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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 241, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning December 12th, 2005

Radio News®

Entercom cuts Q4 guidance
Entercom's stock price fell 1% on Friday after the company said its Q4 revenues would come in about four million bucks below its previous guidance (11/7/05 RBR #218). "Unfortunately, the quarter has been impacted by a perfect storm of negative events. Our core same-station local revenues have continued to grow at a low single digit rate during the quarter. This has not been sufficient to offset the combined impact of Hurricane Katrina, 2004 political revenues, an 80% reduction in Red Sox playoff games, a difficult national sales environment and a major late-November format change in Seattle. Looking ahead, these issues do not in any respect diminish our outlook for 2006. We are enthusiastic about our prospects for next year when political revenues will swing to a positive factor, the New Orleans business climate should improve, and our 2005 format launches and our new business development efforts should accelerate growth," said CEO David Field. Entercom is now telling The Street to expect Q4 revenues of 103-104 million. Entercom's announcement cited "the deterioration of national sales conditions," so we asked the head of its national rep, Interep President George Pine, about current conditions. "The 4th quarter pacing obviously looks down slightly at this point," he said, noting that November and December are both slightly down after the drop already reported for October. In the top 25 market, he said the top 10 generally look better than 11-25. However, New York, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco are not performing as well as the other top 10 markets - - and Entercom's only top 10 market happens to be Boston. For the important auto category, Pine said domestic is down and foreign up, making the category flat overall. Telecommunications is down about 10% and retail - - the other big three category for radio - - is up slightly. The good news is that Q1 is pacing up slightly, Pine says, with a lot of annual contracts just now being signed for 2006. He also noted that Interep's new business team is expecting to bring some new advertisers to radio in mid-to-late January.

RBR observation: Are other shoes about to fall? Pine doesn't think many other radio companies will have to cut their Q4 guidance because of national sales shortfalls, since no other company is so dependent on one soft market, as Entercom is in Boston. Wachovia Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker isn't so sure. She noted that several companies didn't even provide Q4 guidance, but she said some who did may have to lower their targets just as Entercom did. At Goldman Sachs, analyst Mark Wienkes said Wall Street wasn't surprised by Entercom's move and is maintaining his advice that investors stay on the sidelines, as far as radio stocks are concerned.

Beasley joins dividend payers; Shaw exits
The latest public broadcast company to start paying its shareholders a cash dividend is Beasley Broadcast Group, which announced that its board of directors has authorized a quarterly payment of six and a quarter cents per share. The first payment will be made January 20, 2006 to shareholders of record on December 30th, 2005. The payment of 25 cents per year works out to a yield of just under 2%. "The initiation of a quarterly dividend reflects both the free cash flow generated by our radio station assets as well as our commitment to deliver value to our shareholders. It's important to note that given the Company's prospects and the attractive valuation of Beasley's common stock, we also expect to continue to opportunistically repurchase our shares pursuant to the current authorization that now has approximately 23 million remaining. The dividend payments and share repurchases, combined with our operating and debt reduction initiatives, collectively support our goal of increasing shareholder value," said CEO George Beasley. Meanwhile, without any fanfare, Allen Shaw has told Beasley Broadcast Group that he'll step down as Co-COO when his current employment contract expires on February 1, 2006. That will leave Bruce Beasley as sole COO. Shaw told RBR he intends to devote full-time to Centennial Broadcasting LLC, the privately owned radio group that he launched in late 2004. It owns four stations in the Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA market. He will continue as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Beasley Broadcast Group.

House stalls on 2005 Telecom revamp
As far-reaching as the effects of Telecom 1996 have been, there is almost no way a bill from the last millennium would be able to keep up with the rapid changes in technology. However, the best efforts by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have fallen short of giving the measure a 21st Century facelift before New Years Day. Massive changes to the radio industry was a result of the 1996 version. The update will focus more on issues affecting telephone and cable television companies. According to the National Journal's Congress Daily (NJCD), a first draft got thumbs down from telcos, and a second got thumbs down from Democrats in the committee, who were left out of the drafting process. Issues to be hammered out involve the future role of local franchising authorities, whether or not to subject telcos to build-out requirements to assure that all portions of an area have equal access to any service provided, and a number of broadband issues. According to NJCD, it was members of the Republicans side that decided to allow more time, and talks are expected to continue into February of next year.

