Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 226, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning November 19th, 2007

Radio News ®

Uncertainty in
cross-ownership land

When FCC Chairman unveiled his cross-ownership proposal, it looked like good news for combos in the top 20 markets, but we also noted its potential problems for similar pairings in the vast majority of markets outside of the elite group. It turns out we weren't the only ones with questions: Multimedia company Media General is also waiting "for the FCC to provide clarity." Media General owns television/newspaper combos in Columbus GA, Florence-Myrtle Beach SC, Panama City FL and Tri-Cities TN-VA. Media General said that regulatory uncertainty has dampened trading, and also says that license renewals at network-affiliated stations have been slowed due to an FCC backlog of indecency complaints aimed at the networks. It notes that it is in favor of completely eliminating cross-ownership restrictions in all markets, not just the top 20, but warns investors that even as it might improve its competitive position by assembling such a pair, so might one of its competitors with adverse local effects to Media General's business.

The rub comes from Martin's comments to reporters that even as the rules are relaxed in big markets, in smaller markets with generally fewer media voices, the current restrictions would remain on the books and when waiver applications are before the commission in those locales, the presumption would be against approval. He said that would be the case for the Tribune pairing in Hartford CT. At the same time, Martin said that such pairs were grandfathered back in 1975 when cross-ownership was banned completely, so since this was a relaxation of the rule, he expected there would be even more of a presumption of approval for grandfathering this time around. Tribune is facing additional questions in Chicago, where it has a newspaper, a WGN-TV and a powerful clear channel (in the old-fashion maximum power sense of the phrase) AM station, WGN-AM.

RBR observation: Watchdogs have been trying to bust up existing cross-owned combinations, and they aren't just issuing press releases. The FCC has been peppered with petitions to deny just about every time an applicable television license has come up for renewal. So what is the presumption, against waivers or for grandfathering? Stay tuned. (Note: For a Legal view see Washington Business Report section)

Dingell, Markey double-team Martin
It was only a matter of time before key members of the House of Representatives joined the chorus of senators who are urging FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to apply the brakes before taking action on his plan to allow cross-owned combinations in the nation's largest markets. The dynamic Democratic duo is House Energy and Commerce Committee chair John Dingell (D-MI) and key Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet chair Ed Markey (D-MA). Dingell said he reserved judgment on Martin's proposal, and commended him for releasing the details in advance of an FCC vote (unlike Michael Powell back on 6/2/03). However, he added, "I have serious concerns...that the timeline you have set forth is insufficient to allow for meaningful comment and evaluation of comments on the proposed rule." He complains about the lack of a window for reply comments and a mere week for commissioners to review comments. He called the proposal "a grave matter" and said he looked forward to discussing it next month at a hearing.

Markey's comments were simpler. He said, "Chairman Martin's media ownership proposal deserves the utmost scrutiny. Localism, diversity and competition are critical values in our national media policy. I urge Chairman Martin to ensure that the Congress and the public have an ample opportunity to review and comment on how any changes to FCC media ownership rules may affect these vital public policy objectives."

RBR observation: Martin is on record with his conviction that ample time has been devoted to studying the issue, that years have been allowed for commentary, that meetings have been held from east to west and from large market to small. However, we think it is a given that Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will have no problem getting a House companion bill for his effort to force Martin to hit the brakes. Such a bill would be unlikely to inspire a filibuster in the Senate, but would George W. Bush sign it? If Martin proceeds, with Dorgan and his allies take more drastic measures?


How bad can it get?
The current Wall Street consensus is that October radio revenues fell about 3%, but CL King analyst Jim Boyle now thinks the drop will be more like 5%. He says the long-time weakness in the top 25 markets continues, with mid-size markets down 6% and small markets off 3%. The gap that Boyle had been tracking for some time between the large and small markets continues, but it has become narrower - and not because business got better in the big markets, because it got worse in the smaller ones. He also notes, though, that the industry faced very tough comps in October, which was up 6% in 2006. In his latest note to clients, Boyle tried to tackle the question, when does radio revenue rebound? "The radio groups that are the lead clusters in a market have to drive prices up, and that often requires time and pain to get the gain. Plus, the top ad category, auto, has to start spending its considerable ad budgets again. More investment in on-air programming and more promotion spending to market that improved locally-differentiated content to listeners is part of it. There are no simple solutions or quick answers," Boyle wrote.

