Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 34, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning February 17th, 2005

Radio News®

Fritts confirms early exit
Although RBR/TVBR published his early retirement plans weeks ago (2/1/05 RBR # 22), the NAB's Executive Board let Eddie Fritts pick his own time to announce that he would be stepping down early - - and that was yesterday. Rather than staying through to the end of his current contract, which runs through April 2006, Fritts has told the NAB Board of Directors that he will leave just as soon as his successor as President and CEO is selected - - allowing the formal search to begin in earnest. The NAB's search committee will be co-chaired by Joint Board Chairman Phil Lombardo, CEO of Citadel Communications, and Immediate Past Joint Board Chairman David Kennedy, President and CEO of Susquehanna Media. We asked Fritts what he thinks the committee should be looking for in a successor. "I think they will have a wide selection of people who will be, one, extremely qualified, and two, interested in moving into this job. So I don't think there will be any shortage of applicants and there are certainly a number of high-profile people who are in Washington who would find this job a real challenge," he said. Do you think it has to be a Washington insider? "It depends on whether you want to be successful or not. If you want to be successful you've got to have somebody that can play the game in Washington," Fritts replied. When we reminded Fritts that he was not from inside the beltway when he got the job 23 years ago, he laughed. "Yeah, they made a bad hire back then," Fritts quipped. For his part, Fritts says he'll likely start his own firm in Washington to do some consulting (translation: lobbying), but he also confirmed our earlier report that he's looking at opportunities to return to broadcast station ownership.

RBR observation: Time to get on the stick. From observing the selection of new CEOs at the Motion Picture and Cable TV trade associations in recent months, what stands out in both cases is that the search took a lot longer than either organization had expected. And while many NAB members would prefer to have someone from outside the beltway representing their interests, as our RBR/TVBR poll found (2/7/05 RBR #26), we must agree with Eddie that what's needed is someone who knows how to deal with Members of Congress, Capitol Hill staffers, FCC officials and other bureaucrats. On-the-job training may have been OK 23 years ago, but things move a lot faster today. Anyone being considered for the job from outside the Beltway had best also have a fair amount of experience dealing with the DC crowd.

House gets indecency bill on its way
The full House of Representatives launched the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 on its destination to the law books, passing it by a vote of 389-38. The yeas were almost equal to 2004's 391 total; however, an addition 16 members stood up with the nays this year - - in 2004, only 22 voted against the measure (3/12/04 RBR #50). It'll take the maximum single-incident fine up to 500K, put the performers themselves in the line of fire, and put in place a three strikes rule which would initiate FCC license revocation hearings. Last minute amendments were relatively minor, and did not venture into controversial waters, such as language having anything remotely to do with ownership consolidation. Referring to non-licensees (performers, announcers, etc.), amendments set the liability standard as "willful and intentional," and said that the non-licensees' indecent statement must have been made "knowing or having reason to know" that it would be heard over the air. It says the financial of a penalty on individual should be taken into account. Finally, reports on indecency enforcement are to begin with data from 2000. The nay votes included 36 Democrats and one independent, Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The lone Republican dissident, as last year, was Ron Paul (R-TX).

Upton at 'em: Sponsor explains indecency
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) is chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, making him one of, if not the most important members of that body when it comes to issues affecting broadcasters. That's why we took special notice of his 2/16/05 appearance on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" to discuss the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005.

RBR observation: Perhaps Upton misspoke when he mentioned "triple X sex." We don't know how you'd define "triple x sex," but we think you'd have a tough time including Nipplegate, or Bono, or Victoria's Secret, or Oprah, or "Keen Eddie," or other celebrated incidents under that category. | More... |

Upton at 'em, Part II: Multicast must carry
It looks like Eddie Fritts and Yogi Berra are right - - it ain't over 'til it's over, and the jury may still be out on the issue of cable's requirements when it comes to carriage of digital broadcast television when it's in multicasting mode. Key House member Fred Upton (R-MI), appearing on the 2/16/05 edition of C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," noted the FCC's 2/10/05 4-1 vote in favor of single-stream carriage and said, "It's something we're going to take a serious look at - - I don't know the answer yet." He said he would prefer a voluntary agreement between the broadcast and cable industries (we think much like the four-stream deal between Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA) (2/1/05 RBR #22). If such an agreement is not forthcoming, he said Congress would likely step in. As for a deadline, Upton noted that his committee chair, Joe Barton (R-TX) wants to stick with the original 2006 date. He wasn't as sure that it was possible, but did say he too supported a hard date, and that his subcommittee would be pushing for something concrete by late spring. "Don't buy an analog set any more," he told the viewing audience, "buy a digital set."

