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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 23, Issue 236, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning December 6th, 2006

Radio News ®

Gary Fries tapped to consult
Dial Global, MJI Interactive

Excelsior Radio Networks has hired former RAB CEO Gary Fries as a consultant to its Dial Global and MJI Interactive subsidiaries. It's actually a bit of a reunion - prior to joining the RAB in 1991, Fries had served as president of both Unistar Radio Networks and Transtar Radio Networks where he established what is now the Dial Global Digital 24/7 Formats. He previously was president/COO of Sunbelt Communications' Radio Division, and vice president at both ITC Communications and Multimedia Broadcasting. "I'm excited to be affiliated once again with some of my pre RAB colleagues and look forward to helping both Dial-Global and MJI continue their growth trajectory." said Gary Fries. Excelsior CEO Spencer Brown says Fries will focus on growing the Dial Global Digital 24/7 Formats drawing on his experience as a pioneer in the field. "He will also work with senior management at Dial Global and MJI Interactive to identify new business expansion opportunities that combine traditional and non-traditional programming". "Gary is one of the rare talents in radio that has a total understanding of the sales, programming and operational aspects of our business. We are truly excited to be associated with Gary and we are confident that he is going to help us immensely with his insight, knowledge, and contacts," noted David Landau co-CEO/President of Dial Global.

RBR observation: After all the gloom and doom about our radio medium this is one good slice of business news this year. We're glad to see an executive such as Gary Fries stay in the business, especially since the radio business needs executives with front line battle experience. Some executives that have left radio and only complain about radio's problems should take a lesson from Fries and never leave until the job is fully done. Folks at Dial Global and MJI, you done good.

Political bonanza for Journal
Both radio and TV posted double-digit revenue gains in November at Journal Broadcast Group, with political providing a boost for both. Meanwhile, newspaper revenues were essentially flat for the month for parent Journal Communications. The big political beneficiary was TV, with revenues for November up 49.8%, excluding recently acquired stations. Including those newbies, TV revenues were up 121.3% to 15.56 million, including 5.29 million from political. But radio also got some of the political spending, 700K to be exact. Radio revenues rose 10.3% to 7.65 million, with growth from both political and developmental advertising categories. Newspaper ad revenues declined 2.4% to 19.05 million and total newspaper revenues gained 0.2% to 26.36 million. Note: Journal tracks revenues by periods that don't line up precisely with calendar months. The 11th period of 2006 ended November 19th.

Serious worries for Sirius
Several Wall Street analysts had already lowered Q4 subscriber targets for Sirius Satellite Radio, but when Sirius itself made that official the move sent its stock into a dive. The sell-off extended to XM Satellite Radio as well, as investors worried that both will have weaker-than-projected holiday sales. Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin admitted that retail sales since Thanksgiving have not been at the anticipated pace, so instead of having 6.3 million subscribers by the end of this month to finish out 2006, Sirius is now expecting to be in a range of 5.9-6.1 million. "At the lower end or our range we will still add almost 20% more subscribers in 2006 than we did in 2005, a record year for Sirius," Karmazin noted. And he reiterated that Sirius could still go cash flow positive this quarter. In every dark cloud there is the potential to find a silver lining. In this case, Bank of America Securities analyst Jonathan Jacoby says the sluggish retail demand could be a catalyst for merging XM and Sirius, although he notes that such a combination would be difficult to achieve in the near term.

RBR observation: First, the suggestion or continued speculation or even hopeful merger will not go away but now this rumor is just oh-hum. In the consumer market place during this holiday season are hand held gadgets ruling the space. And do not forget the lines that waited for PlayStation3. Nobody is standing in line waiting in the freezing cold for a satellite radio.