RBR observation: What! Hard work, good programming, investment and promotion? Say it ain't so, Jim! We would also add sales training, recruitment and retention. It really comes down to getting back to the basics that built radio in the first place. Everyone pays lip-service to the need to invest in the product and people, but some of the largest companies haven't been doing much more than the lip-service part.

VA legislator goes
to bat for XM/Sirius

"How far would a person have to drive in order to find a substitute" for XM or Sirius programming, asks Rick Boucher (D-VA). He answers his own question, saying the person doesn't have to drive anywhere, just hit a different button in the car's sound system. That's one way to justify allowing XM and Sirius to merge, he argues. Boucher made his comments in an article published at Businessweek.com. He noted the duo's ability to eliminate duplicative programming under a merger, and its plan to offer a la carte options is the merger goes though.

RBR observation: As NAB's Dennis Wharton noted some time back, if a la carte is such a great thing, what's stopping either of the services from offering it right now? The fact that they tout it as a great thing, but neither offer it to get a leg up on the other can be seen as anticompetitive collusive behavior. But let's tackle Boucher's driving analogy. The simple fact is, you can get in your car, tune in XM or Sirius, and drive, and drive, and keep on driving, and continue to listen to whichever you've tuned in. So-called terrestrial stations do not have that ability, to follow the driver wherever they go. They are physically bound to their local community, but at the same time, they provide often vital emergency services for that local community. That is just one huge piece of evidence that these are radically different kinds of audio service. The reason to oppose XM/Sirius is that monopolies are notorious for abusing their monopoly power, and the merger would simply create a monopoly. What other reason do we need?


Wall Street Business Report TM
Debut lays out growth plans
Debut Broadcasting Corporation, one of the tiniest public companies in broadcasting, reported that Q3 revenues were 834,270 bucks, down 3.8%. The company said that was largely because of a non-recurring project for a single customer. Due to expenses from newly acquired radio stations, the company reported a net loss of 524,116, compared to net income of 22,355 a year earlier. Q3 constituted the first full quarter that Debut's radio station operations were active. Debut now owns five stations in the Greenville-Greenwood, MS market. The company said it is in negotiations to acquire two more stations and is "on pace" to expand into eight additional markets in 2008. Debut said its radio syndication unit, Impact Radio Networks, continued to expand in Q3 and it reported a new contract with GAP Broadcasting to expand its remnant inventory network, Impact Network, during 2008.


Executive Comment
Ferguson back to Arbitron
I read Arbitron Sr. VP Thom Mocarsky's comments (11/15/07 RBR #224) about the issues we've had with Arbitron in Northern Michigan with great interest. His response was, in short, pure double speak. The central issue is Arbitron has a responsibility to insure the purity of its data sample and provide software that works properly. Stations already fill out a Facilities Form and return it to Arbitron prior to each survey. These forms are full of data specific to each station in each unique market. The addition of a database for employee addresses and phone numbers would not be an undue burden and since employee names would be omitted the privacy issue would be non-existent. We manage contact databases every day and a simple import and purge function by Arbitron against their contact lists would complete the task. Arbitron's current system of outsourced telemarketers asking if people work in the media has, regrettably, proven to be insufficient.

Mr. Mocarsky's statement that "the sampling rate is so high in Traverse City" is truly laughable. When three diaries were thrown out and the book reissued in Traverse City, WSRT/WSRJ went from a .6 rating in Persons 12+ to a .4 rating - a drop of 33%! In our Female target demos, the ratings dropped over 21%. When ratings-driven revenue accounts for 40 to 45% of a stations total sales, the value of three little diaries in our size market is overwhelming. The remarkable honesty of the majority of media people is outweighed by Arbitron's obligation to provide reliable ratings data that both buyers and sellers can use with confidence.

