Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 40, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning February 27th, 2008

Radio News ®

Moonves upbeat on CBS Radio
CBS Radio revenues were down 10% to 447.1 million bucks in Q4, but only 7% on a same stations basis, owing to divestitures, and that was better than Wall Street analysts had been expecting. For his part, CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves declared that new CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason has been improving ratings, which will now pay off in higher revenues, developing new revenue streams for the radio division and reducing costs without hurting growth prospects. According to Moonves, the staff restructuring that has taken place at CBS Radio was due to downsizing in certain markets that were "clearly overstaffed." Asked by one analyst whether CBS Radio will post a revenue gain for 2008, Moonves assured her that will be the case.

RBR observation: It takes quite a while to turn around a very large ship, so CBS Radio was still trailing Clear Channel and other rivals with its 7% same station revenue decline for Q4, but the movement is in the right direction. If we assume that Dan Mason and his sales teams will now be able to monetize the ratings success being posted by stations in CBS Radio's largest markets, that improvement will likely come at the expense of some other radio groups in a year when no one is predicting much growth, if any, for the overall radio industry.

CBS "not seeing a recession"
That declaration came from CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves in his quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts after the company reported Q4 revenues down 3% to 3.76 billion, largely due to divestitures and the lack of political revenues in the off year. Q4 operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) rose 4% to 824 million. While Moonves acknowledged that there are concerns about the US economy, he said the hardest hit sectors, including homebuilding and real estate, "are not significant advertisers on our air." For all of 2007, CBS Corporation saw revenues decline 2% to 14.1 billion and OIBDA was off 1% to 3.1 billion. Looking ahead, the company is telling investors to expect 2008 OIBDA to be up3-5%.

Sirius grew revenues;
Still waiting for DOJ/FCC

Sirius Satellite Radio reported that it ended 2007 with 8.3 million subscribers, up 38% for the year. Revenues for the year grew 45% to 922.1 million and Q4 revenues increased 29% to 249.8 million. The company's net loss improved to 565.3 million for the year, or 39 cents per share, compared to a loss of 1.1 billion, or 79 cents per share the previous year. But the big question is whether the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the FCC will OK the company's long-pending merger with rival XM Satellite Radio. Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin told analysts there was nothing new to tell them and that he is waiting by the phone for a call from DOJ. The long delay in getting an answer from regulators prompted one analyst to wonder about the upcoming March 1st drop dead date when either company has the option to walk away. "I think the way you ought to think about it is that you should assume that both companies would be having a board meeting prior to the March 1st drop dead date and after the boards have met that you will hear the result of that," Karmazin responded. He also insisted that Sirius is prepared to move ahead as a standalone company if the merger does not win approval. "In the unlikely scenario of the merger not being approved, we believe as [CFO] David [Frear] said that we are fully funded that we believe that we are going to become a profitable company on a standalone basis," Karmazin said. With the XM merger still in limbo, Sirius passed on trying to give Wall Street any guidance for 2008.

110th Congress, Part II: DTV, DTV and more DTV
Four key Commerce Committee telecom policy wonks from both houses of Congress met with broadcasters at yesterday's NAB State Leadership Conference and confirmed that this year's broadcasting legislative docket will be brim-full with DTV oversight. The importance of that issue and its rapidly-approaching deadline, coupled with a shortened work year due to elections, will crowd most other issues off the schedule. Holland & Knight's Diane Smith moderated the event. All four -- Jessica Rosenworcel (Senate-D), Christine Kurth (Senate-R), Amy Levine (House-D) and Neil Fried (House-R, who had to leave early) stressed the importance of broadcasters using their direct line of communication with viewers to make sure they are properly educated. Kurth said this was especially true for LPTV and translator operators, who need to make sure their viewers know if they need a converter box with analog passthrough. They should also work with local retailers to make sure the proper box models are in stock. Levine urged broadcasters to get their reps to use their Congressional mailers to highlight the transition. Fried said many legislators are already on it.
| Lots lots more under here |

Helping broadcasters

The key question fired to Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) during a session at the NAB State Leadership Conference was this: "Can we count on your support for everything that we're asking for?" "Oh, absolutely," was his rapid-fire and extremely well-received response. However, he quickly qualified it, saying that he thinks he is "pretty well" with broadcasters on most issues but that none of his various constituents should count on him being on the same side 100% of the time. Pryor noted that between primaries, conventions and re-election campaigning, a shorter legislative session is to be expected, but it is no reason to think there won't be progress made in second session of the 110th Congress. And he thinks the 111th will seat significantly more Democrats than this one after November 5, although he does not think it likely the Democrats will be able to put together a filibuster-proof 60-40 majority in the Senate. His take on the big issue for the year is no surprise: DTV. He expects the Senate's canceled hearing will be back on the calendar shortly. Asked about the FCC's localism proceeding, he said he wasn't as well-versed on the ins and outs of it as were attendees, but added "There's a real frustration with Kevin Martin's leadership," which he said extends to both sides of the aisle. He cited a tendency toward secrecy, an apparent personal agenda, and a tendency to act contrary to the evidence.

