2007: The Need for -- Ideas Working Now
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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 3, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning January 5th, 2007

Radio News ®

November national pulls
radio into the black

But the local slump continued as a hefty 16% increase in national business drove an overall increase of 3%. Non-spot gains were also measured in double-digits (13%), while local played the role of sea anchor, dipping slightly into the red ink side of the ledger by a factor of 1%. YTD, local is down the same 1%, national has increased 4% and non-spot is up 10%, all of which combine to leave radio at the break even point. The increase in November national is likely thanks to the last-minute media blitz from both political parties in last year's hotly-contested mid-term election (Democrats went so far as to borrow money to acquire 11th hour airtime). The late political activity is widely believed to have crowded national business off of the TV dial and over to radio. CL King's Jim Boyle also attributes the positive month to easy comps, and notes that the better performance is coming from markets #25 and smaller, while the beachfront properties continue to struggle. Jonathan A. Jacoby at Banc of America expects the national/local results to move much closer together now that the political season is over, and is looking for continued slow growth for radio in 2007.

RBR observation: Somehow, some way, radio simply must regain its supremacy at the local level. This is where the focus must be. This is the battle radio must win.

Wall Street beat up on radio in 2006
At first glance, the tally for radio stock performance in 2006 isn't so bad - 12 of the stocks tracked daily by RBR were up and 16 down. But if you look closer, it was the pure play radio groups (and satellite radio) who constituted almost all of the suffering 16. Network radio giant Westwood One gets the dubious honor of being the worst performer, down nearly 57% in a year which saw it repeatedly lower ad sales projections along with bringing in a new CEO to try to get the company back on course. With radio revenue growth close to a flat line, 12 pure play radio stocks were down double digits. Also down double digits were both satellite radio companies, with the former Wall Street darlings repeatedly lowering subscriber projections. The big winner for the year was Disney, which is getting out of radio and gained largely because of resurgent ABC Television. Its stock rose nearly 43%. Next was Lincoln National, an insurance company which happens to own radio and TV stations, up almost 27%. CBS saw both classes of its stock rise 22-23% as it proved to be a high-flier following the split from Viacom. Univision gained 20.5% as it agreed to be sold for 13.7 billion. Clear Channel rose 13% on its 26.7 billion buyout to go private and Cox Radio gained nearly 16% on speculation it might also go private. So Wall Street preferred for radio companies to sell themselves rather than operate radio stations. RBR's Radio Index, currently consisting of 13 public companies whose primary business is radio, was down 13.5% for the year. SBS exited the Index in the course of 2006 as its stock price fell into penny stock territory. Our chart spells out the winners and losers.
| View the Chart |

Foundation may sell Tribune stake
With Tribune Company taking bids from potential buyers, The Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation has put its own 11.7% stake into play as well. The foundation told the SEC it has engaged Blackstone Group as its financial adviser and has signed non-disclosure agreements to look at detailed financial information from the company. Some directors of the foundation are also Tribune executives, but the SEC filing says they have been excluded from the process of determining what, if anything, to do with the 28 million plus Tribune shares owned by the foundation. Rather, a special advisory committee made up of the two foundation directors not associated with Tribune is going to work with Blackstone to evaluate what course to take.

RBR observation: It is getting down to the nitty gritty at Tribune, with bids reportedly due January 17th. Like the Chandler Family - the only shareholders with a bigger stake in Tribune - the McCormick Foundation is getting professional advice on what its shares should be worth. We wonder whether any of the potential buyers have been courting the foundation to join their bidding team.

FTC inflicts losses for weight loss claims
The Federal Trade Commission has slimmed down a quartet of companies by a total of 25M for advertising unsubstantiated weight loss and other beneficial properties to their products. The products may stay on retail shelves but the ads must change. Marketers of Xenadrine EFX, which used TV and print, including Hispanic media, is due to pay between 8M-12.8M for consumer redress (and are also liable for another 22.75M bankruptcy settlement not involving the FTC). Seven marketers of CortiSlim and CortiStess, which used radio, TV, cable, print and the internet to tout weight loss and health benefits, and are liable for at least 12M. TrimSpa used a similar media mix, along with testimonials from the likes of Anna Nicole Smith, and its promoters are liable for 1.5M. Bayer Corporation also went multimedia for its One A Day Weight Smart, and is liable for 3.2M. Watchdog The Reality Council hailed the action. "The Reality Council supports the FTC's Red Flag campaign and encourages healthcare providers, media and corporate America to adopt strategies to help promote a safe and realistic approach to weight loss," said co-chair George L. Blackburn, MD, PhD.

