Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 42, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning February 29th, 2008

Radio News ®

Time to get angry
"I am mad. I am mad at being abused and everybody with a light attitude looking at us and saying are you going to drop...there's an expression that goes with that...but you're going to drop and take the money we offer you. And I'm not that way. I'm not, you know, sitting on a bar stool in some cheap bar. I'm not doing that. This is not what this industry is all about," complained Saga Communications CEO Ed Christian in his quarterly Wall Street conference call. Christian said he doesn't like to turn down business, but he was critical of the radio industry for letting buyers push rates ever downward. Christian read from an exchange between his national sales manager in Milwaukee and a major agency in which Saga refused to accept the CPM being offered and questioned whether, as the would-be buyer claimed, they could make the buy and deliver for the advertiser without Saga's stations. Christian repeated what he'd said before about dealing with a split universe, where the larger markets are in trouble because they've become strictly transactional, while stations in the smaller markets are doing well because they deal with advertisers at the Main Street level. He noted a Katz report that national billings for January showed New York down 25.6%, San Francisco 28.9% and Dallas-Ft. Worth 29%, but that there was no real pattern for national sales if you look down into the smaller markets. Christian also cited a Katz report that more spots were sold in 2007 than 2006, but "at a markedly lower rate." In Saga's smaller markets Christian said the company is discontinuing subscribing to Arbitron ratings. "We did not renew our Arbitron contracts this year in Ashville, NC, and in Charlottesville, VA, because we still have substantial questions on the efficacy and validity of paper diaries in 2008," he said.

RBR observation: Ed we at RBR agree with you 100%. In 25 years of publishing RBR we have never seen our radio medium more under respected at every level. And, this is not only at the station level but in many sectors of the business doing business in radio today. Many have either forgotten, to young in the biz or just flat out do not give a damn. We can say leadership but hell what is that anymore? Bottom line the fish stinks at the head. The only way this entire radio medium is going to move forward is on a complete united business front attack. With strong radio marketing at every level of business and putting that in front of the eyes of where the money is--ad clients, agencies, and engaging into the digital world. One can not carry the water for an entire business across a desert--the carrying has to be shared and supported by all.

XM grew subscribers, cut loss in 2007
Like Sirius, XM insists it is fully funded to continue as a stand-alone, but management is still predicting that merger approval is coming soon. XM added 1.4 million net new subscribers in 2007, breaking nine million, but that that was down from 1.7 million net adds in 2006. "This decline was due to fewer retail gross adds, coupled with churn from a larger subscriber base," CEO Nate Davis told analysts, painting it as a positive development that XM has moved from a focus on retail receiver sales to add subscribers to an OEM focus. XM's automaker partners increased their output of XM-equipped new cars by 64% in 2007. Revenues jumped 22% in 2007 to 1.1 billion and cut the year's loss by 37 million to 682 million. Q4 revenues rose 20% to 308 million and the net loss declined by 18 million to 239 million. Echoing Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, XM Chairman Gary Parsons said he had nothing new to report on the needed DOJ and FCC approvals for the two satellite companies to complete their long-pending merger. Both he and Davis said they still expect those approvals to come through. "In the meantime, in the unlikely event that a merger does not go forward, we are fully funded for a standalone businesses and we expect XM to deliver solid growth, improved operational performance, outstanding customer satisfaction and to remain well-positioned with or without a merger," Parsons told investors and analysts.

RBR observation: As Davis talked about the decline in retail sales of satellite radio receivers, he noted competition from new devices that supply audio entertainment, which is the song that both satellite companies have been playing for federal regulators to try to convince them that XM and Sirius don't compete just against each other, but against a growing array of audio devices. "Competition from satellite radio has even made FM radio better," Davis declared. Too bad he didn't continue on and name his favorite New York stations.

