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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 56, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning March 20th, 2008

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Radio News ®

Clock ticking for Interep
A blog item on prompted our interest yesterday. It recounted word from a "tipster" that Interep would be filing bankruptcy within the next month. Knowing that Interep's 99 million bucks in outstanding bonds aren't due until July 1, we at RBR/TVBR thought the timing seemed a bit off and actually put in calls to Interep executives. "We're working positively with the bondholders at the present time," CFO Bill McEntee told RBR/TVBR. CEO David Kennedy, who noted that addressing the company's balance sheet has been his 1st priority since taking the job, said not only that the talks are "progressing very well," but added that they are "nearly complete." Kennedy said Interep will have secured new financing, not just to cover the bonds, but for growth also, well in advance of the deadline. Interep owns several national radio rep firms, two national TV rep firms serving Hispanic stations, and rep firms for Internet ad sales.

RBR observation: The melt-down of the US credit markets last year certainly didn't help companies facing a hard deadline for refinancing, such as Interep. Its bondholders, primarily Oaktree Capital Management, will likely to agree to something less than 100% of face value for their bonds. Oaktree, after all, paid well below face value to acquire its stake, then tried to pressure management for a quick cash-out back in 2005 (4/18/05 RBR #76). That didn't happen and Oaktree just had to sit back and wait for the July 1, 2008 deadline to move into view. We would not rule out a Chapter 11 filing, but if there is one soon it will be a voluntary, pre-packaged restructuring that already has approval from major creditors and just needs the blessing of a federal bankruptcy judge. Interep is not in danger of shutting down.

Down month for Journal
February was a down month across the board for Journal Communications. Radio revenues were down 11.5% to 5.17 million and television was down 2% to 10.27 million. That brought Journal Broadcast Group revenues for February in at 15.45 million, down 5.4% from a year ago. The company said the double-digit drop for radio reflected in part changes in a sports affiliation agreement that previously included advertising revenue and is now fee-per-game. February was also a down month for the company's print division, with revenues down 9.2% to 18.16 million. At the flagship Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, ad revenues declined 12.6%, with retail down 1.5%, national down 31.2% and classified down 21.2%. Ad revenues were down 10.8% for the company's community newspapers and shoppers.

Waiver withdrawn in Fargo
Triad Broadcasting had a waiver from the FCC to continue a joint sales agreement by its Fargo, ND cluster of KEGK-FM, owned by Guderian Broadcasting. That waiver was to have run through August 4th of this year. Now, however, the FCC has ordered the JSA dissolved within 90 days. The Commission ruling came on a motion filed by Radio Fargo-Moorhead (RFM), which argued that conditions had changed in the market since the waiver was granted. RFM now owns most of what had been the Clear Channel cluster, but had to divest one FM to come into compliance with the current ownership rules. It argued successfully that the termination of Clear Channel's grandfathered cluster warrants the termination also of the Triad JSA, since both companies would then compete with four FMs. Triad and Guderian had opposed the motion, but lost, and now have 90 days to unwind the JSA. What Triad will do next is not yet clear. "Obviously we are in profound disagreement and we are conferring with FCC counsel," CEO David Benjamin told RBR.

HD Radio firmly entrenched in auto's upper crust
With this week's news that Mercedes announced the option of HD Radio as part of the infotainment systems in their newest diesel models, the R320, ML320 and GL320 Bluetecs, HD Radio now is firmly entrenched in automotive's upper class. Alongside BMW (which offers HD Radio as an option across its entire product line) and Jaguar (available in its redesigned 2008 luxury XJ sedan), Mercedes is now offering upgraded audio entertainment to this consumer group.

DTV pulled from FCC agenda
The US cops for the information superhighway were unable to find the on-ramp yesterday morning, as a server malfunction delayed streaming of the FCC's monthly meeting. "Our media server is currently experiencing technical difficulties. The webcast of this meeting will resume in-progress as soon as the problem is resolved and the link below is re-activated. Please reload this page to check the current status," read the FCC's web page for viewing Commission meetings. It proved to be not really a big problem, since it was resolved in just a few minutes and the meeting was more than an hour late starting anyway. Plus, the only broadcasting item, on DTV cable carriage and retransmission rights, was pulled from the agenda. All that remained were three items pertaining to the Wireline Competition Bureau, which gave Commissioner Michael Copps (D) an opportunity to rant about what a poor job the FCC had done on gathering data on broadband Internet deployment and access to Americans of various income levels and ethnic backgrounds. Chairman Kevin Martin (R) really didn't disagree with Copps, although he was much less agitated, and especially noted a need to keep an up-to-date definition of what constitutes "broadband," since the definition the FCC has been using is laughably slow by today's Internet standards.

