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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 23, Issue 215, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning November 3rd, 2006

Radio News ®

Seeing red in September
On the plus side, national business climbed 5% in Q3 2006 over the same trio of months in 2005. But you know when the Radio Advertising Bureau leads with a factoid of that sort that there aren't a lot of other numbers worth highlighting. The results for September, based on research from Miller Kaplan Arase & Co., certainly bear out that conclusion. Local revenue was down 3%, and national was down 1%, and the combined total was a loss of 3%. An 11% gain in non-spot revenue was enough to sand off 1% of that for a total September loss of 2%. The results contributed to quarterly and YTD results that overall are on par with 2005 totals. In both cases, the bread-and-butter local category is down 2%. National's 5% gain in Q3 filtered into a YTD gain of 2%. Non-spot remains a bright spot, up 11% for the quarter and 9% for the year so far.

RBR observation: CL King's Jim Boyle calls this the continuation of "a secular downdraft" and notes that off-the-record, public companies are expecting better results for October and November, but not that much better. His advice is to think long-term and plunge some cash back into the business. He said, "Radio's audience erosion and ad share loss are aggravated by not investing in on-air talent, credible research, needed sales training and starved promotion budgets." We agree. Radio has innate advantages on the local level and particularly in the drive-time automobile. The business must recapitalize on these strengths as forcefully as it possibly can.

Google to get into radio
the old fashioned way?

RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank (who based it on a theory by Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services) has speculated Google may buy into Clear Channel (in play right now) as a way to get firmly entrenched in radio-beyond the purchase of dMarc/Scott Studios. We've already heard about the 1 billion bucks possible purchase of CC Radio inventory by cash-rich Google. As well, Bank noted Google has been hiring top-notch radio salespeople in New York, LA, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta and Chicago. The goal, according to the report is around 100. Acquiring a stake in Clear Channel as part of a consortium - or outright - would give Google Audio access to avails to sell in local radio markets - in conjunction with local search. Indeed, Radio One CEO Al Liggins said in his latest conference call that he has heard rumors that CCU is working on some type of inventory deal with Google "but I don't know what it is." He also noted that Google has been out hiring people for local ad sales in large markets, but even the salespeople don't yet know just what it is they are going to be selling. Google currently, via its acquisition of dMarc, is marketing mostly remnant and small/medium market radio inventory. Buying a stake in Clear Channel is a way to get more prime inventory - and profit from it. Clear Channel does control some 20% of local radio industry revenues in the U.S. Google told RBR they don't comment on rumor or speculation. However, we did get a chance to speak with dMarc competitor SWMX COO Bill Figenshu, who noted: "If someone wants to buy a billion dollars worth of inventory from Clear Channel, it's fraught with danger….
| More on the Controversy... |

RBR observation: Google has said repeatedly it doesn't want to own content producers or be in the content creation business. A Reuters story in September quoted Google VP of Advertising Sales Tim Armstrong as saying Google viewed itself as "an operator of the Web," rather than a producer of original text, films or images. "We don't really have a ton of serious conversations about creating content," Armstrong was quoted as saying during a panel discussion at an Interactive Advertising Bureau event in New York. So we're thinking this may be less about an equity investment and more about an inventory investment - CC's website inventory and (maybe) radio inventory. For instance, Google did a 900 million ad deal with Fox Interactive in August (8/8/06 RBR #153) -- strictly online, no broadcast inventory. Perhaps Google is looking to do the same with CCU, taking inventory only on the CCU websites. That would make a lot more sense than CC Radio parting with any radio inventory. Also, if Google were to buy into radio, it might compromise other radio groups' business relationships with dMarc - it would be the same issue Clear Channel faces sometimes with its own vertically integrated vendor acquisitions. On the other hand, maybe Google is fine with dMarc's technology serving only Clear Channel stations. Should be interesting.

