Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 249, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning December 27th, 2007

Radio News ®

More gloom and doom
about November

By the end of next week, we may see the RAB figures for November radio revenues, but Bank of America analyst Jonathan Jacoby is pretty pessimistic about what the numbers will show. Jacoby has been checking with large market sources and found that their revenues were down about 7%, much worse than the 3% decline he had anticipated. Those big markets account for about 35% of all radio billings. So, while the story may not have been so bleak in medium and small markets, he has lowered his November revenue estimate to a decline of 5% from his previous 3%. "We are also lowering our Q4 '07 industry revenue growth estimate from a decline of 2% to a decline of 3%, and lowering our annual 2007 estimate from a decline of 1% to 2%. Our checks indicate that business will remain sluggish for the remainder of the year into early 2008. Political has yet to be a factor for radio," Jacoby told clients.

RBR observation: This is shaping up to finish a year best forgotten as one that is just getting worse. CL King analyst Jim Boyle has also said that November is likely to be down 4-5% (12/20/07 RBR #247). There appears to be no way for Santa to deliver a December that will produce a positive number for the whole year. The big worry now is whether there is anything on the horizon to keep 2008 from being more of the same. Political will help, but a real improvement in the general advertising climate is what is needed.

Local Clear Channel exec cries foul on Minot myth
Calling the story an "urban myth," a Clear Channel Minot cluster manager bristled when Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) once again railed against the alleged lack of any on-duty personnel at a six-station radio cluster in Minot ND during an overnight train derailment involving hazardous materials. Market manager Rick Stensby says overnighter Jerry Michaels was on duty that night, and that there were other factors beyond Clear Channel's control that contributed to problems getting the word or the disaster out to local citizens. Prime among them was the failure of the local police to have their EAS equipment hooked up. Stensby said station personnel did react promptly to the emergency, and in the aftermath helped get the police department up to speed on EAS. Stensby has offered to meet Dorgan to discuss the incident. In a letter to Dorgan, he said he is not a stockholder in Clear Channel and plans to remain in Minot, not with the company, once it has completed its planned sale of the Minot stations. "There may be a lot of things wrong with all the corporate ownership in America but I can tell you that on the night in question, Clear Channel has gotten a bad rap," he wrote.

Political portal: 12/17/07-12/21/07
The FCC Open Meeting of 12/18/07 provided more than enough fireworks to get the PR machines cranking at high speed last week. The big move was elimination of the blanket restriction on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership in the top-20 Nielsen DMAs, pushed through on a 3-2 party line vote. The ultimate result of this was to annoy just about everybody. Those opposed to media consolidation deplored it, and those looking for regulatory relief wanted the restriction lifted in all markets. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) quickly promised legislative measures to put a stop to it. * The FCC also took several steps aimed at increasing the percentage of minority and female broadcast owners, widely hailed by watchdogs who nevertheless were greatly dissatisfied with the non-specific small-business-oriented definition of the businesses standing to benefit from the measures. * The FCC also is opening a rulemaking into adding regulatory measures aimed at increasing localism. It holds the promise of reporting requirements and the possibility of mandates involving local affairs programming and inclusion of local talent on playlists -- it was greeted with extreme wariness by broadcasters. * The FCC also capped MVPD national subscribership to no more than 30% of the sub base, but avoided mandating a la carte channel menus.

RBR observation: A lot of what happened in the meeting is destined for challenge on both Capitol Hill and in the courts; more is up for comment. The meeting ended the regulatory year with an extremely loud bang, but the echoes figure to last well into 2008 and beyond. Stay tuned.