FCC's Nashville lineup set
Both radio and television, commercial and not, will be represented at the two-panel FCC ownership forum in Nashville next Monday, along with newspapers, musicians, academics and a few frequent-testifying Washington DC imports. The grueling session will stretch from 1:00PM to 9:00PM. The first session, stretching from 1:00-5:00, is entitled :Issues Affecting the Music Recording Industry," and its panel is home to the Nashville musical community, along with Future of Music head watchdog Jenny Toomey, often cited at similar functions on Capitol Hill. Veteran broadcaster Bud Walters of Cromwell Radio will be on hand for this session. The second session is entitled "Nashville Market Overview and Issues Affecting Broadcasters and Independent Programmers," featuring Washington testimonial fixture Gene Kimmelman of the Consumers Union and several representatives of both the radio and television community. Each session allows two full hours for public comments. The session is being held at Belmont University's Massey Performing Arts Center.
| Full list of panelists here |

Dorgan rounds up posse
to go after Martin

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) let it be known that he hasn't forgotten about media issues as the 109th Congress lame duck session winds to a close. He, and eight other senators, fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, reminding him that the report from former Chairman Michael Powell's Localism Task Force was still pending, that it should be completed before moving on to the remanded ownership proceeding, and that only four of six forums have been held. "We understand from some public comments that you have made that you intend to gather the comments that were submitted in the localism proceeding and incorporate them into the media ownership inquiry, while going no further with the specific localism proceeding. This potential course of action would cause us grave concern." The group said the localism proceeding should remain separate and should be completed before moving on to the ownership proceeding. The letter also asked about the status of a 350K study on localism said to have been submitted to Martin for review. "Democracy depends on the open and free flow of information," said Dorgan. "The rules governing media ownership have a significant impact on the diversity of voices and ownership in our communities. When local stations are controlled by big corporations outside their communities, it weakens their ability to provide wide coverage of local issues." Two Republicans signed on the letter, including Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Trent Lott (R-MS), joining Mark Pryor (D-AR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), John Kerry (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). All are members of the Commerce Committee.

2006 was a year of lowered expectations
With Universal McCann guru Bob Coen predicting that local radio ad revenues will be up 1% in 2007 and national radio (network & spot) up 4%, let's look at his track record for the current year. Coen started out rather optimistic, but had to ratchet down his expectations, particularly for local radio. As local ad sales proved to be tough for most media. He dropped his local radio forecast from the original 4% gain to flat and then to a 1% decline. As national spot/network went through a decline and then recovery in the course of 2006, Coen went from forecasting a 4% increase to only 1% and then back up to 3%. It was even a more dismal year for the newspaper business, particularly at the national level, where Coen's original forecast of a 3.5% gain ended up at a 3% loss. Local newspaper ad sales also came in well below his original projections. Here is a look at Coen's forecast and revisions for all major media throughout 2006.
| View the Chart |

Ad Business Report TM

ABCRN launches
new RADAR networks

Radio Networks will offer two new targeted RADAR choices for advertisers seeking to reach younger skewing female and major market audiences. Derived from the realignment of the ABC FM Connection Network, the two new networks, ABC Female Connection and ABC Select Market, will debut in RADAR 92 to be released March 26, 2007. ABC Female Connection: In a RADAR 90 Special Tab, the new ABC Female Connection already indexes as one of the highest RADAR networks among women 18-49. In the 25-54 female demo, ABC Female Connection demonstrates its strength indexing among the top RADAR networks. ABC Select Market: Designed to give advertisers choice, flexibility and major market delivery, ABC Select Market delivers on that promise with strong indexing in the Top 10, Top 25 and Top 50 DMA's. ABC Select Market indexes as one of the highest RADAR networks in the Top 10 DMA's in both Adults 18-49 and 25-54. ABC FM Connection: As part of the realignment, FM Connection remains a valuable trusted brand and vehicle for advertisers. "In a RADAR 90 Special Tabulation based on the realignment, the new FM Connection delivered a consistently strong performance in the Top 10 and Top 25 DMA's," said Dr. Tom Evans, SVP/Research, ABC Radio Networks. "That's overwhelmingly good news for clients. With the realignment, we've been able to continue to deliver the strength of FM Connection and also offer two new powerfully targeted RADAR properties in ABC Female Connection and ABC Select Market."

