Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 21, Issue 221, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning November 11th, 2004

Radio News®

ABCRN to syndicate
three SBS shows

The latest to get into the hot Hispanic demo: ABC Radio Networks and Spanish Broadcasting System announced a five-year deal to syndicate three of the most popular Hispanic programs in America. ABCRN will begin broadcasting KLAX-FM LA's
Renán "El Cucuy" Almendárez Coello, WSKQ-FM NY's "El Vacilón de la Mañana" with Luis Jimenez and Moonshadow and WXDJ-FM Miami's "El Vacilón de la Mañana" with Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero to affiliates across the country. The will, for the first time, give one radio network exclusive rights to syndicate all three regional shows from diverse corners of the country. "Spanish Broadcasting System is extremely excited to be with ABC to expand the reach of our premier morning shows to Hispanic audiences across the country," said Raul Alarcón, SBS CEO. "Over the past few years we have seen explosive growth in for Hispanic radio and look forward to reaching an even broader audience through this relationship with ABC." Darryl Brown, EVP/GM, ABCRN, added, "We are delighted to be bringing Spanish Broadcasting System's hottest talent to a new audience of syndicated listeners across the country. This agreement illustrates ABCRN's focused commitment to bring dynamic, multicultural talent to the broadcasting spectrum for our advertising and ad associates, affiliates and listeners." Also, ABC will have the exclusive rights to sell on-air ad inventory on SBS shows on WSKQ, WXDJ, KLAX, WLEY-FM Chicago and KRZZ-FM San Francisco.

Look for morning drive to get longer
Commute times are getting longer and longer everywhere and quite a few stations nationwide already have their morning drive talent beginning work at 5:00 am. But since Arbitron officially measures drive time as beginning at 6:00, advertisers often won't pay top rates for that first hour. Council Chairman Steve Goldstein, Exec. VP of Saga Communications, tells RBR that increasing morning drive by an hour was a big topic at the council's two-day meeting that wrapped up yesterday and states he is looking "very seriously" at the idea, but there's no indication how soon such a change might take place. Goldstein, by the way, was presiding over his last council meeting as elected successor is Nick Anthony, VP of Operations for Rubber City Radio Group. There was lots of talk about Portable People Meters as Council members were told that there are already 800 of the devices deployed in Houston for the next PPM test, but it will be a while before data is actually reported. Arbitron is still negotiating with hold-out radio groups (Infinity, Cox and Radio One) in hopes of persuading them to encode for the test. Arbitron is also looking into ways to improve the look of the PPM device and has hired two design companies to work on the shape and size of the pager-like device. Issue with young men, age 18-24, remains a sore spot, no matter what the methodology. Goldstein said Arbitron reported on some off-line testing it has been doing with more today’s incentives to try to increase ratings feed back by young males.

Auction No. 37 hits Round 17
Over 110M dollars are on the table as the auction of 288 FM CPs makes its merry way to round 17 as of this writing. That takes the price of the average stick up near 400K. Top bidder is now Bigglesworth Broadcasting, with 10 high bids totalling over 15M. Supplanted #1 bidder Cherry Creek Broadcasting has nonetheless increased its number of high standing bids, and has over 13M on the table. The top two sticks remain the same as before, but the price tags are way up. Bigglesworth is in the drivers seat in #1 Pacific Junction IA, with a bid of 4.621M, and GBH Telecommunications is in the driver's seat in Brewster MA with a 3.927M bid.

Powell staying put
According to numerous reports, FCC Chairman
Michael Powell hasn't thought any further ahead than to finish out his term at the FCC, which expires in 2007. He said he was not interested in returning to his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, to assume its presidency. Many have speculated that at the very least Powell will stay on to shepherd some pet projects toward completion. Reuters also reports that the name of lame duck Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein is back in play. Reports of the imminent demise of the Tom Daschle protege's commission seat have been rampant, despite the fact that he enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate and is a favorite of rural advocates. Speculation is that he may be nominated by the White House for a new term. It would be his first complete term, as he has just finished off that begun by Gloria Tristani.

RBR observation: Powell staying at the FCC? We'll believe it when we see it. The newly-announced Bush administration vacancies at the Attorney General and Secretary of Commerce desks signal the beginning of the shuffling of the deck. If you read this next sentence, remember that you read it here first. When the dust clears, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see Michael Powell sitting the big seat over at Commerce.