One last round of FCC commentary
The one thing that has been nearly impossible to find in the aftermath of the FCC's 12/18/07 Open Meeting is an observer who was moved to issue a statement and who also thought that FCC Chairman and his 8th Floor supporters got everything right. Today we'll publish remarks from NAA's John Sturm, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and UCC's J. Bennett Guess.
| Comments here |

NYT raises alarm on pirate FMs
Think pirate radio is only prevalent in South Florida? Think again. The New York Times penned an article over the weekend that says public FM stations there are also getting inundated with pirate radio interference: "On Monday night at 10:27, listeners to the Newark-based jazz station WBGO could hear the legendary Red Norvo plunking away at the final bars of "Have You Met Miss Jones?" The station's signal, at 88.3 FM, blankets the city from Tottenville at the southern tip of Staten Island to Riverdale in the north Bronx. But WBGO fans in the heavily Haitian neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn, could not hear Norvo's glistening arpeggios. At that moment on that frequency, the Flatbush listeners instead heard an echoing voice pitching a wonder pill in Creole." The intruding signal came from a low-power pirate broadcaster, one of many in Flatbush and nearby neighborhoods that bedevil the major stations by blocking their signals. Brooklyn, over the years, has been home to dozens of pirate broadcasters, chattering in every language from Spanish to Yiddish. The Haitian-American community, with its traditional fondness for radio, is an especially receptive audience. But the number and persistence of the pirates squatting on their frequencies has been increasing, the story said.

"They're killing us," Cephas Bowles, WBGO GM told the paper. "They don't respect the FCC, and they don't respect the stations that have legally been licensed to operate." He says listeners have been calling in daily with complaints. George Evans, CE at WFUV-FM, the Fordham University station, said that a rising resentment about Spanish and Creole pirates had prompted him to solicit listener complaints on the station's Internet home page. The station has received 294 complaints since the notice went up in August, Evans said, most of them from listeners in Brooklyn and Paterson, N.J. Since 2005, the commission has fined only one pirate broadcaster in Brooklyn, who in January was ordered to pay a 10,000 fine.

RBR observation: The NYC metro area has a ton of legal, licensed non comm. FM stations, mainly from colleges. It's already a crowded dial, with WNYU, the aforementioned WBGO, WSOU, WFDR, WKCR, WNYE, WFMU, WCWP, WRIU, WSIA, WKRB, WHPC, and associated low power translators. These are all below 92.1 on the dial, leaving little room for pirate outfits. South Florida has a little more open space on that side of the dial for pirates to find a spot and maybe not get noticed as quickly. But in NYC, it's a different story. Broadcasters may push for the state to emulate Florida's tough new laws on pirate broadcasters if it gets much worse. Remember-the market has plenty of ethnic-brokered stations, should they want the legal coverage.

Broadcast Electronics and iTunes...

...the ultimate tag team
Enable your listeners to "tag" songs on their FM HD radios for later purchase from the iTunes Music Store. Build listener loyalty, enhance your station's brand and generate new revenue.

Learn more about iTunes Tagging.

RBR News Analysis
The year of yearning to go private
It seems most CEOs of publicly traded broadcasting companies wished in their hearts to leave Wall Street and go private in 2007. Of those who actually tried, not all succeeded. The biggest, of course, closed just last week, as Sam Zell and a new Employee Stock Ownership Plan completed the 8.2 billion bucks, two-stage buyout of the former public shareholders of Tribune Company. Under pressure from the Chandler family, which founded the Los Angeles Times and years ago merged Times Mirror into Tribune, CEO Dennis FitzSimons sold off some of the non-core TV stations and sought to find a buyer for the entire company. But while some billionaire bidders came forward wanting parts, particularly the LA Times, Zell ended up being the only one to submit a firm bid for the entire operation. After many months of waiting, the FCC finally approved crosssownership waivers to keep Tribune's broadcast-newspaper combinations intact, clearing the way for last week's closing.

Clear Channel - Which put itself up for sale back in 2006 is still waiting for regulatory approvals to go private. The Mays family and bidding partner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts were outbid by a private equity team of Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, but then, in a bizarre twist, the Mays family joined the winning team and Mark and Randall Mays signed on to continue running the company after it goes private. But that wasn't the end. Major shareholders who thought the initial bid of 37.60 per share was too cheap held on and forced the buyout consortium to eventually raise the offer to 39.20 and give shareholders an option to hold onto a stake in the private company. Despite Wall Street concerns about the credit crunch which developed while this deal was pending, all appears to be in readiness for a closing of the 26.7 billion bucks deal - except regulatory approvals. Just what the holdup is isn't clear, since Clear Channel has been selling off some stations and no new combinations will be created. We note though that FCC Commissioner Michael Copps has called for the Commission to examine the impact of private equity ownership of broadcasting stations, although such ownership situations have existed for several decades.

