229/07 RBR #211

RBR News Analysis
The battle lines have been drawn for the latest attempt by the FCC to reform its media ownership limits. Big financial interests want more deregulation, particularly in the biggest markets. Politicians from both parties have staked out the position that all media consolidation is bad. Both sides occasionally pay lip service to considering "the public interest," but, in fact, neither really gives a damn. If they were really concerned about what would be good for the public they would look at the real world and try to fix what is broken - or in the process of breaking. Everyone knows that daily newspapers are in a world of hurt. New Internet challengers are taking big bites out of what used to be their cash cow. There is more and RBR offers to the FCC 3 dereg ideas that would really serve the public interest.
10/229/07 RBR #211




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