Preempting Private Ryan
ABC affiliate Channel 5 WOI-TV Des Moines, owned by Citadel Communications, has decided not to air a Veterans Day prime time airing of
Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" for fear of earning an FCC indecency fine. A statement by station President Raymond H. Cole explains that, although his station aired the movie twice before without complaint, it has no confidence that its luck will hold, and no confidence in even-handed treatment from the current FCC. "The inconsistent manner in which the FCC is choosing to apply these rules puts TV stations like ours in a most difficult position," said Cole. He continued, "Would the FCC conclude that the movie has sufficient social, artistic, literary, historical or other kinds of value that would protect us form breaking the law?" "Adding to our frustration is the fact that a fine motion picture like "Saving Private Ryan" can be shown on cable or satellite without any government agency restriction or regulation," he concluded. WOI noted that ABC affiliate in Boston, Orlando and Atlanta have already taken similar action. The Des Moines register adds affiliate in Lincoln NE and Quad Cities IA-IL to that list.

Growth detailed at Fisher
When Fisher Communications reported 11.1% revenue growth for Q3, it didn't provide any breakdown among its units. However, that detail has now been filed with the SEC. Television revenues were up 14.4% to 23.9 million, radio was up 7.3% to 15.4 million and the Fisher Plaza real estate complex saw revenues drop 2.2% to just over one million. Net income from operations was 3.6 million for television, up dramatically from only 412K a year ago, and radio reversed a loss with income from operations of 364K, compared to a 10K loss a year earlier. | More... |


Sporting News Radio hit with potential audience shortfalls
There are rumblings about RADAR-rated Sporting News Radio potentially experiencing audience shortfalls over bad records. Sporting News CEO
Rick Allen, working with recently-appointed Sporting News Radio President Clancy Woods, first found the potential problem. Allen tells RBR: "Sporting News recently became aware of possible inaccuracies in our list of network affiliates, and the resulting audience delivery information that we've provided to advertisers. So, as a result we took immediate action, retaining independent experts to investigate. That investigation is still underway. We are incredibly anxious to learn its findings, but we realize the fact that a thorough investigation of this nature is going to take some time. When that is completed, we will make good on all of our commitments. And we're already reaching out to impacted advertisers and will determine the appropriate course of action to meet our responsibilities to them. At the end of this process, we're going to have a thoroughly transparent and open network on which advertisers can depend. In addition to instituting Arbitron-audited RADAR audience numbers, which is something that we've just recently become subscribers to, our contracts and our relationships will be examined by these independent experts. So we'll have really an unusually transparent and thorough review of our audience information. So while we regret that we are having to undertake these actions, they are the appropriate thing to do under the circumstances and we look forward to the cleanest of bills of health at the conclusion."

RBR observation: What Sporting News Radio is doing is all they can do, and it's the right thing. They're dealing with their own issue in a way that everybody in the industry and all of their mutual clients feel very comfortable that they've done the right thing. This kind of thing can sometimes happen in any media. Acknowledging there is a possible problem, coming clean with it, going through the proper due diligence to get it fixed is the best course. To prove Allen's up front words correct, we remind the few that may remember what happened in the '80s with the old RKO Radio Network when their chief executive Thomas F. Burchill forgot the word shortfall. We'll keep you updated as the story progresses.

BCFM: Summer Olympics vault Q3 ad revenue
Combined advertising revenues for the ABC, CBS and NBC TV networks were up by 32.61% for Q3, a gain of nearly 694 million compared to Q3 revenues for 2003, according to the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association's (BCFM) report on figures compiled by Ernst & Young. Total net revenues for the first nine months of 2004 were up by 15.78% when compared with 2003. Advertising in the sports category totaled nearly 1.030 billion for the quarter, a 214% gain over the same period in 2003 and close to the 1.066 billion realized by sports advertising in the third quarter of 2000, reflecting the significant impact of the Summer Olympics on the networks' third quarter advertising results. The news category also showed a strong gain, up by 21.2% in the third quarter and by more than five% year-to-date when compared to quarterly and year-to-date results for the 2003 non-election year. "As expected, the combination of Summer Olympics and a Presidential election year are playing a significant role in this year's advertising revenues," commented
Mary Collins, President/CEO of BCFM. "Moreover, results for Q3, which represents the lion's share of the summer period, are up for the third consecutive year." While prime time advertising declined by 3.65% during the quarter that witnessed more sports during that day-part, it is up by more than 274 million for the year when compared with 2003 results. The A.M. day-part showed a gain of more than 10% for the quarter while the Daytime and Children's categories reflected modest declines of 3.24% and 2.12% respectively.