RBR observation: We don't know about you, but when the man says he's aware of the vote, the industry should forge an agreement, and if they don't he's going to step in, that would seem to indicate that he thinks they got the vote wrong. We know there is bipartisan support for some form of multicast must carry. The curtain is not yet down on this opera.

click to see full size
Perception vs. reality, Part III
If you've been following this series on the Advertiser Perception Study released last week at RAB2005, you may be wondering "What's in it for my station if we give the advertisers and agencies better accountability?" The answer: more ad buys. "The bottom line is, if you are not accountable for the ads you run, you cannot have the advertisers' money," said RAB President & CEO Gary Fries. "Advertisers are engaging in multimedia campaigns to effectively target their customer through specific media touch points. If radio wants to be a part of that, it must remain competitive and answer advertiser demand for accountability." Indeed, the study funded by Arbitron and conducted by Padin & Estabrook and TargetCast TCM found that nearly half of the national advertisers and agencies said they would be likely to increase their use of radio if the medium improved its accountability - - although the response was less encouraging from regional and local agencies.


CDW launches "Power of Confidence'' branding effort
Technology products and services for business, government and education provider CDW Corporation has launched a new integrated branding campaign highlighting its ability to respond to its customers' IT needs with a sense of urgency. JWT Technology, Atlanta, developed the campaign, dubbed "Power of Confidence." The campaign includes television, print and radio, as well as outdoor and online. The campaign evolves from CDW's "Empathy" campaign, which garnered BtoB Magazine's 2002 Best Integrated Campaign and a 2002 Gold EFFIE. The new campaign builds upon the dedication CDW has to its customers, and also highlights what makes the CDW experience unique. The TV ad uses humor to show an IT professional having some fun with his non-IT coworkers in responding to their requests for his help, because he knows that CDW will rapidly respond to his requests for product information or specific product orders. The ads include him seemingly reading the mind of a coworker to discern an IT request; "healing" a broken printer by communing with the device; acting as if he's feeling the pressure of a tight deadline for delivering options on improving the company's computer network; and pretending to quickly conjure up 90 laptops management requested. Broadcast premiered yesterday on CNN, and will air next week on ESPN, Sci-Fi Channel and Comedy Central. Print, which demonstrate the beneficial effects of the "Power of Confidence" to IT professionals, will run in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, PC Magazine and PC World. Online efforts include banner ads on the CDW Website and Web sites of publications such as those previously listed, as well as opt-in emails and e-newsletters.

Cadillac and Gatorade led the way in
sponsorship exposure for Super Bowl XXXIV

Sponsorship Scorecard, a new and innovative service from Nielsen Sports, reported that Cadillac and Gatorade achieved the highest sponsorship exposure during Super Bowl XXXIV. In the race for advertisers to gain exposure outside of traditional advertising, Cadillac led the way by achieving 13 minutes and 40 seconds of sponsorship exposure resulting in more than 800 million total impressions among Adults 25-54. Gatorade followed with 6 minutes and 58 seconds resulting in more than 590 million total impressions. Motorola rounded out the top-3 with 6 minutes and 13 seconds of exposure resulting in more than 540 million total impressions.

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Media Markets & MoneyTM
Close encounter in Frederick
Louis Mercatanti's Nassau Broadcasting is officially into the state of Maryland, according to broker Glenn Serafin, who helped to usher his group in. The 15.7M dollar deal for WAFY-FM in the Frederick MD market was announced last fall (11/11/04 RBR #221). "After creating numerous regional clusters through many acquisitions last year in New England, we are now excited to be serving the Frederick market," said Mercatanti. "Soon we will add WARK-AM and WARX-FM in nearby Hagerstown, which will enable us to reach a wider audience and better serve the growing suburbs north of Washington and west of Baltimore."

