Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 7, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning January 11th, 2005

Radio News®

CBS fires four; Rather off the hook
By 6:30pm last night everyone knew and all news organizations covered it as CBS News has fired four staffers, based on an independent panel's review of a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story that used apparently forged documents to disparage President Bush's service in the Air National Guard. However, anchor Dan Rather, who was the reporter for the segment, will not face any punishment beyond his previous on-air apology.

RBR observation: A big black eye for CBS News, but pretty much what we had all been expecting since last fall's very public debacle. Mary Mapes takes the fall, as expected, along with a trio of bosses whom she apparently drove a steamroller over to get the story on the air without interference. Could she have been able to do that if she hadn't been teamed with Rather? We doubt it. | More... |

Murdoch plans 6 billion roll-up of Fox
Now that he's moved News Corporation to the United States, Rupert Murdoch is moving to roll the company's US subsidiary, Fox Entertainment, into the parent company. News Corp. announced an exchange offer to trade 1.9 shares of News Corp. Class A stock for each share of Fox stock. The stock swap values Fox shares at 33.54 each - - a premium of 7.4% over Friday's close.

RBR observation: Will investors force Rupert to sweeten the pot? | More... |

Radio groups plan marketing blitz
Major radio groups and the NAB are teaming up for a marketing campaign to combat bad PR for radio and the media efforts of satellite radio. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan alluded to the marketing campaign in his conference call last week and the official announcement is coming today. The advertising campaign, created by DeVito/Verdi in New York, will seek to promote radio as a primary source for music and entertainment. The first group of spots will feature superstar artists talking about how radio launched them to stardom, such as this :30 by Alicia Keys. "Radio: You hear it here first," is the tag line for the campaign. Other artists include Nelly, Hoobastank, Ludacris, Ashanti and Avril Lavinge, with others, including Country artists, to be added. A later wave of spots will feature up and coming artists, such as John Legend and The Ditty Bops. Major radio groups have committed more than 28 million bucks in. Groups which have already committed to the effort include ABC, Beasley, Bonneville, Buckley, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Emmis, Entercom, Greater Media, Infinity, Jefferson-Pilot, Journal, Radio One, Regent and Susquehanna. In addition to the radio spots, there will be a print element appearing in consumer magazines, plus a viral/Internet marketing campaign.

There is little change in the air
Good advertising may convince some people to switch soft drinks, but - - despite spending record amounts - - ads from two presidential campaigns did little to attract people over from the other side. According to the National Annenberg Election Survey, once a Bush supporter, always a Bush supporter was the rule, and the same sentiment held for Kerry supporters as well. According to the survey, 84% of the people who eventually cast their vote for Bush never gave a moment's thought to pulling the lever for Kerry. The vice versa number, Kerry voters who never once considered voting for Bush, was 85%. The upshot is support for the theory that what broadcast spending a candidate does should be geared toward energizing his own base rather than winning over the hearts, minds and votes of the opponent's base.

RBR observation: Political advertising is a double-edged sword. It's a nice windfall category, but it eats up inventory and comes with a lot of regulatory red tape attached. The new micro-targeting techniques used by the national campaigns often force some broadcasters to temporarily turn their backs on their regular customers while other broadcasters are left completely in the cold. It might be a good thing for all involved if candidates retool their message and broaden their media mix.

Senators strong-arm WH
over Armstrong Williams
The revelation that the Bush administration paid 240K to multimedia commentator Armstrong Williams to use his broadcast appearances to push the "No Child Left Behind" program has drawn a strongly-worded letter of protest from Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and newly-instated minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV). They want the practice discontinued, the money spent refunded to American taxpayers, and more pointedly, they want to know if any other similar arrangements have been struck with other journalists, and on other topics. The senators are concerned in particular that other journalists are being paid to forward the administration's position on Social Security. The administration was taken to task on a couple of occasions last year for producing plug-and-play video press releases which were produced to look like standard news items (10/12/04 RBR #199). "In addition to the illegality of these actions taken by your Administration," the senators wrote, "we believe that the act of bribing journalists to bias their news in favor of government policies undermines the integrity of our democracy. Actions like this were common in the Soviet Union, but until now, thought to be long extinguished in our country. These revelations regarding Mr. Williams are the latest - - and most disturbing - - in a series of actions by your Administration to manipulate public opinion through covert propaganda."

