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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 217, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning November 4th, 2005

Radio News®

Biggest indie bowing out
Under pressure from Capitol Hill and the FCC, most radio companies have already cut their ties to independent record promoters. But it appears that the ongoing payola probe by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (6/25/05 RBR #145) is finishing off the indie business. As first reported by the New York Times, Jeff McClusky & Associates, long the biggest of the indies, has decided to drop its remaining deals with radio stations once they expire. "We're out of the budget business," GM Gary Tanner told RBR. He said the 30 or so remaining radio stations that the company has contracts with - - down from well over 150 a few years ago - - have all begin given 30 days notice of contract termination. All of those, he said, are independently owned stations, since the big groups have already dropped their contracts with the indies. McClusky, based in Chicago, had pioneered the idea of an indie having exclusive relationships with radio stations, dolling out promotional fees ("budgets") to the stations. He then billed record labels for playlist adds, while he and the stations insisted that there was no link between the fees and what got on playlists. McClusky & Associates plans to continue in business, although as a leaner, meaner company. "We don't need 50 people anymore," Tanner said, although he declined to discuss current staffing levels. McClusky himself met with the attorney who's now the compliance officer for Sony/BMG to figure out how to operate under the terms of the label's settlement with Spitzer, since McClusky expects that all other labels will soon follow suit. "We have a great relationship with a lot of radio stations," Tanner said. The company will now work for labels on a flat fee basis to promote records in its five format specialties: Top 40, Rhythmic, Hot AC, Rock and Alternative.

RBR observation: No tears here. Good riddance, we say. The indies were structured to be the "don't ask, don't tell" shield for record companies to try to manipulate airplay without having their own employees risk violating the federal payola statute. It's debatable whether the indies really had much influence, or whether they mostly pocketed fees for playlist adds that would have been added anyway. When Randy Michaels was running Clear Channel Radio, he told us that the record companies were getting absolutely nothing for the fees being sent through the indies, but that if the record companies wanted to dole out cash for no reason, he was happy to take it. The real problem was that the arrangement didn't pass the smell test. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) made a ruckus about the indie payments on Capitol Hill, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein joined in and pressure grew on the big radio companies to stop taking money from the indies for any reason. If the groups had taken our advice, they'd have cut ties to the indies much earlier and been spared having to deal with Spitzer's overbroad probe and the follow-up that's apparently coming from the FCC.

Citadel lists auto as an up category
Other radio and TV groups have been complaining about softness in the auto category, but Citadel Broadcasting COO Judy Ellis said auto was up for her company in Q3. Also up were mortgage financing and medical. Down categories included restaurants, fast food, beverage, telecom and, of course, political. Total revenues for the quarter were up 2% to 109.6 million and Citadel said the gain would have been another percentage point but for the revenues lost in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. CEO Farid Suleman said the New Orleans market is bouncing back faster than expected. Also, the company will be recouping much of its losses from business interruption insurance, but that won't be put on the books until the check is received from the insurance company. Station operating income in Q3 moved up 3.5% (3.9% w/o New Orleans) to a record 50 million. The company's strength came in local sales, up 2.8%, while national was down over 5%. The good news, Suleman told analysts, is that national now accounts for only about 15% of Citadel's revenues. The CEO was obviously proud of Citadel's recent move to start paying a dividend yielding over 5% - - the highest in broadcasting (10/7/05 RBR #197). "A number of companies talk about creating shareholder value, rewarding shareholder value, but the difference is we actually walk the walk rather than just talk the talk," Suleman said.

