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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 238, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning December 8th, 2008

Dahl exits, blames PPM
After 30 years on the air in Chicago, Steve Dahl told listeners to WJMK-FM "Jack FM" Friday that it was his last show, even though CBS Radio will still be paying him for another two and a half years. Dahl blamed PPM for the decision to cancel his show, saying all-music formats get better ratings under the new system. And despite the long period remaining on his contract during which he will not be on the air, Dahl insisted that he is not retiring.

Republican CommComm picture even cloudier
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), the ranking member on the Republican side of the Commerce Committee, has announced the formation of an exploratory committee with an eye on the governor's mansion in her home state. It promises to stir a committee roster that has already been shaken. The Texas race will be in 2010, and Hutchison would be able to continue serving - her seat is not due for another voter referendum until 2012. She could also exit upon officially announcing her candidacy for Texas governor.

RBR observation: One of the candidates to replace Hutchison if she exits is Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who may be the closest thing to a Democrat remaining on the Republican side of the aisle since Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI) was dispatched in 2006. Should Snowe get the top slot, it would figure to increase the bipartisan spirit of one of the more bipartisan committees in the Senate.

Nielsen radio test underway
The Nielsen Company confirms that the first sticker diaries ever used in the United States went out last week. As RBR/TVBR reported last month, a test is being run this month in one of the 50 markets where Nielsen will begin US radio measurement in 2009. It is still a deep, dark secret though which market is the site of the test. Nielsen doesn't want any station to be able to try to skew the data. Meanwhile, Arbitron CEO Steve Morris is standing his ground. He told the company's consultant fly-in last week that the current US radio ratings leader is "not going to give an inch to the Cumulus sticker diary." Cumulus Media signed with Nielsen to provide radio ratings in 50 smaller US markets and Clear Channel is also subscribing in the 17 markets where it also has stations.

Scammers used media to lure victims
The Federal Trade Commission has busted a group of companies and individuals who used radio, television and newspaper advertising to attract victims with promises of a career as a mystery shopper. Instead, all the respondents got was a lighter wallet. According to the FTC, the scammers' advertising directed people to a telemarketer, who promised full or steady part-time employment as a mystery shopper - provided they kicked in $99 up front. That got them a worthless certificate and links to mystery shopper jobs offered by other, completely unrelated companies. They've been hit with settlements of $850K and $750K.

RBR observation: These are repeat offenders, and all we get is "don't do it again?" Are there no minimum security prisons left? Please, broadcasters, do us all a favor and keep imbeciles like these off of our airwaves.

Ideas Working Now
Primer on Media Mixing
By Marivic Valencia, Director of Marketing, Broadcast Interactive Media
I'd like to dispel the notion that traditional media and social media do not mix well together. There's a widely-held fear of giving the general public access to station personnel (even though it's the job of local media to broadcast themselves). But, social media is now much more of a two-way communication platform than it has been in the past, and it's time for traditional media to jump in...

Simmons Media Group/Salt Lake City earns CRMC status
Simmons Media Group's entire Salt Lake City sales force for their seven-station cluster earned Certified Radio Marketing Consultant (CRMC) status by completing the RAB CRMC course. Pictured left to right is Steve Johnson, President of Simmons Media/Salt Lake City; Crystalynn Portwood, AE, KXRK; Tammy Montoya, AE, KRXK; Janene Perkins, AE, JEM Network; Heather Easterbrook, AE, KALL/KZNS Sports Radio; Jill Smith, AE, KALL/KZNS Sports Radio; Tami Savage, AE, JEM Network; Jamie Plesko, SA, JEM Network; Jan Brownstein, AE, JEM Network; Jacquie Louie, AE, JEM Network; Heath Harper, AE, JEM Network; Collin Ash, AE, JEM Network; Jason Stark, AE, JEM Network; Craig Hanson, President & COO of Simmons/Corporate. Though not pictured, Sue Murphy, DOS in Salt Lake City, was also a driving force in the training initiative.


Splitting the difference in ND
An FM CP earmarked for Hettinger ND is being sold to a small broadcast company from an even smaller broadcast company. As a result, a percentage of applicable bidding credits will be going back to the FCC. The station is KNDH-FM CP, a Class C1 destined to operate on 93.5 MHz with 100 kw off a 958' stick. It's going from Dennis Wallace's Alma Corporation to Midnation Media, headed by Karl Leiber, Roger Ingram and Aaron Ishmael. The price is $60K. Alma was entitled to a 35% bidding credit, but the seller qualifies for only 25%, so Alma will send $2.5K to the FCC to make up the difference.