Majoras heading out at FTC
As the term of George W. Bush winds through its final year, we may see variations of this story in all sectors of his administration. This time, it's FTC Chair Deborah Platt Majoras (R) who is headed for the private sector, with an exit date described by the FTC as "late March." According to the Associated Press, her destination is the legal department at Procter & Gamble. "The FTC is well-positioned to continue its strong record of acting on behalf of American consumers," Majoras said. "As technological and other marketplace advancements provide new antitrust questions and threaten consumers' confidence in our economy, the men and women of the FTC are already working to develop the best course for future enforcement, policy, and consumer outreach." Majoras touted her efforts at winning voluntary cooperation from various stakeholders, including the media, in promoting the battle against childhood obesity. Her FTC has not thrown up particularly high barriers toward media mergers, although analysts on Wall Street are still wondering where the decision on the pending XM/Sirius merger is.

RBR observation: The exit of Majoras will leave the FTC hamstrung with two Republicans and two Democrats. While one of the sitting Republicans will likely be named acting chair, it will put the possibility of the repeated stalemate into play, a situation FCC Chairman Kevin Martin had to work through for months at the beginning of his chairmanship, leaving him to assign the 8th Floor a workload almost exclusively limited to non-controversial issues. Of course, it will literally take an act of Congress to fill the seat, a feat which may be problematical under any circumstances during the truncated legislative season of a typical election year, and which may become nearly impossible if President Bush appoints a replacement beyond the acceptable ideological boundaries of the Senate-ruling Democrats. We do expect to see an XM/Sirius decision before March, however.

Billion dollar bye-bye
It's right there in the headline of the New York Times OpEd page: "I'm Not Running for President, but..." If anybody here at RBR wrote that headline, its importance would be less than negligible. But then, we weren't considering dumping one billion dollars of our own money into a third-party presidential run, as was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The current incarnation of Bloomberg, who politically appends an (I) after his name to indicate party affiliation (for independent, or none), was true to his own (D) then (R) the (I) progression, saying of the possible resolutions of current issues, "Some of these solutions have traditionally been seen as Republican, while others have been seen as Democratic. As a businessman, I never believed that either party had all the answers and, as mayor, I have seen just how true that is." He reiterated his oft-state lack of presidential ambition (despite numerous reports that he was researching a run on the QT), but said the issues were too important for him to remain silent on the sidelines. "If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach -- and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy -- I'll join others in helping that candidate win the White House."

RBR observation: We have read that Bloomberg's MO involves silent study before action, meaning that Bloomberg observers find about what he intends to do pretty much when he actually does it. But he seems serious in aligning himself against party orthodoxy and special interests when their tenets and desires block meaningful progress on a wide range of important issues. It will be interesting to see how his philosophy and promise of involvement translates into action. However, it will likely not translate into a gigantic infusion of cash into the already gigantic warchests still being assembled. Bloomberg is limited to a four-figure donation cap just like the rest of us.

Univision Music Group sold to Universal
Universal Music Group is the winning bidder to acquire Univision Music Group, which has been for sale since Univision Communications was taken private. The price was not disclosed, but the Hispanic record label group was expected to account for most of the planned divestitures of about a half billion in non-core assets, with the rest from radio station sales. Univision Music Group, the largest Latin music company in the US, includes Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, Disa Records, Univision Music Mexico and Univision Music Publishing. Since the inception of Univision Music Group in 2001, Universal Music Group has been its distributor in the US, Puerto Rico and Mexico, so it is not surprising that Universal won the bidding to acquire the company.

As part of the transaction, Universal Music Group will continue Univision Music Group's established relationship with the Univision television networks, Univision and TeleFutura, under a long-term agreement. "Univision Music Group's artists, labels and catalog are among the finest in Latin music. This acquisition expands UMG's presence in one of the most dynamic and vital genres of music today," said Universal Music Group President and COO Zach Horowitz. "The sale of Univision Music Group is an important step in the execution of our strategic plan to divest certain non-core assets in order to focus exclusively on our television, radio and online businesses," said Univision Communications CEO Joe Uva.

RBR observation: By coincidence, Univision also announced its first radio divestiture, with four stations in Albuquerque going to Centennial Broadcasting. Univision has indicated that the stations it is most likely to sell are those in markets where it does not own local television stations - and Albuquerque fits the bill. In most of those markets, the logical buyer is Entravision, which generally owns the Univision and TeleFutura stations in the largest markets where Univision does not have O&Os. But it is not the only potential buyer, as demonstrated by the Albuquerque deal, and Entravision might be more interested in swaps than having to take on more debt in the current marketplace. We suspect that the radio divestitures have been put on the back burner to some extent while Univision's top honchos focused on the bigger deal of getting the troublesome music division sold.