Wal-Mart under air attack
Is it really true that there is no such thing as bad publicity? Outlets of retail giant Wal-Mart in six states should be getting first-hand experience, as a group of 65 religious leaders who say they represent some 1.3M Americans are attacking retail giant over the airwaves. They say that Wal-Mart's corporate practice calls the question whether or not "people of faith" should shop there. The faith leaders, who call their effort "Light a Candle for Change," are linked up with grassroots organization The ads will run in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia. Wal-Mart's Lee Scott responded, "Surely many Americans are deeply offended that union leadership would use religion as just another tactic in the negative attack against an American company that donates more money to good works than any other company in America." Stay tuned - - this one isn't likely to go away any time soon.

Four caught in public file dragnet
The FCC will be defraying the national debt to the tune of 40K if the latest quartet of notices of apparent liability on the public file rap stick. All four 10K fine proposals had a children's programming element. Schurz Communications' NBC WAGT Augusta GA Channel 26 and Raycom's NBC WAFF-TV Huntsville-Decatur-Florence AL Channel 48 all failed "to publicize the existence and location" of their Children's Television Programming Reports. Meredith's CBS WGCL-TV Channel 46 Atlanta failed to file issues/program lists and children's programming commercial limits. Media General's CBS WNEG-TV Greenville-Spartanburg SC Channel 32 (actually licensed across the line in Toccoa GA) matched the WGCL failings and also was missing EEO data. All four file omissions were exposed during the license renewal process.

RBR observation: Anyone else notice that if you have one file omission - - worth 10K - - you can have two or even three more at no extra charge. Not that we'd recommend pursuing such a policy...

Publisher note: Look for RBR's Special Report on what you need to know about your Public File and not cost your station a 10K fine. Written for RBR by FCC leading lawyer Gregg Skall, it will be emailed in a PDF printable format as our Christmas present to you. Only daily members of RBR will receive this special report. Have it or it could cost you 10K in a fine. To say the least, this report alone is worth the price of a 1 year gold subscription.
| Renew today at RBR subscriptions |

FCC's era of minority rule begins
It was hugs all around Friday, 12/9/05 as the FCC said good-bye to Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy in an otherwise uneventful December Open Meeting (uneventful for broadcasters, anyway). Abernathy's departure left Republican Chairman Kevin Martin on the wrong side of a 2-1 party affiliation break-down, with Democrats Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein ready and no doubt willing to flex their superior voting muscle just as soon as Martin puts forth a juicy regulatory issue for that purpose. Which of course he avoided by cleverly saving contentious issues like the media ownership redo until next year. And the era will be exceedingly brief, if as expected the Senate Commerce Committee confirms Debi Tate as the next Republican ally for Martin, along with sending Copps back for a second stint. By the way, tomorrow's confirmation hearing has been moved a half hour later - - to 10:30 am.

RBR observation: So if you're one of those who think no news is good news, you had to be pleased with the FCC's utter lack of broadcast activity at last week's meeting.

RBR News Analysis
Update on HD Digital Radio Alliance
An update on the industry's reaction to the formation of the HD Digital Radio Alliance (12/7 RBR #238): Alliance President and CEO Peter Ferrara says he's getting a tremendous amount of interest from broadcasters, all of whom are invited to join the HD Digital Radio Alliance if they have viable HD radio signals or will have them and are willing to contribute both inventory and dollars as part of participation. As the Alliance moves forward with its objectives, it is asking other groups to finalize membership by 12/30 if they would like to take part in the first round of format selection calls for the top 25 markets. Contact him at [email protected]. Just what does that deadline mean? Ferrara tells us that the Alliance plans to conduct the format selection process for the top 25 markets in early January. The Alliance won't actually be producing programming - - that will be up to the individual member companies - - but is coordinating to prevent duplication in HD-2 channels and offer the public as many different formats as possible in each market.