"The Evolution of Monetization"
At the UBS 34th Annual Global Media & Communications Conference this week, one of the panels, "The Evolution of Monetization," featured Paul Manca, EVP/ Ingenio, Inc.; Stephen Denton, President LinkShare Corp.; Bill Gossman, President & CEO Revenue Science; Christine Hunsicker, President & COO Right Media Inc.; Josh Wexler, CEO, Co-Founder & Director SoftWave Media Exchange, and Nick Grouf, Co-Founder, Spot Runner. One of the hit topics on the panel was, of course, Google. Some observations:

Hunsicker: "The Google methodology, which is a large, closed market-and it's huge, they monetize a ton of inventory--but it's still very closed and still very black-boxed. So from our perspective, what Google allows us to do, is go to market for all of the other publishers and advertisers that are actually worried about how large Google is getting. A lot of our larger advertisers are actually coming to us as an alternative to giving everything to Google."
Grouf: "One of the things that Spot Runner has done is we have built very deep partnerships with some very large corporations. Two of the three largest advertising agency holding companies in the world are now shareholders in Spot Runner. As are CBS and the Murdoch family. What's happened is that Google's growth is starting to peak. And that means they need to go into a number of different directions. One of Google's great assets is their unrelenting focus on online search. What we've seen in the last 12-18 months is a real dilution of that focus as they've moved into a number of other directions. The consequence, unfortunately, is they're now pointing a gun at any number of different businesses...The video space, for example, in the wake of the acquisition of YouTube, look at Google as a threat because they clearly want to dominate where the future of television might be. The large agencies are concerned because Google wants to go out and buy media on behalf of their clients in areas other than online search."
Wexler: "In radio specifically, Google purchased a hardware company. In order to do business with Google Radio, you need to spend as a local radio station, 75,000 dollars to be in business with them. You also have to implement that hardware installation. Clear Channel owns their own proprietary system, they bought RCS earlier this year. CBS has their own proprietary system. At SWMX, there's no cost of ownership, zero software to download. In respect to revenue, Google will take 50% of the media that's sold its radio network today. Broadcasters simply aren't going to go for that."

Washington Media Business Report TM
RFD booted from
DBS reserved channels

The FCC has ruled in favor of Farm Journal Media, which has been locked in a struggle with RFD Communications for just over a year over the occupation of limited noncommercial space on satellite MVPDs DirecTV and Dish TV. The Commission determined that the relationship between RFD and Superior Auctions, which sells livestock very much on a for-profit basis. The FCC wrote, "...RFD-TV is acting like a commercial enterprise instead of a noncommercial entity with an educational mission...Nor do we expect noncommercial entities with an educational mission to engage in this type of inherently commercial activity." The FCC did not address further charges of RFD running ads for profit-making entities, but reserved the right to go there in the future.

Media Markets & Money TM
Tucker doubles down in Mobile
The Buddy Tucker Association has a 300K deal which will give it a second AM station in the Mobile AL market. WTOF-AM (formerly WBCA), licensed to Bay Minette AL, is coming from Walter J. Bowen's Southern Media Communications Inc. for 300K. It'll form a duopoly with WMOB-AM. An LMA was scheduled to begin 12/1/06 and last until closing, with a monthly rent of 2,250.

Entertainment Media Business Report TM
Hundreds of holiday
hits juggled on
All-Christmas Radio

Burl Ives' Holly Jolly Christmas (#1) regained its top spot on the Christmas Ten '06 chart of the most- played Christmas songs among nearly 100 All-Christmas radio stations this year as tracked by Media Monitors, LLC, in its annual Christmas Music Radio Report. For this study, the airplay on 93 All-Christmas radio stations in 60 major metropolitan cities were monitored and compared with previous years during the first ten days of the holiday season beginning on Thanksgiving Day each year. The Burl Ives classic is back on top after being bumped to the 2nd by Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song (#2) last year. Meanwhile, Bing Crosby's White Christmas (#3) shows a steady but barely perceptible increase in airplay from fifth place in 2004, fourth place in 2005 and up to 3rd this year. Ives' tune has already been played 3,666 times on those 93 stations in the first ten days of the Holiday season, with Cole's and Crosby's perennials close behind.
| Read More... |

