Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 21, Issue 240, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning December 10th, 2004

Radio News®

In response to the rejection of a TV ad by Viacom/CBS and GE/NBC, the United Church of Christ (UCC) is going after a local broadcast license of each. Miami O&Os up for license renewals are the targets of petitions to deny on grounds that the nets fail to provide "...suitable access to a full array of social, political, esthetic, moral and other ideas and experiences." | More... |

Cox spools in its cable
Cox Communications (N:CCI) is now part of Cox Enterprises (N:CEI). The multi-faceted CEI has completed an 8.5B stock buyback of formerly outstanding minority interests "through a cash tender offer for 34.75 per share and a short-form merger..." The action takes CCI off the board. Wachovia Bank is handling any shares not converted in the tender offer at the same per share price. CCI is the cable/broadband wing of the company, and also offers local and long distance telephone services, Internet access and commercial voice and data services. It also has a stake in the basic cable programming service Discovery Channel. Cox Enterprises combines automotive and communications business. On the media side, in addition to its cable interests, it has divisions in newspaper, broadcast television and radio.

Point-counterpoint in Minnesota
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has offered a sneak preview of the forum on media consolidation which took place in St. Paul last night as Democratic FCC Commissioners re-animated their road show first launched in early 2003. It gave OpEd ink to Commissioner Michael Copps and Minnesota Broadcasters Association President/CEO Jim du Bois. Copps said, "Last summer, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC's media concentration plan was legally and procedurally flawed. So we have now heard from the court, the Congress and the American people that the FCC got it wrong when it tried to unleash even more consolidation. It is clear that we need to reassess our approach and start protecting the people's interest in the people's airwaves. It's time for the FCC to come up with a set of rules to encourage localism, diversity and competition in the broadcast media. This time, we must include the American people in the process instead of shutting them out. And we must protect and work to expand the multiplicity of voices and choices that support our marketplace of ideas and that sustain American democracy and creativity." du Bois compared the Minneapolis radio dial of the 70s to that of today, and said, "True, a few large companies own many broadcast stations. But has a consolidated ownership environment really limited choices for media consumers? There is evidence that ownership consolidation may actually increase diversity of radio formats because it makes little sense for a company to allow the stations it owns to compete against each other for the same audience. That is why we no longer have four top-40 stations in this market playing the same music. Consolidation of ownership also enables media companies to take more risks with niche formats since they are relying on multiple stations to generate revenue and can allow a new format time to gain audience acceptance." Both encouraged widespread participation in what they hope turns out to be a spirited and substantive discussion of the issue.

2005: CFOs put the bull in the barn
A survey of corporate chief financial officers conducted jointly by Duke University and CFO Business Magazine finds that they are "less bullish about the economy in 2005..." There is widespread concern about rising health care costs and the federal budget deficit. Other factors include rising energy costs and interest rates. There are also worries that the continued threat of domestic terrorism is having a dampening effect on overall business results. Another sign of increasing pessimism was a drop in hiring expectations. A quarter ago, CFOs were looking for a 3.1% increase in hiring for 2005. That number has dwindled into fractional territory, to 0.8%. Outsourcing is expected to increase. Cap-ex is also expected to be flat. The 3.8% growth rate is said to represent only replacement level spending. And on an ominous note for readers of TVBR, expectations for advertising expenditure have been more than halved, down to only a 2.3% increase for the year. CFOs also lowball economic gains compared to Wall Street. They are looking for a 2.8% increase in GDP, compared to a 3.3% consensus forecast on The Street. Despite all this, the CFOs are expecting their own companies to fare OK, with an expected earnings increase of 11%.

RBR observation: Are these guys and gals wearing green colored glasses or what? They espouse a litany of minuses alongside positives which are faded and tattered. But it's all going to happen to the other guys and gals while their own team luxuriates in double-digit black ink. Hmmmmmmm...

Uh oh: Look what's going
under the tree this year
Michael Abt's Abt Electronics and Appliances is an independent dealer of a wide variety of toys for adults. He's put out a list of hot sellers as the 2004 holiday season moves ahead. Two of the cheapest, hence most affordable, do not constitute good news for radio and television broadcasters. The Delphi SKYFi XM Satellite Radio Receiver, SA50000, listed at only 79 dollars, is the first item on the list. Nobody needs to tell the radio industry what that's all about. Right behind that on Abt's list is the TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The commercial-zapper can be had for 99 bucks with rebate.

Cable penetration hits 10-year low;
satellite continue surge

More American TV households are receiving cable programming via an alternate delivery system (ADS/satellite) than ever before while wired cable lost 300,000 subscribers and saw its penetration percentage hit a 10-year low, according to a TVB analysis of Nielsen Media Research data for November 2004.

