Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 235, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning December 4th, 2007

Radio News ®

Q3 radio pothole, October not as bad
The Radio Advertising Bureau is encouraged by positive results for network and non-spot revenue categories, both of which improved in the high single digits during Q3 2007. But that success story cannot mask the ugly negatives posted in the meatier local and national categories, resulting in a total loss of 5% compared to the same quarter in 2006. During the third quarter, local was down -5% to 3.653B; and national was down -8% to 1.127B, combining for -6% on revenues of 4.78B. Network, up +9% to 293M; and non-spot, up +7% to 395M, conspired to bring the overall revenue total closer to par, but the overall improvement was only one percentage point to -5% of combined revenues of 5.468B. YTD, local is at -2% tp 10.753B; national is at -4% to 3.2B; network is at +5% to 844M; and non-spot at +10% to 1.106B. Revenue numbers come from Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.

Revenue Comparisons - 2007 vs. 2006
(In Millions)






Radio Revenue

$ Q3 '07

% Chg

$ YTD '07

% Chg


 $    3,653





 $    1,127




Local & National Comb.

 $    4,780





 $       293





 $       395




Grand Total

 $    5,468




Source: Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.*

Commissioners will have company on Capitol Hill
As expected, all five FCC Commissioners have an invite to the oversight hearing pegged for the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet this Wednesday morning. They'll be followed by a second panel with an interesting cross-section of guests, to say the least. The commissioner's visit will come less than two weeks before the FCC Open Meeting during which Chairman Kevin Martin intends to introduce a rulemaking which would legalize broadcast/print cross-ownership in the top 20 markets, a plan which has been widely criticized on Capitol Hill and in the watchdog community. The five commissioners will be back on the Hill again in a little over a week on Thursday 12/13/07 for an encore with the Senate Commerce Committee. The Subcommittee hearing also features a seven-member second panel. The top item on the menu for anti-consolidation legislators figures to be Andrew Levin, representing Clear Channel Communications. Two other broadcast companies are represented, including Sidney Bliss of Bliss Communications and Jerald N. Fritz of Albritton Communications. Prominent watchdog Andrew Jay Schwartzman of Media Access Project will be on hand. Rounding out the panel will be John F. Sturm of the Newspaper Association of America, Juan D. Gonzalez of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and E. Faye Williams from the National Congress of Black Women.

RBR observation: Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) once sentenced former FCC Chairman Michael Powell and his fellow Republican commissioners "...to watch the movie 'Citizen Kane' over and over again until they flinch at the word 'rosebud.'" So Markey v. Martin figures to have plenty of entertainment value. Perhaps the proper venue for Markey v. CCU would be a three-ring circus. Stay tuned.

Coen sees more of the same in 2008
Aside from TV, which stands to gain from political spending and the Olympics in 2008, Universal McCann Sr. VP and Director of Forecasting Bob Coen doesn't see much to get excited about in the coming year. "As we look ahead from a past that doesn't look to good, we don't see a lot of high expectations," Coen said as he unveiled his US ad forecast for the next year. In his annual appearance before the UBS 35th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Coen said his original forecasts for 2007 missed the mark because big marketers became more focused on global corporate profits and tightened the reins on ad spending. That trend, he said, will continue in 2008, so he is not expecting to see much growth in ad spending, other than the political/Olympics windfall for TV. For 2008, Coen predicts that total US ad spending will be up 3.7% to 294.4 billion bucks, with local barely better than flat and national up 5.5%. In line with his prediction that most types of media will see little change in 2008 over 2007, Coen predicts that national radio ad sales (network and national spot combined) will be up only 1% next year. But that's better than his forecast for local radio, which he forecasts will be flat with 2007. Coen was asked by one Wall Streeter just what hit radio and newspapers in September, when both took unexpected hits in ad spending? Coen noted that both get 75-80% of their ad revenues from local. "Retailers and local entrepreneurs don't spend a dime unless they think they're going to get something immediately," Coen said, so they cut back at the first sign of weakness, such as what we saw in September.