What increases are being paid for the 2006 radio upfront?
Now that the 2006 network radio upfront is getting finished but is still hot, we thought we'd get a few opinions on how it's going - - up, down, flat, and why. What increases, if any, are being paid. First, we asked Matthew Warnecke, VP Mgr Network & Local Radio, MediaCom: "Most of the stuff I've seen appears to be flat. Flat to plus three, at the most. And that's, I think, because of the favorable buyers' marketplace, and the fact that upfront advertisers tend to get better annual deals. They're not trying for hyper-target, expensive programming on its own." Why the flatness? "I think it's an economic thing. People are spending less and this year there was a lot of last-minute money. I think, sadly, we may be moving away from a larger upfront. Not because overall the marketplace is disappearing, but that people are just spending it later."

More agencies chime in on
HD Digital Radio Alliance
RBR/TVBR asked a few agency folks about the recently announced HD Digital Radio Alliance (12/7 RBR #238), a coordinated industry effort to compete with the format variety of satellite radio. The alliance is the industry's means to coordinate the HD roll-out in each market, develop programming for multicast (HD-2) channels, create HD and HD-2 awareness ads (200 million bucks worth next year alone), and work to get HD manufacturers moving on multicast receivers and the automakers as well for OEM deals. Participating groups so far include Bonneville, Citadel, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Emmis, Entercom, Greater Media and Infinity. (Continued from Friday's issue.)
| Read More... |

CBS reups with AquaCell
AquaCell Technologies says its AquaCell Media subsidiary has received a three-month contract for a new CBS television ad campaign for Q1 2006. Recognizing the success of AquaCell's water cooler billboards for generating awareness and excitement for last September's launch of its new comedy Out of Practice, CBS has once again turned to Aquacell water coolers to help generate "water cooler buzz" for a new CBS comedy starring Jenna Elfman. The new CBS ads will reach consumers via the "Coolertising" advertising on the permanently attached bottle of AquaCell's "billboard" water coolers installed in the pharmacy areas of drug stores. Promotion for the new comedy will be featured on water coolers in hundreds of Rite Aid and Duane Reade stores in the New York and LA areas.

BMW Mini takes a shine to Butler Shine
BMW's Mini USA brand has reportedly selected Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, CA as its new AOR. Other finalists for the 24 million account were Mother and Strawberry Frog, both New York. Incumbent Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, had handled Mini since 2001. It resigned the account in September for Volkswagen's VW brand account.

B.F. Goodrich opens review
A unit of Michelin has put its 15.8 million account into review. Goodrich's 16-year AOR, Doner, Southfield MI, reportedly declined to participate. The review follows marketing execs Scott Dishman and Tom Peebles being replaced by Tom Jupena, marketing communications manager, and Owen Schiano, general business director. BF Goodrich also consolidated its U.S. digital account at its general creative and buying and planning agency Campbell-Ewald, Warren, MI.

Media Business Report
New Viacom buying DreamWorks
The coming split of Viacom into two companies - - now just a half month away - - isn't stopping either post-split company from being aggressive on the acquisition front. CBS Corp. CEO-to-be Les Moonves has already announced a 325 million bucks deal to buy College Sports Television Networks (11/4/05 RBR #217). Now his counterpart at New Viacom, Tom Freston, has struck a 1.5 billion plus deal to acquire DreamWorks SKG to beef up the company's movie studio business. There's been no official announcement yet, but reports are widespread that Viacom swept in at the last minute and outbid GE's NBC Universal for the studio founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

