Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 233, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning November 30th, 2007

Radio News ®

Analysis of Nassau-Suffolk numbers: PPM vs. Diary
Here's a quick take on the Long Island numbers-PPM vs. Diary, based on extrapolations. This is the first opportunity that we have to actually compare the same time periods for PPM vs. Diary. The numbers are interesting, and for many changes, both the PPM and Diary numbers support each other-especially in rankings. The CBS-FM gain we saw in the PPM showed up in the diary monthly as well-especially in the younger demos. Many thought the PPM surge was incorrect. However, there were exceptions. WFAN-AM had a burst in PPM Share, most likely demonstrating the PPM's ability to better pick up sports listening. For 12+ in that market, WFAN's share was a whopping 6.2 (#2) PPM vs. 3.6 (#6) Diary in P12+. In the same demo, WBLI-FM was 4.1 (#9) PPM and 4.5 (#2) in Diary. Share is a tough comparison, because most buying and selling is made on AQH rating points. Because of the drastic change in PUR from diary to PPM ("PUMM" in PPM terms), it is expected to be different. Share is more important to PDs. If a station goes up in share, it might go down in AQH number of people. AQH Share is a function of PUR. Unfortunately, one of the biggest by-products of PPM is a drastic shift in PUR. So while your AQH number of people might look one way, it's going to really look different when looking at share, because that PUR number is affecting it. Just look at WHTZ-FM in 18-34 for a prime example of this.
| See the 18-34 and 25-54 comps here |

RBR observation: In speaking with industry sources for the LI numbers, some of the negative commentary we got included complaints about the LI 18-34 sample--period. In all of LI, they do not have enough sample of Women 18-34 to break it out. There are fewer than 30. When you have a radio station like WBLI, with not enough 18-34 Women in the sample, it drops like we see above. LI is 120 miles long with quite a few people. The problem with women is they can't wear the PPM device with typical ladies' work attire. And if there isn't enough physical PPM motion for a certain period of time, the sample is rejected. What does that do to TSL?, asked one industry source. These are methodological issues that reduce TSL numbers/results.

NYC Fall trends released
Yesterday held the release of Arbitron's Fall book's first Arbitrends covering NYC for August, September and October (diary). WHTZ-FM and WLTW-FM are tops in P12+, respectively--the same ranking as PPM data released earlier this month. WCBS-FM P12+ went from 3.7 in Summer trends to a 4.2 in the Fall trends. WFAN was stable from Summer to Fall trends at a 2.6 share. WCBS-FM, like we noted in the Long Island numbers, is stronger in both PPM and Diary. WFAN-AM and WAXQ-FM were two of the bigger losers in comps for diary--higher in PPM, lower in diary. 'FAN should be of interest, as well, because of the differences in LI and NYC.
| Middlesex | Nassau | New York |

WWOR defends its license
Fox's MNT/9 station in the New York metro, WWOR-TV, faced critics concerned that it focuses too much on serving: The New York metro. Led by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), they told an FCC-sponsored forum that the station should pay more attention to the New Jersey residents in and around its Secaucus NJ city of license. In fact, Lautenberg's input and a summertime conversation with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin were said to be a key factor in getting the hearing on the schedule in the first place. " WWOR's license depends on how well it meets its obligations to New Jersey. It's renewal time and the evidence is clear: WWOR has failed in its responsibility to serve the people of New Jersey," said Lautenberg. "If it renews the license, the FCC needs to get tough and include specific, measurable steps to ensure coverage of our state." Other witnesses noted that the station IDs itself as "My9 New York," and according to the New York Times, one young long-time viewer was surprised to learn that it was in fact a New Jersey and not a New York station.