Wall Street Business Report TM
Up month for radio at Journal
In fact, radio was the only gainer as Journal Communications reported its January figures. Journal Broadcast Group's revenues were down 0.8% to 13.9 million. Within that, TV was down 1.8% to 8.98 million, while radio gained 1.3% to 4.92 million. For all of Journal Communications, revenues were down 3.1% to 31.92 million. Publishing revenues fell 4.9%, with ad revenues down 6.5%.

Saga's year up, quarter down
Both radio and television were down a bit in Q4 at Saga Communications, with combined revenues down 1.9% to 37.5 million due to the lack of political advertising. Saga had 2.4 million in political in Q4 of 2006, but only 852K in the most recent quarter. For the full year, though, Saga's revenues were up 0.8% to 114 million. Excluding political, that would have been a gain of 2.3%. For Q4, same-station radio revenues were down 1.5% to 32.7 million and operating income declined 3.5% to 9.2 million. For TV, revenues declined 9.9% to 4.5 million and operating income was off 35.1% to 931K.

Declines posted by Entravision
Even the Hispanic media sector has not been spared from the soft ad market. Entravision reported that Q4 revenues were down 2% to 62.5 million, with declines in both radio and TV. Consolidated EBITDA was down 10% to 23 million. Pro forma television revenues were off 2% to 39.4 million and radio revenues declined 1% to 23.1 million. "During the fourth quarter we continued to execute our strategy and build our audience shares in a challenging environment. We faced difficult comps due to the absence of events that occurred in the prior year period, as well as continued softness in the advertising market," said CEO Walter Ulloa. The company announced that it is selling its Outdoor division for 100 million. Ulloa says that cash will be put to work on such things as strategic acquisitions and potentially returning capital to shareholders.

RBR News Analysis
Seems simple enough to us
Sirius Satellite Radio says it is fully funded to continue operating as a standalone company. XM Satellite Radio says it is fully funded to continue operating as a standalone company. Then, quite obviously, there is no justification whatsoever for changing the FCC's rules and standing US Antitrust Law on its head to allow the only two satellite radio companies to become one and stop competing with each other. What's bizarre is that anyone in Washington is even giving serious consideration to such a clearly anti-consumer proposal.

Ad Business Report TM

KRG lists Fall 2007
National Format Averages

Katz Radio Group's National Format Averages report for Fall 2007 said the Iraq war, the political season and baseball's Mitchell Report on steroids all played a role in boosting the news, talk and sports radio formats. The news segment captured 2.5% of the entire radio audience in 2007, up from 2.4% in 2006, while talk radio rose to 2.4% from 2.3%. The sports category increased to 2.2% in 2007 from 2.1% a year earlier. Among the report's other significant findings is that radio continues to play an integral role in the lives of younger audiences. "This group connects with favorite personalities and formats and radio is the place they go to learn about new music," Lisa Chiljean, VP/Director of Media Research for CC Katz Advantage, who wrote the report, said. "They are also the technology generation. And as this group has spent more time with new technologies their time with radio has lessened a bit over the years. For the first time in several years, however, we noticed that this trend has slowed." In these primary youth-targeted formats, overall audience share is stable. The urban contemporary format is consistent at 7.0%, alternative/modern rock is stable at 3.1%, contemporary hit radio is steady at 6.8%, and rhythmic contemporary hits remains at 4.2%. The country music category, which slipped to 14.3% from 14.9%, remains the nation's most popular radio format. Hispanic radio, the second largest format, declined from 8.3% to 8.1% after experiencing steady growth for a number of years.

Media Markets & Money TM
Univision begins divestitures in Albuquerque
On the same day it announced the sale of its music division, Univision began selling off some non-core radio assets. Allen Shaw's Centennial Broadcasting is entering the Albuquerque market with a deal to buy four stations from Univision, directly and indirectly, for 24 million bucks. The indirectly part is because Classic Rock KIOT-FM is currently held by the Univision Albuquerque Trust, headed by Bob Woodward, Trustee, created when new private equity owners acquired Univision and had to comply with new ownership limits. Univision is directly selling Rythmic KKSS-FM, Regional Mexican KJFA-FM and Spanish Oldies KKRG-FM. The deal still leaves Univision with one station in Albuquerque, KQBT-FM, so the brokers at Kalil & Co. still have a little more work to do.