Bids in for Knight Ridder
It remains to be seen whether anyone is willing to pay a premium price for an "old media" company, but bids were submitted Friday in the auction of Knight Ridder (11/15/05 RBR #224). The Los Angeles Times report that at least two bids were received for the nation's second largest newspaper chain - - one from Texas Pacific Group and another a joint bid by KKR, Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners. Gannett and Media News Group had also expressed interest, but it wasn't clear whether either or both had submitted bids.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Fat Platte cat? Nebraska group soups it up
Platte River Radio started with an AM-FM combo in Kearney NE, and has a deal to get an FM in nearby Hastings. Now it's on the move again, taking the Hastings lineup from soloist to trio. The most recent deal is for KHAS-AM/KICS-AM in Hastings. The seller is Wayne Specht's KHAS Broadcasting, which will get 560K for the AM duop. Platte River is already plunking down 700K for KLIQ-FM in the same town, which was recently part of a three-way deal, going from NRG Media to Eternal Broadcasting in a trade, then from Eternal to Platte. Platte already owns KXPN-AM & KKPR-FM in Kearney. Platte's ownership lineup includes David Oldfeather, Craig Eckert, Diane Oldfeather and Jane Light.

Washington Beat
Indecency meeting today at Commerce Committee
As of this writing, former MPAA honcho Jack Valenti and NCTA honcho Kyle McSlarrow are the only guests whose names have been posted on the witness list for Ted Stevens' (R-AK) Senate Commerce Committee follow-up to his massive 11/29/05 "Open Forum on Decency." The session begins at 10:00 AM and cannot possibly go on all day like the last one, since the Committee will be in session later in the afternoon to consider an unrelated matter - - unless, of course, they cancel the afternoon session. There is absolutely no reason to suspect that they have any such plan.

RBR observation: Taking into consideration Valenti's prior testimony on the success of movie industry's content coding system, and the presence of McSlarrow, one may wish to infer that the Committee will be considering if the movie standards may be applicable and transferable to cable programming. Valenti had emphasized two cardinal principles for any such ratings system. First, they must be simple, so people can use them without needing a reference library to interpret them. Second, they must be voluntary to, successfully withstand court challenge - - a key consideration in this case, since it is highly questionable whether or not speech restrictions similar to those constraining broadcasters will fly with the subscription-based cable industry. We don't know what Stevens has in mind, but his interest in Valenti's prior testimony and the thus-far limited guest list surely points in this direction.

RBR Stats
Online radio reaches over two million in morning drive
According to Arbitron and comScore Media Metrix, 2,042,100 different people age 12+ tune in to the measured online radio networks during morning drive, Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM.
| View the Chart |

Consumer Research
Toys - - Boys & Girls
From the BIGResearch Consumer Intentions and Actions survey (CIA) which surveys over 7000 consumers every month, the following charts display what Boys and Girls want for their holiday gifts in 2005. Boys are displaying this interest and fascination in video games number 1 and electronics such as Xbox (6) and Playstation (10). And Girls registering dolls such as Barbie dolls (1), Bratz (2), Dora the Explorer (3), but note the coming of the future is here, as girls are requesting video games (5) and Ipod/MP3 players (6). With boys and girls embracing the new media first as "toys," these technologies/medias will become second nature to the immediate future generation challenging traditional media. Today's toys punctuate displacement of traditional media business models. It is in the hands of the consumer.
| View the Charts |

TVBR - TV News
Bidding battle for Nielsen parent?
A second private equity group, including Bain Capital, Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus, is working on a buyout bid for VNU, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new bid would challenge one which was being put together by another group including KKR, Blackstone, Carlyle and others, even before the resignation of VNU CEO Rob van den Bergh as the company abandoned a seven billion bucks acquisition of IMS Health (11/18/05 TVBR #227). Although VNU has insisted that none of its assets are for sale and it intends to remain independent and seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (it currently trades only on the Amsterdam Exchange), the same big shareholders who derailed the IMS deal could force VNU to accept a buyout. The price tag is expected to be over eight billion and the winner, if there is a sale, is expected to divest VNU's publishing businesses (Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, etc.) to focus on ratings and research. Meanwhile, there was a bit of good news for VNU. The European Commission has completed its antitrust investigation into the contracting and pricing practices of ACNielsen and found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the VNU subsidiary. The complaint again ACNielsen had been filed by a competitor, Information Resources Inc.