RBR observation: Martin has tried to do things to increase transparency, like releasing the ownership rulemaking proposal several weeks prior to acting on it. According to the FCC operational system he inherited, this occurred well after the comment period had expired. He allowed further comment, but was pilloried for not allowing enough time. But on the other hand, they were still making changes to it late into the night before it was voted on, according to Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein. In conclusion, we'll share this line from Pryor, which isn't so much about broadcasting but may still be of interest. The District of Columbia lacks voting membership in Congress, and most residents sport license plates with the phrase "Taxation without representation." Pryor said he saw a bumper sticker riffing on that while on his way to the event. The sticker said, "Taxation WITH representation isn't so hot either."

Wall Street Business Report TM
Arbitron revises post-Apollo outlook
A day after pulling the plug on Project Apollo (2/26/08 RBR #39), Arbitron issued revised guidance to investors. The company said it still expects revenues to rise 8-10% in 2008, but that earnings per share for the full year will be in a range of 1.30-1.44, down from the previous guidance of 1.42-1.56. While Arbitron is dissolving its joint venture with Nielsen that had run the Project Apollo test, Arbitron CEO Steve Morris said his company is going to take the lessons learned from the experiment and continue to seek new opportunities for using its Personal People Meter (PPM) technology for multi-media research, although he's not yet willing to discuss any specifics. Morris declared Nielsen "a terrific partner" in the test and noted that many folks on the advertiser/agency found the single-source, multi-media data valuable, but when it came down to getting enough clients to make the financial commitments necessary to commercialize Project Apollo, "the critical mass wasn't there."

Media Business Report TM
Gordon Biersch to promote 20th Anniversary
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group have hired Allison & Partners San Francisco as the company's PR AOR. Allison & Partners will promote the brand's 20-year anniversary while raising visibility for the Gordon Biersch brand during a year-long campaign. Allison and Partner's won the business in a review against more than 40 firms in December. The campaign will incorporate media relations, social networking, special events and viral video/word-of-mouth marketing.

Ad Business Report TM

MoneyGram launches major global campaign via Draftfcb
MoneyGram International has launched a major global campaign spanning TV, print, radio, out-of-home, retail, point of sale, website development and employee communication under agency of record Draftfcb. The first execution to break was a 30- second television commercial titled "Rally Cry" -- that aired 2/21 during the Latin music awards show "Premio Lo Nuestro" on Univision. A full national network television commercial plan in the US and major out-of-home initiative in NYC break this week. The Hands campaign calls attention to the importance of giving individuals the power and freedom to make decisions related to their finances. The campaign spans 170 countries with Draftfcb Chicago coordinating the launch in 22 countries, including China, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam, as well as throughout Latin America and the Caribbean via Draftfcb Puerto Rico. "The campaign takes the positioning that's right for our consumers and delivers it with the sense of empowerment and undercurrent of revolution that this change in the money transfer category implies," said Karl Turnbull, senior vice president, group director, Strategic Planning at Draftfcb Chicago. "It's a simple announcement that at last there's a better way to handle your money, and that it's within everyone's reach." MoneyGram named Draftfcb Chicago its global AOR in August 2006.

Media Markets & Money TM
Price revealed in Yoakum
Brokers often sell stations, but they don't often buy them first before they sell them. After closing on a group of five Texas radio outlets from Roy Henderson, The Kalil Holding Group LLC has already spun off two of them. The duo, KYKM-FM Yoakum TX and KTXM-FM Hallettsville TX will be going to Kremling Enterprises Inc. for 250K. The pair, located in unrated territory between Houston and San Antonio, have only tangential overlap.

Washington Business Report TM
It's fine to be the licensee
Courier Communications says that Michael McGee Sr. is a paid contractor, and that he is responsible for the material that goes out over the airspace of WNOV-AM Milwaukee WI during his "Word Warriors" program. So when the voicemail message of Keith Conrad was dialed up and broadcast on "Word Warriors" without Conrad's knowledge or permission, McGee should be responsible for the resulting 4K fine. There is no dispute over the illegality of the broadcast, just the liability. As seasoned readers of this space, you already know what the FCC said. "The Commission has long held that licensees are responsible for the programming aired on their stations and for violations of Commission rules by employees or independent contractors." Courier admits that the offense took place, and it admits it is the licensee. Game, set, match. And a forfeiture order to Courier for 4K.

Entertainment Business Report TM
Are Howard's days numbered?
His five year contract is not yet to the half-way point, but Howard Stern may be in for some tough negotiations if he wants to stay on satellite radio in 2011 and beyond. Stern's hiring gave Sirius Satellite Radio a big boost after the deal was announced months before his January 2006 debut. But that single talent deal has cost Sirius 610 million bucks thus far and CEO Mel Karmazin has now become cost-conscious. "I think that you should look at our costs as being something that will probably go up; think in terms of single-digits from a point of view of cost and programming is not something that we feel - though if Howard is on the call and listening, if he would like to extend his deal at less money we would be interested in that - but from my history with him I don't think that is apt to happen," Karmazin said in the Q&A session of his quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts. "I think that the idea is that we want to have the best content; great content costs money. We are going to continue to invest in content but we believe that our portfolio is complete. There is no missing piece. There is nothing out there that we need to spend a lot of money for and we will get the profitability by controlling our costs and growing our revenue and taking advantage of that fixed cost nature of our business," Karmazin said of the programming lineup on Sirius.