Bob Coen's advertising forecast for 2008

Dec. '07

Ad spend




Four TV networks



National spot TV



Cable TV



Syndication TV



National radio (net & spot)






National newspaper



Direct mail



National yellow pages






Other national media






Local newspaper



Local TV



Local radio



Local yellow pages



Other local media









Source: Universal McCann

RBR observation: Here's hoping that Coen doesn't have to revise his estimates sharply downward as he did in 2007 - especially since they aren't all that strong to begin with. Just a little more sputtering of the economy could have radio joining newspapers in having a down year. TV gets a breather in 2008, but absent the elections and Olympics, those forecast numbers wouldn't be impressive either.

Ad Business Report TM

Analysis of NYC numbers: PPM vs. Diary
Here's a quick take on the NYC numbers for 15 of the top stations-PPM vs. Diary for October, based on extrapolations. Most stations which grew in share did not grow in actual AQH-the share being a function of PUR more than in actual AQH. Another column in the analysis looks at actual hours and minutes of TSL lost. While many stations gained share, the only stations to report gains in actual AQH persons are WKTU (in 18-34) and WHTZ (in 25-54). These gains are really small, however (less than 10%). All stations gained cume-the average station doubled its cume, in fact. Difference in TSL is equally as huge, with the average TSL loss in 18-34 being six hours and the average TSL loss in 25-54 being five hours. Average station lost 26% in AQH in PPM in 25-54 and 34% in 18-34. "The average station AQH loss of about 30% tells me the '100 diary GRPs equaling 70 PPM GRPs holds true in NY and Nassau-Suffolk-just like Houston and Philadelphia," one industry researcher told RBR.
| See the analysis chart here |

WPP scores Dell's
4.5 billion account

Dell has selected WPP Group to create a new 1,000-person strong marketing agency that would handle 4.5 billion in Dell accounts over three years (1.5 per year), beating out a seven-month "review" shootout with IPG. Dell's advertising and marketing business had been spread among 800 firms worldwide. The new agreement will allow the company's partner to spend 100% of its time thinking about customers, rather than how it will get the next assignment, said Casey Jones, Dell VP/global brand marketing. "Dell has made world-changing advances in the management of the supply chain. We are now applying that same discipline to our marketing," he said in an interview. "We are making a mutual investment in people, processes and technology to provide greater continuity of the Dell brand globally. And we will operate together as one marketing and communications team." The Dell agency, which will be given its own name, will handle creative, planning CRM and PR. Buying duties will handled separately, to continue to allow Dell to take advantage of a buying agency that has negotiation clout with many large media budgets. We assume WPP's GroupM would be a consideration when that decision is made, right?

Media Markets & Money TM
Seehafer expands in Wisconsin market
Donald Seehafer's Seehafer Broadcasting has an unusual three-AM, one-FM superduopoly cluster in Wausau-Stevens Point WI. Thanks to Todd P. Robinson, the group will be adding a second FM. Seehafer is picking up Robinson's WUSP-FM Nekoosa WI for 270K cash. It joins a cluster consisting of WOSQ-FM, WXCO-AM, WDLB-AM and WFHR-AM.

Executive Comment
The PPM debate grows more heated
Open letter to Dave Paulus, President/GM, Saga Communications, Norfolk, VA
(12/3/07 RBR #234)

Hey Dave...
If your genius of a boss, Steve Goldstein, had paid attention to the people that now look like psychics concerning the pitfalls of what was going on with PPM...if your boss had worked to find out all the details and correct the problems, instead of pushing PPM, with a half dozen others geniuses who will bear this rollout on their legacy, we would not have the embarrassment in the trades you see today. If you cannot name the half dozen names outside of Arbitron who brought this failure on the Industry, shame on you. I am sure your boss appreciates you covering his butt, but the blame lays squarely on his and the laps of those who pushed a system on broadcasting without making sure Arbitron could actually deliver what it claimed. The PPM was touted to have a better reliability than the diary - not worse - and reliability starts with the sample. If the sample is worse than the diary, the results will be worse than the diary. Radio will not and should not increase their expense to Arbitron from roughly 2% of billing to roughly 4% of billing for a service that is broken on day one. If the sample is bad, nothing else matters. As simplistic as it sounds, Arbitron needs to spend whatever it takes to fix the sample and that is most likely what you will see the AAC tell Arbitron this week. Even one of PPM's staunchest proponents, WBEB's Jerry Lee, said as much last week. With the sample fixed and other housekeeping items that need to be cleaned up, the MRC can accredit the methodology as well as all current and future markets so we can move on with a process that won't embarrass radio again. Hopefully the Industry will again learn the lesson if a half dozen lemmings jump off the cliff, the rest of the Industry won't follow next time until they get the whole story (are iBiquity and Peter Ferrara listening?).
| Read more from Randy |