John McCain, media magnet
Thinking about running for president? Want some free press? There's a certain senator out there with star power, including a wealth of active relationships with a wide variety of media gatekeepers. It doesn't matter much what your game plan is insofar as issue positioning, either, since the senator in question is also known as a maverick, taking positions himself which at one time or another alienate him from nearly every voting bloc you can imagine. By now you've no doubt guessed that the senator is named John McCain (R-AZ), and the Associated Press reports that a good way for candidates to amplify their own megaphone, regardless of party or ideology, is to attack John McCain. He has recently been used as a benchmark (and a route to media coverage) by ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R), who used McCain as a benchmark to chart his own position on gay marriage. Former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) went even further (and increased his media footprint) by labeling the possibility of a troop increase in Iraq as the McCain Doctrine. These are just two examples. For his own part, McCain - who regularly shows up everywhere from the Sunday talking head shows to late night television to you name it - used another venue, the nationally-syndicated Don Imus Show, to defend himself.

RBR observation: We're reminded of a comment made by a Saturday Night Live insider in Tom Shales' book on the program, saying that grandstanding cast member Joe Piscopo had let Eddie Murphy's fame go to his head. But whatever works...

Ad Business Report TM

Bouvard: Arbitron to offer Audio Matching within a year
In case you haven't heard, while The Arbitron Advertiser/Agency Advisory Council announced a resolution this week strongly advising radio stations encode their signals for PPM measurement in the face of holdouts Clear Channel and Radio One (1/4/07 RBR #2), Arbitron says within a year there will be a solution within a year, in 2007: "Audio Matching" will allow non-encoding stations' listening to be picked up by the PPM device. Says Arbitron PPM President Pierre Bouvard: "Similar to companies like MediaMonitors, the PPM device will take a little 1-second sound bite every minute or so. We are continuously monitoring all of the radio stations. What we do is literally match up, like a fingerprint, the snippet that you took to the pattern recognition of the station. We have a lot of patents in this area, because we used to have a commercial monitoring service called CMR." So within a year, the PPM will become a dual meter, able to identify content listened to via encoding and audio fingerprinting. The downside is fingerprinting isn't quite as accurate as encoding, so stations that aren't encoding may not have quite as high ratings. Bouvard says another issue that influenced the company choosing encoding vs. fingerprinting is encoding will be able to determine whether content was heard on the main signal, the online audio stream, the HD multicast signal, mobile wireless/WiFi or satellite. Each platform would make it possible by sending out a unique code. Are agencies interested in using PPM's technology for commercial ratings, as with television? Said Bouvard: "No question about it, I think long-term, agencies in the world of accountability would like to know the actual commercial ratings. And right now with Apollo we have advertisers encoding commercials. So another way around this non-encoding issue is if the advertisers simply encode their commercials. So in essence, if I'm a non-encoded property, I may be actually pushing radio quicker into commercial ratings."

RBR observation: Many stations were afraid of the idea of commercial ratings for radio, but after the Coleman study came out saying radio does a great job of keeping listeners through breaks, the fear is subsiding. The study says on average only 7% of listeners leave stations during commercial breaks. In addition some advertisers like Anheuser-Busch, for instance, may have big issues with buying unrated stations-if their 21+ audience comp. is not proven to be 70% or higher, they are breaking the industry guidelines. If someone is not encoding, they may have no idea (for the time being) what their audience comp. is on that station. It may be taken off the buy altogether.

Chrysler continues US incentives through January
The inventory issue remains. The factory and dealers have been butting heads on the over-production issue for some six months now. So Chrysler Group will now offer consumer incentives of up to 5,000 on some 2007 Dodge Ram light duty pickup trucks, and also offer low-rate financing and cash incentives of 1,000 to 1,500 on vehicles including the Charger and Chrysler 300 through January to maintain sales momentum, execs said Wednesday in a conference call with analysts and reporters. A campaign is likely to follow. In December, Chrysler Group spent 4,400 on incentives per vehicle, their highest level ever, mainly to get rid of excess 2006 inventory, including more than 6,400 per large truck, said Alex Rosten, an industry analyst with Edmunds.com, told Reuters. Chrysler Group ended 2006 with inventory of 538,000 vehicles, a 74-day supply, down about 10% from the end of 2005, meeting a target to reach the low- to mid-500,000 range by the end of the year, Reuters said.