Looking ahead at Salem
Salem Communications has the luxury of running its Christian Teaching & Talk format largely as an air rental service for local ministries - - making it pretty much immune to the wild fluctuations in advertising trends which can plague mainstream radio groups. With that backdrop, it's move into the youth/family-oriented Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) format and its conservative News-Talk format can proceed from a solid foundation. Salem's Ed Atsinger said bringing those two formats to maturity were a primary focus of the group going forward. With the News-Talkers, there is an added advantage - - they are programmed, not only with mostly syndicated material, but with material syndicated by the group's own Salem Radio Network. That cuts overhead expense, and allows each group to find its niche audience - - the target is a 2-share 12+, which should translate to 3.0-3.5 share in its target 35-64 male-leaning demo. As for acquisitions, it will continue to look for reasonably priced fill-ins in markets where it doesn't have the three sticks necessary to run its complete three-format package. One intriguing project involves KRLA-AM in Los Angeles. The group has bought a 78-acre parcel of land for 8.5M in the West Covina area, where it hopes to be able to build a better stick for the station, with a particular eye toward improving its night coverage pattern. It will then be able to turn around and resell the 70-odd acres that will not be needed for the upgrade. KLTY-FM Dallas has been in inventory reduction mode - - when bought in 2000, it was running a 17-18 minutes an hour spotload. Salem took that down to 13-14 immediately, and dropped it to 11-12 last March. No further moves at any CCM stations are anticipated.

CBS buys sports cable net
It only took a day for the rumor to become reality (11/3/05 RBR #216). Viacom's CBS is buying College Sports Television Networks (CSTV) for 325 million bucks. Actually, CBS Corp. will be closing the deal post-split as its first foray into cable television. Founder and CEO Brian Bedol will stay on to run CSTV and will report to Les Moonves, in his soon-to-be role as CEO of CBS Corp. "I am very excited about this acquisition, which brings a new dimension to our efforts in sports and the digital space as well. We're not only getting hugely valuable assets here, we're acquiring a superb management team that has a proven record in building lucrative sports television franchises. College athletics and the online community it generates represent one of the biggest sectors in sports television, and CSTV has made tremendous strides in capturing this market. We think it's a natural fit for our company and we're confident that, as part of CBS, it will continue to grow and compete even more aggressively," said Moonves. The deal is not just about cable, but also the Internet. Moonves claims that by adding in the website of CSTV to those that CBS Sports and CBS SportsLine already have, CBS will have a "larger sports Web audience than any other online medium - - 19 million unique users" - - obviously taking a swipe at

RBR observation: As we said yesterday, obviously a great brand extension. It will be interesting to see what other cable ventures Moonves finds attractive for the new CBS Corp. And don't underestimate the value of the personnel being acquired in this deal - - Brian Bedol and partner Chris Bevilacqua. Bedol previously co-founded what's now ESPN Classic and sold it to Disney/ABC for a substantial profit. No doubt he has a few more ideas about how to make money off of sports content on cable and the Internet.

FCC goes into action
The Federal Communications Commission had a busy day Thursday. It opened a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the relationship between local franchising authorities (LFA) and the cable industry, including the possible entry into the business by telcos. It expanded EAS requirements to digital facilities and opened proceedings on next generation alert services and provision of service to disabled and non-English-speaking individuals. It also moved up the digital tuner deadline for television set manufacturers. The new deadline is 3/1/07, and it applies to all sets regardless of size. All sets larger than 36" should already be so-equipped, along with half of all 25"-36" sets - - and that middle group must be at 100% by next March. The franchising plank seeks information on whether those who would compete locally with cable are being unreasonably refused by LFAs. As Chairman Kevin Martin put it, "New video entrants, regardless of the technology they employ, should be encouraged - - not impeded from entry." Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, in supporting the measure, questioned whether LFAs were really a hindrance to competition, and cautioned against the possibility of losing their up-close oversight on MVPD providers. On the EAS front, "...providers of digital broadcast and cable TV, digital audio broadcasting, satellite radio, and direct broadcast satellite services" are now bound by Commission EAS requirements, and have until 12/31/06 to come into compliance, with the exception of DBS, which gets a extra five months, to 5/31/07, and as mentioned above, opens inquiry into future development and reaching out to the disabled and non-English-speaking communities.
| LFA rulemaking items |

Univision cutting headcount
Univision may be wwaaaaaaayyy outperforming its English-language peers (11/3/05 RBR #216), but President Ray Rodriguez is nonetheless looking for ways to cut overhead and increase profits. He's announced plans to cut the company's workforce by 6%, or about 275 people. Most of those staff reductions will be in television. In his quarterly conference call, Rodriguez called the staff reductions "a difficult but necessary step."

RBR observation: Even the Spanish media juggernaut is felling the effects of the advertising slowdown. Guidance for Q4 is for single digit growth after Univision had gotten used to double digits. Also, Rodriguez is trying to prove himself to Univision's big Mexican and Venezuelan shareholders, who didn't support his elevation to President.

