Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 216, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning November 5th, 2007

Radio News ®

Triton Media Group buys Excelsior in surprise deal
Triton Media Group, expanding its position as a supplier of digital products and services to the media industry, announced the purchase of Excelsior Radio Networks and its subsidiaries from Lincolnshire Management. Terms were not disclosed. Triton is a portfolio company of a fund invested by Oaktree Capital Management, the 51 billion dollar private equity capital fund out of LA. In radio, Oaktree has investments in Liberman Broadcasting, GAP and GAP West and also has a substantial bond position in Interep. Andy Salter led the Oaktree team on this deal.

Spencer Brown will continue as CEO of Excelsior, and David Landau and Ken Williams will remain as co-CEO/Presidents of Dial Global. They've all signed long-term contracts and will be managing partners of Dial-Global. All three will participate on Triton's board, along with Neal Schore, President and CEO of Triton, and Mike Agovino, Triton's COO. Billy Freund and Dominick Milano will continue to serve as Triton's EVP/Western Region and EVP/Eastern Region, respectively. All current Excelsior management and employees will also continue in their respective roles. All of the principal participants have reinvested in the new entity, with Landau and Schore being the largest individual shareholders in the new company. On the advertising side, the Triton Digital Suite will be put out on a barter platform. Triton, Excelsior's MJI Interactive and RDG (Radio Data Group) will form one of the largest network radio and digital media ad platforms in the US.

RBR observation: Sources tell us Excelsior was not for sale at the time, but the proposal, vision of the future and money offered was "too compelling." We heard the deal went for 100 million plus. Lincolnshire will still be a stakeholder as well. It's getting pretty obvious that the Landau, Schore, Agovino, Brown and Williams team are becoming the go-to guys for deals in the network radio-digital media hybrid space. Remember, Internet advertising is the #3 billing category in network radio so far in 2007. Oaktree, Google and eBay are gravitating to the network radio business largely because they're realizing it is a powerful mechanism to drive audience to websites. And don't rule out spot radio as well. With Agovino's experience in the rep business, including a stint at Interep, it might be interesting to see what happens there, even though there have been strained relations in the past between Oaktree and Interep management over the direction of the company.

Advisory firms back satellite merger
With the vote a week from tomorrow, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has advised its clients to vote for the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. "From a strategic viewpoint, it appears that combination would allow shareholders of both companies to participate in the expected benefits of a larger entity. Our review of Wall Street research reports suggest that operational and cost savings would yield estimated synergies of approximately six billion," ISS said in its advice to shareholders. ISS is regarded as the most influential proxy advisor for institutional shareholders. Rival advisor Glass, Lewis & Co. had earlier issued a similar recommendation that shareholders should vote for the merger.

RBR observation: Of course. We absolutely agree that monopoly is a great deal for shareholders - but not for anyone else. It is hard to imagine why anyone who owns XM or Sirius shares would vote no. Of course, those aren't the important votes. Still to be heard from are the regulatory authorities - the antitrust watchdogs at DOJ and the folks at the FCC. We wouldn't bet on yes votes there.

Dems cry foul as
Martin heads to Seattle

The FCC announced late Friday that a hearing on localism would be conducted just one week hence in Seattle, as Chairman Kevin Martin (R) tries to wrap up information gathering and call a vote on new ownership rules before the year is out. The fast pace provoked a cry of indignation from the two Democrats on the Commission, Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein. "A hearing with only five days notice is no nirvana for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. This smells like mean spirit. Clearly, the rush is on to push media consolidation to a quick and ill-considered vote. It shows there is a preordained outcome. Pressure from the public and their elected representatives is ignored. With such short notice, many people will be shut out. We received notice of the hearing just moments before it was announced. This is outrageous and not how important media policy should be made," the two Commissioners complained. This Friday's (11/9) localism hearing will be 4-11 pm at Town Hall Seattle in the Great Hall. It is to be the last of six official FCC roadshow hearings, following stops in Los Angeles, Nashville, Harrisburg, PA, Tampa and Chicago.

RBR observation: Outrageous? Not really. We already know what is going to be said - the same things that have been said in LA, Nashville, Harrisburg, Tampa and Chicago. Media critics will turn out to denounce big media companies as evil and blame media consolidation for everything from the Iraq War to a proliferation of potholes. One lone local broadcaster will speak on the service their station(s) provides to the community and they will be lightly praised as an exception to the rule. (In fact, they are more the rule than the exception.) You'd think a federal government hearing in a town where such things are rare would be hot news. But the FCC's localism hearings have turned out to be so redundant and unenlightening that they hardly get any local news coverage. Unless there's a streaker or something, the Seattle hearing will no doubt be more of the same.