Get On Board for Febuary
If you missed the January debut issue
of SMART MEDIA Magazine...

Then check out what's coming in the February issue.
We go OneOnOne with Jeff Haley, RAB CEO, and Steve Newberry RAB Chairman/Commonwealth Broadcasting. WOR's Rich Awn talks about "Radio Redesigned"-the benefits of synergistic approach to ad strategies. Insane results as radio combos with TV, Newspaper, and FSI's. Top radio media buyers talk about the future of HD Radio multicasting-what should the revenue models be? NetRadio Sales' Jennifer Lane talks about developing interactive dollars for broadcasters. Former NAB CEO Eddie Fritts tells how new technology can benefit radio stations in alerting listeners to emergencies. 2007's outlook for radio from the minds of top brokers: Mark Fratrik, Brian Cobb, Frank Kalil, Elliot Evers, Larry Patrick, more.

Contact June Barnes today to secure your ad placement for Febuary
[email protected] --- 803-731-5951

Media Markets & Money TM
Principle improves its 'LIE in NYC outskirts
WLIE-AM is going to Otto Miller's Principle Broadcasting Network, a group taking advantage of Miller's experience in the multicultural radio niche. The station, in the Nassau-Suffolk market community of Islip NY, is coming from Stuart Henry and his backers at Mercury Capital Partners for an undisclosed price. An LMA kicked off 1/1/07. The station, which is said to "blanket" both Long Island and New York City, will reside in the Principle portfolio with a pair of owned AMs in Boston and a pair of LMA/acquisition-pending AMs in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Washington Media Business Report TM
Retransmission battle continues
The National Association of Broadcasters has fired off a document to the FCC asking it to leave retransmission negotiations to the open market, as they are now. "In sum, the Commission should reject claims that the current, well-established retransmission consent regime harms competition and the public interest," is said, arguing that is provides "...an equitable marketplace solution that substantially increases the value of MVPD systems and also helps ensure quality local programming reaches the largest possible audience." It argues that while small-market broadcasters in particular are hampered by local ownership limits, cable companies can enjoy almost unlimited national and regional growth, giving them the upper hand at a time when local broadcasters are struggling with a challenging advertising environment and ever-increasing competition. It concludes, "Given that MVPDs now control the pathway to the television in more than 85% of American households, arguments that MVPDs are disadvantaged in retransmission consent negotiations are simply not supported by the facts."

Entertainment Media Business Report TM
Regent launches Eve 1300AM
Regent Communications announced the launch of a new female talk station, Eve 1300AM, an affiliate of Greenstone Media which was founded by Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda among others. According to Regent Communications Regional Vice-President and GM Robert Ausfeld, "Regent Communications is proud to be at the forefront of this exciting new format. The shows on EVE 1300AM will appeal to the busy homemaker as well as the female executive."

The weekday schedule on EVE 1300AM includes...
6-9AM Radio Ritas
9A-12N Lisa Birnbach
12N-3P Rolanda Watts
3-6PM Women Aloud
6-9PM Dr. Joy Browne
9P-12M Satellite Sisters

The weekend programming on EVE 1300AM will feature "best of" shows from the weekday hosts along with specialty shows such as The Money Pit, The Pet Show, Health Talk and more.

Ratings & Research
US consumers ready
for mobile marketing

Although 79% of consumers find the idea of mobile ads annoying, early efforts at mobile marketing have revealed that consumers will happily engage in campaigns as long as marketers deliver valuable information or content. According to a new report released by Forrester Research, a growing number of consumers are shifting from voice-only mobile services to other activities, creating a viable audience for mobile marketing. 35% of US households that own a mobile phone currently engage in text messaging and 11% access the mobile Internet. To combat preconditioned skepticism, marketers must recognize that mobile marketing is about offering value, not interrupting consumers with unmoving and irrelevant ads. Forward-looking brands are already successfully employing multimedia messaging, mobile Web browsers, and downloadable applications and content to reach consumers via mobile phones. For example: To increase late-night visits, McDonald's placed mobile ads on mobile Web sites, like Match.com, which are frequented by young consumers. McDonald's saw higher-than-average click-through rates due to a highly relevant offer: mobile coupons valid between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. for one night only. CC Radio's WXKS (KISS 108 FM) in Boston offers a "text club" in which listeners receive mobile alerts and promotions, and use text to interact with disc jockeys during broadcasts. 48% of the club sent texts for a chance to win breakfast with Nick Lachey. Broadway Marketplace, a small Cambridge, MA grocer, replaced its card-based loyalty program with one that uses mobile phones to identify the shopper. This approach allows Broadway Marketplace to deliver promotions based on a shopper's purchase history directly to a shopper's mobile phone. 82% of Broadway's shoppers now belong to this program, with 64% participating on a regular basis.