Conference Calls Q2 2005
Local is Westwood One's strong suit
Westwood One may be the biggest player in network radio, but it was the company's local/regional business at Metro Networks that gained in Q3, while the network business lagged. Network revenues were down 10.2% to 59.3 million. Much of that was due to the lack of the Summer Olympics revenue from 2004, but WW1 said without the Olympics network revenues were flat for the quarter. Meanwhile, revenues at Metro Networks nudged up 200K to 75.6 million for the quarter. Total revenues were down 4.6% to 134.9 million. Operating income before depreciation and amortization crept up 200K to 45.6 million. Importantly, the company trumpeted an increase in free cash flow per share of two cents to 28 cents. WW1 warned, however, that ad demand was somewhat diminished at the end of Q3. For Q4, it's telling investors to expect revenues and operating income to be up in the low single digits.

Salem's blocks help
beat the business

Salem has a two-chapter story to tell. Its recession-proof block program format gives it the kind of stability other radio groups can only dream about, and its forays into two new formats give it tremendous upside growth potential. Its 6.5% same-station revenue growth blew away radio's 1% Q3 results. It experienced the most rapid growth at its relatively young News-Talk stations, growing 15.3% station-to-station. Its Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) Fish stations, one of which was locked into an inventory reduction diet, grew 3%, and its core Christian Teaching and Talk stations, representing 51% of the group's net broadcast revenue, were up 5% station-to-station. Here are the key stats offered by the company: * Net broadcasting revenue increased 8.3% to $51.2 million from $47.3 million; * Operating income increased 41.4% to $11.5 million from $8.1 million; * Net income increased 33.7% to $3.4 million, or $0.13 net income per diluted share, from net income of $2.6 million, or $0.10 net income per diluted share; * Station operating income ("SOI") increased 8.4% to $19.8 million from $18.3 million; * EBITDA increased 27.9% to $14.5 million from $11.4 million; * Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.3% to $15.1 million from $14.2 million; * Same station net broadcasting revenue increased 6.5% to $44.7 million from $42.0 million; * Same station SOI increased 7.9% to $18.6 million from $17.2 million; and * Same station SOI margin increased to 41.6% from 41.1%.

Beasley up 1% in Q3
Beasley Broadcast Group's Q3 net revenue rose 1% to 32.1 million from 31.8 million in Q3 '04. Operating income for the period declined 7% to 7.9 million, compared to 8.5 million in Q3 '04. Station operating income rose 4% to 11.2 million from 10.8 million in the year-ago period. | Read More... |

Strong quarter for Entravision
Spanish broadcasters continue to outperform their English-language peers. Entravision reported late yesterday that its Q3 revenues were up 8% to 75.5 million and broadcast cash flow (BCF) gained 11% to 31 million. "Our ongoing investment in our sales organization is continuing to pay dividends as we introduced over 100 new clients to Spanish-language advertising," CEO Victor Ulloa told analysts in his conference call. Radio revenues shot up 12% to 28.4 million and BCF gained 9% to 16.5 million. TV revenues grew 4% to 37.8 million and BCF was up 2% to 20.6 million. Outdoor revenues rose 13% to 9.3 million and BCF increased 12% to 7.5 million. Looking ahead, the company is telling Wall Street to expect Q4 TV revenues to be up 5-6%, radio up 1-2% and outdoor up 7-8%. Ulloa said he was disappointed with current radio pacings, but expected them to pick up in the New Year.

DG Q3 down 2.5 million
DG Systems' reported Q3 net revenue of 13.1 million compared to 15.6 million in the same period a year ago. Q3 '04 included over 950,000 in revenue from political advertising and approximately 210,000 of deferred revenue in DG's StarGuide division, which did not recur in Q3 '05. Said Scott Ginsburg, DG CEO: "The third quarter revenue was impacted by a competitive rate environment as well as an overall industry decline in distribution volumes, due to a change in customer advertising patterns and weaknesses in the automotive and entertainment industries. We believe that this downward shift in demand was temporary. We anticipate the fourth quarter to be seasonally strong, driven by the continued ramp up of business from several new customer acquisitions that occurred in previous quarters." Net loss for Q3 was 0.8 million, or (0.01) per share, compared to a net income of 0.5 million, or 0.01 per share, in Q3 '04. Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization, in Q3 were 12.1 million compared to 12.7 million in the same period a year ago, attributable to workforce reductions. DG completed Q3 with net debt of 22.4 million and total debt of 24.8 million, attributable to recent investments in Media DVX for a back-up network solution and ConfirMedia, a subsidiary of Verance Corporation, for airplay verification and watermarking capabilities.