Cumulus Media - Also pending is a deal to take Cumulus Media private by CEO Lew Dickey's family and a private equity fund managed by Merrill Lynch. That deal for 11.75 per share, or 1.3 billion, is expected to close in 2008 following shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Ad Business Report TM

HD Radio Alliance
responds to ad criticism

Peter Ferrara, HD Radio Alliance CEO, responded to criticisms from two major radio industry figures on the effectiveness of the Alliance's latest radio spots. In his blog, Dave Martin noted that after 400 million in air time were spent to promote HD radio, only half-million HD receivers have been sold: "Either radio is not an effective media to get the message out, the wrong communications channel to use in selling radios and driving web traffic or the messaging is not right. My conclusion is the messaging is wrong, clearly not effective."

Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media noted, "In a sort of snarky approach, the campaign features a humanized radio talking to his owner about why HD Radio product is so attractive and not worth the bother. But in the process, traditional radio is repositioned as old-fashioned, repetitive, and lame."

Ferrara responded:

"Fred (and all) -
We're sorry you didn't enjoy the spots. We are working with one of the top brand building ad agencies in the country that's done great things for clients like Southwest Airlines, BMW, MasterCard, AT&T and the PGA Tour. We explained our challenge, the current status of HD Radio and asked them for their honest evaluation and recommendation.

It's completely natural for all of us in the radio business to bristle at the thought that not everyone shares our passion and commitment to our medium. The truth is that these spots aren't aimed at you and me - and we need to have the courage to engage the folks we're trying to reach in a way that speaks to the way they see it. And when we connect with them on that, authentic level, we can hope to re-engage them in what's outstanding about radio.

In the meantime, all of us in radio's inner circle have an opportunity to trust in the experience and the track record of an ad agency that's been here before."

RBR observation: Really, and as we've said before, the real hook for HD Radio should be to be able to get the variety of satellite radio for free. "Enjoy your favorite stations in digital sound, as well as hear a bunch more with no subscription fee." Then play a bunch of sound snippets of the songs folks would hear-Indie Rock tunes, techno, reggae, etc....

Media Business Report TM
CC Outdoor teams with FBI for
"Most Wanted Messages''

Clear Channel Outdoor announced an agreement with the FBI to display "wanted" messages on all of its digital billboards across the country. This national initiative, already launched, follows the successful apprehension of three criminals in Philadelphia as a direct result of information displayed on CC Outdoor's digital billboard network in that market. In addition to "wanted" bulletins, the FBI will be able to display high-security messages relevant to the communities in which CC Outdoor's digital billboards operate. A protocol also will be established for high priority "hot pursuit" messages to assist apprehending suspects in the immediate aftermath of the commission of a felony.

Said Paul Meyer, CC Outdoor President in an interview: "Since first launching our digital billboard networks, which are located in nearly 20 cities across the country, we have been committed to using this versatile technology to enhance public safety, from AMBER Alerts to quickly informing the traveling public in Minneapolis within 15 minutes of that City's tragic bridge collapse this past summer. Our partnership with the FBI to use our digital networks to assist in the apprehension of fugitives and provide other critical security messages is a logical extension of this invaluable community service."

Talkers develop tunnel vision
"With the first serious tallies of the 2008 campaign looming large on the horizon, it's going to take a major cataclysm to oust campaign coverage from the top slot on the Project for Excellence in Journalism's news coverage chart, at least until the primary process reveals the top-ticket nominees for each party." That's what we wrote last week about news coverage. The talk crowd, during the week of 12/9/07-12/14/07, took this to the extreme, giving the campaign exactly half -- 50% -- of available time and space. They just missed doubling the 26% devoted by the news crowd. Talkers also made room for domestic terrorism (12%), the baseball steroids scandal (6%) and immigration (5%). An astounding four topics made the top ten talk list with only a 1% share.