WWOR VP/GM Lew Leone made the case for the station, pulling out footage of station coverage of New Jersey news, state election news, and interviews with state officials on public affairs programming. WWOR further cited popular sports programming, including major league teams the Yankees, Giants and Nets, which is very popular with New Jersey viewers, and it also was able to produce supporters within the local New Jersey community. The station is said to owe New Jersey a higher level of coverage than usual going back to a 1982 dispute in which it moved from New York to New Jersey in an arrangement engineered by former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ). However, Lautenberg and allies do not seem optimistic about preventing the license renewal.

RBR observation: It's hard to justify killing a license renewal in an environment where stations running home shopping networks -- essentially operating as a 24/7 commercial -- are considered to be serving the local community. And if people are using them to shop, they are serving the community. And so are small stations running old sitcoms or old movies or documentaries about beetles. If anybody is choosing to watch, it's a service utilized by a portion of the local community. Nobody is going to confuse such a station with a market leader. But can a legislator or bureaucrat insist that a station run out and interview the first alderman or school board member it sees to fulfill its public interest requirement? We don't think so -- there is nothing on the books that allows any portion of the government to appoint itself program director. WWOR-TV could get a copy of the New Jersey State Constitution, fling it on the ground and dance on it, and keep its license, just as long as it's operating at the authorized power for the necessary number of hours daily. That's what free speech is all about. However, when News Corporation's two-TV, one-newspaper cluster (not counting the nationally-focused Wall Street Journal) is up for review, if and when cross-ownership rules are ever legally on the books, that's when the license may be in jeopardy. Stay tuned. But don't hold your breath.

NAB wants LPFM to keep its distance
Citing "the laws of physics," the National Association of Broadcasters requested that third adjacency protections for incumbent full-power stations remain firmly in place as the FCC and Congress attempt to pave the way for more LPFM stations. But the trade organization had praise for some of the FCC's plans for the service. NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said, "...in general, NAB is pleased the Commission clarified that LPFM stations must indeed be locally-owned with locally-originated programming, and limits ownership to one station per licensee." Avoidance of interference remains the critical issue, and NAB continues to dispute the Mitre report that has been used as an underpinning for both FCC and Congress in their effort to expand LPFM service. Wharton said, "Though this is a recommendation identical to one made several years ago by the FCC, NAB continues to believe that statutory third-adjacent channel protections are critically important to protect listeners against interference. The idea that hundreds, if not thousands, of additional LPFM stations can be shoe-horned into an overcrowded radio dial without causing considerable interference simply defies the laws of physics." Wharton also mentioned the FCC's notice of proposed further rulemaking. "We share the concerns expressed by Commissioners Tate and McDowell about the Commission's decision to adopt interim processing guidelines without full notice and opportunity for comment, but we look forward to working with the Commission to find a solution that works for all."

RBR observation: Nobody we know of has any philosophical objection to LPFM, but it should be adopted in a deliberate and rational manner. Preferably, the more radical short-spacing proposals should be considered after existing applications are dealt with and full power radio's conversion to digital broadcast is closer to completion.

Markey planning to bring
back net neutrality bill

A Republican Congress kept Ed Markey (D-MA) and colleagues in the Senate from making headway in making the concept of digital network neutrality a matter of law. With fresh controversies regarding blocked content and Democrats at the helms of both houses, word is out that Markey is set to try again. Telecom companies AT&T and Verizon, and cable giant Comcast, have all been cited in content blocking incidents, and many fear such corporate interventions will become the norm if mandates calling for equal treatment of content are not on the books. Similar legislation is already pending in the Senate, courtesy of Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

RBR observation: The point of net neutrality is that communications are treated equally as phone calls have been. That's it. We think the argument that imposing net neutrality will inhibit investment is disingenuous. There's money in them thar virtual hills, and investors will go after it, with net neutrality or not. Innovator Mark Cuban testified before the House earlier this year that the current Internet infrastructure is aging rapidly, but that increased bandwidth with cure all ills and make the net neutrality issue moot. If he's right, common carriers and content generators can all enjoy a nice payday without self-appointed gatekeepers deciding what is and is not made available to the community at large.