CBS planning big stock buyback
With his corporate coffers stuffed from selling Paramount Parks and 29 radio stations, CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves says the board of directors will be asked to approve a 1-1.5 billion bucks stock buyback next year. On the operating front, he says radio pacings are up 3% in October excluding the former Howard Stern stations, TV demand is strong and Katie Couric is attracting younger viewers and higher ad sales. Les is a happy guy. Oh, we almost forgot to mention that Sumner Redstone went out of his way at the beginning of yesterday's conference call to declare Moonves "the best executive in the media industry." Some investors were no doubt relieved yesterday when Moonves finally stated what he intends to do with the cash piling up from divestitures. Despite his denials, there had continued to be fears that CBS would make a big acquisition, such as a movie studio. Moonves again stated yesterday that he is not looking for any big acquisition, only tuck-in opportunities. Making his point even more forceful, he announced that management will ask the board of directors to authorize a big stock buyback in early 2007, ranging from 1-1.5 billion, with the exact size to be determined later.

RBR observation: Even with that giant stock buyback, Moonves will still have plenty of cash available, so those tuck-in acquisitions could still run to hundreds of millions. Might he step up to the plate to buy the Tribune TV stations in New York and Chicago? (See story below.) CBS already has a duopoly in LA, so having two TV stations in each of the top three markets would give it a strong position for future growth.

CBS Radio moving in the right direction
CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves insists that his company has the right mix of assets, and he is including radio in that mix. Although CBS Radio was the weakest unit in Q3, with revenues down 6% to 508.1 million, Moonves expressed confidence in the direction radio is heading. Excluding the stations being sold and those that carried Howard Stern a year ago, Moonves said October radio pacings are up 3% - and he declared that Opie & Anthony are making a big impact on many of those former Stern stations. CFO Fred Reynolds told analysts that CBS Radio revenues are pacing down 2% for Q4, but are up 1% excluding the 27 former Stern stations. Moonves is also pleased with the company's success in selling off smaller market stations that are not considered core assets. He proudly declared that CBS has sold 29 radio stations for 570 million, at an average 14 times EBITDA, with two more markets to go: Fresno, CA and Greensboro, NC. He expressed confidence that those sales will also carry similar pricing.

RBR observation: Yes, radio is recovering, but still has a long way to go, as shown by the dismal September numbers that RAB announced yesterday (see this issue). So, while you can say that CBS Radio is pacing up 1%, excluding the former Stern stations, for Q4, that pales beside the other CBS assets at street level. The TV station group, obviously packed with political advertising, is pacing up 14% for the quarter and CBS Outdoor is pacing up 8%, with its US operations up 10%.

Radio One working to fix LA and Atlanta
Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins assured analysts and investors that the company is working hard to resolve its problems at KKBT-FM Los Angeles, which along with the Atlanta stations, was a drag on the company's Q3 results. But he noted that Radio One has turned the LA station around once before, after buying it from Clear Channel. This time, he says, the refocus to an older audience and cutting overhead means that KKBT can achieve the same cash flow it used to have without getting back to its ratings peak. With LA continue to be a drag, CFO Scott Royster told analysts that the company expects Q4 revenues to be down in the low single digits, with LA down more than 50% from a year ago. No, that it not a typo - he said LA revenues will be less than half what they were a year ago. Meanwhile, Radio One is still looking to sell off some non-core stations and Liggins said he is seeing a pick-up in interest following the recent station sales by CBS Radio.

Looking ahead at Saga
"The industry has its challenges but they're not insurmountable." These are the words of Ed Christian, who insisted broadcasters would come out on the other side of the current slump in fine shape. He added, "This is not an industry in crisis. We are not closing stations. We are not laying off employees. We are not declaring bankruptcy." He said the fundamentals of the broadcast industry remain strong and noted that the radio side in particular has a history of coming through challenging times even stronger than it was when the tough period began. Christian and Sam Bush noted that Q4 is looking OK, with continued benefits coming in from the hotly-contested election and decent pacings in October and November. Christian noted that the it was still too early to tell how the holiday season was going to turn out. He is looking for the benefits of high-definition radio to help bolster the industry (and is supporting efforts to get high-def receivers into Detroit-made automobiles). Rejuvenation of the AC format, which he said is currently mired in a music slump, will also be a factor, and he noted that record companies are working on the problem already. The company is sitting on about 9M cash, some of which may go toward acquisitions and stock buybacks. The company is watching the potential Clear Channel maneuvers with interest, particularly if it results in station inventory going on the market. As to pricing, he said that would be a matter of market energy. If the town is headed up, that's what will happen to the multiples of stations which may go on the auction block, and vice versa.