Engineering Media Business Report TM
Nassau cuts staff - from engineering to on-air
After nearly ten years as the #2 engineer and Director of Broadcast Systems for Nassau Broadcasting Partners, Jeff Smith, was let go in a restructuring Monday. Many other senior and junior staff were also let go in Princeton and around New England in the past few weeks, Smith tells us. Also out are Nassau NJ DOE Roy Nilsen, Nassau Cape Cod CE Larry Beavers, Nassau NH Market Manager and VP Steve Garsh. Also in Princeton Creative Service Director Joe Ruberto, Copywriter Carry Snodgrass, Traffic Director Andrea Gervasoni, AE Barbra Debler, and Philly Sports Live Host John Mozes and producer John Eyton.

Poltrack sees network growth in 2007
In his annual appearance at the UBS media conference in New York, CBS Corp. Chief Research Officer and President, CBS Vision, David Poltrack admitted that 2006 was not as robust for the network TV business as he had expected, with revenues up 3% (only 1% adjusted for the Olympics) rather than his projected 5%. But he says scatter is strong and getting stronger, presaging a strong upfront and he is predicting a "solid" 3% gain in 2007 (5% adjusted for the Olympics). One reason network TV underperformed his expectations this year, says Poltrack, is that advertisers diverted spending to take advantage of opportunistic buys in new media. But he says that is all planned for 2007, so network TV should not see its expected spending going elsewhere. And he is upbeat about the impact the Internet is having on TV, now that the networks have embraced video on demand streaming. Poltrack says Internet streaming expands sampling of new programs. He is also upbeat about the coming measurement of commercial minutes, providing the greater accountability that agencies are demanding. Poltrack says that will require a one-time adjustment to account for the ratings change, but he insists that network TV will fare far better than its cable competitors when Nielsen begins measuring spot playbacks on DVRs.

RBR observation: Radio people, if you think you are alone and TV is getting all the glory then think again. TV also has it problems with this thing called New Media and they too do not know what this New Media really is as it changes forms continuously. It is always easier to look back and say "shoulda, woulda, coulda...", but the key to success is trying new ideas and create your own new media.

N/A WGRR-FM Cincinati (Hamilton OH) from Entercom Cincinnati License LLC, a subsidiary of Entercom Communications Corporation (David J. Field) to WVAE LICO Inc., a subsidiary of Cumulus Media Partners LLC (Lewis W. Dickey Jr.). Swap for WSWD-FM Fairfield OH. Includes LMA and non-compete. Difference between values will be determined via binding appraisal from Bond & Pecaro. Superduopoly with WAQZ-FM, WUBE-FM & WKRQ-FM. [File date 11/16/06.]

N/A WSWD-FM Cincinati (Fairfield OH) from WVAE LICO Inc., a subsidiary of Cumulus Media Partners LLC (Lewis W. Dickey Jr.) to Entercom Cincinnati License LLC, a subsidiary of Entercom Communications Corporation (David J. Field). Swap for WGRR-FM Hamilton OH. Includes LMA and non-compete. Difference between values will be determined via binding appraisal from Bond & Pecaro. Superduopoly with WRRM-FM, WFTK-FM. [File date 11/16/06.]

Stock Talk
Another up day
Stocks rose as a Labor Department report showed slower than expected growth in wages. The Dow Industrials were up 48 points, or 0.4%, to 12,332.

Radio stocks were also higher. The Radio Index gained 0.664, or 0.4%, to 150.981. Cumulus rose 2.6%. CBS rose 2.5%. Meanwhile, satellite radio stocks took a dive on reduced subscriber targets at Sirius. Sirius plunged 7.7% and XM was off 2%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.