Commerce Committee keeping the heat on
The echoes from the last speaker at the FCC forum on localism in Washington had just barely died away, and already the Senate Commerce Committee is ready to go over that territory again. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) had requested such a hearing at the recent hearing on the future of radio, and Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has wasted no time in granting that wish. The session is scheduled for Thursday, 11/8/07, and is being called "Localism, Diversity and Media Ownership." No witnesses have yet been named.

RBR observation: As of now, there are only about six weeks to go before FCC Chairman's target date to have a vote on media ownership rules. In between now and then, we have a Senate hearing, there's going to be a public forum on the topic in Washington State (see below), and the rules are supposedly going to be revealed in advance to the general public for comment, or more likely, loud and vocal protest. That's a lot of activity to cram into six weeks. And even if Martin gets his vote in 12/18/07, no matter how modest his changes (if any), there may be a rapid, equal and opposite action from Capitol Hill. Stay tuned.

Will Supremes weigh in
on fleeting expletives?

We don't know if the Supreme Court will agree to hear an FCC appeal of the Second Circuit court ruling in favor of Fox Broadcasting Network on a case involving sudden unexpected eruptions of profanity on FBC live programming. But we do know that the DOJ has asked it to do so.

RBR observation: Back when the FCC seemed to have a shred of common sense left, broadcasters were not in jeopardy of getting fined a penny if an inadvertent expletive was uttered near one of their live mics. As long as the breach of decorum was not deliberate and/or repeated, nor intended to shock, pander or titillate, then the infraction was excused. The FCC has been trying to make up a brand new no slip-up policy without going through the usual rulemaking procedure allowing for public comment, and at the same time, the potential price for a slip-up has sky-rocketed to a budget-busting 350K. Talk about chilling free speech. The effect of the FCC ruling may well be to render the practice of live broadcast as a risk affordable by only the most well-to-do large market broadcast outlets. We might add that the fleeting expletive case is but a side show to the real question of what is and is not indecent. Do you think the court might find the entire body of indecency regulation arbitrary and capricious? We do -- a good constitutional attorney should have no problem shredding it to tatters. Ideally, the Supreme Court should tell the DOJ/FCC that the Second Circuit got it right and refuse the case. If it decides to hear it, we hope it is to clarify the matter on the side of broadcasters and the First Amendment.

Presidential campaigns set for primary stretch drive
Ad money is flowing in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and with most states bunched up toward the front of the primary line, there is almost no campaign backside to save up for. Money is even being spent on behalf of non-candidates, in particular Al Gore (D-TN), who has said repeatedly that he has no intention of running, but is nonetheless the beneficiary of a "draft Gore" organization that is spending in New Hampshire in an effort to spur his late entry into the fray. The vast majority of states will have spoken on or before Super Duper Tuesday, 2/5/08, meaning that candidates will have to do their level best to get enough support if they intend to stick around for the later contests in the very possible event that Super Duper Tuesday comes and goes with out a clear winner. That will focus even more frenzy on the remaining states. As of the end of Q3, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was in the warchest drivers seat, with over 50M in cash on hand, ahead of her closest rival, Barack Obama (D-IL), who still had an impressive 36M. Rudy Giuiliani (R-NY) had the third highest total with 16.6M and was the only Republican in double-digits. John Edwards (D-NC), with 12.4M, was in 4th place.
| End of Q3 cash on hand totals |

Ad Business Report TM

Can radio win elections?
Forecasters say more than 2.5 billion bucks will be spent on political advertising in 2008, and caution that their forecasts may end up being on the low side. Most of that spending will go to television, but the number for radio is growing. Many campaigns try to buy up as much primo TV inventory as they can, and then use radio only as a fill-in for certain ethnic targets or geographic regions outside the primary TV DMA. But can radio work as the main medium for a significant campaign? The Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) cites a case study that proves how radio can work as the primary ad vehicle for a campaign. California Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia may well be the only politician in the country who uses radio n a 52-week basis - and she has been doing so for five years. Garcia represents Eastern Riverside and all of Imperial County. She is a Republican and her district was redrawn three years before the last election to benefit the Democratic Party. Yet, Matt Rexroad, managing partner of the Sacramento PR firm Meridian Pacific, who supervised Garcia's advertising, said she managed to win again with 58% of the vote. Rexroad told SCBA that when his firm did research about the effectiveness of the campaign, some respondents gave verbatim answers right from the radio spots. "That tells me without a doubt that our radio message is penetrating," he said. Facing terms limits in her current position, Garcia is now preparing to run for the California Senate in 2010 - a district that includes her current Assembly district, plus more territory. Don't be surprised if her strategy again includes lots of radio to get her message across.