Randy Kabrich

Media Business Report TM
No end in sight for Internet growth
Presenting his global ad spending forecast at the UBS conference in New York, Zenith Optimedia CEO/Worldwide Steve King said Internet ad spending around the globe surpassed outdoor advertising for the first time in 2007. And he expects continued growth in market share, with the Web passing radio in 2008 and magazines in 2010, when Zenith Optimedia projects that the Internet will claim 12% of worldwide ad spending, up from a record 9% in 2007. Despite the obvious ad slowdown experienced in the US and some other regions, King does not believe there will be an advertising recession in 2008. He told the New York gathering that the situation is very different now from the 2000-2001 timeframe, when the Internet bubble burst. Part of that is that Internet and other new media companies are now real advertising businesses. They have added inventory to the advertising universe. But they have also helped to make advertisers smarter, demanding accountability for their ad spending. King lowered his US/North America ad spending expectations to 2.5% growth in 2007, down from the original forecast of 4.2%. He is looking for US/North America growth of 4.1% in 2008 and 3% each year in 2009 and 2010. His forecast for Europe is 5% across each of those four years and, excluding Japan, he expects double digit growth each year in Asia. So, worldwide, Zenith Optimedia is looking for ad spending growth of 5.3% in 2007, 6.7% in 2008, 5.6% in 2009 and 5.9% in 2010.

Washington Business Report TM
Adelstein named for another term
The White House has decided to put Jonathan Adelstein's name back before the Senate for another go-around at the FCC. A former staffer of former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), he came on board the FCC 12/3/02 after being held hostage in the Senate over completely irrelevant matters. If confirmed, his new term will extend to 6/30/13. Adelstein commented, "I am deeply honored that the President has announced his intention to nominate me to serve another term as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. I would also like to express my deep appreciation to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for his support and faith in me. If confirmed by the Senate, it would be a privilege to continue working to ensure that the American public has access to the best possible communications opportunities in the world."

RBR observation: Adelstein has been a reliable ally to fellow Democrat Michael Copps, and is a strong advocate for extending the benefits of modern communications technologies to rural areas. He has also made pet projects of issues such as payola, pay-for-say and undisclosed airing of VNRs. The FCC is set up as a bipartisan commission with the majority ceded to the occupant of the White House, and it is traditional to let members of Congress have leeway in who sits there for their particular party. His renomination is an example of Republicans in the White House and Democrats in Congress working and playing well together. We have no reason to expect any problems in Congress related to his qualifications or service. Whether he is destined once again to be used as a hostage is another matter, but all things being equal, we expect his nomination will sail through Congress without any problems.

Internet Business Report TM
San Diego Union-Tribune launches net radio station
OK, so two can play at the multimedia game: The San Diego Business Journal reports Harry Martin, better known as "Happy Hare," is among the crew of veteran radio personalities recently hired by The San Diego Union-Tribune's newest Internet radio station (they now have two). Martin, credited as being among the first to bring his own zany style of platter chatter to the airwaves in the late 1950s, welcomes the chance to develop his latent talk show talent in a format he calls "newsic," which combines news talk and music each Wednesday afternoon on SignOn Radio, the paper's second Internet radio station. SignOn Radio, an eclectic format, was launched in October, about a year and a half after "Amplify SD," the Union-Tribune's unplugged station plugged exclusively into the local indie rock scene. It's unique among major U.S. daily newspapers, since none have followed suit. Not so far anyway. Both Amplify SD and SignOn Radio are 24-hour stations. Ron James, content manager for SignOnSanDiego.com, said he struck on the idea of hiring Martin and other radio luminaries, including Jack Woods and Paul Menard, aka Charlie & Harrigan; Dave Mason; Ken Copper and Clark Anthony, aka Clark & Copper, after attending a San Diego Press Club event honoring several of them earlier this year. Since all were either retired, semi-retired or had been laid off from other stations, they amounted to a virtual talent pool waiting to be tapped by the virtual radio station. "These guys never retire," James told the paper. "They just have radio in their blood."