Radio One, Cl. A




Citadel CDL
9.83 +0.09

Radio One, Cl. D




Clear Channel








Cox Radio




Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio














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Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
"The Evolution of Monetization"
One of the hit topics of course was Google...

Media Markets & Money
Tucker doubles down in Mobile
Has a 300K deal which will give it a 2nd AM...

Washington Media Business Report
RFD booted
From DBS reserved channels...

Entertainment Media
Business Report
Hundreds of holiday hits
Juggled on All-Christmas Radio...


Market Results
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Stations for Sale

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Owner finance - $950K
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Revenue @ 2.5M, CF pacing at
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Radio Media Moves

Douglass to St. Louis
Radio One announced that veteran broadcaster Michael Douglass has joined the company as General Manager of WFUN-FM & WHHL-FM St. Louis. Douglass, who once owned his own group of stations, was most recently GM of Sheridan Broadcasting's Pittsburgh cluster.

More News Headlines

John Jones dead at 38
Radio One General Counsel John Jones died of an apparent heart attack Sunday night at the age of 38. He was also the first general counsel for TV One. Jones was an associate general counsel at Radio One when Alfred Liggins decided to launch TV One, and he began doing legal work for the startup cable network. He formally joined TV One as legal counsel in August 2003 and was named senior vice president and general counsel of TV One in 2004, soon after TV One launched in January 2004. He rejoined Radio One as vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary in December 2004. Funeral services will be tomorrow morning (wake at 10 am, funeral service at 11 am) at Maple Springs Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, MD.

Cleveland update
A lot of call letters have been moving around lately in Cleveland. It turns out that the station Craig Karmazin already owns in the market is WWGK "ESPN 1540," so he will be creating a Sports/Talk duop with his acquisition of WKNR-AM (12/5/06 RBR #235).

Ideas Working Now TM

In January's Special Journal Report

1. Media Assoc. Presidents Forecasting '07. These are your Leaders Folks this is where Your dues go to so get involved and read, learn and 'What does it mean to your business?'

2. RBR/TVBR Business News: Google: threat, savior or non-issue. Google is after your inventory.

3. One-on-One--Alan Frank, CEO Post-Newsweek Stations his view from the inside today's Media biz.

4. TV station deal making outlook, Mark Fratrik, Brian Cobb, Kalil, others with insight '07

Contact & Discuss how you can Partner with RBR/TVBR

June Barnes: 803 731-5951
Carl Marcucci: 703 492-8191 ext 202
Jim Carnegie: 813 909 2916

Ideas Working Now TM
View '07 Content Focused
Reports Calendar

RBR Radar 2006
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Coen sees another
lackluster year for radio
After overestimating radio growth for several years running, Universal McCann Sr. VP and Director of Forecasting Bob Coen is more conservative in his radio forecast for 2007. He is projecting that local radio ad revenues will be up 1% next year.

RBR observation: We were skeptical a year ago when Coen predicted such a strong year for radio, with local up 4.5% and national 4%. Other forecasters had generally expected much less. With the RAB reporting that local was down 1% and national up 3% for the year through October, it isn't likely the final two months of data will change that picture much. We would like to be able to say, for a change, that Coen is underestimating the year ahead, but there isn't yet any indication that 2007 will bring any more than a modest improvement from this very tough year of 2006. For Coen's Chart Forecast by Media see and suggestion to forward to your staff.
12/05/06 RBR #235

Lehman Bros. predicts 07 Ad spending to grow 3.3%
Radio: As time spent listening continues to decline, in our view, the radio broadcasting industry lacks appropriate pricing power and new technologies continue to take listenership and thus ad dollars away from radio. With few indicators heading into 2007 suggesting improvement from 2006 trends, we expect radio broadcasters to exhibit continually softening fundamentals in 2007, driving our radio industry revenue forecast of 1% year-over-year declines.

RBR observation: See Lehman's estimates for other media and RBR recommends to print this out for your business planning in 2007. Helpful to your Sales so forward it.
12/05/06 RBR #235

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