The "warning on the front page" of Summary Data software is nothing more than a legal disclaimer and has little or no effect on its use. Averaging the averages yields incorrect data - period. Based on our insistence, Arbitron did issue a "Service Advisory" to help make agencies aware of the problem. As you might imagine, when we brought it to buyers' attention the reactions ranged from minor irritation to "don't tell me how to do my job!" Since 2005, "averaging the averages" has cost our company nearly as much as we have paid Arbitron - and it was business we deserved had the software functioned properly. This is happening to someone in every Condensed Market and it's just plain wrong. Arbitron has scheduled a conference call with me for Monday afternoon (11/19/07) at 3 PM. It should be an interesting conversation.

Charlie Ferguson
Northern Broadcast, Inc.
General Manager


Ad Business Report TM

Mindshare issues statement on Houston PPM posting
Kathy Crawford, President of Local Broadcast at MindShare North America issued a statement on a story last week regarding the agency beginning PPM-based radio posting. The info was leaked from a memo from Kathi Claire, MindShare, Partner, Senior Broadcast Negotiator to all Houston stations (11/15/07 RBR #224), which stated MindShare is now going to post radio for all PPM markets and all buys will have to be guaranteed to deliver 90% of the total points for the estimate, with underdelivery weight run as requested at a later date.

Said Crawford: "MindShare has always "posted" radio for educational purposes in the diary markets, and we will continue to do so. The goal in the PPM markets is to post with accountability from both sides. MindShare's Local Broadcast department in concert with our research department has have been working with Arbitron to find the statistically reliable methods we might employ to make the PPM the "postable" tool. That will include the reliability of data sets and the time period of same. The memo from our buyer mentioned that we would be looking at compensatory weight in the future. While we haven't determined the exact methods to do so yet, we will soon. We are not the only agency looking for this kind of accountability and we feel strongly our clients deserve it. We were also pleased to get the support of companies like Entercom and David Field, along with WBEB in Philadelphia, who are supporting posting radio in the PPM markets. We are all working toward a standard by which we can achieve that mutual goal."

Broadcasters wonder why
they weren't notified

On the above story, some broadcasters were concerned they weren't notified by the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council that agencies were working with the ratings company on posting PPM metrics. Steve Sinicropi, VP/GM Cox Radio Greenville, SC commented that the RAC "works on a lot of things with Arbitron, but we have had no discussions about posting or posting metrics for PPM. So we would be surprised that they've been engaged in those discussions without at least discussing it with the council." Commented one broadcaster off the record: "If Arbitron is working on posting metrics with shops they should let radio clients know in advance instead of having us blindsided by this new policy that they have been working on."

RBR observation: Houston is the only accredited market right now with PPM. However, the market has fallen below its PPM targets. From what we've heard, Arbitron is currently only willing to guarantee ratings only the broadest demo: 6+. Broadcasters are saying it's odd that Arbitron is having discussions with agencies on ways they can post and hold stations accountable to their more narrow targets when the company is only willing to be accountable for the very broadest measure. The saga continues.

OfficeMax drops Michael Savage
The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced OfficeMax has joined Citrix Systems in dropping advertising on Michael Savage's nationally-syndicated radio program because of the host's anti-Muslim commentary on his 10/29 show.


Media Business Report TM
Talkers diverge from the news
We've noted time after time how media talkers tend to take their cues from the news and amplify the top stories, as reported by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. However, during the week of 11/4-9/07 they broke the pattern. The journos focused on the troublesome situation in Pakistan, giving it 17% of the newshole, but talkers gave the story a mere 6%. Talkers decided to go with the 2008 campaign, giving it 28% of their attention, almost double the newsers' 15% allotment. Besides Pakistan, however, there was another story that highlighted a difference of opinion as to what needed discussing. Dennis Kucinich's attempt to impeach VP Dick Cheney and the Republican's reaction failed to make the news coverage top ten list, but talkers made it #3 with 8%. No other stories exceeded 5%, in a week where the #3 news story only pulled a 3% share.