TVBR observation: There may be more than just two bidders for VNU. We continue to hear rumors that IMS CEO Dave Carlucci is still gung-ho on the scrapped merger deal and is working to revive it - - this time with IMS as the acquirer, rather than VNU.

Publisher observation: Reality time, what is facing the Nielsen side of VNU is going to be difficult with forward motion of 'LPM' and making a decision during the first quarter next year on the Arbitron 'PPM' front as it takes commitment from the top of the company at VNU with technology and money. Not to say the toll it takes on the people inside of Nielsen.

Publishing side - To some extent the same can be said here but to a lesser degree as the money or the prize is Nielsen. Plus, whoever wins the potential battle better know something about the consumers and businesses of the titles that are being tossed around for headline attention like Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, Media Week. They look pretty on paper but you better know what you are doing because this is not the old days with those brands. There is tremendous competition on the computer screen today and the print those trade publications mentioned are not getting any healthier as print is going down for the count. Under any circumstances VNU bosses have to confront the inevitable and get on the record of attack on this press now coming from the WSJ instead of 'No comment.' TVBR was the first to forecast this now the problem is here as the other shoe has hit the floor.

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 10/31/05-11/4/05
October ended slowly, and November started even slower. You know it's not going to be a big week with the top agreement is for a pair of small-market CPs. A one-AM, three FM deal in Houma-Thibodaux-Morgan City, Louisiana missed tying for first by a mere 100K. Both that market and the one housing the winner - - St. George-Cedar City UT, are rated by Eastlan.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Investment in the future
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
Zero action this week
| More...

700K WNDJ-FM White Stone VA from Windmill Communhications Inc. (MIllard S. Younts) to Two Rivers Communications Inc. (Sydney S. Abel, William C. Sherard). 35K escrow, 365K cash at closing, 240K note, 60K non-compete. Duopoly with WKWI-FM Kilmarnock VA. [File date 11/16/05.]

131,553 KHMB-FM Hamburg AR from Kenneth Wayne Deibel to R&M Broadcasting (Jack Reynolds, Dennis Maxwell). 7,553 down payment, note. LMA 11/1/05. [File date 11/16/05.]

Stock Talk
A day of modest gains
You really couldn't call it a rally, but a dip in oil prices gave traders a reason to boost stock prices on Friday. The Dow Industrials rose 24 points, or 0.2%, to spend the weekend at 10,779.

Likewise for radio stocks. The Radio Index crept up from Thursday's year-to-date low by 0.791, or 0.4%, to 184.157. Westwood One rebounded 2.1% from Thursday's big sell-off. The day's big gainer, though, was SBS, up 3.6% as it struggled to climb out of pennwy stock hell. It's not there yet.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
13.27 +0.02

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





Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Expectations for Westwood One with a new CEO (12/9/05 RBR #240) should not be very high. Shane Coppola is a great man who was shackled by the demand to make money with no money. Employees all over the country have no expectations that things will change, because at the heart of it all is still...Joel Hollander. Having been with WW1 pre-Shane, and during Hollander's is important to note, that the air of arrogance and greed, does NOT support loyalty and enthusiasm. Whomever takes the job must convince Mr. H that what the staff thinks about who they are working for does matter. That is the common thread thru the WW1 culture. Cut all the good out of a company and then send the hungry soldiers to clean up the mess...Didn't work when he bought Metro Networks, and it won't work now. Sales need to be driven by a power that invites commitment, loyalty, and a big dose of enthusiasm...Not a hard-handed approach that invites people to sharpen up on their resumes.