Kalil Holding is in rapid-fire spin cycle
Brokerage firm Kalil & Co. is not spending a great deal of time as a radio group owner. Within days of closing on an acquisition of five stations in Texas, it spun two to Kremling Enterprises. Now it has two deals to sell two more of the stations. In both of the new deals, Kalil met broker John W. Saunders on the other side of the table representing the buyers. In one, KIOX-FM Edna TX is going to Buckalew Media Inc., headed by Bob Buckalew. He already has in interest in KULP-AM El Campo TX. Both towns are east of Victoria. In the other new agreement, KMBV-FM Navosta TX is going to KSBJ Educational Foundation Inc., which has interests in various Texas markets, most prominently including Houston. Navosta is northwest of Houston, closer to twin cities Bryan-College Station. The Kremling pair included KYKM-FM Yoakum TX and KTXM-FM Hallettsville TX, leaving only KHLT-AM Hallettsville TX on the shelf.

Entravision selling billboards
Entravision Communications says it has a deal to sell its Outdoor division to Lamar Advertising Company for 100 million in cash. Entravision's outdoor advertising operations operate under the name Vista Media and primarily consist of approximately 10,600 advertising faces in New York and Los Angeles.

Washington Business Report TM
Cross-ownership easement under attack
Tribune did not like the FCC's move to allow limited broadcast/newspaper cross-ownership. It opened up only the top 20 DMAs, and Tribune feels all DMAs should be open to such combinations. Now the Prometheus Radio Project is attacking from the other angle, arguing that the FCC overstepped its authority in allowing cross-ownership in the top 20 to loosen. It'll have Media Access Project helping plead its case in Philadelphia's Third Circuit, where this same Prometheus successfully blocked much of the legendary 6/2/03 Michael Powell FCC ownership rulemaking. The Prometheus legal action wound up sending the case back to the Commission on remand, to provide better justification for the proposed changes, or to change the proposals to better justified new ones.

RBR observation: The moves may not be equal and opposite. Presumably Tribune will be better equipped to spend money on lawyers than will Prometheus, although the way the stock market has been behaving we suppose that is not a given. But the important action-inhibiting fact is that both sides are again already being heard from in the judicial system. And we still haven't heard from Capitol Hill, where Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has promised to put his posse back together to stop the FCC action, this time with much more congenial leadership in the House of Representatives than he had last time around, when now-departed leaders Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) prevented a companion to Dorgan's Resolution of Disapproval from ever seeing the light of day on the House floor. This one isn't over yet, and at this rate it by the time it is over, we'll be reading our newspapers on special signet rings provided by a company that right now is a mere germ of an idea in the mind of a 12-year-old prodigy who is two years away from early entry into a elite engineering university. Hey, it could happen.

Sports programming headed for the Hill
Sometimes we think if we scour the Bill of Rights closely enough, we will find a clause describing the inalienable right of all Americans to watch to sporting events of their choosing on whatever media is capable of carrying them. Constitutionally-guaranteed or not, the topic of "Competition in the Sports Programming Marketplace" is on the docket for the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet next week. Ed Markey (D-MA) and members of his Capitol Hill bailiwick will tee it up Wednesday, 3/5/08 at 9:30AM Eastern. The witness panel has not yet been revealed.

RBR observation: If we don't find the Constitutional clause we're looking for, we suggest putting one in there. We'll call it the First and Ten Amendment. No sports broadcast rights holder shall deny rebroadcast rights to any other sports rights wannahave; nor shall sporting events with play-off implications be interrupted for messages concerning minor events such as terrorist attacks and impending tornado strikes; nor shall sports bars be allowed to close or turn off their receivers while West Coast games are continuing into overtime or extra innings, as the case may be. It'll have the necessary 67% of Congress approve it as soon as it hits the floor, and will be returned to Washington by the 75% of state legislatures needed for ratification within three business days, even if it means reconvening the legislatures in two thirds of that 75%.