Fathers protest Verizon DSL ad
The AP reports a TV ad showing a computer-illiterate father getting chided for trying to help his Internet-savvy daughter with her homework has roused the angwer of fatherhood activists, who are calling on Verizon to take it off the air. "Leave her alone," says the wife/mother in the Verizon DSL ad, ordering her befuddled husband to go wash the dog as the daughter, doing research on the computer, conveys a look of exasperation with her father. "It's really outrageous," said
Joe Kelly, executive director of the national advocacy group Dads and Daughters. "It's reflective of some deeply entrenched cultural attitudes--that fathers are second-class parents, that they're not really necessary," Kelly said. "To operate from the assumption that dad is a dolt is harmful to fathers, harmful to children, and harmful to mothers." John Bonomo, a Verizon Communications Inc. spokesman, told the AP the ad has been running for several months. But only a few days ago did it come to the attention of Glenn Sacks, a commentator who hosts a weekly radio show aired in Los Angeles, Boston and New York that is sympathetic to the fathers' rights movement. After watching the ad, Sacks began urging listeners of "His Side" to protest to Verizon -- contending that the company would not have commissioned a comparable ad with the parents' genders reversed. He said more than 1,100 protest e-mails had been sent through his show's website to Verizon within the first two days of the campaign. "By denigrating that guy, not simply with his wife but to show him to be useless with his little daughter, I know that made a lot of people see red," said Sacks, who has a school-age daughter of his own. Bonomo said Verizon had received numerous calls and e-mails in the past couplwe of days about the ad, but had not yet decided on what sort of response might be made. Kelly, who has engaged Dads and Daughters in several campaigns protesting ads, said corporate executives should try to imagine their own families being portrayed in their company's commercials.

AAF bracing for DVR effects
The traditional television commercial, long considered the nuke in the positioning, and priced accordingly, may be an endangered species, and like the buggy whip and the prop plane, technology is in the process of doing it in. An American Advertising Federation study shows that over 75% of leading advertising execs expect that the commercial-zapping capability of digital video recorders will significantly impact the traditional commercial. On the flip side, there is hope for that product placement will be a viable alternative among many non-traditional options.

RBR observation: Television's difficulties can be radio's gain. Speaking as a traditional car radio listener, I can say that I almost never zap commercials, even with the standard push buttons readily available. I generally pick a station for a reason, and it takes more than a commercial or three to get me to abandon that reason. However, if the commercial or three turns into one of those interminable Howard Stern-type stopsets, I'm gone.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Nassau flies south into Frederick
Lou Mercatanti's Nassau Broadcasting is moving into new territory with a 15.7M dollar deal for WAFY-FM in the Frederick MD market. Frederick Broadcasting's Robert and Barbara Marmet will be the ones cashing the check. According to Glenn Serafin, who represented Nassau, and Bill Schutz, who represented the Marmets, the station is a Class A Adult Contemporary outlet on 103.1 mHz. It's a standalone in the small, well-to-do market which functions in part as a somewhat distant bedroom community to two large markets, Washington and Baltimore. Mercatanti said, "Geographically speaking, this is a new direction for Nassau, but WAFY and the Frederick market are an ideal fit for us because of the station's popularity, its excellent community service and the area's growth and upscale demographics. We are eager to own and operate WAFY. We congratulate the Marmet family for creating an exceptional radio station."

Entercom exits Kelso-Longview
As it focuses increasingly on large markets, Entercom is divesting its only unrated market - - Kelso-Longview, WA. Media Venture Partners says Bicoastal Holdings has signed to buy KBAM-AM, KEDO-AM, KLYK-FM & KRQT-FM. Privately owned Bicoastal already owns stations in similar-size markets in Northern California and Oregon. The price of the deal was not immediately disclosed.