Washington Business Report TM
A legal-eagle's eye view
of cross-ownership

Once again, the attorneys at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC have turned their attention to the latest doings at the FCC and provided a quick lawyerly analysis which they are willing to share with us and, by extension, you. In this case, the topic is Kevin Martin's limited easement of cross-ownership restrictions, and Michael H. Shacter does the honors. For once, it appears that the lawyers are just as much in the dark as the rest of us as to some of the possible implications. As usual, the law firm explicitly warns against use of the opinions stated herein for the purposes of actual litigation, barroom betting or the construction of paper airplanes.
| Legal opinion here |


Media Markets & Money TM
Buyer follows his broker's advice
In fact, the buyer is his broker. Larry Patrick's Legend Communications (also owned by Susan Patrick) is buying KWOR-AMf/KKLX-FM Worland WY from Bill & Nanci Harrington in a deal brokered by Larry Patrick's Patrick Communications. The price is 750K cash. The stations will form a cluster with KZMQ AM & FM in Greybull WY and an as-yet-unbuilt Class C2 FM earmarked for Ten Sleep WY.


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


Internet Business Report TM
Black Friday website traffic increases 52%
Online traffic to Black Friday advertising websites is rising earlier in 2007 compared to 2006, Hitwise reported. Online traffic to a custom category of Black Friday advertising websites increased 52% for the week ending 11/10/07 compared to 11/11/06. Online interest in Black Friday is taking place earlier this year and becoming more widespread than the past two holiday seasons. Searches on the term "Black Friday ads" are up 91% compared to last year and have increased 954% since 2005. This is a continuing trend as searches for the same term were up 452% in 2006 compared to 2005. Wal-Mart received the most traffic from Black Friday advertising websites for the week among a select group of brick and mortar stores. Sears and Best Buy received the second and third most U.S. traffic, respectively.

Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul tops for web traffic
In October, Hillary Clinton's campaign website, hillaryclinton.com, has 693,000 visitors, according to Nielsen NetRatings. Meanwhile Ron Paul, the Republican contender, has been winning the GOP Internet numbers. In October, his site, ronpaul2008.com, counted 451,000 visitors. A couple weeks ago, Paul announced a staggering 4.3 million in a single day of online fundraising. His campaign reportedly added another 1 million last week. The number of visitors to Republican Fred Thompson's site plunged in October. In the previous month, Thompson led all GOP and Democratic presidential candidates with 635,000 visitors to his site, fred08.com. But his site dropped to fifth place among Republican candidates' sites in October, with only 152,000 unique visitors.

REPUBLICANS

Ron Paul:

451,000

Mitt Romney:

325,000

Mike Huckabee:

321,000

John McCain:

182,000

Fred Thompson:

152,000

Rudy Giuliani:

140,000

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Clinton:

693,000

Barack Obama:

589,000

John Edwards:

418,000

Chris Dodd:

301,000

Bill Richardson:

60,000

Joe Biden:

47,000

Dennis Kucinich:

6,000


Ratings & Research
They told you so!
BIGresearch VP/Strategy Phil Rist brought up an article the company wrote for us in January 2006, that might explain some of the PPM issues the industry is dealing with today. Said Rist: "If radio industry leaders would have listened to our warning signal in Jan-2006, they wouldn't be so frustrated now. BIGresearch identified the problems with the PPM almost two years ago and that its rollout would be detrimental to the radio industry. Where was radio's leadership? Broadcasters might as well turn over the keys to the Arbitron-Ad Agency cabal that is controlling their destiny...or they can take back their industry." He adds that BIGresearch doesn't compete with Arbitron. "Our message in Jan-2006 was as 'ex-radio guys' who where mystified that the current leadership in the radio industry couldn't see the potential train wreck coming."