UMC's Jean Pool discusses clutter, PI problem
Most everyone realizes clutter is a big problem. While broadcasters have said they would take steps to reduce it, some have and some have not. What some may not realize, however, in the days of iPods, video iPods, satellite radio and Internet streaming and downloads, clutter reduction is more important than ever. Jean Pool, EVP/Director of North American Operations, Universal McCann and Chairman of Media Policy at the AAAAs, sees the issue, and over-saturation of product integration, as major problems for our industry: "This industry needs to suck it up and stop over-commercializing everything and destroying our business. 15-16 minutes an hour on television, in a fragmented medium, and they wonder why people channel change? Duh."
| Read More... |

More buyers comment
on Stern replacement promotions

By now, most know of Infinity buying 24 full-page ads as the sole sponsor in this week's edition of Ad Age to promote Stern replacements, including Adam Carolla, David Lee Roth, Penn Jillette and Rover. The cost for that alone was reportedly around 800,000 dollars, with 1.2 million being spent in LA alone in December to market Carolla. What was the reason for that kind of spend? Did it increase interest for the radio buyers? Was it worth it? We asked a few for yesterday and today's issue.
| Read More... |

Sirius running liquor ads
Sirius is running spots for Tanqueray gin, with a hip-hop song titled "Get Your Ice On" The spots, at two and a half minutes long, are running on Sirius channels like Cracked Up Comedy, Maxim Radio, OutQ Radio and Sports Byline. The effort began on the Internet. XM already accepts liquor advertising, via brands like Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey. In starting to accept commercials for distilled spirits, Sirius joins a lengthening list of media outlets. Only the six big national networks - - ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, UPN and WB - - still refuse to run liquor spots. The NY Times reports Diageo/Tanqueray turned to Sirius because it wanted to run the song commercial for two and a half minutes; traditional radio stations and networks generally do not accept spots longer than 60 seconds. Other Tanqueray commercials of conventional length run on terrestrial stations in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. "We wanted to get the song on the radio, but we ran into a brick wall with terrestrial radio," Glenn Porter, vice president and creative director at the Tanqueray agency, Grey Worldwide in New York, told the paper. The "Get Your Ice On" commercial began on six Sirius channels 10/17 and is scheduled to run through 11/12.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Close encounter in Shippensburg
Broker Ray Rosenblum tells us that Cary Simpson's Allegheny Mountain Network has banked 65K, and Eruic Swidler's Shippensburg Broadcasting has received the keys to WEEO-AM in the Chambersburg/Shippensburg PA market, the northern extremity of a multi-town market anchored south across the state line in Hagerstown MD. As we've noted in the past, one of Mr. Simpson's many achievements (you can decide if this one was dubious or not) was providing RBR Publisher Jim Carnegie with his first radio gig in the thriving metropolis of St. Marys.

Washington Beat
Saga stops KFLO ad flow, but fails to silence it
KFLO-LP is a Jonesboro AR low power FM licensed to American Heritage Media Inc. (AHM) - - and Saga Communications felt it was going over the noncommercial line and running advertisements. It asked that the license application be denied, or at least designated for hearing, and that the CP be revoked (5/13/04 RBR #94). The FCC did indeed find instances where underwriting announcements went over the line, but said they were minimal and did not warrant the "dire" remedy suggested by Saga. Essentially, Saga's charge that AHM set out to deceive the FCC and intended to run KFLO-LP as a commercial enterprise was unproven, and that the vast majority of the underwriting announcements were acceptable. As such, it didn't even fine AHM - - just hit it with an admonishment and advised it to be careful in the future.