Wall Street Media Business Report TM
Emmis sets special dividend date
Emmis Communications says it will make the payout this month for the four bucks per share special dividend that it announced in September (9/19/06 RBR #182). The payment will be made November 22nd to shareholders of record on November 12th. CEO Jeff Smulyan said the special dividend, the first ever in the 25-year history of Emmis, "demonstrates our commitment to creating shareholder value and our enthusiasm about what lies ahead for our core radio and publishing businesses."

Q3 Conference Calls
"CBS Corporation is right on track"
That assessment came from Chairman Sumner Redstone, who was in quite an upbeat mood for yesterday's Q3 conference call. Net earnings from continuing operations rose 26% to 324 million and operating income rose 4% to 646 million, led by TV and outdoor. Radio was another story, although CEO Les Moonves insisted that radio is moving in the right direction, recovering from the loss of Howard Stern and trimming its station portfolio. Radio revenues fell 6% in Q3 to 508.1 million and OIBDA (operating income before depreciation & amortization) fell 10% to 210.2 million. TV revenues were flat at 2.15 billion, but OIBDA rose 9% to 457.1 million. Outdoor, which didn't get a lot of attention during the call, saw revenues rise 9% to 536.2 million, with OIBDA shooting up 20% to 142.1 million.

Tough quarter for Radio One
There was plenty of red ink in the Q3 report from Radio One. With soft results from two of its biggest markets, Los Angles and Atlanta, net revenues were down 2% to 99.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA fell 4% to 39.7 million. CEO Alfred Liggins tried to find a silver lining in that dark cloud. "This quarter was a fairly decent one, with the exception of our continuing poor performance in Los Angeles and some softness in Atlanta. In fact, if our LA radio station had performed in line with market industry results, we would have outperformed the radio industry for the quarter. We are working hard to correct our problems in these two locations and recently made significant senior level personnel changes in each of these markets. While we continue to have a lot of work to do, we are optimistic that 2007 will be a year of growth and renewal after what has been the most challenging year we have faced in our 25-year history," he said in announcing the disappointing quarter.

Saga doesn't blow a tire,
but does come in flat
Saga Communications honcho Ed Christian said the group's Q3 2006 results were neither good nor bad, and were on par with what the rest of the industry seems to be reporting. He cited the diminished spending from automakers, which is punching a hole in local results that is challenging to fill with new business. On the national side, results were all over the map, if you look all over the map - up in one place, down in another. Here are the highlights released by the company yesterday: " operating revenue decreased 0.2M over the comparable period in 2005 to 35.8M and operating income decreased 1.4% to 7.8M. Net income decreased 0.2M to 3.3M 16 cents per fully diluted share) for the quarter ended 9/30/06 compared to 3.4M (17 cents per fully diluted share) for the comparable period in 2005. For the same period, station operating expense decreased 1.3% to 25.8M (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations). On a same station basis for the quarter, net operating revenue decreased 0.5% to 35.8M, operating income remained flat at 7.9M and station operating expense decreased 1.7% to 25.7M." Political has been a positive factor, accounting for 645K during Q3. 354K of that has gone to Saga's radio stations, with the remaining 291K attributable to its television stations.

Strong quarter for Univision
With its sale pending to Haim Saban's group, Univision isn't holding quarterly conference calls, but it does still report its results. By the way, CEO Jerry Perenchio said in the announcement yesterday that the sale should close in Q1 of 2007. In Q3, TV was the big driver, with revenues up 14.8% to 394.2 million and pro forma operating income before depreciation & amortization (OIBDA) up 23.3% to 159.6 million. Radio revenues gained 6.5% to 103.2 million, far outpacing the general radio market, and OIBDA up 1.7% to 42.3 million. Throw in the music and Internet operations and total net revenues rose 7.8% to 536.1 million and OIBDA gained 12.2% to 202.5 million. That should make Haim happy.