The article highlights the problems with PPM, saying its purpose is to discriminate a radio program from "noise." It, however, picks up unintended sound and interprets all data as listening. However, all hearing is not listening as listening refers to something one attends to which may be radio as foreground or background. Yet PPM can not discriminate the difference. As well, while marketers are seeking insights into the impact of media which fragment the audiences, (blogging, IM, Satellite, I-PODS, Picture Phone, etc.) into even smaller audiences, PPM appears only to be able to deliver a gross audience estimate of radio listening/hearing. HD radio will add thousands of new stations and dozens of large markets. How will PPM measure fragmentation where markets may grow by a factor of 2 or 3?
| See the original content here |


HD Radio 2007
HD Radio descends
upon LA Auto Show

Visitors to the LA Auto Show last week experienced five mobile billboards for HD Radio. The campaign takes place on November 16th-17th (Friday-Sunday) and 24th-25th (Saturday-Sunday) from 9am-5pm. Automaker exhibits offering HD Radio include BMW, Ford, and Mini. The promotion is being done thanks to the support of the NAB. The HD Radio street team handed out HD Radio lanyards and VIP cards all around the convention center. VIP cards give the chance to win one of ten I-Sonic Entertainment System 2 radios with iTunes Tagging.


Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 10/1/07-10/4/07
When a major group decides to put the pedal to the metal and go careening away from Wall Street, it tends to dominate the week's trading, and the first week of October was no exception to that rule. There just isn't much to report -- five singleton radio deals for just over 24M, but you add in Cumulus and the total is that much more than 1.3B

10/1/07-10/4/07

Total

Total Deals

6

AMs

85

FMs

237

TVs

0
Value
1.324B
| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Cumulus
| More...
|
TV Transactions of the Week
TV? Who needs TV when you
have a mega radio deal?
| More...
|


Transactions
2.65M WLAT-AM & WNEZ-AM Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT (New Britain, Manchester CT) from Freedom Communications of Connecticut Inc. (W. Lawrence Patrick, Receiver) to Gois Broadcasting of Connecticut LLC (Antonio Gois, Paul Gois, Ivon Gois). 100K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Includes non-compete. Existing duopoly. [File date 10/30/07.]

501K KMEG-TV Sioux City IA (CBS, Ch. 14/DT 39) from Waitt Broadcasting Inc. (Norman W. Waitt Jr.) to Siouxland Television LLC (Alex J. Aretakis). Buyer pays 1K to take over 500K purchase option from Pappas Telecasting (Harry J. Pappas) of 4/28/05. Pappas, which owns KPTH-TV Fox/44 in the market, provides service to KMEG via an SSA, JSA and other related ties. [File date 11/6/07.]

350K KESY-FM Cuba MO from Twenty-One Sound Communications Inc. (Randy Wachter) to East Central Broadcasting LLC (Louis B. Eckelkamp III). Debt assumption. [File date 10/31/07.]


Stock Talk
Modest gains to end the week
There wasn't much good news to move the markets on Friday, but there wasn't any new bad news either, so stocks just sort of drifted through the session. When the closing bell rang, the Dow Industrials were up 67 points, or 0.5%, at 13,177.

Radio stocks followed suit. The Radio Index inched up 0.094, or 0.1%, to 106.526, just barely up from its nine-year low. Entravision had a big day, up 8.3% after saying it was looking at selling its outdoor business. Cumulus rose 6.8%.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

51.81

+1.28

Google

GOOG

633.63

+3.98

Beasley

BBGI

6.89

-0.29

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

20.73

-0.19

CBS CI. B CBS

27.18

-0.04

Journal Comm.

JRN

8.99

+0.01

CBS CI. A CBSa

26.96

-0.26

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

59.76

+0.12

Citadel CDL
2.41 -0.15

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

2.48

-0.02

Clear Channel

CCU

34.50

-0.75

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

2.50

-0.03

Cox Radio

CXR

12.47

-0.12

Regent

RGCI

2.15

+0.02

Cumulus

CMLS

9.61

+0.61

Saga Commun.