Senate smacks down
McCain deadline amendment

John McCain (R-AZ) amended the DTV deadline amendment he failed to get through the Commerce Committee to move the hard date for analog spectrum turn-in ahead of the 4/7/09 date proposed by committee chair Ted Stevens (R-AK). In committee, he tried to move the date ahead two years, to 4/7/07. On the Senate floor, he conceded an extra year to drum up auction results toward budget reconciliation, seeking to move the deadline ahead to 4/7/08. That proposal went down in flames by a vote of 69-30. Party line was not a huge factor in the results. Although Democrats tended to support the measure, McCain had eight Republicans and independent Jim Jeffords (I-VT) in his column. The full bill, including a three billion bucks converter box subsidy program and the 4/7/09 analog shut-off date, passed the full Senate late yesterday by a vote of 52-47. NAB's Eddie Fritts was quick to hail the amendment's defeat, saying, "Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens and ranking member Daniel Inouye deserve enormous credit for their steady leadership in shepherding a 2009 'hard date' DTV bill through the Senate. Now that a firm date for ending analog TV is settled, NAB will work to ensure that all consumers have access to the full benefits of digital and high definition television." Still up for consideration is an amendment from John Ensign (R-NV) which would bring the Senate DTV set-top box subsidy in line with that passed by the House Commerce Committee, reducing it from 3B dollars to 1B dollars. Ensign has coosponsor support from McCain, Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Sununu (R-NH) and Jim DeMint (R-SC).

Premiere signs Bob Costas
Premiere Radio Networks has signed NBC Sports icon Bob Costas to a daily network radio show, plus vignettes. Costas has been at NBC for 25 years, covering every major sport, but is most recognized for his Olympics and baseball coverage. Costas also has hosted programs on HBO, radio and appeared in several movies. Buyers have heard about it, but no pitch from Premiere yet. "I don't really think that Premiere has anything concrete that they're ready to go out and pitch it with yet," said one buyer.

Ratings & Research
Arbitron holds off on satellite/Internet diary instructions
Faced with objections from members of its Radio Advisory Council, Arbitron announced late yesterday that it has decided to revise plans to add diary instructions telling participants to record satellite and Internet radio listening (11/1/05 RBR #214). Arbitron had been planning to use the new diary instructions beginning with the Winter 2006 survey. "COLRAM (Committee on Local Radio Audience Measurement) raised the issue with us last week, and the Arbitron Advisory Council seconded their concerns," said Owen Charlebois, Arbitron's President of US Media Services. "While we believe that modifying the diary instructions is the right thing to do from a research quality standpoint, Arbitron has decided to address more fully our customers' concerns with a limited test of the revised instructions in 25 markets in February 2006. Implementation would follow a successful outcome, but not sooner than Summer 2006," Charlebois said. According to Arbitron, the revised diary instructions being tested in February 2006 are meant to clarify to respondents that listening can be to over-the-air radio, Internet and/or satellite radio. The proposed instructions would also refer to Internet and satellite radio in one of the items in the diary completion checklist. Arbitron will also include an Internet and satellite reference in the illustrated diary example. Some broadcasters have complained that the new wording could encourage listening to satellite and Internet radio, rather than recording normal listening patterns.

4,297,600 WKNW-AM/WYSS-FM, WIHC-FM, WADW-FM, WIDG-AM Saulte St. Marie MI (Saulte St. Marie, Newberry, Pickford, St. Ignace MI); WMIQ-AM/WIMK-FM, WZNL-FM Iron Mountain MI (Iron Mountain, Norway MI); and WDMJ-AM/WUPK-FM, WIAN-AM/WJPD-FM, WNGE-FM Marquette MI (Marquette, Ishpeming, Nagaunee MI). about 54% of Northern Star Broadcasting LLC from Charles F. Knight (about 45% to 0%), Albert E. Suter (about 4.5% to 0%); Lester B. Knight (about 2.2% to 0%) and Louis A. Smith (about 2.2% to 0%) to Wade Fetzer (43.75% to 91.7%) and W. Palmer Pyle (0% to 7%). Cash. Existing clusters. [File date 10/11/05.]