Entravision wants its stock back
Entravision announced that its board of directors has authorized a 100 million bucks stock buyback. The move comes as the Spanish language specialist - which will become the largest publicly traded Hispanic media company in the US once the Univision sale closes - continues to outperform general market competitors. TV revenues were up 8% in Q3 to 40.8 million. Pro forma radio revenues, adjusted for station sales, were up 4% to 27.5 million. Outdoor revenues rose 7% to 10 million. "The growing demand for Spanish-language media from both viewers and advertisers continues to drive our results. Further, we are benefiting from the adoption of new audience measurement methodologies, the 2006 elections and investments in our asset base, specifically our research and sales functions, which strengthen our ability to capitalize on our expanding audience shares," said CEO Walter Ulloa.

Ad Business Report TM

D&R Radio to rep seven new Entercom stations
Interep announced D&R Radio will represent seven new radio stations which were recently purchased by Entercom. In Cincinnati, the stations include WUBE-FM, WKRQ-FM, WYGY-FM and WAQZ-FM, formerly represented by the Katz Media Group. In Memphis, the stations are WMC-AM, WMC-FM and WMFS-FM. Kevin Cassidy, President of D&R Radio, said, "Our partnership with Entercom continues to grow. Their latest acquisitions are terrific properties. The Cincinnati cluster is a complete powerhouse. And the Memphis stations - in combination with Entercom's existing assets - have completely redefined that landscape. We are thrilled to have been chosen to represent these fine stations."

GM Planworks appoints two agency presidents
GM Planworks announced the advancement of two of its senior leaders. The new roles mark the start of a broader initiative to restructure and enhance the agency's media strategy, investment and research services. Mary Carpenter and Mike Rosen will take on the new joint leadership titles of President, Strategy and Operations and President, Investment and Activation respectively. Together, the two executives will be empowered to align their wide array of agency resources across all clients and media types, leveraging those resources in the marketplace for the benefit of General Motors. Carpenter and Rosen both report directly to Planworks CEO Dennis Donlin. In her new role, Carpenter, 41, will oversee all planning activity across GM divisions. Rosen, 45, will assume oversight responsibility for investment approaches in all media types. Specific changes in each team's organizational approach will be communicated directly to all relevant partners. In his new role, Rosen will champion a content-centric approach to the business, establishing cross-functional teams with expertise in specific content areas, such as Sports and Multicultural.

Media Business Report TM
What happens to radio as Tribune takes break-up bids?
As we expected, Tribune Company is now reported to be soliciting bids for individual assets after attracting disappointing bids for the entire company. The LA Times, which is one of those assets, says the sum of the parts could yield as much as 46 bucks per share. That is quite a premium to the current stock price, so it remains to be seen just how much the individual pieces are worth to actual bidders. Local moguls have already stepped forward to indicate their interest in bidding for the "Los Angeles Times" and "Baltimore Sun." According to the Wall Street Journal, CBS is weighing a bid for WPIX-TV New York and WGN-TV Chicago. Both are CW affiliates, would create duopolies with CBS O&Os and would not add to the CBS tally as far as the national ownership cap is concerned. In all, the Tribune TV group looks to be worth over four billion, or about a third of the value of the entire company.

RBR observation: The one Tribune asset likely to draw the least speculative talk is WGN-AM. CBS is full up on radio stations in Chicago and could not take the AM if it buys WGN-TV. We can see four possible scenarios: 1) The station is sold in a package to whomever buys the Chicago Cubs; 2) It is sold along with the TV station to someone other than CBS; 3) It is sold separately to an in-market radio owner, such as Emmis; 4) Or it is one of the pieces not sold off and Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons leads a management LBO of the stripped-down company.

Media Markets & Money TM
Close encounter in Aberdeen
Armada Media Corporation, a relatively new and unusually high profile entrant into the ranks of broadcasters, has closed on its acquisition of a six-station superduopoly in Aberdeen SD from Aberdeen Radio Ranch. Jody McCoy and Tom McKinley of Media Services Group report a pricetag of 9.25M. The station lineup includes KSDN AM-FM, KGIM-AM, KBFO-FM, KNBZ-FM & KGIM-FM, all licensed to either Aberdeen or nearby Redfield SD. Former Wisconsin governor Tommy G. Thompson chairs the buyer, which also includes broadcast veterans John Lynch and Terry Shockley in its executive lineup.