Tennessee trio dealt
WTNE AM & FM Trenton TN and WTKB-FM Atwood TN are going from Paul Tinkle's Gibson County Broadcasting Company to Lacy Ennis's Grace Broadcasting Services Inc. for 2.1M dollars. The buyer is doubling its presence in the Volunteer State. According to broker Ed Henson of Henson Media, the trio of stations will add to a regional group in the Jackson TN area. Grace already owns WWGM-FM in Alamo and WFGZ-FM in Lobelville, and has a 50% interest in WTRB-AM Ripley. It's mostly a hard currency transaction, with a 100K seven-year note tacked on to a cash payment of 2M at closing.

2005: Year of Local Muscle

January 2005 Debut!
Radio & Television
Business Report

What Radio & TV both need to overcome in 2005 is the focus of the January Report. If you don't get it then you won't know what lies ahead - so Get It! It's Free!

If you want the January Debut issue, please register now. It's Free! All orders must be in by Monday December 6th, 2004.

Washington Beat
Dessert for Desert: EAS fine reduced
Desert Television, licensee of KPSP-LP in Thousand Palms CA, was hit with a fine of 8K for having inoperable EAS equipment when the station was visited by an FCC agent back on 11/13/02. At that time, the station's chief engineer said that replacement parts to repair the EAS equipment was on order and due to be received within days. The station had recently completed a move to the new facility. The move had taken place at least 11 weeks prior to the inspection, however, and that lapse is what led to the fine. KPSP attempted to duck the fine on grounds of its efforts to get the equipment up and running subsequent to the inspection, but the FCC said that did not excuse the prior 11 week lapse. However, it agreed that the company showed good faith in that it had ordered repair parts prior to the FCC inspection, and awarded it a discount on that basis. Final find: 6.4K.

KYDL-FM/KZNG-AM/KQUS-FM & KLXQ-FM Hot Springs AR (Hot Springs, Mountain Pine AR) from Powell Broadcasting Company Inc. to US Stations LLC.

WNNV-FM Puerto Rico (San German PR) from West Coast Broadcasting to Centro Cristiano de Restauracion de Cabo Rojo Inc.

| More... |

Stock Talk
Wall Street spins its wheels
An expected rate hike by the Fed didn't unnerve stock traders, but there was some profit taking as oil prices moved up a bit. Other than a drop in tech issues, based on a poor report from Cisco Systems, stock prices were little changed. The Dow Industrials slipped one point to 10,385.

The Radio Index edged up 0.367, or 0.1%, to 228.987. No stock moved very far. Saga was up 2.2% and Citadel was down 1.6%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
15.15 -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.









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The NAB may be fighting satellite radio's incursions into local, but this broker sees the move as inevitable.

To anyone who had followed the growth of DBS and the reversal of public policy regarding what is now known as "local-into-local", it will come as no surprise that local content on satellite radio is going to happen. At first, DirecTV said they'd never do it because it used up too much transponder space. Then EchoStar said it had to be done in order to remain competitive with cable TV. Then DirecTV said it might have to do it to remain competitive with EchoStar. Then DirecTV touted it as a very valuable alternative to cable TV.

History repeats itself again. Today it's just a simple weather/sports report. Tomorrow it will be local stations beamed back into their own areas so satellite listeners can tune into regional powerhouses. Just wait and see. The models already exist.

Brett E. Miller
MCH Enterprises, Inc.

Upped & Tapped

Pollnow joins CC Radio
Former Cumulus Topeka, KS market manager Don Pollnow has been named Market Manager of Clear Channel Radio's five-station cluster in Little Rock, AR.

Dimick gets Hot
John Dimick, who had been Director of Programming and Operations for Jefferson-Pilot in San Diego, has been named Program Director of Emmis' WQHT-FM "Hot 97" New York.

Salem names GSMs
Salem Communications has named General Sales Managers for two of its LA stations: Michael Reichert at KRLA-AM and Ron Stark at KTIE-AM.

More News Headlines

TVBR - TV News

LPMs welcomed
at Granite

Other TV group owners may be grousing about lower ratings under Nielsen's Local People Meters, now deployed in five markets, but LPM is being greeted like manna from heaven at Granite Broadcasting. Granite COO
John Deushane told analysts that the company's KBWB-TV San Francisco is getting a boost from LPM measurement, due to its skew toward younger demos as a WB affiliate, while the big four affiliates with their heavy news orientation have been taking hits under LPM.