Ratings & Research
35% of U.S. tweens
own a mobile phone

The Nielsen Company yesterday released the findings of a study on the mobile media and cross media behavior of U.S. "tweens" (ages 8-12). The report estimates that: 35% of tweens own a mobile phone; 20% of tweens have used text messaging; 21% of tweens have used ring & answer tones. While text-messaging and ringtones remain the most pervasive non-voice functions on the phone, other content such as downloaded wallpapers, music, games and Internet access also rank highly among tweens. According to Nielsen, 5% of tweens access the Internet over their phone each month. While 41% of tween mobile Internet users say they do so while commuting or traveling (to school, for example), mobile content such as the Internet is also a social medium for this audience: 26% of tween mobile Internet users say they access the web while at a friend's house and 17% say they do so at social events.

Young mobile users are also turning to their phones for in-home entertainment:
58% of tweens who download or watch TV on their phone do so at home
64% of tweens who download or play music on their phone do so at home;
56% of tweens who access the Internet on their phone do so at home.

CWA attacks liquor ads
Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women of America is not pleased that NBC O&O WNBC-TV New York has decided to go ahead and air ads for distilled spirits. She said the promise that the ads will not air until after 11PM is meaningless, given the popularity of late sports and comedy programming among teens and young underage adults. "With so-called hard liquor more popular with young people -- especially young women -- the decision to promote distilled spirits through a medium that is known to influence young people will have disastrous results," she said. Crouse concluded, "We cannot say that we care about our nation's children and then turn around and make marketing decisions that put them at risk."

TVBR observation: We have mixed feelings about this sort of thing, on many different levels. First of all, when we were growing up we did not need television to clue us in to the wide range of new experiences and substances available to us. Then there's the age-old argument that if you're old enough to vote and, more to the point, to put on a uniform and die for your country, you should be considered old enough to have a beer, and see a liquor ad. On the other hand, we certainly not in favor of road fatalities, and we understand why cigarettes are banished from the airwaves. On the competitive front, the distilled beverage community argues that being denied access to the airwaves that beer and wine companies are free to use puts them at a competitive disadvantage. Should they get more freedom or should beer/wine be restricted? This, in short, is a complex issue. Any thoughts? That's what the RBR/TVBR Bounceback department is for.

150K KPXS-FM Vidalia LA from Vision Broadcasting Inc., a subsidiary of Foster Charitable Foundations Inc. (David L. Greenwald) to Tom D. Gay. 15K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Duopoly with KFNV-FM Ferriday LA. [File date 11/14/07.]

Stock Talk
Stocks take a dive
Worries about the US economy and the impact of the continuing subprime crisis sent stock prices lower on Monday. The Dow Industrials lost 57 points, or 0.4%, to end at 13,315.

Radio stocks were almost all lower. The Radio Index fell to a nine-year low, dropping 2.004, or 2%, to 98.403. Emmis plunged 9.3% and Citadel was down 7% as the worst performers.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel CDL
2.14 -0.16

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





Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

A reader has a theory as to one of the reasons radio revs are headed south:

At least once or twice a week, I read in RBR about the declining radio revenues. I'd say, the red ink pain is self-inflicted.

It's been six years since I left full-time radio behind. I had been on-air, a PD, an OM and Regional Manager. Every day since I left full-time radio behind, I count my blessings and I pat myself on the back for possessing the foresight, energy and imagination and guts to do something different. Oh, I still deal with radio and radio people but from arms-length. Maybe I should use rubber gloves. There is a disease pervasive in the broadcasting business. It's symtoms are evident in a sweaty gut-wrenching fear coupled with a self-induced hallucination that results in ever-eroding revenues.

I am not writing this to promote my business but to make my point. I need to explain that we create syndicated programming targeted at two divergent audiences from whom radio has earned barely a penny. One of of those industries is the largest retail business on earth.
| Read the full comment |

Stan Campbell, President
Alexis Broadcasting Company

Below the Fold
Executive Comment
PPM debate grows more heated
If your genius of a boss, had paid attention...