525K KAHS-AM Wichita KS (El Dorado KS) from Reunion Broadcasting LLC (D. Stanley Tacker) to Kansas City Catholic Network Inc. (James O'Laughlin, Carolyn O'Laughlin, Jim Kafka). 5K prepahyment, 21,250 escrow, balance in cash at closing. LMA until closing, free for 90 days, 4.2K/month thereafter. Buyer is noncommercial entity. [File date 10/11/05.]

Stock Talk
Good news abounds
Wall Street celebrated as major retailers reported better than expected sales and Merck won a big drug liability lawsuit. The Dow Industrials rose 50 points, or 0.5%, to 10,553.

Good news for retailers is good news for broadcasters, so radio stocks were up. The Radio Index gained 0.773, or 0.4%, to 195.887. Univision jumped 5.9% a day after reporting strong Q3 results. Of companies who reported earnings, Citadel was up 1.8%, Westwood One down 2.1%, Salem up 1% and Entravision (which reported after the closing bell) up 1.2%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
14.00 +0.25

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Viacom, Cl. A








Viacom, Cl. B








Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio




International Bcg.










Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Fresh Research About
Satellite Radio Listening

Regardless of how Arbitron proceeds with the proposed change to include language prompting diarykeepers to write down their listening to satellite or Internet radio (11/1/05 RBR #214), it's important to understand how much satellite radio listening is actually being reported right now. This information is helpful to put into perspective the far-reaching claims of the XM and Sirius PR flacks who have pretty much convinced the mainstream press that terrestrial broadcasting is over the hill.

| Read More... |

Frank Bell, VP/Programming
Keymarket Communications LLC
Pittsburgh, PA

Radio Media Moves

Moves in Bluefield
Bluefield radio veteran Danny Clemons has been promoted to Vice President and Market Manager of Triad Broadcasting's nine station West Virginia cluster after serving for over three months as interim Market Manager. He was previously Director of Sales, a title which now goes to Pat Whittaker.

Stations for Sale

NEast Facilities
Small City 25kw FM, Profitable, Canadian border area, nice facility, good upside @$595K. Top 100 mkt AM daytimer, Low dial position,
low expenses, good pop coverage, stick @$495K
[email protected]
or 781-848-4201

NYC Prime Radio
Time for Lease

7 days a week available p/t-f/t Business, Foreign language, religious, Health, Infomercials accepted. 212-769-1925 [email protected]
TV & Satellite time also available. Station Inquiries welcome

Below the Fold

Ad Biz
UMC's Jean Pool discusses clutter, PI problem
Broadcasters have said they would take steps to reduce it, some have and some have not...

More buyers comment on Stern replacement promotions
"I think Infinity is kind of scrambling...

Sirius running liquor ads
We wanted to get the song on the radio, but we ran into a brick wall...

Washington Beat
Saga stops KFLO ad flow,
but fails to silence it
KFLO-LP is a Jonesboro AR low power FM...

More News Headlines

Broker takes
a sabbatical

Hey, there's a first time for everything. Greg Merrill is taking two years off from Media Services Group as he and his wife, Joan, will serve as public affairs/humanitarian missionaries in London for the Mormon Church. In Merrill's absence, his business will be handled by partners Jody McCoy and Tom McKinley.

Continental Electronics signs with National City Media Finance
Continental Electronics has signed a financing deal with National City Media Finance, to provide custom financing in various broadcast and media markets for the company. Founded in 1946, Dallas-based Continental is a manufacturer and supplier of advanced RF broadcast transmission equipment, with products for broadcasting, military, and scientific applications.


Sirius Canada
details emerging

Sirius Satellite Radio announced its Canadian affiliate, Sirius Canada, will offer 100 channels of programming when it begins broadcasting next month. It will include 10 Canadian music and information stations in both English and French for all Canadians, including a multilingual service. Said Mark Redmond, President and CEO, Sirius Canada: "With 60 channels of commercial-free music, incredible sports coverage from the NFL, NHL and the NBA, great entertainment programming from Maxim to Martha Stewart and up-to-the-minute news from CBC/Radio-Canada and the BBC, Sirius Canada will have it all." Sirius Canada will be available soon at Future Shop, Best Buy, London Drugs, The Source by Circuit City, Canadian Tire and other leading retailers throughout Canada. Service will be priced at 14.99 (CAD) a month.