RBR observation: If you track or pace the process then click and print the charts. We do to follow the trend. Worth tacking in your programming and sales department and put in your media kits. | More... |


Scatter.TV to connect buyers
and TV stations
A dynamic media advancement using online Internet technology to directly connect television stations and local cable insert services with media buyers was launched today. "Scatter.TV is an additional selling and buying venue perfect for today's Internet driven marketplace, and it's a win-win for TV stations and media buyers," said Mike Harding, president/CEO, Scatter.TV. "For media buyers who are challenged to place numerous buys in multiple markets and be sure those buys post and for TV station management to sell unsold media inventory, Scatter.TV is a valuable tool." Developed by veteran television station management executive Mike Harding, Scatter.TV allows TV stations to improve orders and help increase sales by making it easy to post and sell fragmented inventory that would otherwise go unsold by traditional sales methods. "By reducing unsold inventory and increasing revenue, Scatter.TV helps stations make budget and enhance profit margins," said Harding. For buyers, the Scatter.TV platform improves a buy's efficiency and posting by allowing media buyers to purchase quality excess TV inventory at competitive prices. For television stations, Scatter.TV is designed to help generate revenue, make budget and sell inventory. Already, Scatter.TV is working well for TV stations around the country as an additional selling venue. The service helps stations increase sales by making it easy to post and sell fragmented inventory that would otherwise go unsold by traditional sales methods. All subscribers are protected by a confidential privacy policy that does not reveal their identity as a user on the Scatter.TV website or in any Scatter.TV marketing materials. A comprehensive advertising campaign is educating TV and cable managers and media buyers about the benefits and convenience of this new media tool. For more information: [email protected]

Research gets to heart of advertising gender bias
According to a study by the University of Toronto, women not very visible in ads for cardio drugs Gender bias in pharmaceutical advertisements for cardiovascular disease may affect treatment. After examining 919 cardiovascular drug ads displayed in American medical and cardiovascular journals published between January 1996 and June 1998, U of T's Dr. Angela Cheung and her colleagues concluded that 80% depicted male patients and the remaining 20% featured women. They are concerned that the gender inequity seen in the ads may contribute to known disparities in how physicians treat men and women with similar heart problems. "Studies have shown that women are referred later and less frequently for cardiac catheterization and for coronary artery bypass surgery," says Cheung, a professor in U of T's Department of Medicine and associate director of the Women's Health Program at the University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital. "There are also gender-based differences in the use of aspirin, beta-blockers and thrombolytic therapies. The gender bias in advertising is a cause for concern, since there is evidence from other research that physicians use pharmaceutical advertisements as an important source of medical information." The study also determined that the age and race of patients in ads differed according to gender. The women were portrayed as younger than the men, despite the fact that heart disease affects women later in life than men. There were also few non-whites shown in the ads - the typical patient depicted was a middle-aged white male. The authors note that physicians routinely underestimate the prevalence and severity of heart disease among women and express concern that their findings also mirror the medical literature. "While efforts to increase female representation in cardiovascular trials are ongoing, the vast majority of scientific evidence is based on men," says Cheung. This study appears in the November issue of the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Interspot launches mobile advertising opportunity
Interspot, a customized mobile applications developer, focused on creating emerging media solutions for the mobile/iTV market, announced the release of a new product named InterSMS-a mobile communications technology that allows users to create their own SMS Mobile Marketing Campaign or communicate via Text Messaging instantly. Within minutes users are able to send text messages to anyone with a wireless phone or device or from a PC. | More... |

Media Markets & MoneyTM
When pressed to sell, sell to Press
A convoluted series of deals on the Jersey shore, ultimately involving no less than five radio companies, has finally resulted in the sale of WKOE-FM Ocean City. Press Communications, a company which was once a seller in the Atlantic City market, is the buyer this time. Star Media broker Peter Handy explained the series of events, which began with an LMA of the station way back in 1992 between Citadel and licensee Ocean Communications. Charles Banta and James Donahoe, via their Millennium group, took over that LMA when they acquired Citadel stations in the market back in 2001. Millennium also acquired stations from Press Communications and Nassau, growing to the point where, under the new rules, the WKOE-FM LMA was no longer permissible. The upshot is that Press, headed by CEO Robert McAllan, is buying the station. Licensee Ocean will get 900K, and Millennium will pick up 3.155M. Handy was not sure what Press has in store for the station, but what is not likely is maintenance of the status quo. Stay tuned.

Washington Beat
Another break for broadcasters
at FCC meeting
The agenda for the 12/15/04 open meeting at The Portals, the official southwest Washington home of the FCC, is out, and there is not one item of direct interest to members of the broadcast community. The agenda includes six items in all. The Office of Engineering and Technology and the International Bureau each have a plank, and there are two each for the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Wireline Competition Bureau. FCC Chairman Michael Powell expects take on the many thorny issues pertaining to the DTV transition sometime in the first quarter of 2005.