SGA

7.12

-0.23

Debut Bcg.

DBTB

0.80

unch

Salem Comm.

SALM

7.67

+0.19

Disney

DIS

32.53

+0.13

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

3.52

-0.01

Emmis

EMMS

4.26

+0.03

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

2.02

-0.03

Entercom

ETM

18.09

-0.34

SWMX

SMWX

0.02

unch

Entravision

EVC

7.33

+0.56

Westwood One

WON

2.14

-0.02

Fisher

FSCI

43.31

+0.75

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

13.98

-0.40


Bounceback

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Below the Fold
Executive Comment
Small market ratings debate
It continues with Ferguson Firing back to Arbitron...

Ad Business Report
Mindshare statement
On Houston PPM posting...

Broadcasters wonder
Why they weren't notified...

Ratings & Research
They told you so!
In January '06, that might explain some of the PPM issues...




Stations for Sale

Seller Financing Available
Mississippi FM
Buy or Lease Studios, Tower
Gordon Rice Associates
(843) 884-3590
or E-mail Gordon Rice

Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

Contact
June Barnes
[email protected]


Radio Media Moves

New boss for Nielsen Business Media
Actually the same boss, but with a different title. Greg Farrar has been named President of Nielsen Business Media, up from COO. He had been leading the division since the sudden death of CEO Robert Krakoff in March. The operation includes such titles as Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Radio & Records and Adweek.

Sue McNamara named CBS Radio SVP/Sales
Sue McNamara has been named SVP/Sales for CBS Radio, 11/26. She joins CBS Radio from Interep where she currently serves as EVP/GM CBS Radio Sales, a position she has held since 2005. She follows Michael Weiss, who made a similar move recently as president of CBS Radio Sales, over from Interep.




More News Headlines

Don Imus returns to mornings WTKK Boston
Just after losing Howie Carr, Greater Media Boston announced Don Imus will return to host the "Imus in the Morning" show on 96.9FM Talk WTKK in Boston-the first official radio affiliate of the show's return on WABC-AM. He will resume his morning drive duties on 12/3 at 6:00 am. Beginning 12/4, his customary time slot will be from 5am- 9am.

President Dobbs?
Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund says friends of CNN's Lou Dobbs say Dobbs is considering a 3rd, or perhaps 4th party run for president in 2008. Dobbs used his website last week to not the possibility of an "independent populist" mystery candidate and Fund believes the post may have been self-promotional. Dobbs repeated his denial of presidential aspirations over the weekend, and apparently the insiders still consider it an unlikely scenario.

Will economic triple play dampen the holidays?
The Center for American Progress does not like what it sees when it comes to economic matters. It knows the holidays are a make-or-break time for many businesses, and last year consumer spending was subdued by weakness in the housing sector. That weakness is still here, and CAP says it's been joined by two other negative factors. They are a weak job growth and higher fuel prices. CAP wrote, "While we cannot predict the future, the economy in November 2007 should give consumers plenty of reasons to keep the purse strings tight during this holiday shopping spree. Without significantly higher wages or sharply higher consumer debt, the slowdown in the housing market, the lackluster labor market, and the rising gas prices could put a serious damper on retail sales and economic growth."

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's promote "Igor"
The Weinstein Company and Exodus Film Group announced a nationwide promotional program with CKE Restaurants, Inc., parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants, to support the 2008 theatrical release of the highly anticipated CG-animated feature film "Igor." More than 3,000 of the company's US restaurants will participate in the film promotion. The campaign will be part of their Cool Kids Combos meal program and includes four custom-designed "Igor" premiums, in-store displays and an online campaign with Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Cool Kids websites. The Weinstein Company is handling worldwide distribution for the film, which is set for release 10/24/08. Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are the most recent partners to sign on to promote the film. Adding to the expanding categories aligned with the film are an extensive line of "Igor" consumer products, a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division and a comic book series with IDW Publishing.