Snow to fill in for O' Reilly
The online blog site for Bill O'Reilly's show has disclosed that former White House Press Secretary and, before that, host of his own radio talk show, Tony Snow, will be the regular fill-in host for O'Reilly's Radio Factor, distributed by Westwood One. Snow will be hosting on Fridays and made his first appearance last Friday.

Internet Business Report TM
BDSradio.com signs ABC Radio Networks
Nielsen BDS and ABC Radio Networks announced a licensing and distribution agreement granting ABC Radio Networks exclusive rights to market and license BDSradio.com to U.S. radio stations. BDSradio.com is an airplay research and monitoring service which captures more than 100 million song detections annually on more than 1,900 radio stations, satellite and video channels in 176 markets across the US, Puerto Rico and Canada. BDSradio also provides Nielsen SoundScan market level data on physical and digital record sales; the ability to download songs monitored in its 27 different format charts; and streaming data reports.

500K WOLD-FM Marion VA from Emerald Sound Inc. (Robert S. Dix, Patricia A. Dix) to T.E.C. 2 Broadcasting Inc. (Tom Copenhaver). 25K deposit, balance in cash at closing. 100K allocated to non-compete. Duopoly with WZVA-FM Marion VA. [File date 1/30/08.]

Stock Talk
Big Blue boosts stocks
Strong earnings guidance from IBM, which also announced a big stock buyback, gave stock prices a boost on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115 points, or 0.9%, to 12,685.

Radio stocks were mostly higher. The RBR Radio Index rose 1.407, or 1.7%, to 82.332. Citadel rose 5.3% and Clear Channel 5.2% as the day's leaders.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel* CDL
1.58 +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













*Component of the RBR Radio Index


Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Time to think differently

In your very good article on saving radio you suggest a lot of "changing thinking ideas." Some of our thinking is so habitual that even visionaries like you don't realize the subtle impact. Let me suggest that we are in showbusiness. Our entertainment value always requires improvement. Therefore when an "air talent ends their shift..." probably should be when "an air talent ends their show..." A shift is at the 7-11 or Ford Factory. You're not alone. Everybody says "shift." But to put us on the path of right thinking, it's a show! Thanks for the good article.

Walter Sabo

Carnegie observation: Once any on air talent ends their show have them get on the phone and do at least one interview a day and at least post the interview in mp3 format, and promo it on the air. Important: do not bury it on your website. Give the interviews a high rotation treatment.

Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
Launches major global campaign via Draftfcb and Radio in the mix...

Media Markets & Money
Price revealed in Yoakum
Brokers often sell stations, but they don't often buy them first...

Washington Business Report
It's fine to be the licensee
Courier Communications says Michael McGee Sr. is a paid Contractor but the 4K fine stands...

Entertainment Business Report
Are Howard's days numbered?
5 year contract is not yet to the half-way point, but Stern may be in for some tough negotiations...

Dload - Powering Interactive Marketing

Stations for Sale

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Jim Carnegie
[email protected]

the Hot List on...

Radio Media Moves

Upped in Detroit
Greater Media has named veteran radio programmer Doug Podell to the position of Director of Rock Programming of WRIF-FM and WCSX-FM Detroit. Podell has been PD of WRIF for the past 14 years.

GroupM Interaction taps Montgomery
John Montgomery, a GroupM digital media specialist with expertise in emerging ad technologies, was named COO of GroupM Interaction North America, a new position. Since 2005, Montgomery has served as worldwide CEO of GroupM's MindShare Interaction, where he managed the firm's global growth and oversaw expansion into emerging technologies including mobile, viral marketing and interactive television. Montgomery's new responsibilities will include oversight of strategic and operations activities at each of the unit's interactive networks.

RBR Radar 2008
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Radio best Learn from: ABC to offer VOD offering to affiliates
Disney-ABC Television Group announced that ABC and its Affiliate Association will make on-demand content available through cable, DBS and Telco distributors. ABC will provide network programs through a local ad- supported VOD service in both O&O and non-owned station markets to operators who disable the fast-forwarding capability. Each affiliate will have the opportunity to insert one locally-sold, 30-second commercial spot within each half-hour of programming in those markets where ABC VOD is available.
02/26/08 TVBR #39

Westwood One gets cash infusion
The Gores Group LLC, a private equity firm, has committed to investing up to 100 million in Westwood One. The company's long-depressed stock price jumped on the news Monday, so Gores is already ahead on its deal to buy shares at a buck-75.
02/26/08 RBR #39

Clear Channel TV sale
reportedly resolved...almost

There's no official confirmation yet from either side, but websites reporting Monday that Clear Channel Communications has settled its dispute with Providence Equity Partners over the sale. The new problem, though, is that one of the three lenders, Wachovia, is trying to back out.
02/26/08 RBR #39

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