Wall Street Business Report TM
Divide and prosper
There's still time to get in on a 13% increase in dividend payouts at Walt Disney Co. You have until 12/7/07 to become a shareholder of record and pick up 35 cents per share on 1/11/08. That total represents a four cent increase over the prior dividend level.

Executive Comment
Everybody's got an opinion on ratings these days. Here's a short one from Cumulus prexy Lew Dickey and a long one from veteran broker Frank Boyle.

From Lew Dickey:
The in-tabs were simply unacceptable. They weren't bashful about charging full retail for the product, but then failed to deliver the goods. My advice to them was: No meetings -- just go fix it and don't roll it out until it's right. I think they've adopted a prudent approach and now we'll have to see what kind of sample integrity they bring back to market.

Lew Dickey

From Frank Boyle:
With all due respect to the learned Radio Group Heads & Ad Agency Media VP's who keep criticizing ARB & PPM -- they have no one to blame except themselves. Since 1996 the radio/ad industry has successfully painted themselves into 6a corner -- with only one national radio research outfit. Add to that pattern -- there are really only two major radio reps. That's the undeniable result of the quarterly demands for increased EBITDA/BCF & revenues.

What with bulk of very profitable radio stations -- one'd think that they'd protect themselves with at least two truly national radio research firms -- a la Mediastat/ Pulse/ Hooper / Nielsen/ of earlier times? Selfishly from an old salesguy's point of view -- if you didn't look good in one -- you might look better with another methodology...
| Read Frank's full comment |

Frank Boyle
Station Broker

Media Business Report TM
Broadway stagehands, producers strike tentative deal
IATSE/Labor One and the Broadway producers have struck a tentative deal late last night, with all shuttered shows back to performing this evening. Some 20 Broadway theaters are back in action after weeks. Musicals such as "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Lion King," closed since negotiations ended 11/10, were among the first set to reopen tonight. 27 theaters in all were shuttered in the strike.

Media Markets & Money TM
Sun sets in Somerset
A deal for WTLO-AM in Somerset KY will take Cumberland Communications President Harris Rakestraw III out of the radio business and will give Key Broadcasting President Terry Forcht an AM-FM combo, eventually, in the small Kentucky market. Using licensee name F.T.G. Broadcasting, Forcht is picking up the 1 kw-daytimer. According to broker Ed Henson of Henson Media, the price is 300K. The station will pair up with WYKY-FM Science Hill KY, which at this point is still a CP. The buy will take Key to 18 stations in Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana.

Close encounter in Ocean City
Tony Brandon has plenty of experience in the commercial radio world, but his latest done deal is for noncommercial Maryland-based Your Public Radio. It just closed on WRXS-FM Ocean City, in the Salisbury-Ocean City MD market. According to broker John Pierce, the price was 1.075M for the 106.9 MHz facility. YPR also owns WYPR-FM in Baltimore.

Washington Business Report TM
Religious group lauds cable brakes
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has the cable industry in his cross-hairs, with items such as imposing a national subscriber cap, limiting the amount of self-produced programming that can be used in an attempt to increase program diversity, and possibly mandating a la carte channel menu provision. But a key data point underpinning the attempt at adding new layers of regulation is in dispute -- to whit, whether the systems with 36 or more channels have 70% of the nation signed on for MVPD service -- moving the Commission from regulating back to data gathering. The Faith and Family Broadcasting Coalition applauded the halt. It argues that the increasing sub lists at services like DirecTV, DISH Network, FiOS and U-verse render the old 70-70 threshold obsolete. In particular, the organization does not want the FCC meddling in the channel offering method, arguing that the noble intent of allowing families to take a pass on edgy channels will in fact kill off numerous niche channels that are in fact family-oriented.

RBR observation: As many have pointed out, you cannot say to the local newspaper that you only want the News and Sports sections, and do not feel it's fair to support their production of Business, Lifestyle, Arts, Classifieds, and whatever else the newspaper provides that you don't intend to read. You want to read the News, you buy the whole paper. The FCC has no more business butting into cable's business model than it does print's. The answer to the parental control problem is parental controls (duh) that are provided.