Carnegie's Observation
Bring in the oxygen tanks Pt 2
Part 1 took a look at all the antics of Mad Money's Jim Cramer. Now, Cramer is nuts (but often right), but today we're talking about a proven visionary, Lee Abrams (pictured). He has introduced himself to the troops at Tribune Company where he was brought in as Chief Innovation Officer. Get ready, here comes the culture change and action to turn that old battleship into a sleek racing boat. Summing up the team of Sam Zell, Randy Michaels and now Lee Abrams inside the old Tribune, you truly have to start pumping in a lot of oxygen in for people who are confirmed old media types, especially when Lee writes to the Trib staff and talks about "Soul, Art, Passion, and Character." Say, that's a title for a great song and I give it a 9-1/2 with a good beat.
| Read - Bring in the oxygen tanks Pt 2 |

Wall Street Business Report TM
Clear Channel tender pushed back
It now looks like closing of the deal to take Clear Channel Communications private won't be this week. The company's bond tender, which had been scheduled to end today under the previous extension, has been extended again to next Monday, March 24th. Wall Street observers have been expecting the 26.7 billion bucks cash and debt deal to take CCU private to close the next day. So, that could mean that shareholders will be bought out for $39.20 per share on Tuesday, March 25th. Of course, all of this is dependent on Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital getting all of the financing nailed down and getting everyone to the closing table without any defections. That's not usually an issue in normal times, but these are not normal times. Wall Street traders have been nervous for months about whether the long-pending deal - cut well before the subprime mess sent credit markets crumbling - would get done at the $39.20 price. The stock has been trading several bucks below the buyout price, despite growing indications that a closing is at hand, and dropped again yesterday after the bond tender extension was announced.

Gores Group invests more in WW1
Westwood One announced that Gores Group has closed the second tranche of its investment in WW1. It bought an additional 7,142,857 shares of WW1 stock for 12.5 million bucks. Don't bother to look for a calculator - that's 1.75 per share. Gores now owns 14,285,714 shares of Westwood One.

Ad Business Report TM

AdMission offers digital ad solutions
to Entercom advertisers

AdMission Corporation, an online display ad technology company, announced that Entercom Communications is making the AdMission dynamic ad platform available to all Entercom radio station websites. The addition gives local radio advertisers more reach and access to a hyper-local consumer audience now spending more time online. "AdMission's dynamic ads have become a key component in our integrated solutions for automotive advertisers in our markets," said Sandy Smallens, SVP/Digital at Entercom. "They bring the dealers' inventory to life, and help complete the marketing cycle as our on-air spots drive visitors to our websites. This type of rich media online advertising is an exceptional complement to the effective on-air advertising Entercom provides." Phase I of Entercom's AdMission ad sales has launched, featuring branded inventory from local auto dealers, with Phase II expansion into real estate planned for mid-year. The AdMission platform provides dynamic display ads that feature inventory in branded, media-rich (video, photos, text and interaction tools, including email) rotating ad formats.

Media Business Report TM
Ford marketing chief Farley says new efforts boosting sales
Ford's marketing chief Jim Farley says a new effort to regionalize marketing efforts is boosting sales. He said Tuesday at the Wall Street Automotive Awards dinner in NYC that Ford's share of the U.S. retail market was up in January and February for the first time since 2003, according to an AP story. Retail share does not include sales of vehicles to rental and corporate fleets. The company is giving regional managers control of the company's ad budget and is targeting incentives by vehicle and by region. Ford is also giving dealers higher margins on vehicles if they spend the money on advertising. Farley said a new dealer-driven ad campaign will try to build on consumers' trust in Ford, but he didn't discuss details.

Tribune melding media in Florida sun
Tribune Company announced that it will join the broadcast and interactive operations of its Miami television station, WSFL-TV (Ch. 39, CW), with those of its Ft. Lauderdale-based newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, under a single roof. The company says the move will "create a media powerhouse serving readers, viewers and advertisers." "This strategy is unprecedented in a major U.S. market. This gives our print, broadcast and interactive operations the opportunity to work together to develop unique content and programming in a variety of areas. Plus, with this combination, there will be no better way for advertisers to reach more people with a consistent message," said Howard Greenberg, Sun-Sentinel President and Publisher.
| Read more here |

Lexus launches cinema campaign
Lexus has launched an innovative new cinema advertising campaign for the 2008 IS F luxury sedan in National CineMedia's (NCM) FirstLook pre-feature program. Delivered through NCM's Digital Content Network (DCN) - the largest digital in-theatre network in North America - FirstLook is currently seen on over 13,200 screens in AMC Entertainment, Cinemark USA, Georgia Theatre Company, Goodrich Quality Theaters, Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres, Regal Entertainment Group and others nationwide.
| Read more here |

Media Markets & Money TM
Holding company sells holding
Kalil Holding Group has found a buyer for another of its holdings. Matthew Provenzano is buying KHLT-AM Hallettsville, TX in a deal brokered by, you guessed it, Kalil & Co. The price wasn't immediately disclosed. This sale will complete the resale of the five stations that Kalil Holding Group acquired from Roy Henderson.