Washington Media Business Report TM
Indiana U. LP tries to stave
off Edinburgh interloper

WIUX-LP is a student-run low power FM licensed to Indiana University Student Broadcasting and operating in Bloomington IN on 100.3 mHz. If is now fearing for its very existence due to Docket 06-77, which provides for a new full-power FM on the same frequency and, since it's less than 25 miles away, has the potential to shut down WIUX. The IUSB is asking for protection from the FCC, rescinding the allotment to Edinburgh in recognition of the "...educational, cultural and technological benefits WIUX-LP provides to the students of Indiana University and the surrounding community." For one thing, IUSB argues, the total number of people served by the station, 70K residents of Bloomington and 40K IU students, is triple the number in the proposed Edinburgh coverage area. It says the station is a perfect example of the aims of the 2000 LPFM proceeding. Notably, it says that the FCC is considering whether LPFMs should be considered a primary service, saying that if the FCC "...answered this question in the affirmative it would cure the frequency conflict at favor of WIUX-LP." Finally, it notes that the FCC has the "...opportunity to establish an important precedent whereby it supports the educational aims of low-power FM and provides protection for community and University radio stations."

RBR observation: All FCC precedent we've ever seen is to the effect that in a conflict between full-power and low-power, full-power wins. The number of people served is often an issue when comparing like-kind conflicts, with the larger population usually winning out unless a community currently being served by a broadcast facility would lose its only outlet. This situation offers the novel claim that an existing LPFM actually serves more people then the incoming full-power station would. It will be interesting to see what the FCC does with this one.

Internet Media Business Report TM launches
online video platform launched a new online video platform which will offer users a unique library of streaming video content covering the world of business and finance. The initiative will utilize the high quality video production of CNN, which will co-produce each segment. As part of the launch, a prominent video module with eight featured and newsworthy video segments will be posted on the site's home page at all times. The segments produced for the site will derive from key stories from each of the four magazines housed on the site - Fortune, Fortune Small Business, Money and Business 2.0 - as well as stories by the dedicated editorial staff of In addition, business news from CNN's broadcast networks will be available directly through the newly-launched video player. The launch features nearly 50 exclusive video segments which build off of some of the magazines' franchise issues including Fortune's "Fastest Growing Companies," Money's "Best Places To Live," Business 2.0's "The Next Disruptors," and Fortune Small Business' "Best Bosses 2006." Video coverage also includes some of the magazines' prestigious events and conferences, such as Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit 2006 and Geoff Colvin's C-Suite Strategies series, featuring exclusive interviews with top executives and business leaders.

Ratings & Research
Non-comm ratings put on hold
After hearing concerns from its Radio Advisory Council (RAC), Arbitron has put on hold plans to include non-commercial stations in its local ratings reports. That was supposed to begin with the Fall book, as Arbitron announced in September (9/26/06 RBR #187). But Arbitron says the RAC last month asked it to hold off on adding the non-comms to the book until it is also ready to report individual satellite radio channels and Internet radio channels. Arbitron said yesterday it "is currently collecting and analyzing additional data in order to further refine rules for crediting satellite radio entries, including the rules for handling diary entries that could be assigned to either satellite or over-the-air stations." The company notes that non-comm data is already available in its MaximiSer and Media ProfessionalSM respondent level data services and the special public radio service marketed by the Radio Research Consortium.

225K WGZS-AM Dothan AL from Victory Broadcasting Company LLC (John Abbott) to Jalo Broadcasting Corporation (Jack Gale, Lovey-Lois Gale). 50K down payment, 25K cash upon sale of buyers home or on 3/27/07, 150K note. [File date 10/19/06.]

97K WJPR-FM Jasper IN from Good Samaritan Educational Radio Inc. (Keith Reising) to Jasper Public Radio Inc. (Larry D. Hembree, Allan Williams). Cash/note. [File date 10/16/06.]

Stock Talk
Radio beats a down market
Stock prices dipped as the US Labor Department said productivity was flat in Q3, while wages rose nearly 4%. The Dow Industrials fell 12 points, or 0.1%, to 12,019.