Shari Greer
Account Executive
Total Traffic Networks

Stations for Sale

KWAM 990AM Memphis
Heritage full-time station with great coverage. Station and transmitter site for sale by owner.
Mark Jorgenson
Concord Media Group, Inc.
(828) 859-6982
[email protected]

Below the Fold

Ad Biz
What increases are being paid
Now that the 2006 network radio upfront is getting finished but is still hot ...

Washington Beat
Indecency meeting today
Ted Stevens' (R-AK) Senate Commerce Committee
Shoud be a quickie...

Shakers & Makers
Transactions: 10/31/05-11/4/05
A stick sale took top honors
this week

More News Headlines

Regis headed to
NAB Hall of Fame

If you're already famous enough to be readily identified by just your first name, no doubt you belong in a Hall of Fame. Long-time TV personality Regis Philbin, currently co-host of "Live with Regis and Kelly," will be inducted into the NAB Television Hall of Fame at the NAB2006 Television Luncheon April 24th in Las Vegas. "Regis Philbin has been a television icon for four decades. NAB is pleased to recognize him for his significant contributions to broadcasting," said NAB President and CEO David Rehr.

RBR Radar 2005
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Westwood One lowers guidance
Shane Coppola as the head guy as barely more than a month ago Westwood One (WW1) was telling Wall Street that Q4 revenues and operating income would be up in the low single digits. That's not going to happen so Coppola is gone and former CEO and current CEO of Infinity Broadcasting Joel Hollander, is back in charge on a temp bases. Hollander is putting emphasis on getting someone who is "very aggressive" to run WW1.
RBR observation: Aggressive is one key if you also return marketing budgets. It is no secret that under the Mel Karmazin reign, in which Hollander was the major player, no dollars were ever spent in any area on Westwood One. That theme carried over into the Coppola tour of duty. Aggressive? If Hollander speaks aggressive give Westwood the budgets, tools and attitude of the man that founded the company - find another Norm Pattiz.
12/09/05 RBR #240

Agencies chime in on
HD Digital Radio Alliance
RBR asked a few agency folks about the recently announced HD Digital Radio Alliance, a coordinated industry effort to compete with the format variety of satellite radio. Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services -".. I'm not comfortable with the word HD, because.." RBR observation: Indeed, it may take a while to get HD-2 in the hearts, minds and then hands, of listeners. Another issue, they've marketed a whole generation of HD receivers that didn't have the HD-2 capability. It's going to take a whole new cycle of manufacturing, retailing and purchases. It's almost like starting all over again. Thankfully, some HD receivers can be updated to HD-2 by a software download.
12/09/05 RBR #240

Preparing your '06 Budget
Double Check time
Let's assume if you achieve the submitted and approved cash flow goals for next year, and you will receive additional compensation. It's usually between 30 and 50% of your annual salary for making it. Get close (within 5%) and in some companies you will get 10-15%. (your company may differ.) Usually The Rules Are Stacked Against You!
RBR observation: Another double check against your own projections for next year. Worth a look see.
12/09/05 RBR #240

ABC keeps cards close to vest
No real hints yet whether Disney has decided on a sale of ABC Radio just the usual double talk. We all know that Emmis and Cumulus have said no thanks and the said to be bidders of Entercom, Citadel, and someplace KKR are buzzing around.
RBR observation: What's strange is that the only two bidders who could create in-market clusters with ABC Radio have been outbid. If Cumulus and Emmis can't go high enough to win, what's driving Entercom and Citadel? Is it just ego? Probably and also Cumulus is smart as their passing on the bidding at a multiple that will probably have your head shaking demonstrates that at some point the pay back can be extremely difficult. If ABC sells then the buyer will have a tremendous pressure to succeed as you will not be able to slice and cut a path to success and possibly and eventually have to put their company on the auction block.
12/08/05 RBR #239