October Digital
Solutions Magazine

Who Will Sit on the Throne?
The election -What is in it
for Broacasters?

One On One
with PHD's Patrick McNew -
The man that over sees spot
for Chrysler Group.

Engineered For Profit
'05 budgets and capital expenditures, our close up look at who's planning to buy what next year.

October Zinio Solutions Magazine
Read RBR in 2 simple steps:
1.Create a simple account with Zinio and download the Zinio Reader.
2. You can then download the October Issue of RBR

RBR Radar 2004
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Hello DC - We have a Problem
NAB postpones battle
with satellite radio

The National Association of Broadcasters has dropped an attempt to head off the inclusion of local content on satellite radio services XM and Sirius. The content in question is primarily traffic and weather reports at this time.
RBR observation: XM is jumping for joy while the NAB has decided to punt and says it wants to "...assess new information demonstrating the growing trend towards transforming what was intended to be a national radio service complementary to local broadcasting into one that will have a highly detrimental impact on local broadcasters' ability to serve the needs of their listeners." Problems? We got them. 11/11/04 RBR #220

20th Television, CC Entertainment, XM partner for major Malcolm promo
To promote the off-net syndication of its award-winning sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle," 20th Television has entered into a major relationship with Clear Channel Entertainment and XM Satellite Radio on the "Malcolm in the Middle 'With You' Sweepstakes." The promo is built around the production and distribution of a dedicated song and promo music video to differentiate the series and its five days a week run in syndication from other programs in the marketplace.
RBR observation: This may be one of the first large-scale cooperative ventures where traditional radio and satellite radio have been used together for a major promotion, each helping the other-and syndicated television as well in the process. Lesson for the day: Radio, satellite radio and television all may be competitors, but as we move forward in this ever-complicated, changing media environment, these different media are facing more similar challenges. The sooner they can effectively learn to use each others' assets to their advantages in a cooperative manner, the better. The above story is a prime example of why one media shouldn't always consider another as its competitor. Learn more along these lines in the January debut issue of Radio and Television Business Report - The Real Business Magazine or call April McLynn here to get your free copy: 703-492-8191. 11/11/04 RBR #220

NFL: One TV deal to go
New six-year contracts worth about 25% more to the NFL will keep pro football on Fox and CBS on Sunday afternoons through the 2011 season, but negotiations are still continuing with Disney's ABC and ESPN for their primetime packages. Those negotiations could drag on for a while. Fox paying approximately 712 million per year for the NFC's Sunday afternoon games and Viacom's CBS paying approximately 622 million annually for the AFC's Sunday afternoon games. The NFL gets 3.5 billion bucks, five-year extension of its contract with DirecTV for exclusive subscription TV rights extending the satellite company's NFL Sunday Ticket through 2010. TVBR observation: The NFL is the marquee sports product for television, but deals still have to make some business sense. CBS claims it is making money Fox may be closer to break even, or maybe a slight loss, but it was the NFL contract it snatched from CBS in 1994 which catapulted Fox into TV's big leagues. (CBS got back into football by taking the AFC from NBC in '98.) "Monday Night Football" continues to be a big ratings draw for ABC, the network is reportedly losing as much as 170 million a year under the current contract, so it's not going to easily agree to the 25% increases that Fox and CBS signed for. Although Disney says its intention is to retain the primetime NFL packages for ABC and ESPN, there could be some tough negotiations ahead. And there's always NBC waiting in the wings. 11/11/04 TVBR #220

News Corporation adopts
a poison pill
Apparently alarmed by Liberty Media's move to expand its voting stake in News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch is making sure that Liberty's John Malone won't be able to threaten a takeover.
RBR observation: It doesn't look like John Malone has any takeover designs on News Corporation - - at least not yet. But Rupert Murdoch isn't taking any chances. Of course, his move to protect his kingdom is purely self-serving and doesn't serve his shareholders in the least. What we don't understand is why boards of directors routinely vote for such anti-shareholder measures - - and why government regulators don't move to outlaw such abuses.
11/09/04 RBR #219

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