Ad Business Report
Analysis of NYC numbers
PPM vs. Diary for October, based on extrapolations, stations which grew in share did not grow in actual AQH...

Media Markets & Money
Seehafer expands in
Wisconsin market has an unusual 3-AM, 1-FM superduopoly cluster...

Washington Business Report
Adelstein named
For another term as The White House has decided to put his name back before the Senate for another go-around...

Stations for Sale

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Heritage AM/FM Combo
Explorer Communications
E-mail: [email protected]

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(843) 884-3590
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Radio Media Moves

Heading to Vegas
Mike Glickenhaus has joined Beasley Broadcast Group as VP/Market Manager for its five-station Las Vegas cluster. He replaces Tom Davis, who returns to his previously held position of DOS for the cluster. Glickenhaus, whose radio career spans 27 years, most recently was founder, President and CEO of Finest City Broadcasting, which acquired three San Diego stations from Clear Channel.

Murray launches Greylock
Rick Murray, former CMA VP/Strategic Marketing is launching Greylock Entertainment, an entertainment marketing and promotional company dedicated to the expansion of brand equity. Greylock Entertainment will provide strategic marketing services, sponsorship/partnership program services, marketing program event production and develop entertainment properties and promotions including tours, special events and television properties.

More News Headlines

Focus on Content
NAB unveiled a new logo for its Spring convention in Las Vegas: "NAB Show, Where Content Comes to Life." As the slogan indicates, the confab April 11-17 will focus on the content community, regardless of which part of the media world they come from. "By spotlighting the content community, the NAB Show will remain the dominant event for the future of content creation, management and delivery. Whether it is broadcast TV and radio, the Internet, satellite, IPTV or the next yet-invented handheld device, it is content that serves as the unifying driver of entertainment and innovation," said NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown. Scheduled speakers at this year's show will include iconic author Alvin Toffler, whose book "Future Shock" has sold more than six million copies and accurately forecast the disruptive influence on global economics by transformative information and content delivery technologies.

Larry Wachtel
dead at 77

Larry Wachtel worked on Wall Street, but was also a fixture on radio for more than 30 years - delivering daily stock market commentaries for WINS-AM New York and also being repeatedly interviewed by various radio networks and stations. Wachtel retired in 2005 as a Sr. Vice President of Wachovia Securities. He died Sunday of a heart ailment at age 77.

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

Uh oh: Another downsized forecast
BMO Capital Markets analyst Leland Westerfield has knocked the overall ad spending projection for 2007 from growth of 3.4% to 2.6%, and he's taking 2008 growth down from 4.3% to 3.6%.

Radio: BMO sees not so much a downward spiral as a downward angled plane, with a -1.8% loss this year, another -1.8% loss next year and a -1.7% loss in 2009.

Spot TV: Is expected to continue its election year pendulum swings while veering downward, finishing 2007 at -2.7%, riding the major national elections to a +9.2% gain in 2008, then giving much of that back in 2009 with a -6.3% drop. Broadcast networks are expected to follow a muted version of that same pattern, with a scant +0.1% gain in 2007, a +6.2% gain in 2008 and a -1.4% loss in 2009.

The big gainer? If you said Internet, Don Rickles might award you a cookie. Its numbers are predicted at +24.2%, +19.6% and +30%. The big loser? If you said newspaper, help yourself to another cookie. Its red record is set at -5.3%, -4.5% and -6.2%.

RBR observation: If this was a Dickens novel we might have some recourse from these ominous forebodings from the Ghost of Things Yet to Come by repairing our wicked ways. The problem is there seems to be an entire platoon of these ghosts running around, intoning pretty much the same thing. All we can say is make sure you're tight with your local community, be kind to your local politicians, and try to get your fork into that burgeoning slice of pie on the Internet plate. 12/03/07 RBR #234

Analysis of Nassau-Suffolk numbers: PPM vs. Diary
Here's a quick take on the Long Island numbers-PPM vs. Diary, based on extrapolations. 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.

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.
11/30/07 RBR #233

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.

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.
11/30/07 TVBR #233

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."
11/29/07 RBR #232

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