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

Arbitron stung by big groups;
Agencies also want high standard
A hard-hitting letter from four of its large radio subscribers, demanding that it increase PPM sample sizes to resolve problems with demo in-tab underperformance, no doubt caused quite a stir at Arbitron. Clear Channel, Cumulus, Cox Radio and Radio One have demanded an "action plan" from Arbitron within 30 days. Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil in a statement to RBR yesterday: ""Arbitron needs to understand that both radio broadcasters and agencies are united in demanding reliable audience estimates.." The four companies, all of which had been critical of PPM but eventually signed contracts for the new methodology, are livid over the consistent problems Arbitron has had with hitting in-tab targets for 18-34 demos and for African-American and Hispanic listeners. Arbitron has insisted that its audience estimates are valid, even with the in-tab shortfalls, but it has agreed to guarantee hitting 6+ in-tab targets and says it will have an 18-54 proposal in a few months. That is not enough to satisfy the four client groups.

RBR observation: Adding PPM panelists may improve 18-34 in-tab and increase confidence in PPM ratings, but it may not change the general audience trends which have been consistent across all three PPM markets, as far as which formats go up and which go down. So, either the PPM methodology itself is fatally flawed, or it is indeed more accurate and radio is just going to have to learn to live with the new reality. For one thing, PPM has effectively redefined what constitutes radio listening. A 19-year-old with a PPM can log a lot of hours "listening" to the Oldies station that his boss has on at work, while he would not have reported that in a diary, since he didn't consider it radio listening, just background noise. Read the letter from the 4 groups
11/16/07 RBR #225

Agencies react to PPM letter
In addition to Natalie Swed Stone, OMD U.S. Director, National Radio Investment (see Radio news in RBR), we spoke to other radio buyers about the letter that four big radio groups sent to Arbitron with concerns about PPM. Matthew Warnecke, Partner, Network and Local Radio, MediaCom - Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services, - Natalie Swed Stone, OMD U.S. Director, National Radio Investment. Each stated their observation in RBR.
11/16/07 RBR #225

Revenues down for SWMX
Online media ad transaction platform company SWMX, operator of the SoftWave Media Exchange, reported that Q3 revenues fell to 321,930 from 632,579 a year earlier. If your company is owed money by SWMX, you will be interested in this statement from the quarterly SEC filing: "Over the past quarter the delinquency of our accounts payable to media organizations has increased significantly. This increase has adversely affected our business and relationships. Certain media organizations have referred us to collection agencies. Others have refused to accept orders from our customers placed through our marketplace. In addition, some of our customers have refused to pay outstanding receivables. We have been and continue to attempt to remediate this situation through the following steps: see RBR.

RBR observation: Business lesson 101, this mess could have been avoided if the upper brass at SWMX communicated with their clients. Email is ok, but there is a generation out there the does not know how to use a telephone. Like any company if you do not pay your bills your utility gets shut off. Lesson here for all in business today. Don't pay then you can't play.
11/15/07 RBR #224

Arbitron responds
to Charlie Ferguson
Regarding Executive Comment from Charlie Ferguson of Northern Broadcast Inc., we received this response from Thom Mocarsky (pictured), Arbitron Sr. VP of Press and Investor Relations: Despite the odds of getting selected, people in the radio industry are remarkably honest. It is an uncommon event for us to re-issue a report because of media affiliation. (Only once this year, and we issued almost 800 separate quarterly reports.) The complete comment in RBR.
11/15/07 RBR #224

Lovett or leave it?
Royalties down the Hatch?
Music talents Lyle Lovett and Alice Peacock held forth before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic of performance royalties, better known to broadcasters as a performance tax. Commonwealth Broadcasting's Steven Newberry made an effective argument against, but there's a problem. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has recordings out there and he wants a helping of broadcaster cash, too.
11/14/07 RBR #223


RBR Classifieds

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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

Additional Positions
Available in RBR Classifieds.
See Radio Careers.

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