Entertainment Business Report TM
CC Radio syndicates
new Ryan Seacrest show

Clear Channel Radio and Ryan Seacrest announced a new three-hour syndicated entertainment news program, "On Air with Ryan Seacrest." Set to launch this spring and will air live from E! Studios in Hollywood, the program will highlight top talent from the worlds of music, film and television, and air daily, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time. It is a multi-platform deal in which Seacrest develops on-air content, hosts the program, distributes some elements across other platforms, and provides a portion of integrated ad options. Additionally, Seacrest has renewed deals to continue as host of American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest, (via Premiere Radio Networks), and his morning drive slot on 102.7 KIIS-FM LA.

Hannity pulls out of CRS-39 keynote
In a statement released by his PD, Phil Boyce, Sean Hannity announced his withdrawl from participating as the keynote speaker of CRS-39. The statement reads: "Due to the rapidly changing events of this year's Presidential primary season, and the magnitude of the Texas and Ohio primaries the night before this event, Sean Hannity has been forced to cancel his appearance as the keynote speaker for the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on March 5th. Sean deeply regrets the conflict, and any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause."

Two Sports Talkers debut in South Florida Monday
Beginning Monday, South Florida will have two new sports radio stations. WFTL (WMEN-AM) 640 Fox Sports and WFTL (WFLL-AM) 1400 ESPN. WFTL, 640 Fox Sports will be South Florida's exclusive home for Jim Rome, Dan Patrick, "The Drive" with Chris Myers & Sean Farnham from Fox Sports and local sports talent. WFTL 640 Fox Sports will also be the home to the FSU Seminoles and FAU Owls. WFTL, 1400 ESPN will be SoFla's 24-7 home for ESPN Radio.

Internet Business Report TM
Ando inks Nassau
Ando Media and Nassau Broadcasting Partners announced Nassau will utilize Ando Media's Webcast Metrics audience measurement, Ad Injector ad insertion system, and PodFuse podcast measurement for all of its Internet radio stations. Nassau will now have access to actual audience metrics for all of its internet radio stations, as well as have the ability to manage ad campaigns and report on impression delivery to agencies and advertisers.

Ratings & Research
TDGA salary survey shows
5.9% jump for TV; 2.7% for radio

The Traffic Directors Guild of America released its 6th and most extensive annual salary study of Traffic and Continuity Department personnel. Radio Traffic Department personnel showed a salary of 41,774.87 when all markets were combined and averaged, an increase of 2.7%; and Television Traffic jumped nearly 6% to 52,773.97. The in-depth study included a sampling response from 3,146 usable station participants, 2,124 of which were affiliated with Radio Traffic Operations, and 1,022 from Television-related Traffic occupations. "The breakouts and analysis held far more interesting statistics," said Larry Keene, CEO of the non-union membership association. "Between consolidation, the increase in centralized traffic hubs, multi-log demands from HDTV, HD Radio, streaming and web revenues, we found Traffic staff sizes and seniority at the same station on a roller coaster of change. Overall Traffic staffs increased slightly over 15.4% (TV has surged to an average of 7.7 persons per Traffic Department), and the workload as measured in number of logs and accounts handled was also sharply up."

Survey of TV and online viewing
reveals surprising behavior

blinkx, a major video search engine, announced the results of a new survey on television and online video viewing habits conducted by Harris Interactive. The survey, designed to shed light into the interplay between television viewing and Internet usage, revealed some startling results. When it comes to television viewing, the survey showed that more than three in four adults are doing the two-screen tango. Viewers aren't necessarily abandoning their TV in favor of the Web; many are using the Web as an accompaniment to their TV viewing. In fact, 78% U.S. adults go online while watching TV, and more than a third of them do so always or often.
| Learn More |

CRE to fund study on out-of-home video consumption
Speaking of online viewing (see above), The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), an independent forum of media industry research experts created by The Nielsen Company, announced it will commission a year-long study by Ball State University's Center for Media Design (CMD) to observe how individuals consume traditional and emerging video platforms inside and outside the home. The Video Consumer Mapping Study, to be conducted jointly by CMD and Sequent Partners, a brand and media metrics consultancy, is intended to establish how media-especially television and video-are consumed across multiple platforms, in order to develop best practices in the area of video media measurement.