Washington Beat
Your official indecency checklist
Only 38 members of the House of Representatives voted against the Broadcast Decency Act of 2005, against 389 who supported the measure. Almost twice as many members - - 67 - - were co-sponsors as voted against it. The Republican vote was 228-1, while Democrats went for the measure 161-36. The lone independent, Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was against it. Two Republicans and four Democrats failed to record a vote.

Depending on your point of view, here is an honor roll or a hit list - - The 38 naysayers:
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Brian Baird (D-WA), Howard Berman (D-CA), William "Lacy" Clay Jr. (D-MO), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), William Delahunt (D-MA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jane Harman (D-CA), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Mike Honda (D-CA), Dennis J.Kucinich (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Lewis (D-GA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Major Owens (D-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX), Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), Martin Olav Sabo (D-MN), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA), Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane E. Watson (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

Interep releases fall 2004
radio format share analysis

Interep has released the results of its Fall 2004 Radio audience format share analysis. A closely fought Presidential race helped News/Talk grow continuously throughout 2004, with the format reaching an all-time high in the Fall survey. After peaking during the Winter, shares for the Spanish formats also reached a new high during the Summer; and, then rose even further in the latest Fall report. Much has been written about the positive impact that Christmas music had on boosting station performances toward the end of the Fall Book; and, we did see a rebound in the fortunes of AC in the latest survey. Following a period of erosion, both AC and Soft AC were up half a point in the Fall; and, listening totals for the broad category are nearly back to the levels of a year ago. While its shares are off a bit from their Summer peak, Urban is the third most listened to format category, followed closely by CHR. On a year-to-year basis, Mainstream CHR is flat, while the Dance segment has declined by half a share point. Rock formats generally did not produce headlines in Fall 2004, with Classic Rock, AOR/Rock and New Rock each slightly down in the latest survey. There was similar slippage for Oldies, which had been virtually unchanged for the past year. Hot AC continued its up and down pattern...giving back a couple of tenths in the Fall report. Country also fell back a bit; though, the format remained stable compared to its levels of a year ago. The star performers of Arbitron's Fall 2004 survey were AC, News/Talk and Spanish; the only formats to gain more than a tenth of a share in the latest report.
Here's the chart.

Ratings & Research
Arbitron says response rates
are up in big markets

Efforts to improve ratings diary response rates appear to be paying off. Arbitron reports that response rates were up in the top 100 markets for the Fall 2004 survey, with the biggest improvement in the top 10 markets, although the rate was down for markets 101+. Even in those smaller markets there was improvement in the rate of diaries actually being returned by recipients. | More... |

WLGO-AM Columbia SC (Lexington SC) from Levas Communications LLC to Peregon Communications Inc.

WGZS-AM Dothan AL from Good Samaritan Broadcasting of Pioche Inc. to Tropicana Media LLC.

| More... |

Stock Talk
Greenspan speaks, Wall Street relieved
After hearing the testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Capitol Hill, Wall Street traders decided no shift in the Fed's monetary policy, so stock prices were virtually unchanged at the closing bell. The Dow Industrials slipped two points, to 10,835, the S&P 500 was up a smidgen and the Nasdaq Composite slipped just a bit.

Radio stocks had a mostly up day. Regent gained 4.2% after Wachovia analyst Jim boyle raised the stock to "outperform." Cumulus was up 2%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
14.04 +0.03

Radio One, Cl. A




Clear Channel




Radio One, Cl. D




Cox Radio












Saga Commun.








Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
















Viacom, Cl. A








Viacom, Cl. B








Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio




International Bcg.









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Senator McCain has inspired a flood of literature aimed at our Bounceback mailbox. | More... |

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Upped & Tapped

Infinity ups
David Goodman
David Goodman has been named President of Marketing, Infinity Broadcasting, it was announced by CEO Joel Hollander. In addition to developing and executing sponsorship and advertising opportunities for Infinity, Goodman now works with the company's 183 individual stations to enhance their own branding and advertising campaigns and will also lead Infinity's technology and new business initiatives. Goodman has served as EVP/Marketing since joining Infinity in July 2002.