Businesses raised marketing budgets in Q4;
spending continues to fall short

Blackfriars Communications announced US companies expected to spend 50% more on marketing in Q4 than they spent in an average quarter in 2005. This data collected from Blackfriars' survey of US senior execs pushed the Q4 Blackfriars Marketing Index up to 150. Meanwhile, Blackfriars' Q3 2006 index of actual spending fell to 74, the lowest value in two and a half years. Blackfriars also released its Marketing Category Indices for twelve types of marketing spending. Those indices showed that the bulk of third quarter spending went to offline advertising, which grew to 41% of marketing budgets. Meanwhile, the percentage of marketing budgets being spent on online advertising fell to 8%. "While firms budgeted large amounts for marketing in 2006, they just didn't spend those budgets," said Carl Howe, a principal of Blackfriars. "With executive attitudes toward marketing faltering, businesses fell back on tried and true media types that they could defend."

Internet Media Business Report TM
RCS powers new Mi-Xfm web service
Broadcast software provider RCS announced it is the technology provider behind radio group GCap Media's groundbreaking launch of Mi-Xfm, referred to as a "personalized online player" branded by parent station Xfm and Microsoft's XBox in a new cooperative project launched in December for UK listeners. A service of Xfm radio called "Mi-Xfm", GCap's intelligent and user-customized player has set the UK radio industry alight because it offers software "intelligence". Using this online player, station listeners specify the quantities delivered of each artist and title to such a high degree that the software tailors a unique experience for every individual listener. The programming description of the four channels in the Xfm personalized online player include: Xfm Chill, "anthemic ballads and laid-back tunes to ease everyday stress"; Xfm Loud, "the loudest, fastest and most energetic tunes to get you going"; The X-list, "classics from the past to modern day influential current artists"; and Xfm Hits, "contemporary hits".

Engineering Media Business Report TM
Salem tower plan getting environmentalist ire
InsideBayArea dot com reports Salem Communications wants to build four 200-foot-high radio towers atop an old city dump, expanding the station's reach but raising concerns among protectors of the Hayward Regional Shoreline. The 13-acre landfill was operated from the 1930s through 1974, then sealed over with a clay cap. In order to build the towers, workers would have to drill through that cap. "I am really disturbed about it because it's on a landfill," Janice Delfino, a member of the citizens advisory committee to the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency, told the news org. "I don't know how the city could even think of allowing this kind of operation." Salem wants to build the towers for KNTS (AM 1220), one of two talk and news radio stations it owns in the Bay Area. The four KNTS towers and one low-lying transmitter building would be directly adjacent to one of the main recreational trail entrances to the Hayward Regional Shoreline. Also nearby is the shoreline field office of the East Bay Regional Park District. In studying the potential impacts the towers would have on the shoreline area, city officials believe the damage to area aesthetics would be minimal. Compared with the shorter but bulkier Pacific Gas & Electric power line towers that run through industrial west Hayward, the radio towers would be thin and hardly visible from far away. But while questions of view impact have not raised much concern, environmentalists like Delfino want more answers on the effects the proposed six to eight months of tower construction would have on the baylands. She also wants to know what benefit the city would get from having the towers developed on city-owned land. David Rizk, the city's planning manager, said that would have to be decided by the Hayward Planning Commission, which will vote on the tower proposal sometime within the next few months.

375K WYAC-FM Christiansted VI from Philip E. Kuhlman & Ellen N. Kuhlman, Joint Tenants to The Rain Broadcasting Inc. (Roger W. Morgan, Kangja Morgan). Two 50K escrow deposits, 275K cash at closing. LMA 6/1/04. [File date 12/11/06.]