RBR observation: It's not hard to figure out why Provenzano wants to buy KHLT, out in the middle of the state, north of Victoria and well west of the Houston metro. There are only two stations in Texas on 1520 kHz. Provenzano already owns the other, KYND-AM Cypress, TX, in the Houston market, a three-tower directional with a CP to go to a complicated six-tower array. Taking out KHLT should make it possible to increase the coverage of KYND, perhaps at less cost than it will take to build the existing CP. Hallettsville has another radio station in town, KTXM-FM, which Kalil Holding recently sold to Kremling Enterprises (2/29/08 RBR #42).

Washington Business Report TM
Spectrum auction raises $19.6 billion
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is crowing that the Commission's auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz band being vacated by analog television raised 19.592 billion bucks - a record for FCC auctions. He also noted proudly that it raised nearly double the original congressional estimate of 10.2 billion. However, martin's pet project was a dud. The spectrum block set aside for creation of a Public Safety/Private Partnership did not receive a bid that met the 1.3 billion reserve price. The plan was to create a nationwide interoperable network that would be used by both the public and private sectors, with the public sector having priority in emergency situations - a bow to congressional efforts to improve communications between first responders. "I believe the Commission remains committed to ensuring that we work to solve public safety's interoperability challenges. Because the reserve price for the D Block was not met in the 700 MHz auction, the FCC is now evaluating its options for this spectrum," Martin said.

Entertainment Business Report TM
Greater Media's WPEN brings
ESPN Radio to Philadelphia

Greater Media unveiled details for the upcoming official debut of 950 ESPN in Philadelphia. The station will officially kick off on Tuesday, April 1 with Mike and Mike in the morning from 6am to 9am. 950 ESPN also adds the NBA Playoffs, MLB Playoffs and World Series and The BCS National Championship Game to its programming lineup which includes, Sunday and Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl, The Final Four, and Villanova Basketball.

No truce at Media General
The New York Times Company may have come to terms with the Harbinger hedge fund and given it two board seats (3/18/08 TVBR #54), but a settlement seems unlikely at Media General, where Harbinger is waging a proxy fight for three board seats. Media General CEO Marshall Morton, pictured, sent shareholders a blistering letter attacking the Harbinger nominees and urging re-election of the current directors. "Your Board of Directors and I believe Harbinger's nominees are not well-qualified and that its proposal is ill-advised and contrary to the interests of you and other Media General stockholders," Morton said. Of the Harbinger nominee best-known to TVBR readers, Dan Sullivan, Morton charged that he has no newspaper or Internet experience and no apparent broadcast experience in the last four years. Morton also said Sullivan does not have a degree from the University of Tennessee as claimed by Harbinger in an SEC filing.

TVBR observation: The April 24th vote could be quite a cliff-hanger. First, though, will be the face-off between Media General management and Harbinger that Mario Gabelli is hosting for institutional investors on April Fool's Day. Harbinger has a bit over 18% of Media General's publicly traded Class A stock, so it will have to win support from other big institutional shareholders, like Gabelli & Company (the largest outside holder) if it is to have any chance of succeeding in its proxy fight.
| Read Morton's letter to shareholders |

80K WITM-AM Marion VA from Appalachian Educational Communications Corporation (Kenneth C. Hill) to Staley Creek Broadcasting Inc. (Justin M. Plaster). 1K earnest money, 1K cash at closing, 80K note. Buyer will also allow seller to air one 30-minute program weekly. LMA 2/15/08. Seller is non-profit. Buyer will return station to commercial status. [File date 2/20/08.]

40K KKDL-FM CP Dilley TX from In Phase Broadcasting Inc. (Mark Hiner) to La Nueva Cadena Radio Luz Inc. (Israel Tellez, San Juan E. Tellez, Isaac E. Tellez). Cash. CP is for Class A on 93.7 MHz with 2.5 kw @ 266'. [File date 2/20/08.]

Stock Talk
Pull-back day
A day after the market's huge advance on a Fed rate cut, traders still saw reasons to worry about the economy and pulled back. The Dow Industrials fell 293 points, or 2.4%, to 12,100.

Radio stocks followed the trend. The RBR Radio Index declined 2.737, or 3.4%, to 78.298. Citadel fell the most, 13.2%. Emmis was down 8.7%.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Journal Comm.







Lincoln Natl.