ACC ups Halford
"American Country Countdown" Executive Producer and host Bob Kingsley, has announced the promotion of Chief Engineer Ken Halford to Producer. In his new position, Halford will work directly with Kingsley on the weekly show, his daily America's MusicMaker and the annual, Bob Kingsley Presents holiday specials for ABC Radio Networks.

More News Headlines

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

McCain back on the warpath
"If a local candidate wants to be on TV and can't afford to buy advertising, his only hope is to have a freak accident." Those are the words of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). McCain has a bill ready in response. Saying it is time to introduce localism back into local broadcasting, McCain said he is introducing a new bill which would reduce the broadcast license renewal period from eight to three years. It would require that public hearings be held to get the opinion of a station licensee's constituents as to how good a job the station is doing at meeting its public interest obligation.
RBR observation: Just these statements raise the hair on the back of your neck - 'A new bill reducing license renewal period from eight to three years. Require public hearings if a station licensee's constituents as to how good a job they are doing at meeting its public interest obligation.' Sen. McCain when was the last or first time you looked at a radio all news or TV news investment in people to report the local news? People re-read this report and the one below and now you say out loud - Holy xxxT. 02/16/05 RBR #33

Free airtime for politicians:
It won't go away
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) used his press conference on release of the USC Annenberg School and University of Wisconsin study to reiterate his call for free air time for politicians in the period just before election day. He was reacting to the combination of decreased news coverage of the campaigns, combined with record spending on political advertising as the politicians struggle to make themselves known in the absence of adequate coverage. 02/16/05 RBR #33

Perception vs. reality, Part II
Advertiser Perception Study showed that advertisers and agencies have a very different view of radio's accountability as far as schedule integrity is concerned. The survey's finding that advertisers and agencies rank radio below most other media on schedule integrity. RBR observation: You must see the chart.
02/16/05 RBR #33

Indecency foes get behind Martin
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is urging the White House to fill the seat of departing Chairman Michael Powell with a known commodity. His group wants a warrior - - someone who will carry on with a strong crackdown on indecent content on radio and television. And he's asking his constituents to urge the White House to make that issue the primary consideration when filling that seat and any others which may come open in the near future.
RBR observation: FYI, no matter who gets the chair the move is a political one for the next job inside the beltway. But broadcasters with indecent content in the front of minds - CYA. 02/15/05 RBR #32

Perception vs. reality, Part I
The Advertiser Perception Study found a disconnect between what advertisers and agencies think about the accountability of radio and what radio managers think about how well their industry does on the accountability front. The problem is that when it comes to accountability, radio is not perceived as being one of the top media. the survey of advertisers and agencies found a very different perception. Particularly in the area of credibility for audience measurement, people at radio stations who responded to the survey thought that local radio was right up near the top, placing radio's Arbitron diaries just behind network TV Nielsen ratings for credibility - - and ahead of local spot TV. Compare that to the advertisers and agencies who ranked local spot radio near the bottom - - even behind cable TV, which the radio people had ranked dead last! RBR observation: Perception is one half of reality. Now is the glass one half empty or one half full. You have got to see and print the charts. 02/15/05 RBR #32

RAB 2005 Atlanta presents
must issues to tackle
RAB CEO Gary Fries discussed the Advertiser Perception Study, noting that radio is still not perceived as the most accountable medium by advertisers. "Radio people think we are," he said, but went on to clarify that in today's environment, advertisers are obligated to show their stockholders or owners that they are getting what they purchased. "But the needle is moving." But we haven't had the ratings systems to tell the advertiser what is going on." Indicating that a three-book average consisting of data that could be as much as a year old is no longer acceptable. "We have to become more relevant. We have to deliver more information, real-time information, and accurate information. We are moving in that direction, but we're not there yet. We need to be the most accountable medium out there."
02/14/05 RBR #31

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