Media Markets & Money TM
Clear Channel docks in Murdock
Radio giant Clear Channel has reached an agreement with Mark Jorgenson's Concord Media Group for WBCG-FM Murdock FL. CCU will pay 786,624 cash for the station. The change in ownership should not be too noticeable for local citizens, however, since CCU has been running the station in an LMA dating back to 10/15/01. WBCG-FM is not officially in Arbitron-rated territory, but positioned on the western side of the state between Sarasota and Fort Myers-Naples, it has contour overlap with numerous CCU stations, forming three distinct markets under the old contour definition. This transaction makes the dealings of the two principals a two-way street: Clear Channel filed to sell WLTQ-AM in Charleston SC to Jorgenson for 608,230 back on 11/1/07.

Withers picks up short-timer in Marion-Carbondale
We have more color on the Withers Broadcasting acquisition of a radio six-pack from Clear Channel in the Marion-Carbondale IL market. For starters, the price will be 4M. Secondly, the deal actually involves the direct sale of only five stations: WDDD-FM, WFRX-AM, WQUL-FM, WTAO-FM & WVZA-FM. The sixth station mentioned late last week by brokerage Kalil & Co. actually has conditions tied on. WDDD-AM Johnston City IL happens to have an expanded-band twin, WVON-AM ub Berwyn IL. The duo may be operated side-by-side until 8/2/11, but may not be broken up via transfer of ownership. The contract for this deal allows Withers to apply for a waiver to own the station, at no extra charge, until its death warrant takes effect on in August 2011; or it can run it under an LMA/SSA up until the same date. In either case, expanded band WVON-AM is not a part of the sale.

Washington Business Report TM
FOIA bill clears Congress
The Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act, or OPEN Government Act, cleared both houses of Congress last week, pushed through by Patrick Leahy (D-VT), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) in the Senate and Todd Platts (R-PA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) in the House. RTNDA president Barbara Cochran thanked the legislators for their leadership, and added, "But this isn't just a victory for journalists; it's a victory for every single member of the American public. This legislation will eliminate some of the lengthy delays and persistent backlogs in the FOIA process that create obstacles and limit the public's ability to make informed choices in their communities." Society of Professional Journalists President Clint Brewer also hailed the move, saying, "In a time when First Amendment rights are under attack almost daily in this country, this bill is a major step to ensuring America has a free press and a government that is transparent and open."

RTNDA published a checklist of the bills features, which include: * restoring meaningful deadlines for agency action; * imposing real consequences on federal agencies for missing FOIA's 20-day statutory deadline; * clarifying that FOIA applies to government records held by outside private contractors; * establishing an FOIA hotline service for all federal agencies; and * creating an FOIA ombudsman to provide information requestors and federal agencies with a meaningful alternative to costly litigation.

Entertainment Business Report TM
Carolla renews; Bonaduce an hour
On the heels of its outstanding summer ratings, CBS Radio signed a multi-year contract extension with Adam Carolla that positions the funny-man solidly in the highly competitive LA market for years to come. The Adam Carolla Show can be heard on its flagship KLSX-FM, weekday mornings from 6:00-10:00AM, PT, and can also be found on KUFO-FM Portland and KXTE-FM Las Vegas. The show is also syndicated through Westwood One in several major markets, including Seattle, Sacramento and Fresno, among others. In a related announcement, contributing show member Danny Bonaduce will relinquish his role on Carolla's show and begin hosting his own program on KLSX Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 on-air and online from 2:00-3:00PM, PT.

WJBT moves frequency in JAX
On 12/25 CC Radio's Urban "The Best" WJBT 92.7 began broadcasting at 93.3 mHz, replacing Country WROO-FM, "The Rooster." WJBT-FM programming will continue to be simulcast on 92.7 until further notice. The new signal broadcasts at 50,000 watts, while the old signal at 92.7 FM was 2,600 watts. "It makes sense for WJBT, which is currently the #1 ranked radio station in Jacksonville," said VP/Market Manager Barbara Latham. In addition, on 1-2 the "Steve Harvey Morning Show" will move to WJBT.