N/A WWIO-AM St. Marys GA from Charles D. Casey, Personal Representative, Estate of Lois Casey-Moum to Lighthouse Christian Broadcasting Corporation (Paul L. Hafer et al). Lighthouse had been providing programming to the station prior to the 4/4/99 death of Lois Casey-Moum. Gifted to Lighthouse per decedent's verbal instructions.. [File date 2/1/08.]

N/A WBIC-AM Royston GA from Diane E. Hawkins to Oconee River Broadcasting LLC (Randal R. Graby, Kris Kendrick, Benjamin D. Kurtz, Christopher P. Lobdell). Unspecified debt assumption. LMA 12/3/07 @ 100/month. [File date 1/31/08.]

Stock Talk
A down day all around
Unemployment claims were up and Fed chief Ben Bernanke was talking about small bank failures. It was enough to make Wall Street traders sell stocks. The Dow Industrials fell 112 points, or 0.9%, to 12,582.

Radio stocks were not spared. The RBR Radio Index fell 2.630, or 3.2%, to 78.898. Citadel took a big hit, falling 12.8%. Entercom was down 6.7%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel* CDL
1.36 -0.20

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


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Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
Fall '07 National Format
Averages, KRG report shows Iraq war, political season baseball on steroids played a role in boosting news, talk and sports radio formats...

Media Markets & Money
Kalil Holding is in rapid-fire
Spin cycle not spending a great deal of time as a radio group owner...

Entravision selling billboards
Has a deal to sell its Outdoor division to...

Washington Business Report
Cross-ownership easement
Under attack Tribune did not like the FCC's move...

Sports programming
Headed for the Hill is on the docket for the House Subcommittee which is just plain nuts...

Ratings & Research
TDGA salary survey shows
5.9% jump for TV; 2.7% for radio...

Dload - Powering Interactive Marketing

Stations for Sale

Market your Stations For Sale
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Jim Carnegie
[email protected]

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Radio Media Moves

BMP's Wallace takes 25% of the alphabet
Well, only 23%, but that's what will be required to put SVP/CTO, or Senior Vice President/Chief Technology Office, on the new business card of Scott Wallace, who is taking on that role for Border Media Partners. He comes from Univision. His goal, after witnessing massive change in the broadcasting industry is to make sure that BMP is one of the "...companies are best able to anticipate [change]; and harness those changes for ongoing growth and market share."

Internal move
Entravision Communications announced the appointment of Christopher Young as Executive Vice President and CFO, effective approximately April 15th. He will replace John DeLorenzo, who is returning to the East Coast to pursue other interests and who will remain with the company until that date. Young has been President of Entravision's Outdoor division, which is being sold.

Veteran Chicago newsman Dick Kay is coming out of retirement to join WCPT-AM as a talk host. Beginning March 8th, "Dick Kay - Back on the Beat" will air Saturdays 2-4 pm. Dick Kay held the longest on-air TV news job in the history of Chicago's WMAQ-TV until his retirement last year.

Liquid Compass
adds staff

Liquid Compass, a provider of streaming media and web services to the radio industry, has added four new staff to meet the needs of its expanding customer base. The newest additions include: Brooklyn Andrist, project manager; Craig Patterson, media designer; Robert Price, trafficking and support specialist; and Kinzie Dekkenga, administrative assistant. Both Andrist and Price come from the radio industry, having most recently worked at CBS Radio/Denver.

Pregnar upped in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
A 25-year radio engineering vet, Dan Pregnar joined Entercom in 2001 as Chief Operator in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market. Since that time, he has spearheaded a number of engineering projects, most recently the successful HD upgrade of all four FM radio stations. Pregnar assumes the duties of Entercom's Lamar Smith, who was recently promoted to DOE at the company's Austin cluster.