Entertainment Business Report TM
ACC Superstar winner announced
ABC Radio Networks' American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks announced Thanksgiving weekend that Shawn Dodd, a waiter and demo singer, is the show's first ACC Superstar winner. Chosen out of hundreds of video submissions, Dodd's rendition of Brooks and Dunn's classic "That Ain't No Way to Go" captured the heart of online voters and the attention of a panel of music industry experts. Dodd will meet with execs at Big Machine Records and join American Country Countdown host, Kix Brooks in-studio for an interview of a lifetime. He'll also receive studio time with a renowned Nashville recording engineer to record his winning song, a photo shoot with a music industry photographer, a professionally written biography, and a consultation with an artist management firm and a booking agency.

WMZQ-FM DC running HD Radio specials
WMZQ-FM Washington, DC is doing something new on their HD2 channel--special features on various artists on their Classic Country HD2 channel, 98.7-HD2. The first two were Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. This time, it's Elvis.
| See the schedule from their website |

320K KECY-TV Yuma AZ- El Centro CA (El Centro CA) from Pacific Media Corporation (Peter G. Sieler) to Gulf-California Broadscast Company, a subsidiary of News-Press & Gazette Company (David R. Bradley Jr., Henry H. Bradley). Cash less credits for sale of El Centro studio. Deal is pursuant to purchase option of 3/19/97. KECY-TV is Fox affiliate on Ch. 9/DTV 48. Deal also include KDFX-CA Indio CA (Fox/33) in the Palm Springs CA market, where buyer ownsef KESQ-TV (ABC/42). Buyer owns numerous other low-power TV stations in both markets. [File date 11/15/07.]

200K KXMP-FM CP Hanna WY from White Park Broadcasting Inc. (Steven A. Silberberg) to Wagonwheel Communications Corporation (Alan W. Harris, Faith Harris). 100K deposit, cash. CP is for Class C1 on 102.1 MHz with 100 kw at 963'. If FCC approves certain CP modifications, the entire transaction may be nullified. [File date 11/9/07.]

50K KYPT-FM CP Wamsutter WY from White Park Broadcasting Inc. (Steven A. Silberberg) to Martin Dirst. Cash. CP is for Class C1 on 104.3 MHz with 100 kw at 606'. If FCC approves certain CP modifications, the entire transaction may be nullified. [File date 11/9/07.]

Stock Talk
Stocks edge up amid mixed signals
There was good news and there was troubling news to digest on Wall Street yesterday, but after two days of soaring, traders kept things on the up-and-up, although on a much more modest basis. Did your favorite broadcaster participate on the positive side of this mixed bag? Find out below.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel CDL
2.19 -0.10

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.




Debut Bcg.




Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio





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Below the Fold
Executive Comment
Speaking their mind
Lew Dickey, just go fix it
Frank Boyle, no one to blame except themselves...

Media Business Report
Broadway stagehands
Producers strike tentative deal...

Media Markets & Money
Sun sets in Somerset
A deal for WTLO-AM and the the price is 300K...

Washington Business Report
Religious group lauds cable brakes
FCC Chairman Martin has the cable industry in his cross-hairs...

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Radio Media Moves

CBS's Guitano moves over to radio
Not only will Anton Guitano have to get used to the lack of visuals, he'll have less room on his business card as he shifts from EVP/CFO at CBS Television Group to Senior Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer at CBS Radio under Dan Mason. He is in his 29th year with the company.

Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth next Bayliss roastee
Peter Smyth has been selected the "Roastee" for the Bayliss Broadcast Foundation's annual Radio Roast, scheduled for April 2, 2008, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Smyth, who is the 23rd radio-industry executive to be "dis-honored" by the Bayliss Foundation, which raises funds for the Foundation's radio scholarship and internship programs.