News Corp. Local-izes
eight stations

Even with only one bidder (11/15/07 TVBR #224), it still took a while for News Corporation to come to terms on selling the group of medium-market Fox O&Os it had put up for sale. Oak Hill Capital Partners is indeed the buyer, for 1.1 billion bucks, expanding to 17 the TV group it had already begun as Local TV LLC by acquiring the former New York Times stations. In fact, News Corporation only sold eight of the nine stations it had put on the auction block, since Local TV already has WREG-TV (Ch. 3, CBS) and could not acquire WHBQ-TV (Ch. 13, Fox). Saying the management teams and operations of the eight Fox stations are a "perfect fit" for Local TV, new CEO Bobby Lawrence, who just last week moved up as Randy Michaels became head of interactive and broadcasting for Tribune Company, said "The stations have an outstanding track record and we look forward to helping them continue their success. As also announced last week, the expanded Local TV group will be receive services from a new third-party broadcast management company owned by Tribune and headed by Michaels. Adding the group of Fox stations will move Local TV into somewhat larger markets. Its current portfolio ranges from market #42 to #102, while the ones being added are from #17 Cleveland to #46 Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC. "This is a group of heritage news stations. They bring the power of the Fox network to our platform and their markets are a compliment to our existing mid to small market collection. We're excited. This is a great acquisition," Local TV CFO Pam Taylor told TVBR.

Fox O&O stations being sold to Oak Hill/Local TV LLC





Rev. 06 (000)



Cleveland-Akron, OH





Denver, CO





St. Louis, MO





Kansas City, KS-MO





Milwaukee, WI





Salt Lake City, UT





Birmingham, AL





Grnsboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC





Source: BIAfn Media Access Pro

Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 11/5/07-11/9/07
It's hard to believe, but trading value during the last week of April was even lower than the total posted this week. You'll see why it's hard to believe when you take a gander at the sub-3M number on this week's bottom line. That's even though a television transaction was filed. But this week's television agreement was a small one in a small market.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Second station for Buffalo broadcaster
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
Pappas grows tired of the Waitt
| More...

7.5M KWXY-FM Palm Springs CA (Cathedral City CA). 100% of Glen Barnett Inc. from Barnett-KWXY Trust, Glen Barnett, Trustee to R&R Radio Corporation (Rozene R. Supple, Frederic E. Supple). Cash, 500K going into post-closing escrow account. Superduopoly with KPSI AM & FM, KGAM-AM, KPTR-AM. Buyer is selling KDES-FM Palm Springs to Liberman Broadcasting Inc., who will move it the the Riverside-San Bernardino market. [File date 12/4/07.]

Stock Talk
Retail sales unimpressive to Wall Street
Stock prices were little changed on Wednesday after reports indicated that holiday retail sales were weaker than expected. The Dow Industrials crept up two points to 13,552.

Radio stocks were mixed. The Radio Index declined 0.661, or 0.7%, to 98.874. The day's best performer was Fisher Communications, up 3%. The worst was Radio One, with its Class A down 8.6% and Class D 8.5%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel CDL
2.10 -0.08

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.




Debut Bcg.




Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio





Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
HD Radio Alliance
Responds to ad criticism...

Media Business Report
CC Outdoor teams w/FBI
For "Most Wanted Messages''...

Media Markets & Money
Clear Channel docks
In Murdock, has reached an agreement with Concord Media Grp...

Washington Business Report
FOIA bill clears Congress
RTNDA thanked the legislators...

Stations for Sale

Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

Jim Carnegie
[email protected]

More News Headlines

Best rumor of 2007
Don't tell anyone, but we hear that Sam Zell has had talks with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital about the possibility of stepping in as a replacement buyer for Clear Channel. Will those talks go anywhere? We'll have to wait and see. But wouldn't it be amazing to see Randy Michaels back in charge of the radio empire he put together at CCU? Of course, Tribune Co. would have to do some divestitures, but there would be plenty of buying/swapping interest in the beachfront properties that would be involved.