But radio stocks had a better day. The Radio Index rose 2.149, or 1.4%, to 151.162. Radio One saw its Class A stock rise 2.2% and Class D 3%, with investors apparently convinced that Q4 was looking better than feared. Salem jumped 3.3%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.







Radio One, Cl. A




Citadel CDL
9.94 unch

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]

I'm not sure that I understand the explanation of Arbitron's policies regarding changes to guidelines for reported listening. Several months ago, the ARB advisory committee apparently approved the reporting of online station listening (stream listening) in a separate category, if any commercials or station elements were substituted on the stream. While that listening gets added to the market total, it does NOT get added to the listening of the station (except in a separate discrete area, not readily available to agencies and advertisers). The result is the dilution (and therefore share diminishment) for ALL stations in the market. Arbitron's rationale for this arcane system is "That it would be unfair to advertisers to believe that they may be advertising based on a particular rating, but not all of the audience would be hearing the substituted ads...." (So why add Internet listening to the market total then?....but I digress).

Now, Arbitron is going to start reporting the listening of non-commercial stations. I don't understand. If Arbitron is concerned with the accurate reporting of ratings for the benefit of ADVERTISERS, why would they wish to report listenership of stations that can't be advertised on? To my way of thinking, both recent changes implemented by Arbitron are not good for the health of radio, as an industry. First, they reduce the "Share" of all stations' listening by the inclusion of streaming listening in the market total, but not ascribing it to an individual station. Then, non-comms get credit for listening, when advertisers can't advertise on them. Where is the consistency of logic?

Russ Oasis
WKLU Indianapolis
WJFX Ft. Wayne
(Note: These comments were made before Arbitron announced yesterday that it would delay including non-commercial station data.)

Below the Fold
Media Business Report
What happens to radio
As Tribune takes break-up bids?...

Ad Business Report
Seven new Entercom stations
As expected will go to Interep's D&R Radio...

Media Markets & Money
Close encounter in Aberdeen
Armada Media Corporation has closed on its acquisition of a 6-station superduopoly...

Ratings & Research
Non-comm ratings
Put on hold after hearing from the Council (RAC)...

Radio Media Moves

NextMedia goes Greene
Artie Greene has been promoted to VP/GM of the Wilmington, NC cluster of six stations owned by NextMedia Group. Greene was previously Director of Sales for NextMedia's Myrtle Beach, SC cluster.

Double duty
Clear Channel San Francisco/San Jose announced that Stacy Cunningham is the new Program Director for KIOI-FM "Star 101.3," in addition to her ongoing duties as Program Director of KMEL-FM.

Dial Global ups Murphy; taps Farley
Dial Global announced John Murphy has been promoted to SVP/Talk Programming Sales. John has been with Dial Global for three years, and moves up from his position as Vice President, Talk Programming Sales. Dial Global has also hired Dianne Farley as VP/Marketing. Dianne joins Dial Global from Westwood One, where she served as Account Executive for five years. She will report to Eileen Decker in the New York office.

"Jazzy" is busy
Clear Channel San Francisco/San Jose announced "Jazzy" Jim Archer as the new Online Content Director in addition to his ongoing duties as Program Director of KYLD, WILD 94.9.

Legal shift for VNU
James W. Cuminale has joined VNU as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, having previously been Exec. VP at PanAmSat. He succeeds Earl H. Doppelt, who decided to exit after the recent sale of VNU, following 12 years with the company.

More News Headlines

First election results
This just in to RBR Election Central: It's a tie! Arbitron says there was a three-way tie in balloting for the Radio Advisory Council seat representing continuously measured markets 51+. Run-off ballots have been sent out and must be received or postmarked by November 13th to be counted. The run-off candidates are Roger Fessler of American General Media in Bakersfield, CA; Thomas Mandel of WJXQ-FM Lansing, MI; and Dan Austin of Pamal Broadcasting in Albany, NY.

LIM not helping pricing
Less is More has been hailed as a success by Clear Channel, but in his conference call yesterday, Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins said LIM has not succeeded in one of its objectives - improving pricing. Rather, Clear Channel has just as many units in fewer minutes. "When Less is More first came out, everybody said, oh, we're going to reduce inventory and prices are going to go up - yet, we're here to tell you that prices have not gone up. So, from a pricing standpoint, Less is More has not been effective in rating CPMs for radio. It's been effective in helping Clear Channel this year grab more share, but it hasn't raised pricing for the overall radio market," Liggins said.