Media Business Report TM
Talkers go wild over fires
Natural disasters, when they hit, frequently grab a significant share of the news hole, but as the analysts at the Project for Excellence in Journalism note in their report on talk subject matter for the week of 10/21-26/07, the topic doesn't usually translate well to the talk format, since generally the only "villain" to be found is Mother Nature. But that didn't hold true for Katrina and it isn't holding true for the California wild fires. In fact, talkers on the left drew Katrina comparisons and talkers on both sides criticized attempts by the other to politicize the disaster. So the story, which pulled 38% of the news hole, also got 36% of the talk hole. Talkers elevated campaign 2008 from 9% to 14%, and elevated Iraq/Iran topics from a combined 13% to 16%.

Media Markets & Money TM
Regent spins out of Cheektowaga
The upstate New York community is home to WECK-AM in the Buffalo Arbitron market. Regent Broadcasting is wrapping up the station and sending it into an AM-AM duopoly with WLVL-AM Lockport. The buyer is Culver Communications, headed by Dick Green. According to broker John Pierce, who represented the seller, the price for WECK is 1.3M. Dick Kozacko represented the buyer.

Close encounter in Fort Wayne
Russ Oasis' Oasis Radio is now the proud owner of WBTU-FM/WVBB-FM in the Fort Wayne IN market. According to Broker Michael J. Bergner that would make seller Art Angotti the proud owner of 3.8M. The stations, licensed to Kendallville and Columbia City respectively, will link up with WJFX-FM New Haven IN to form a three-FM superduopoly.

Close encounter in Frankfort
Forever Broadcasting has closed on a four-station double duopoly cluster (two AMs & two FMs) in the unrated Frankfort KY market. According to brokerage firm Kalil & Co., its getting WFKY-AM, WKED-FM, WKYW-FM & WCND-AM from Clear Channel. According to documents filed with the FCC, the price is 850K.

here is another transaction brokered by Kalil & Co., Inc.

Washington Business Report TM
Colbert gets 18.75% of the SC vote
The two-party presidential campaign of Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert has been derailed. His plan was to run in one primary state, his native South Carolina, as both a Democrat and a Republican. Apparently, after doing a little comparison shopping, the modest 2.5K Democratic entry fee was attractive, while the 35K Republican charge was not, so Colbert whittled down his objective to just the Democratic side. The state Democratic organization threw three votes his way, in favor of listing him on the ballot, but 13 turned thumbs down, deciding that their primary should not be a prop for his comedy stunt.

RBR observation: Colbert seemed to take the results of the committee vote in stride during his 11/1/07 show, if you don't count the shedding of bitter tears or remorse and the utterance of mournful wails as a negative reaction. He was informed on air of the vote (of course he would've known the results hours earlier) by one of the committee members, who thanked him for the attention. She suggested he spend the next four years establishing actual credentials if he wishes to make another run. We think the SC Democrats ultimately made the correct call - it's one thing to mock candidates from the sidelines, and at that task Colbert is one of the best. But we doubt he's going to spend the next four years establishing himself as a viable candidate, and if you aren't a viable candidate, you don't belong on the ballot.

Entertainment Business Report TM
Pick your generation
New owner Monticello Media has introduced another new format in Charlottesville, VA, dubbing two of its stations "generations 102.3 & 94.1." The "era-based" programming concept incorporates music of the '70s, along with evergreen songs from the '60s and compatible songs from the '80s. "Once again we didn't allow ourselves to be confined by the rigid standard industry formats. We didn't ask area listeners what existing radio formats they wanted, we asked them what music they wanted to hear and what music they wanted to hear together. Our focus continues to be on what the audience wants to hear, not what fits neatly into a pre-defined, pre-determined, pre-packaged industry defined format," said Monticello Media Vice President/General Manager Dennis Mockler. The format announcement says generations 102.3 & 94.1 listeners will hear the Eagles, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Doobie Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Journey, Beatles, Chicago and the Rolling Stones along with some Carole King, 10cc, Raspberries, Spinners, and Moody Blues.