HD Digital Radio Alliance launches
We pegged it (11/29 RBR #232): Finally, a coordinated industry effort to compete with the format variety of satellite radio. Orlando-based "HD Digital Radio Alliance" Peter Ferrara from Clear Channel is the President/CEO of the new alliance and will be solely dedicated to and paid by the alliance. Participating groups so far include Bonneville, Citadel, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Emmis, Entercom, Greater Media and Infinity. Staff will be hired there on an as-needed basis. RBR observation: It is vital that the radio industry speak with one voice to promote HD Radio to the US public and roll it out in an orderly manner. We don't need to remind anyone of the experience with AM stereo. While there's been a lot of talk about the programming side of the Alliance, which will provide unique programming for the new HD-2 channels, we think the more important parts are the plans to introduce HD Radio to the public and convince automakers to put the receivers in new cars. Even if your company has its own plans for programming HD-2 channels, you would do well to find out what the Alliance will be doing to make it possible for people to actually receive those new channels. Speak with One Voice. The biggest goal now is to "Get it into the cars. That's number one. More details with Peter Ferrara read
12/07/05 RBR #238

People want digital radio,
but not monthly bills
Auto industry columnist Joseph White's feature on new car options dissected a JD Powers & Associates survey of 17,000 consumers on what new car options they were most interested in - - and what they were willing to pay for them. Ranked #3 was "high-definition radio," even though HD Radio receivers are hardly even out in the market yet. The survey found that at a one-time cost of 150 bucks, people were eager to have a digital radio receiver in their car - - but didn't want to pay the monthly subscription fee for satellite digital radio. RBR observation: Speak with one voice in all areas.
12/07/05 RBR #238

Gloomy on ad outlook 2006
Seeing ad spending trail GDP growth this year, Universal McCann guru Bob Coen expects more of the same in 2006, with total ad spending up 5.8%, vs. 4.6% this year. In radio, he expects national business (network and spot combined) to be up 4% and local 4% as well. RBR observation: Much as we'd like to see more growth in 2006, we can't disagree with Coen's basic projections. Final projections for this year still look too high, given the industry's flat performance through October reported by RAB. That may explain why he appears, at this point, to have too high of a projection for 2006. Coen insisted that he wasn't optimistic at all. "The radio situation is in turmoil right now.
12/06/05 RBR #237

Arbitron chief
downplays VNU buyout
CEO Steve Morris noted that while lots of people have suggested that his company is a buyout prospect for Nielsen owner VNU, he doesn't see it happening. Given its (VNU) current internal turmoil, he doesn't see VNU acquiring anything. Noted that having Nielsen do a Portable People Meter (PPM) joint venture with Arbitron would be a lot more efficient way to get access to the PPM technology than trying to buy Arbitron. RBR observation: Upbeat Morris or trying to put a smile on the face as many had hoped for and still do that Nielsen would acquire Arbitron. People inside Arbitron would make a few dollars and forward motion into the balance of this decade would move at a quicker pace. Now both ratings firms are treading water: VNU/Nielsen in limbo for months as this company is in play and Arbitron wishing to Santa to get bags of support from radio on PPM. Not happening except one thing - both ratings companies will have to continue to spend money on research and forward motion with little light at the end of the tunnel into next year of grand participation from broadcasters.
12/06/05 RBR #237

ZenithOptimedia lowers
global ad Outlook
Online up - lowered its projections for ad spend in 2006, predicting U.S. spending will grow only 2.9%, compared with a 3.6% gain it predicted in October. Worldwide ad spend is now expected to grow only 4.8%, compared with its previous forecast of 5.2% growth. However, it upped its online ad spend prediction for 2005: up to 4.6% from 4.3%. It also predicted that by 2008 online will account for 6.4% of global ad spend, and from 2005-2008 inclusive, 15.8 billion new ad dollars will be created, or 17% of total global ad growth.
RBR observation: In other words if you are not fully engaged into the new media world that the consumers are participating in you are out and we me out. Media executives had three years to improve and grow with the technology but many have just been sitting on their thumbs going into a new year. Too late and it will be shown next year RBR was right - Technology waits for no one.
12/06/05 RBR #237

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