$2.5M KAJC-FM Millersburg OR; KIHS-FM Adel IA; KJCQ-FM Westwood CA; KJCU-FM Fort Bragg CA; KKCJ-FM Cannon AFB NM; KPKJ-FM CP Mentmore NM; KWJT-FM Rathdrum ID; KYWH-FM Lockwood MT; WAJC-FM Wilson NC; WCJL-FM Morgantown IN; WFGL-AM Fitchburg MA; WGPS-FM Elizabeth City NC; WJCO-FM Montpelier IN; WJCX-FM Pittsfield MN; WJCY-FM Cicero IN; WJCZ-FM Millford IL; WJIJ-FM Norlina NC; WJWD-FM Marshall WI; WJWT-FM Gardner MA; WOJC-FM Cothersville IN; WPGT-FM Roanoke Rapids NC; WPJC-FM Pontiac IL; WQKO-FM Howe IN; WTMK-FM Wanatah IN; WWFP-FM Brigantine NJ; and WHLP-FM Hanna IN from Calvary Radio Network Inc. (Rpger Wing et al) to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa (Charles W. Smith et al). $2M in debt forgiveness, cancellation of seller's obligation to provide $500K in prepaid air time to buyer. Seller recently acquired stations from CSN International in transaction filed 7/17/08. LMA 10/29/08. [FCC file date 11/12/08]

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Obama dwarfs fund-raising records
Counting donations up to and a bit beyond 11/4/08 (Election Day), the presidential campaign of Barack Obama brought in $745M, including over $100M during the final five weeks of the campaign. To put that in perspective, it compares favorably to the 2004 income reported by George W. Bush and John Kerry combined, and with room to spare - Bush and Kerry combined for $653M, and that's including federal financing. Obama opponent John McCain didn't bring in half as much, although he enjoyed an edge in support from the RNC, which outraised its rival DNC $322M to $186M.

RBR observation: Individual donation limits were intended to prevent millionaires from having an undue influence on elections. Much of Obama's support, however, came from small donors. It'll be interesting to see if there is another attempt to "fix" the system, if such a thing is even possible - every time they try it, it seems like a new spending record is set.
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Scarborough comes to radio
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough takes to the radio airwaves today. He and Mika Brzezinski will continue their "Morning Joe" show from the cable network for two more hours daily on Citadel's WABC-AM New York, 10 am to noon, filling the gap between Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh. The spot had most recently been filled by material from Curtis Sliwa's overnight show. According to the New York Times, Scarborough, a former conservative Republican congressman, and Brzezinski, a veteran TV journalist, hope to take their radio show nationwide in 2009.


Battle of the media ratings titans
The Nielsen Company is invading Arbitron's turf, US radio ratings, so Arbitron is threatening to fight back by offering TV ratings with its Portable People Meter (PPM). If it comes to a showdown, who is likely to come out on top? Harker Research decided to survey media buyers on how they rate the two companies. The results are not good news for Arbitron.

CEA revises holiday forecast
The Consumer Electronics Association revised its projected industry growth for Q4 as new data shows the economy and consumer sentiment remain muted and CEA surveys show overall spending is down this holiday season. After analyzing newly available data, including final October shipment and revenue data and a new survey of Black Friday shoppers, CEA now projects Q4 wholesale shipment revenues will increase by 0.1% over the same period in 2007. The original forecast, issued in October, anticipated 3.5% Q3 growth over 2007.


Sumner's unintended consequences
What did Mark Thomas get when he bought Sumner Redstone's 87% stake in Midway Games without consulting Midway management? Maybe a financial mess. The company says in an SEC filing that the change of control has made $150 million of debt due and payable right now - and Midway has no way to pay it. A special committee of the company's board of directors has retained Lazard to assist it in evaluating strategic and financial alternatives.

RBR observation: Was Sumner not thinking straight, or is he just under so much pressure to refinance the debt load at National Amusements Inc. without selling more of his Viacom or CBS Corp. shares that he acted impulsively? It's pretty clear from the SEC filing that the whole thing caught Midway management by surprise.

CC Outdoor, Vision Media Group install mall screens in UK
Clear Channel Outdoor, in partnership with Vision Media Group (VMG), continues to drive its digital outdoor strategy with the launch of HD digital mall screens in busy, main concourse positions. The first stage of the plan will see 56 screens in 6 major shopping malls across the UK by Christmas.

Transactions: 10/20/08-10/24/08
After two weeks in double-digit million territory and another that just missed, station trading activity edged back to Nowhereland. Six transactions involving six stations, none of them on the television side, chinned over the 2.5M line but not by much. The lack of action seems to be in a holding pattern.

- Total Mkts 1-50 Mkts 51-100 Mkts >100 Unrated
AMs 3 1 0 1 1
FMs 3 0 0 1 2
TVs 0 0 0 0 0
LPTVs 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 1 0 2 3

-Type Trans Stations Value
Radio, 1 mkt 6 6 2.645M
TV, 1 mkt - - -
Rad-TV, 1 mkt - - -
Radio, multimkt - - -
TV, multimkt - - -
Rad-TV, multimkt - - -
Totals 6 6 2.645M
©2008 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved.

Radio Trans. of the Week: Salem snags Miami DIY
The CP for WZAB-AM in Miami-Fort Lauderdale is headed to Salem Communications, adding to the two AMs it already has there. The Class B on 880 kHz is coming from Karen M. Cox for $1.4M. Salem will begin constructing the station with the seller's cooperation.