More News Headlines

Nielsen reorganizes business media operations
Two of what had been six groups have been combined at Nielsen Business Media, with industry veteran Gerry Byrne joining the company as Sr. Vice President, Entertainment Group. Byrne, who had already been consulting Nielsen, will report to Greg Farrar, President of Nielsen Business Media. The new Entertainment Group under Byrne will include Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, Kirkus Reviews, The Bookseller, Film Journal International, and the film industry expositions ShoWest, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International and CineAsia Exposition. Those had been split among the Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary groups, although both were headed by John Kilcullen, who is leaving Nielsen to pursue entrepreneurial interests. "Forming a single entertainment unit and strategic vision allows us to maximize our efforts across all platforms. It provides us with broader and more cohesive insight into what our clients need and helps us to better coordinate our approach toward the growing market and revenue opportunities. Going forward, our entertainment brands will work much more closely together to pursue new opportunities across the division and throughout The Nielsen Company," said Byrne.

RBR observation: We can tell you it ain't easy to make a buck in the trade publishing world these days. Reed Elsevier has already put its business pubs on the auction block, but buyers don't appear to be jockeying for position. Like the beleaguered daily newspaper business, anyone who is dependent on killing trees and paying postage is finding it hard to survive in a world increasingly dominated by online media. How does Nielsen Business Media fit into the long-term plan at The Nielsen Company? Well, it wouldn't be the highlight when CEO David Calhoun puts together an IPO road show.

cancer returns

WCCO-AM Minneapolis host Eleanor Mondale told her audience yesterday that doctors have found a new brain tumor, two and a half years after she was first treated for brain cancer. Mondale, the 48-year-old daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale, plans to undergo surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

RTNDF awards gathering in the offing
The Radio-Television News Directors Foundation is set to hand out awards. CNN's John Roberts will emcee the 3/17/08 event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington. Among the presenters will be Jim Lehrer (PBS), John Sturm (NAA), David Westin (ABC) and Jeff Zucker (NBC). The recipients include Bob Schieffer (CBS), Richard Wiley (Wiley Rein/ex-FCC Chair), Tom Curley (AP) and Paula Madison (NBC).

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

NAB keeps pressure on RIAA
"Are record labels leaving artists holding the bag?" That's the question the NAB would like members of Congress to consider before shaking cash out of broadcaster wallets and into the bank accounts of international recording conglomerates. That's because it looks as though RIAA and its member corporations are a common foe of broadcasters and artists alike. NAB is putting the message before legislators in their local rags, Roll Call, The Hill and Politico.

RBR observation: For decades this was not an issue when recording companies were actually selling recordings -- they were fine with the free promotion provided by broadcasters. Now that the music downloading caught them napping, they suddenly are looking for cash anywhere they can find it. But the fundamental relationship between broadcasters and the recording industry hasn't changed, so there is absolutely no reason to change the law now. And even if the law IS changed, there is no reason to trust the recording companies to funnel royalty money to artists, no matter how deserving.
02/28/08 RBR #41

Analyst says Sirius
swimming upstream
Mark Wienkes at Goldman Sachs liked the cost controls at Sirius Satellite Radio, but didn't like the trends on the subscriber side and sees net adds declining for the second year in 2008. After looking at the Q4 data from Sirius (2/27/08 RBR #40), Wienkes sent client a note calling the results "mixed," with softer revenues, "but good expense controls," producing a lower than expected EBITDA loss. In his view, the compay is "swimming upstream as best they can."

RBR observation: Here is the reality of Wienkes analysis of Sirius - Swimming Upstream. It is like the life cycle of the Alaska salmon which have a most interesting life. Taking them from the river or a stream of the Alaska wild into the high salty seas and back again. Right back to their place where they were born and if they prevail the rugged course back to their stream where they breed, lay their eggs. Within a week after spawning they usually die. So in short if Sirius is making this making this voyage and the analysis is correct of swimming upstream we already know the ending. It dies. Think about it.
02/28/08 RBR #41

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.
02/27/08 RBR #40

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.
02/27/08 RBR #40

RBR Classifieds

Director of Sales
Are you tired of working for corporate radio? Are you ready to control your own destiny by leading our sales team to success? Do you thrive on helping people meet their goals? We are a privately-owned radio cluster in the Northeast. We need a top-notch DOS with the vision and ability to create the ideal sales environment and strategically guide the efforts of sales management & staff. Details on benefits etc., and to send your resume, in confidence see Radio Careers below.

Hard finding that key person
to fill the important position at your organization? RBR Classifieds, Results with Service. Contact April McLynn at [email protected]

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