195K KOHI-AM St. Helens OR from Volcano Broadcasting (Forrest W. Smith, Kenneth E. Karge) to The Mountain Broadcasting LLC (David L. Aldridge, Martin C. Rowe). 28K down payment, 35K credit to move transmitter location, 132K note. [File date 12/11/06.]

Stock Talk
Soft sales by retailers hurt broadcast stocks
Major retailers reported holiday sales figures that disappointed Wall Street - and bad news for retailers is bad news for broadcasters. While the news impacted the market in general, the major broad indices did finish on the plus side after a dip in oil prices. The Dow Industrials edged up six points to 12,481.

The Radio Index slipped 1.002, or 0.6%, to 156.754. Saga fell 2.1% and cumulus was down 1.9%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change





Journal Comm.








Lincoln Natl.







Radio One, Cl. A







Radio One, Cl. D




Citadel CDL
9.90 -0.17





Clear Channel




Saga Commun.




Cox Radio




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]

I will go one step farther than Jack Derouin of the CHUM Radio Group (1/4/06 RBR #2) regarding your comment "Canadians hate to admit that their economies are joined at the hip.". As a citizen of both countries and one who has labored for years in the US and Canadian broadcasting business, I can tell you that, although Canadians may have vast political differences with their southern neighbor, all are very much aware of the economic ties. In fact, Canadians are very much aware of ALL things American. Here's where I take it a step farther than Jack. Most Americans have no idea that we are married economically. In fact, as one who specializes in the travel business and in my 20-year experience living and working in the US I discovered that there are probably few countries in the developed world where it's people are more ignorant of life, society, culture or economics outside their own borders. (look at the mess we've made of Iraq...thanks to blindness to an unconventional culture) To most Americans, Canada is viewed as a vast wasteland of snow and hockey. Ask 10 Americans on the street who America's top ten trading partners are and I'll bet Canada wouldn't make the list. Are US broadcasters any different? Not in my experience..

Oh by the way, if you can ever get a chance to peek in on CBC TV (Canadian TV Network) watch for "This Hour Has 22 Minutes". It's a political comedy farce with a feature called "Ask The Americans". This will drive home just how little Americans know about anything south of Detroit. (yes...SOUTH of Detroit is...Ontario, Canada)

Stan Campbell
Travel Radio Network

Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
Arbitron to offer Audio Matching
Within a year allowing non-encoding stations' listening to be picked up by the device...

Media Markets & Money
Principle improves its '
LIE in NYC outskirts WLIE-AM is going to Principle...

Washington Media Business Report
Retransmission battle continues
NAB to the FCC leave retransmission negotiations to the open market...

Internet Media Business Report
RCS powers new
Mi-Xfm web service...

Ratings & Research
US consumers ready for
Mobile marketing as they find ads annoying but do engage when...

Stations for Sale

HAWAII - The Big Island
Profitable 3-stn group
Buy 2xFM 1xAM @ 8xbcf
[email protected]
(352) 746-7121

Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.
Contact June Barnes
[email protected]

Radio Media Moves

AP gets Weis
Christopher Weis has been named regional radio executive for the Midwest, based in Chicago, for AP Radio, succeeding Trish Kallembach, who retired late last year. Weis was most recently Regional Sales Manager for Spark Network Services, owned by CBS.

Brill to Omaha
Journal Broadcast Group has named Steve Brill Program Director of KEZO-FM Omaha. He had been with cumulus in Rockford, IL.

More News Headlines

Radio's 'El Cucuy' arrested at his home
Top rated SBS KLAX-FM LA morning man Renan Almendarez Coello, known as "El Cucuy," was booked Wednesday for investigation of making criminal threats during a New Year's Day dispute at his house in The San Fernando Valley section of the city. Almendarez turned himself in and was released after posting 50,000 bail, LAPD Officer Jason Lee told The LA Times. Police responded to Almendarez's home about 7 a.m. Monday for "an apparent domestic violence call where alleged criminal threats were made," Lee said. Almendarez's adult son intervened in a dispute between his parents.

USRN to handle ad sales for Huntsman Entertainment
United Stations Radio Networks has signed a deal to sell national network commercial time for the three barter services provided to commercial radio by Huntsman Entertainment, a Nashville-based producer of radio specials and ongoing services. The three programs and services include Country HitMakers, Western Beat Radio and The Artist Clip Service.