Musicians to program Milwaukee non-comm
A group led by two nationally known musicians has been awarded a contract to operate the Milwaukee Public Schools FM station, WYMS-FM (88.9), and is developing a format to support musicians and restore creativity to music radio. The non-profit group, Radio For Milwaukee, was founded by Peter Buffett, national recording artist and producer and son of investor Warren Buffett; Grammy Award winner Joe Puerta, founding member of Ambrosia and Bruce Hornsby and the Range; and Todd Broadie, former marketing director of Narada Records. Under the contract, signed this week, WYMS-FM will possibly be the only station in the country operated by a musician-controlled group. The lead consultant for the programming design and re-launch of WYMS is radio veteran Mike Henry, CEO of Paragon Media Strategies. This contract provides a new partnership standard for other public-school owned non-commercial stations around the country. The agreement will result in exciting new public radio programming, important media training opportunities for students and a unique, Internet-based programming service run by students. Acting GM Todd Broadie will coordinate a comprehensive research project and local focus groups to help develop programming. He'll also be advertising nationally to hire station management, on-air staff and education experts. Interested applicants should contact Broadie at (414) 372-5368 or [email protected]. For more info: www.RadioForMilwaukee.org.

Air America launching in DC
Air America has struck a deal to land in Washington on CC Radio's WWRC-AM, reportedly by 1/20. WWRC will drop its syndicated Fox Sports Radio in favor of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Randi Rhodes and the rest of Air America's left-leaning lineup while adding other liberal commentators, including Jones Radio Networks Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller. Don Imus, currently heard on sister DC station WTNT-AM, will be simulcast on WWRC for morning drive. Neither station has been a powerhouse in the Arbitron ratings, with WTNT ranked 17th in the market last summer, with an average of 74,500 listeners. WWRC, which has a weaker signal, was last at No. 40, averaging 29,800 listeners.

WBZ-AM Boston host David Brudnoy near death
Facing a life-threatening battle with cancer, longtime Boston radio host David Brudnoy started saying goodbye Wednesday to his listeners, reports the AP. In an emotional on-air interview, the WBZ-AM personality says the merkel-cell carcinoma has spread into his liver and kidneys -- and he's ready to die. "I am not asking my doctors to do anything illegal," Brudnoy told WBZ news anchor Gary LaPierre in an interview conducted at his hospital bedside at. "I wish I could but they won't. I will make it through. My head is completely accepting of this. I am absolutely ready." Brudnoy, 64, battled back a decade ago from near death from AIDS. He was struck with cancer about a year ago. Brudnoy started his talk radio career at WHDH-AM in 1976, then moved to WRKO-AM in 1981. He's been a fixture at WBZ since 1986.

WLNI-FM, WMNA AM & FM Roanoke-Lynchburg VA (Lynchburg, Gretna VA) from Gary E. Burns to Centennial Broadcasting LLC

WTNE AM & FM, WTKB-FM Jackson TN (Trenton, Atwood TN) from Gibson County Broadcasting Company Inc. to Grace Broadcasting Services.

| More... |

Stock Talk
Steady as she goes on the broadcast boat
It was a relatively calm day for sailing on Wall Street. Good news from some companies was tempered by the continued rise in oil prices, a pair of counterbalances which kept most stocks right about where they started at the beginning of trading. On the radio side of broadcasting, two companies enjoyed a dollar-plus surge - - Arbitron and Westwood One, while over on the TV side, McGraw-Hill picked up a buck and a half.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
15.39 +0.49

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Viacom, Cl. A








Viacom, Cl. B








Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio




International Bcg.









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

More on the "Less is More" initiative...

"Less is More" - - what else? - - was the hot topic for Clear Channel CFO Randall Mays yesterday..." Mr. Mays states that an advertiser can take the same money spent on :60's and change them to :30's and increase R&F by 33%? Speaking as one who buys time...What planet does he live on? Maybe he has not checked the CC rate card. In my neck of the woods the only thing we're basically getting is a :30 at the :60 rate. This LIM if fine with me. Until the CC stations have undisputed dominance in a particular market, it makes an easier decision to use other radio stations and other media. I'm in a smaller market, controlled by three radio groups. And I use a lot of electronic. Fortunately I can buy around anyone. I don't understand the uproar regarding this. If you don't like it, or think this is not efficient for your client, then don't buy it. In any market there are other alternatives. Clear Channel thinks they can force the marketplace to accept it. We'll see."