TV Trans. of the Week: Back into dormancy

Reports: Tribune girding for possible Chapter 11
Both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported on their websites late yesterday that Tribune Company has hired the investment banking firm Lazard and a special law firm to help the company prepare for a possible filing to seek federal bankruptcy court protection. That would be a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Tribune's financial woes stem primarily from the rapid deterioration of the newspaper industry. The company took on $12 billion in debt to go private as Sam Zell came onboard as CEO and declining cash flow could soon make the company unable to service its debt. The company is said to be in negotiations with its lenders, but is also preparing for the Chapter 11 option as well. Tribune owns eight large daily newspapers, 23 television stations, WGN America on national cable, WGN-AM Chicago and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.


Stocks gain despite bad jobs news
Wall Street had expected the November employment report from the Labor Department to be pretty bad. It was, but the market digested the news and moved on. By the end of Friday's session, stock prices were higher as investors banked on the government doing more to shore up the economy. The Dow Industrials rose 259 points, or 3.1%, to close at 8,635.

Radio stocks went along for the ride. The RBR Radio Index rose 1.081, or 3.9%, to 29.101. The big gainers were Cumulus, up 29.2%, and Beasley, up 23.8%.

Here's how stocks fared on Friday




























Journal Comm.





Lincoln Natl.




CC Media




Radio One, Cl. A




Cox Radio*




Radio One, Cl. D*












Debut Bcg.




Saga Commun.*








Salem Comm.*








Sirius XM








Spanish Bcg.*








Westwood One*




*Component of the RBR Radio Index

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Below the Fold

Only On
Primer on Media Mixing

Social media is now much more
of a two-way communication platform

Media Business Report
Unintended consequences

Was Sumner not thinking
straight, or is he just under
so much pressure

Ratings & Research
Battle of the media
ratings titans

Nielsen is invading Arbitron's turf. Arbitron is threatening by offering TV

Makers & Shakers
Transactions: 10/20-10/24

Radio Salem snags Miami DIY

Media Moves

Upped in Athens
Cox Radio has promoted Scott Smith to Vice President and General Manager of its Athens, GA cluster of six stations. He had been Director of Operations in Athens.

John Sirmons
retiring from Christal

From Christal Radio VP/General Sales Manager Scott Porretti: "It is will sincere mixed emotions that I announce the first of three company announcements to you. [VP/Sales] John Sirmons, who just celebrated his 31st anniversary with Christal Radio a week ago, made the personal decision to retire this month (coincidentally right in time for ski season!). Truth is, John came to us a couple of months ago with his decision and while we selfishly will miss having him here everyday, we are personally excited for him. He has had an outstanding career with us. While he has seen much change in our business over his career, what has never changed is John's personal approach to doing business and his passion for our company and industry. He is someone who is extremely well respected both here in the NY marketplace and within our company. His last day with us will be Friday December 12th and for the folks in NY we will have something planned to celebrate with John."

Admiral on board
AccuWeather Inc. announced that Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired) has been elected to the company's Board of Directors. Admiral Lautenbacher served from December 2001 to October 2008 as the Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, in whichhe also was the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

New board members
Relevant Radio announced the addition of two members to its board of directors. Mark Balasa, a financial planner, is a Principal, Co-President of Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC. Timothy Wiggins is Exec.VP and CFO of Tellabs.

More News Headlines

Auto woes a double headache for Detroit media
The ailing automobile industry is a major news topic in Motor City, and by all rights, news organizations operating there want to throw as many reporters into the fray as they can. But the very same automobile woes are diminishing the income necessary to pay for the journalists. A Detroit television station actually lost cash by preempting syndicated programming for a bulletin; and television, radio and newspaper operations are struggling to feed their main outlet and their websites with flat to shrinking staff levels.

Coen's crystal
ball update today

Advertising guru Bob Coen delivers his twice-annual forecast today at the UBS 36th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. No doubt the final 2008 tally by the Sr. Vice President, Director of Forecasting, Magna, will be significantly lower than his June update, when he had sharply lowered his outlook for this year. Back then Coen's first take on 2009 was to expect overall US ad growth of 3.1%. We would expect a very different view from Coen today.

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Last pieces of Interep sold
Former owner Sheila Kirby and current President Susan Novicki are buying the sales consulting company Morrison and Abraham. There's also a buyer for Interep's two Hispanic TV reps.
12/05/08 RBR #237

Optimization, Integration, and Procrastination
Three things seem to be prevalent in the world of traditional media as they map-out their new media strategies: Seems legacy media has just discovered there is something out there called SEO and SEM (Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.
12/05/08 RBR #237

Sanyo debuts Internet radio
Now a major electronics manufacturer has jumped into the Internet/Wi-Fi radio arena. Designed with the contemporary look and functionality of a clock radio, the Sanyo Internet Radio R227 can play some 10,000 internet radio stations and podcasts
12/05/08 RBR #237

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©2008 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved.
Radio Business Report -- c/o April McLynn, PO Box 6633 Woodbridge, VA 22195 -- Phone: 703-490-3099