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

Cox's Neil sees HD multicasting
as "killer ap"
He's still waiting for research on how to number HD Radio multicasting channels, Neil is gung-ho on the new technology. multicasting is the "killer ap" for terrestrial radio's move to digital. If consumers can get twice as many channels with a new receiver - - and not have to pay a monthly subscription fee - - what's not to like? RBR observation: Still lots of talk on HD but radio as a business has many issues to face and it seems the business just keeps adding to the plate as many past issues still have not been resolved. But we like Neil's attitude.
11/03/05 RBR #216

Agencies comment big bucks
spent on Stern replacement promotions Infinity buying 24 full-page ads as the sole sponsor in Ad Age to promote Stern replacements at the cost of 800,000.
RBR observation: Top guns voice their concerns as Infinity is trying to pre-sell a bill of goods. One gun said, 'It still comes down to the numbers .. ratings.' Infinity GM's just wished for 10 percent of that one time buy in Ad Age just to spend locally against current competition. Go figure as the ego needs food at the top.
11/03/05 RBR #216

Stern loss is "slight concern"
future CBS CEO Les Moonves on the impact of losing 5% of Infinity's revenues, but Moonves insisted there was only "slight concern" about Stern's departure. Noting that Infinity recently announced 10 different replacements for Stern on various stations, Moonves said some will work and some won't. But he also noted that Stern's contract had gotten so expensive that Infinity wasn't making much profit on his show anyway. RBR observation: Stop and Please listen to Moonves audio clip above and you will not believe your radio ears. It is clear why some higher ups inside Infinity are not concerned - the new boss is not concerned as Radio to Moonves is just margins game. Not programming, content, branding, marketing, people - Just Margins - swell just swell.
11/02/05 RBR #215

Cumulus is radio's new #3
with Susquehanna acquisition at 1.2 billion bucks worth with some big equity funds. In fact, this deal is structured to be accretive to Cumulus, the public company.
RBR observation: Now time to plan a pro-active strategy to run them and not like radio is being programmed, managed and marketed today.
11/01/05 RBR #214

Is Clear Channel a "buy"?
After digesting last week's Q3 numbers and the company's outlook Wall Street analysts are divided on whether now is a good time to buy Clear Channel Communications stock. RBR observation: RBR/TVBR soon heard from several of those managers who apparently never received that memo. Rather, they say, they are on a tight leash from San Antonio headquarters and closely monitored weekly. They tell us that if they aren't right in line with the national LIM limits, there is hell to pay.
10/31/05 RBR #213

VNU sale Or get some Street Smarts
The unpopular move by VNU management has motivated the big investors to demand change at the company, so pressure is on - either buy back stock, sell off assets or sell the entire company to the highest bidder. RBR observation: In either an asset sale or breakup scenario, it appears the piece of VNU most likely to be in play. Big investors don't see the division as a major growth vehicle and would be happy to see it sold off. Publisher observation: Big investors do not see it because they only see the color of money and do not plan a business model that brings synergy to a gorilla size companies. It takes street smarts to fix and improve valuable brands not a calculator
10/27/05 RBR #211

Stern leaves financial
challenge for Infinity
With an unprecedented task of re-launching 27 radio stations all at once (it wasn't so long ago that a single company couldn't even own that many), Infinity is in line for a financial hit. The question, though, is how much of a hit? RBR observation: The 100 million in annual advertising that Infinity's stations book for Stern's show may not even tell the whole story. Some of those stations are so dependent on Stern that a considerable amount of their ad sales for other dayparts come from package deals that advertisers have to take to get their spots on the sold-out morning show. At least now sales staffs at those 27 stations know what it is they're supposed to be selling for January (and some even sooner). And then there are the syndication revenues. Some of that will be replaced by syndication of the new shows to non-Infinity stations by Westwood One (Hollander says to expect announcements soon). But all of that will take time and, for now, no one can predict what audience numbers Roth, Carolla and Rover will generate for Infinity's stations or anyone else's. What is certain is that the biggest revenue hit will ! come in Q1 of 2006, coincidentally the first quarter for CBS Corp. to fly solo from Viacom. CEO Les Moonves and CFO Fred Reynolds are soon going to have to have some real numbers from Hollander in order to give guidance to Wall Street on Q1 for their new company. 10/26/05 RBR #210

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