Internet Business Report TM
Streaming media delivers high school football to troops in Iraq
Streaming solutions provider Abacast recently delivered a live high school football audio stream from WHVO-AM Hopkinsville, KY to troops stationed in Iraq. WHVO is part of Ham Broadcasting and serves counties in Kentucky and Tennessee. Locally Fort Campbell, home to the 101st airborne division, happens to have about 7,000 troops deployed all over the world at this time. In an effort to keep the community close and connected, WHVO decided to broadcast all Fort Campbell High School Football games online in addition to their on-air broadcast making the games available to the Fort Campbell troops that are stationed outside of the area. Said WHVO Group GM Beth Mann: "Many of the troops have children playing football, playing in the band, or otherwise involved," Mann says. "Since current service men and women are facing a 15 month deployment, this is something we are uniquely qualified to do for our troops to show them our support and the support of the Hopkinsville community." Games can be heard via the internet at www.oldies1480.com. They play live and are archived.

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 9/17/07-9/21/07
Did you think the summer was slow? You're right. And in the third week of September, broadcast traders managed to dial it down a notch, posting the lowest total value since the first week of June. A Michigan TV trade provided about two thirds of the value in a week with only seven total contracts placed on file at the FCC.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
All in the family in Albany
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
Tucker gets max overdrive in Michigan
| More...

74.776M KID AM & FM, KWIK-AM/KPKY-FM & KLLP-FM Idaho Falls-Pocatello ID (Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Chubbuck ID); KLIX AM & FM/KEZJ-FM Twin Falls ID; KKCB-FM/KLDJ-FM/WEBC-AM & KBMX-FM Duluth MN-Superior WI (Duluth, Proctor MN); KBBB-FM/KBUL-AM/KCTR-FM/KKBR-FM & KMHK-FM Billings MT (Billings, Hardin MT); KZMY-FM/KMMS AM & FM, KPRK-AM/KXLB-FM & KISN-FM Bozeman MT (Bozeman, Livingston, Belgrade MT); KYSS-FM/KGVO-AM, KLCY-AM, KLYQ-AM/KBAZ-FM & KLTC-FM Missoula MT (Missoula, East Missoula, Hamilton, Superior MT); KFLD-AM/KEYW-FM, KOLW-FM, KORD-FM & KXRX-FM Tri-Cities WA (Pasco, Basin City, Richland, Walla Walla WA); KIT-AM/KUTI-AM/KATS-FM/KFFM-FM, KDBL-FM & KQSN-FM Yakima WA (Yakima, Toppenish, Naches WA); KLEN-FM, KOWB-AM/KCGY-FM, KGAB-AM & KIGN-FM Cheyenne WY (Cheyenne, Laramie, Orchard Valley, Burns); KTWO-AM/KKTL-AM/KMGW-FM/KTRS-FM/KWYY-FM and KRVK-FM Casper WY (Casper, Midwest WY); KBKB AM & FM & KBUR-AM/KGRS-FM Fort Madison IA (Fort Madison, Burlington IA); and KSEN-AM/KZIN-FM Shelby MT from Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. (Mark Mays) to GAP Broadcasting II LLC (Samuel L. Weller et al). 11,216,400 escrow, balance in cash at closing. [File date 10/19/07.]

Stock Talk
Surprise gains to end session
Stock prices, which had been down most of the day in the wake of the turmoil at Merrill Lynch, turned up late in the session Friday. The Dow Industrials recovered from a triple-digit loss in trading to close with a gain of 27 points at 13,595. Other broad indices were up slightly by the closing bell.

Radio stocks did not fare as well. The Radio Index declined 1.169, or 1%, at 116.598, again the lowest point since October 17, 2000. Entravision took a big hit, falling 15.6%. The company had reported a tough quarter after Thursday's market close. Cox Radio was the star performer, up 4.2%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel CDL
4.27 -0.02

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





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Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
Can radio win elections?
Forecasters say more than 2.5 billion bucks will be spent on political ads...

Media, Markets & Money
Regent spins out of Cheektowaga
The upstate NY community home to WECK-AM...

Close encounter in Fort Wayne
Oasis Radio now proud owner of 2 FMers...

Washington Business Report
Colbert gets 18.75% of the SC vote
2-party presidential campaign of Comedy Central personality has been derailed...