Not so fast
We were pushing the accelerator a bit by suggesting that the going private transaction for Clear Channel might close "early this year" (1/3/07 RBR #1). A Clear Channel spokesperson tells RBR the company expects the process to take 9-12 months. Of course, it all depends on getting the necessary regulatory approvals.

Amber Alert reminder
NAB is distributing public service announcements to radio and television stations across America that remind listeners and viewers of the vital lifeline served by the partnership between the public, law enforcement officers and local broadcasters through the Amber Alert Plan. The PSAs will begin airing on January 13 to coincide with the anniversary of the abduction of Amber Hagerman, for whom the program is named. The PSAs feature "America's Most Wanted's" John Walsh, whose six-year-old son was abducted and murdered in 1981, and Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted in the summer of 2002 and found alive in March 2003.

TVBR - TV News

New York Times
spins television unit

And it's going as a unit, for 575M, to Oak Hill Capital Partners, after being put on the auction block in September (9/13/06 TVBR #178). Oak Hill's J. Taylor Crandall commented, "The New York Times Company Broadcast Media Group is one of the industry's most admired franchises because of its heritage television stations, its commitment to quality news and serving the local community, and its outstanding employees. We look forward to maintaining the standard of excellence that The New York Times Company has achieved over the last 30 years." Oak Hill holds investments in cable companies Atlantic Broadband Group, WideOpenWest and Wometco Cable Corporation, and professes an interest in radio and television on its website. The New York Times group includes one duopoly, comprised of NBC KFOR-TV & MNT KAUT-TV in Oklahoma City OK; and seven standalones, including NBC WHO-TV Des Moines IA; CBS KFSM-TV in Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR; CBS WHNT-TV in Huntsville-Decatur-Florence AL; CBS WREG-TV in Memphis TN; ABC WQAD-TV in Davenport IA-Rock Island IL; CBS WTKR-TV in Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News VA; and ABC WNEP-TV in Wilkes Barre-Scranton PA. NYT President/CEO Janet L. Robinson explained that "...our focus now should be on the development of our newspapers and our rapidly growing digital businesses and the increasing synergies between them."

TVBR observation: Another private equity group making a big commitment to broadcasting. There must be something worthwhile about this business that Wall Street can't see. Will investors rediscover radio and television someday? Should we expect a bunch of IPOs a few years down the road?

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

Arbitron Advertiser/
Agency Advisory Council
wants PPM encoding

Look out Radio One and Clear Channel: The Arbitron Advertiser/Agency Advisory Council announced a resolution strongly advising radio stations encode their signals for PPM measurement. We mentioned agencies like Carat are likely to boycott non-PPM encoding stations (12/27/06 RBR #249). Perhaps this is the first agency warning shot over the bow. Kathy Crawford, MindShare President/Local Broadcast "The resolution was written to vocalize what has already been said to the radio industry, which is that accountability is the name of the game..."

RBR observation: People this is one issue you best pay attention to. Suggestion is to read the resolution in RBR.
01/04/07 RBR #2

Show us the cash flow
Its stock price jumped yesterday after Sirius Satellite Radio announced that it turned FCF positive in Q4 and hit its lowered subscriber guidance by ending 2006 with 6,024,000 subscribers. How did Sirius get to that FCF achievement? It is in RBR

RBR observation: Is it really cash flow and is it really free? Calculations by analysts to get to that FCF achievement show major add-backs to negative EBITDA. Can you really have negative EBITDA and also have something that deserves to be called FCF? We are skeptical, so we await the actual numbers so we can check the math.
01/04/07 RBR #2

Coming in 2007:
New bosses at Clear Channel
At first glance, the corporate office in San Antonio won't be changing much when Clear Channel Communications is taken private early this year (as early as government approvals can be obtained), but below the surface much is changing. The Mays family will no longer have de facto control, as they did when Clear Channel was a public company without a majority shareholder. Competitors and brokers have been salivating at the station inventory put on the market in connection with going private - some 500 or so radio stations and the entire CC Television group.

RBR observation: Lowry and his family will walk away with over a billion bucks from the buyout, but Mark and Randall are going to be faced with a new reality of working for people who do not share their last name. They and Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan will have to hit the performance marks set by their new bosses or risk being sent packing.
01/03/07 RBR #1

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