XM, Warner Music Group reach deal on Pioneer Inno
XM Satellite Radio and Warner Music Group have resolved the lawsuit brought by Warner Music Group against XM over its Pioneer Inno, a portable satellite radio with advanced recording features. WMG is the second music company to resolve its dispute with XM regarding radios with advanced recording functionality. A similar agreement between XM and Universal Music Group was announced 12/17. Both agreements are multi-year deals that cover current XM radios and future devices. WMG has withdrawn as a party to the complaint filed by the major record labels against XM in May 2006.

IAB supports FTC's embrace of self-regulation of behavioral advertising
The Interactive Advertising Bureau commended the FTC for its release last week of a set of proposed principles to guide the development of self-regulation in the evolving area of behavioral advertising. "We support the FTC's call for industry self-regulation and we are very pleased that the commission endorsed the IAB's analysis of the value of the ad-supported Internet," said Randall Rothenberg, IAB CEO. "At the same time we will continue to work with our members to educate the FTC and Congress about the new interactive tools that improve consumers' lives, enhance consumer control and build the U.S. economy." The IAB and its membership look forward to working with the FTC on points from the draft proposal to achieve language that respects the importance of consumer control and that protects consumer privacy through notice, choice and data security, while preserving the free content and services supported by advertising online. An IAB Task Force has been working on privacy protection issues since late last summer. IAB expects to announce new privacy principles for the industry early in '08.

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

The Zell era begins at Tribune
The electronic transfer of 4.2 billion bucks borrowed from a team of banks took place and Tribune Company became a private company, owned by Sam Zell and an ESOP. Tribune Broadcasting staffers, meet your new boss. This classic photo in RBR of Randy Michaels was taken during the Jacor era, when Randy sought to enliven an NAB Radio Show panel discussion by hosing down the audience and showing off his patriotic red, white and blue boxer shorts.

RBR note: Well get strapped in and hold on and hope we go for a ride of creative juices again to flow back in our media.
12/21/07 RBR #248

November was another tough month
The Wall Street consensus is that the monthly RAB report will show radio revenues down 2% for November, but CL King analyst Jim Boyle now expects it to be worse than that - more like down 4-5%. He's also worried that the Q4 guidance given by the public radio groups may prove to be "rosy." The average guidance is for Q4 to be down 1.5%, but Boyle thinks the quarter is likely to be down 3%.

RBR observation: Ok, we now are wondering what these brilliant CEO's are going to do in 2008 to reverse this trend? What, lets get united with one voice and sing around the camp fire - Cumbya! Right! Anyone this year do any "due diligence" on the pay checks, the money that many of the CEO's are taking out of their companies while their stock is going in the tank. Do some homework and you will find a number of these CEO's have lined their personal pockets with GOLD while they have fired, cut, devalued their companies with no shareholder value except to themselves. Santa has been good to a number of them this year. Hey, do some checking it will make you sick.
12/20/07 RBR #247

FCC action draws ample, mostly negative, commentary
"We're not done with this, not by a long shot," said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) in comments about the FCC vote relaxing cross-ownership rules in the top 20 markets. Dorgan has a bipartisan posse representing over a quarter of the Senate ready to take action to nullify the FCC's 3-2 party-line vote.

RBR note: Complete comments in this report page of RBR.
12/20/07 RBR #247

TV in the tank
TV's Q3 station revenues down 8.7%; total TV off 4.1% Reflecting the absence of political and Olympic revenues, local broadcast television ad revenues were down 8.7% in Q3 of 2007. Network TV was flat in the quarter and syndicated TV was down 3.3%. Combined with local, that translates into a 4.1% decline for total broadcast television in Q3. 17 of the Top 25 advertising categories in local broadcast TV were down in Q3. Government & Organizations, which includes political spending, was down 67.5%. The biggest category, Automotive, was down 7.5%, and #2 Telecommunications was up 11.0%.
12/20/07 TVBR #247

FCC and Martin
rumble in the Jungle
Everything hit the fan and the mediums are in a spin. FCC approves top-20 crossownership as FCC Chairman Kevin Martin got his 3-2 party-line vote to eliminate the crossownership ban in the top 20 Nielsen DMAs. A newspaper owner will be allowed to own a television station outside the market's top four, or a radio station, as long as eight independent voices remain and as long as the cross-owned entities maintain separate news operations. Plus, the Commission moved to impose localism requirements on television stations, requiring submission of a standardized form quarterly detailing various elements of local programming. It is now looking at extending these requirements to radio. Also they FCC moved to increase minority/female ownership.