Mike Pursel, President, Mike Pursel Advertising, Spokane, WA

"The point people seem to miss in this discussion is that Clear Channel plans on airing more commercials, not less. Any discussion about whether :30s can be as effective as :60s (they can - see Motel 6) is moot. Clear Channel is selling :30s so that they can sell more units and package it as "less" because it is less minutes. Every bit of research done on consumer attitudes toward commercial interruptions indicates that eight :30 second commercials is more disruptive to the listener than six :60 second commercials even though the latter is more minutes. I believe that Clear Channel is trying to make people think eight commercials is better for the listener than six. Look at it this way. Clear Channel is charging anywhere from 65% - 80% of its :60 second rate for these :30 second commercials. Are we to believe they are planning to do 20% - 35% less revenue in 2005? I don't think so. So logic tells me that if you charge less then you'll have to sell more in order to increase revenue. If done in good faith, reducing clutter is a noble idea and it will, in the long run, be good for radio. Unfortunately, it feels as though Clear Channel is deliberately misleading the advertising community and that, in the long run will hurt our industry."

Jay Schultz, Director of Sales

Upped & Tapped

BE ups Richard Hinkle to VP/Engineering
Hinkle has served as Director of RF Engineering for the company since February of 2000. As VP, Hinkle will broaden his responsibilities as the company's lead engineer for developing and researching new products for the broadcast industry. "Richard's talent for innovation has advanced this company and the broadcast community. It goes without saying that he is well respected by broadcasters as an engineer's engineer," said BE President John Pedlow.

November Digital
Solutions Magazine

Cutting inventory and the effects--GM Talkback
Larry Wert,
Pres/Gm NBC's - WMAQ-TV,
Tom Bender,
GM Greater Media/Detroit,
Mike Mazursky,
GM 4M Communications
page 6

Laying the Hits down -
Boom Boom Boom
Listen to past great air checks of
George Michael
Fred Winston's classic
NewYears Day Hangover Club &
Bob DeCarlo with Tommy Turntable
page 12

November Zinio Solutions Magazine
Read RBR in 2 simple steps:
1.Create a simple account with Zinio and download the Zinio Reader.
2. You can then download the November Issue of RBR

RBR Radar 2004
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Arbitron claims PPM recruiting success in Houston
Over 52% of the households targeted for the first wave of PPM recruitment agreed to participate. The company says fault rates are also low. Response levels had been a big concern during the initial PPM test in Philadelphia, but Arbitron thinks it's got the problem licked. Look for the test to start churning out data come July. RBR observation: This is why you test. Another improvement in the Houston test will be a modification to the PPM device that will differentiate in-home and out-of-home media use, based on proximity to the docking/recharging unit. TV guys, who've never had out-of-home viewing measured by Nielsen, are salivating over that. But cost remains a big concern for many radio companies, along with how PPM affects morning drive ratings. You must read and print out these charts. We like this point - TV is salivating so Nielsen step-in with the Kleenex and wipe off the drool.
12/09/04 RBR #239

Belo, More warnings on 2005
TV groups are setting the bar low with no Olympics or political revenues to speak of next year. Belo will have no Olympics revenue in 2005 versus almost $10 million in 2004. The Super Bowl will be on Fox, rather than one of the three networks where Belo's television station affiliations are concentrated.
RBR observation: Look for Fox to improve next year with new upper chief in Jack Abernethy. TV must cross market with local Radio or lose. 12/09/04 RBR #239

RAEL releases second study:
"The Benefits of Synergy:
Moving Money Into Radio"
released its second study revealing the impact on various measurement criteria when radio is added to the Media Mix. Findings are geared to help advertisers and agencies develop multi-media campaigns that reflect the way consumers absorb media. Specifically, the study charts what happens to several effectiveness measures when radio is used to replace a balanced portion of the investment in television or newspapers. RBR observation: Matt Feinberg, SVP/Network Radio, Zenith Media sums it up the best, "The studies from RAEL reveal how to use Radio for consumer touch points. 12/09/04 RBR #239

Spending to fix Infinity stations and Thumbs up boosts Houston PPM test
Joel Hollander says that's just one of the problems that radio needs to address. A couple of others are spending on promotion and up-to-date equipment, where he says Infinity was negligent in recent years. While not blaming Mel Karmazin, Hollander says "That was then, this is now." Confirmed RBR's exclusive report at the UBS Securities Media Week conference the green light to encode in Houston leaving Radio One and Cox the only two hold outs. 12/08/04 RBR #238

Visit MediaHeadHunters.com
Radio Professionals
Salem Communications seeking experienced candidates in Radio Sales, Programming, and Management for pending acquisitions in Miami and Omaha, EOE.

GM & Equity
New England radio group seeks self-starter to captain turnarounds. Community radio is still alive and well in this Central New England combo. Equity participation available Letter and Resume

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