TVBR - TV News

Clear Channel gets clearance to spin TVs
A 13.7B transaction sending 35 television stations and associated low power properties to Newport Television has been given a conditional go-ahead from the FCC. Newport will be required to bring itself into compliance with local ownership caps, due largely to the presence of backer Providence Equity Partners. PEP has interests in Univision and, by extension, Entravision, as well as Freedom Communications. It will need to make moves in nine of the markets in the immediate transaction. The application for sale was unopposed. The deal was opposed by Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps, however, who sees it not as a divestiture from one large broadcaster to a smaller one, but rather as a lateral move from large company to another. He said PEP will wind up with interests in 86 television stations and 99 radio stations once this deal is closed.

TVBR observation: How much control does an equity backer exert on localism in broadcast programming? We'd guess not much, other than to support it because generally it's a good business practice. But with cash in short supply, we'd have to think twice about the ultimate affect on public interest that would follow chasing money out of the business. It Newport/PEP competitors aren't motivated to protest this transaction, we can't muster much enthusiasm to protest it either. Assuming the deal does go to closure, it should in fact offer some opportunity for small and/or minority/female-owned businesses to score a station. But beware, Mr. Copps. They too may need a company similar to PEP to help them do it.

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

Tough 2008 in store
That's what Lehman Brothers are saying. They expect gains of 3.7% to 310.8B in total advertising over 2007 (and they think this year will be up 2.6% over last), followed by a gain of 2.8% in 2009. But the 2008 pick-up is expected to skew toward digital platforms and even more, to national over local business. In fact, LB is looking for a 6% increase in national to 182.6B, compared to an mere 0.6% increase in local, to 128.2B. That prediction has predictable results regarding their opinion of radio. LB said, "We remain on the sidelines with radio broadcasters and outdoor advertising companies given their high exposure to local advertising and instead would favor more diversified, defensible businesses that are levered to national advertising and recurring revenue such as large-cap entertainment companies with multiple business segments, such as News Corp. and Time Warner."

RBR observation: One of the key ways we are all going to have to maintain a nourishing diet is to make sure our own associated Internet properties are getting their fair share of the pie. Whether you want to count that money as broadcasting or Internet is immaterial to us. As far as we're concerned, a dollar is a dollar is a dollar.
11/29/07 RBR #232

Explaining PPM delay decision
There may be blood in the water at Arbitron, as analysts drilled Arbitron CEO Steve Morris on the dilemma the radio medium is facing right now with PPM. As the news of Arbitron delaying the commercialization of its PPM radio ratings service in nine markets made headlines. The general theme was focused on restoring confidence and trust, but as one analyst mentioned in the call "Now that blood is in the water," when six months comes and goes, will the broadcasters be even more united in killing PPM? A class action suit is possible, but unlikely, as the MRC will be the arbitrator before it could come to that. Indeed, it boils down to confidence, compliance and currency-the three C's. Are we going to move forward in 2008 to develop this currency the radio medium needs? By slowing down and stopping the currency, are they sending a mixed signal to their investors-the PPM is not right? And by being on hold, investor confidence dropped and the stock plunged.

RBR observation: What might all of this do to agencies' and advertisers' confidence in the medium now that the numbers and methodology are in question? Could this chaos (with no blame mentioned) be hurting the radio industry in the long run because of confidence issues? We'll see in six months. In addition, we're hearing, but couldn't confirm, that the MRC was instrumental in moving Arbitron to the nine-market delay. Arbitron would not comment on the "particulars of the MRC process." (for related reports on PPM derailment see RBR)
11/28/07 RBR #231

PPM hits brakes hard
Arbitron to delay PPM rollout in NYC, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas. Looks like all the PPM recent numbers issues raised by Cox Radio, Beasley and others has forced Arbitron's hand and will delay the commercialization of its PPM radio ratings service in nine markets. There are the usual statements but note you should view the chart on the markets in RBR.
11/27/07 RBR #230

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