RBR observation: Now we wait to see how long it will take for a legislative response, and how loud it will be. Elsewhere, the volume knob is already turning up toward the maximum level. Meanwhile, broadcasters are steamed about the potential imposition of new and onerous regulation and the Newspaper Association of America is already complaining about the restrictive nature of the loosened rule. RBR outlines complete reports in this issue. It is a jungle inside the beltway.
12/19/07 RBR #246

Performance Royalty bill
introduced in Congress
The long-threatened bill to force radio stations to pay royalties to record companies was introduced yesterday in both the House and the Senate. The "Performance Rights Act of 2007" was introduced in Senate. See the complete report in RBR.

RBR observation: Berman is right about one thing, and only one, from his speech - there should be parity for AM, FM and Internet radio. To that end, Congress should revise the digital copyright law - which, after all, was supposed to be about digital downloads, not streaming - and stop RIAA from making Internet radio operators pay for the privilege of helping the record labels sell records.
12/19/07 RBR #246

Don't fire until you see the whites...
Oh, go ahead and fire
Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is not waiting around to see what FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has up his sleeve before going public against it. In fact, he's rounded up a 24-member bipartisan posse of senators, including four Republicans and one independent, informing Martin that if he goes ahead with his plan to remove cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 markets, they will "immediately move legislation that will revoke and nullify the proposed rule.

RBR observation: Ok if you were waiting for something interesting out of DC then now you have it. RBR will keep a close on FCC boss Martin as the - you know what hits the fan.
12/18/07 RBR #245

RBR expands; Kaufman on board
RBR/TVBR publisher Jim Carnegie announces that Dave Kaufman has joined the RBR/TVBR staff in our Sales/Marketing department. Kaufman, a 36-year front line broadcast executive, most recently spent the past five years as VP of Affiliate Relations for ABC Radio Networks and, prior to ABC, seven years with Westwood One as VP/GM and VP Affiliate Relations Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcast Services. His experience also includes 25 years on the station rep side, 23 of which were with Major Market Radio Sales, a rep firm of Interep.

RBR note: For many of you that know Dave Kaufman, he can be reached at [email protected] or at 973-839-8151.
12/18/07 RBR #245

Multicultural fined
for contest violations
Demonstrating once again that the FCC is very serious about enforcing its rules about running on-air contests, Multicultural Radio's KAZN-AM Los Angeles (Pasadena, CA) has been fined 12,000 bucks for what the Commission notice of apparent liability calls its "repeated and willful violation" of the rules requiring a station to fully and accurately disclose the terms of contests and conduct the contest as advertised.

RBR observation: This is not the first time that we've seen a licensee get tripped up by a sponsor not delivering on a promised contest prize. At least in this case it was only a few TV sets and, at least by our reading of the FCC's notice of apparent liability, the station doesn't have to deliver the missing three sets because no prize winners were ever announced for them.
12/17/07 RBR #244

RBR Classifieds

New Positions
Available in RBR Classifieds.
See Radio Careers

Additional Positions
Available in RBR Classifieds.
See Radio Careers.

Find Your Radio Career

Post Your Companies Job Openings

Help Desk

Contact Us
Advertising Opportunities
Submit a news story

Having problems with our epapers?
Please send Questions/Concerns to:
[email protected]

If you wish to remove your name completely from our database use this link __UNSUB__

©2007 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved.
Radio Business Report -- 2050 Old Bridge Road, Suite B-01, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 -- Phone: 703-492-8191