BCFM gathers
in Washington

The Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association board and its and its Broadcast Cable Credit Association (BCCA) subsidiary are getting together in the Nation's Capital next week to discuss plans for the organization's annual 2007 conference, pegged for Las Vegas 5/22-24/07. The 11/8-9/06 sessions will also be a perfect time for the group to assess the ramifications of the midterm elections. They will also be meeting with NCTA President/CEO Kyle McSlarrow. "We have been holding the Board's fourth quarter meetings in Washington, DC so that we can anticipate how the latest political developments will affect the media industry and plan the Association's agenda accordingly," stated Mary M. Collins, President/CEO of BCFM and BCCA. "With a new Congressional Session getting underway in January, the opportunity to obtain Kyle McSlarrow's perspective will be extremely helpful to our efforts."

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

SoftWave sees future
beyond remnant business
Its fees on the sale of remnant inventory may be the highest it charges, but SoftWave Media Exchange (SWMX) CEO Josh Wexler told investors and analysts that is not where he sees the biggest business opportunity. The company recently jumped into the political ad placement business, deliberately offering a low fee to attract business, and placed 1.2 million in political ad buys in Q3 across radio, cable and broadcast television. While Google is a giant company, SWMX COO Bill Figenshu insisted that his company has the better platform. First, it has a better commission structure. "We pay more to the stations," he said. Also, there is no hardware required for a station to use SWMX. Figenshu noted that Google is hiring local ad salespeople to compete with local radio stations, which has made some stations wary of doing business with dMarc.

RBR observation: Note that SWMX recently received a Strong Buy from Capstone Investments..The research team at CapStone Investments, headed by Director of Research Jackson Spears, says the business model for SWMX is attractive due to potential high recurring revenue, operating leverage, high cash flows and a high return on invested capital. If you have not viewed SWMX's system, it is worth getting acquainted as we approach a potentially rocky 2007.
11/02/06 RBR #214

ABC memo details Air America advertiser blacklist
Speaking of do not advertise lists (see above), a 10/25 ABC Radio Networks memo to its affiliates obtained by Media Matters for America and Fairness in Accuracy in Reporting (originally from a listener to The Peter B. Collins Show), reveals 90 major sponsors have a standing order that their commercials never be placed on syndicated Air America programming that airs on ABC affiliates.

RBR observation: The beat goes on and for RBR analysis a must review in
11/02/06 RBR #214

Hey, let's all go private
If Tribune and Clear Channel are both sold to private equity firms, will it start a parade of broadcasters going private? Don't count on it, says one analyst who has been running the numbers. One problem, says Mark Wienkes of Goldman Sachs, is that private equity funds aren't sure they would be able to cash out at a profit down the road.
11/01/06 RBR #213

Clear Channel guys
Windfall or not?
Wall Street Journal portrayed the coming buyout of Clear Channel Communications as a "windfall" for the Mays family, with Lowry in line to receive more than a billion bucks for his stake and sons Mark and Randall about 100 million combined. Not to mention golden parachutes.

RBR observation: A billion bucks is big money any way you look at it, but the Mays family stake in Clear Channel was worth twice that a few years back, so we doubt that they would consider the payout any windfall.
10/31/06 RBR #212

"Gluttons At The Gate"
A must read for Clear Channel
and Tribune staffers
Employees of Clear Channel Communications and Tribune Company who are waiting to find out which private equity firm (or consortium of private equity firms) will be their new owner might want to pick up this week's issue of BusinessWeek with the cover story "Gluttons At The Gate." As the title indicates, it is a critical piece on the private equity field.
10/31/06 RBR #212

NBA Minute


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Program Director
WCJK-FM/Nashville, JACK formats. Candidates will have experience, a proven track record, a true flair for creativity and, oh yeah, a JACK attitude. No calls.
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Account Executive(s)
Reach Media seeking experienced AE's to represent and sell various media products. Immediate openings in Dallas, New York, Chicago & Atlanta. Resume, references & salary history. EOE.
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Hard finding that key person
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