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Radio Media Moves

Landis lands at BMP
Mark Landis has singed a multi-year contract with Border Media Partners (BMP) to serve as Director of English Programming for its San Antonio stations and oversee BMP programming the "Jack" format in various markets. He will also assist the company in developing its online business. BMP President and CEO Jeff Hinson notes that Landis has a successful track record of some 25 years in the radio and record industries.

It is our pleasure at RBR to extend our congrats and introduce to the radio medium Dr. Kathleen Dillon. She and Dan Mason (CEO CBS Radio) were married this past Saturday, 11/03/07 in McLean, VA. May you both have the patience and love to grow and share life together every day. Let those days turn into years and become golden together. And lastly, Dan, remember, when you are wrong admit it and then say - Yes Dear, GO Shopping and Charge It.
Best Jim & Cathy Carnegie

More News Headlines

Music committee moves to Music City
The Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC), which represents radio stations in music licensing negotiations with ASCAP and BMI, has relocated its headquarters to Nashville. That coincides with the appointment of a new Executive Director, Bill Velez (pictured), who has been living and working in Music City for a dozen years. He succeeds Keith Meehan, who had been based in New York. Velez brings a unique perspective to the job, having most recently been President/COO of SESAC. In fact, he has worked for all three US music licensing organizations, having previously worked for both BMI and ASCAP. He calls it a "natural evolution" to wind up on the "licensee side of the fence" and represent the vast majority of US radio stations in their music licensing negotiations. "The Committee's goal is to negotiate equitable music licenses that reflect the realities of the current and changing state of the radio business. To this end, we feel that the combination of Music City, USA and Bill Velez provide a dynamic platform for achieving this objective," said Saga Communications CEO Ed Christian, Chair of the RMLC Board of Directors.

Time has come for PPM
Time magazine has included Arbitron's Portable People Meter as one of "The Best Inventions of 2007." Apple's iPhone was #1 on the list of 45 inventions in a dozen categories. PPM was one of three selected in Entertainment, along with digital 3D movies and subtitle glasses for the hearing impaired.

debuts in DC

Bonneville's WTOP-FM DC has added an HD-3 signal to its 103.5 frequency - all traffic, all weather, all the time. HD-2 continues to be Bonneville's unsigned/Indie artists channel ichannelmusic.com. WTOP HD-1 and analog continue to be the all-news main signal with traffic and weather on the eights.

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

CBS Look for radio to grow in 2008
Q3 revenues for CBS Radio were down 7% on a same station basis, "which is not acceptable to us," CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves told Wall Street analysts yesterday in his quarterly conference call. But he expressed confidence that new CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason is turning things around and "early indications are good" for recent format changes. Mason now has a target to shoot for. "In radio, we anticipate that '08 is going to be a year of growth," Moonves said in answer to an analyst's question about when radio would again be positive.
11/02/07 RBR #215

WGA on strike
Contingencies, contingencies, contingencies, as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) say strike. TVBR has been gathering more detail on how the strike will impact the media business-network television, cable, syndication, agencies and advertisers. The strike will likely immediately shut down production on much of what's currently airing on TV. The biggest immediate impact is live shows-especially Late Night. The networks, stockpiling episodes of their fall prime shows, say they are prepared to go into early January without major disruptions. One of the big four, which didn't want to go on the record, told TVBR they are prepared for the strike and for the time being their schedule will remain intact. For competitive reasons they are not talking about contingency plans, but they're looking at repeats, reality, possible sister cable shows and other options.

TVBR observation: It is all about the money. TVBR will maintain WGA Strike Central here is Day 1. Now who will blink first. No Other publication has more complete analysis and details in this issue of TVBR.
11/02/07 TVBR #215

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Ad Sales Rep
Imagine Media Ad Sales Without - Long Commutes, 8:30 Sales Meetings, Bonus Spots, or selling Print in an Electronic medium. More Reasons to consider Selling Advertising with RBR. Honestly, we are so busy we can not service all the accounts. Can you help us? Our Budgets Are Realistic. Compensation plan is good. If you are good, our Compensation plan is Great. If you are Great, our Compensation plan is Unbelievable! In confidence, contact Publisher Jim Carnegie at [email protected]

Associate Web Editor
Ideal candidate will work with our News Team developing / delivering quality web & e-paper content on a daily basis requiring a tremendous amount of creativity, flexibility and an ability to work on a deadline. Skills: Intermediate understanding of how websites, web pages are constructed and ability to write "News" ready copy. Plus, important, must be a strong communicator both Verbal / Written and able to manage multiple tasks. See Radio Careers

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