Citadel* CDL
1.38 -0.21

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]

They sure look local
After seeing the FCC's latest tally of broadcast stations (3/19/08 RBR #55) this reader was puzzled by the Commission's current hand-wringing over localism.

Amazing, isn't it? 29,593 broadcast stations and none of them serve their local communities.

Gregory MacDonald
President / CEO
Montana Broadcasters Association
Bonner, MT

Below the Fold
Ad Business Report
AdMission offers
Digital ad solutions to Entercom advertisers...

Media Business Report
Tribune melding media
In Florida sun, joined the interactive of TV and two FL newspapers, Look out...

Media Markets & Money
Holding company sells holding
It's not hard to figure out why Provenzano wants to buy KHLT...

Washington Business Report
Spectrum auction
Raises $19.6 billion and FCC Chairman Martin is crowing...

Dload - Powering Interactive Marketing

Stations for Sale

Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

Jim Carnegie
[email protected]

Chicago full market AM
Tampa full market AM
Ocala, FL heritage AM
ALL with good cash flow -
owners will finance

Grand Rapids, MI
Quad Cities, IL/IA

Tim Disa - AirTime Media
Ph: 888-846-3472
[email protected]

the Hot List on...

Radio Media Moves

Upped in NYC
Susan Bacich has been named Marketing Director for WLTW-FM "106.7 Lite FM" New York. Bacich will add Director of Marketing for WLTW, in addition to her being Director of Marketing at WKTU-FM and WAXQ-FM "Q104.3," all owned by Clear Channel.

New sales manager
Advocace Media LLC has named Zayne Rose as Director of Sales. The growing firm represents hundreds of non-profit radio stations and organizations in their efforts to find underwriting dollars. Prior to joining Advocace Media, Zayne was the Business Development Manager for Interep National Radio Sales in Los Angeles.

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

Radio down "only" 2% in February
2008 is continuing to make heavy use of negative numbers. Local was down 4% and national was down 1%, giving total spot a loss of 4%. The only positive number was for non-spot revenue, up 17%. That brought the grand total to a decline of 2%.

RBR observation: Well, about the only good thing you can say about the February numbers is that they weren't as awful as January. If you've forgotten, it was down 6%, with spot down 7% -- local down 5% and national down 13%. Thank goodness for non-spot revenue, which includes ad sales that radio stations are raking in from fast-growing Internet businesses.
03/19/08 RBR #55

March Madness goes multi-platform
CBS is making use of its portfolio of outlets for coverage of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. CBS Radio and CBS College Sports Network are teaming up with a co-branded Internet site, "NCAA March Madness Central" as an interactive destination for fans. The site is at

RBR observation: In a word, Wow Read more here
03/19/08 RBR #55

Enlisting more help
to fight a satellite merger
Back when Eliot Spitzer was Attorney General of New York he fought with radio station owners over alleged pay-for-play. But with Spitzer gone, not just as AG, but completely from the political scene, the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) is seeking help Read more here
03/19/08 RBR #55

Online radio reaches
33 million Americans per week. Americans 12+ listen to a radio station over the Internet during an average week - up from 29 million listeners one year ago. There is also a strong connection between online radio listening and social networking sites according to the study.

RBR observation: Habits are changing and digital is the key factor not just for radio success but for all media success. It would be beneficial to read again what RBR learned at the recent 4A's, that is where you money is - see Digital reality check in the report - Week of learning and planning, Take it to the streets and engage into the digital business. Snooze you lose. Digital changes everything.
03/18/08 RBR #54

Fragmented audio offerings
in hot competition
Yes, audiences are embracing new delivery systems and old media companies are trying to find new economic models that will work, but are investors and advertisers willing to commit their dollars? The report notes that "the audience for radio is rising - and fragmenting," with fierce competition to AM & FM stations from new audio devices - but no clear winners yet.

RBR observation: The study has some impact and also adds merit to what was said about radio during the recent 4A's conference with consumer listening habit in-office. Read more observation and analysis here
03/18/08 RBR #54

Supreme Court to hear
Fox indecency case
The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the FCC has the authority to fine broadcasters for "fleeting expletives," taking up the Commission's appeal of a case in which its actions against the Fox stations for comments by Cher and Nicole Ritchie

TVBR observation: Leave it to government to create a mess where there had been none.Read more observation and analysis here
03/18/08 TVBR #54

RBR Classifieds

Account Executives
WDCW-TV, Washington's CW has two immediate openings. First, for entry-level AE and Second, need an experienced New Business local AE. Highly motivated self-starters who have the ambition to be successful apply. Winning attitude is important. Requirements include ability to develop long-term relationships and have strong closing skills. Must be well-organized and possess excellent presentation skills. EOE Where to apply see TV Careers

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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