They said it in 2004: August
The former Presidential candidate made a few claims as the old year exits stage right and the New Year makes its way to center stage, just a few more thoughts we strung together which when you read feel free to scratch any body part. This appeared in RBR/TVBR during the past year. Today John Kerry back then: "As president, I will expand opportunities for people of color in the media, by appointing FCC commissioners committed to enforcing equal employment and insuring that small and minority-owned broadcasters are not consolidated into extinction." August 2004 | More... |


Staples/Sinclair percolates on
Office supply retailer Staples Inc. continues to get ink on its relationship with Sinclair Broadcast Group. The war of words was carried forward by the two entities closest to the dispute on either side, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Media Matters for America.

RBR observation: They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. We'd say that this may be the exception that proves the rule. We can't see that this controversy is doing Staples any good whatsoever. And while this incident may do little or no actual harm to Sinclair, it can expect more, not less of this sort of thing in the future. Now to the other side of the opportunity - Office Depot ever think of stepping up and taking over? Great creative would work wonders in the local Sinclair markets. Look what Bud Lite and Miller Lite do to each other. Think about it. | More... |

Pfizer changing "misleading" Listerine ads
Pfizer will spend about 2 million to change ad claims that the company's Listerine mouthwash works as well as floss in fighting plaque and gingivitis, the company told a judge Monday. Last week, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against Pfizer and ordered the company to change its advertising. Part of cost will include sending about 4,000 sales staffers into stores throughout the country to alter displays and replace labels on Listerine bottles -- labels that a judge found last week to be false and misleading. Along with its store displays, Pfizer said it would immediately change print advertisements and TV spots. The hearing was the latest in a court battle over a Pfizer campaign that claims "Listerine's as effective as floss at fighting plaque and gingivitis." Johnson & Johnson's McNeil-PPC subsidiary, which sells dental floss, brought a suit over the campaign, saying it falsely implies that all the benefits of flossing could be obtained from Listerine.

Clinton, Bush join in tsunami PSA
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have joined with The Ad Council to launch a national PSA campaign that encourages Americans to send financial support to humanitarian organizations handling Tsunami relief operations. The ads, via McCann-Erickson New York (pro bono), are being distributed to more than 28,000 TV, radio, print, outdoor and Internet media outlets nationwide. The PSAs direct Americans to visit USAfreedomcorps.gov, to find a list of humanitarian organizations accepting donations to aid in the disaster relief. The campaign includes both English and Spanish-language copy.

February Radio & Television Business Report

"The Pros and Cons of Nielsen's Local People Meter and Arbitron's proposed Portable People Meter service"
After a rocky start, it's roll-out time of LPM & PPM. Will there be cooperation or more talk?

Engineered for Profit: "New tower standards coming: are you ready?" Did you know existing standards is currently in the midst of the biggest revision in years?

GM talkback: "How has LPM ratings changed selling in your market?" TV GMs say what they think-the good, bad and the ugly.

Media, Markets, and Money: Only one place tells it like it is with a run-down and overview of the biggest quarterly Radio and TV deals and outlook to 2005.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Hearst hears Clarion call
Take two stations licensed to Clarion PA, in Clarion County, PA, that are being sold to Clarion County Broadcasting Corp. and you have just about enough Clarion mentions for one day. William Hearst's company is getting WKQW AM & FM from Joseph V. Olszowka, who is handling the estate of Stephen Olszowka, according to broker Dick Kozacko of Kozacko Media Services. The AM is a daytime Talker, while the FM spins Oldies on a standard Class A stick. For a many-rated-market state like Pennsylvania, Clarion does a good job of precisely not being part of one. It is in the western section of the state along I-80, which functions as the state's equator, creating a rough 50-50 north-south split.

Analysts cut Clear Channel estimates due to LIM
Bear Stearns analysts Christopher Ensley, Victor Miller and Tracy Young have reduced their revenue and EBITDA estimates for Clear Channel, saying the company faces near-term challenges in making its Less is More initiative work. The analysts say national advertisers are going to be slow to embrace 30-second spots. In some markets, they say, Clear Channel is sold out of 60-second inventory for January and February, but may have to discount to move its 30-second inventory. But the Bear Stearns analysts say Clear Channels problems could benefit rivals, such as Radio One, Emmis, Infinity, Cox, Entercom, Citadel and Cumulus. Meanwhile, Wachovia Securities analysts Jim Boyle and Marci Ryvicker have cut their 2005 estimates across the radio group - - blaming LIM. "We now believe that the revenue disruption caused by this initiative should last deeper into Q2 and even Q3," they said. According to their analysis, some groups added inventory in the latter part of 2004, making it even tougher to cut now. "It's as though some groups decided to have a few last hot fudge sundaes before the industry diet begins," they said.

Washington Beat
Congress overrides FCC on Alaska translators
If you thought the decision by the FCC's Chief Administrative Law Judge to revoke the licenses of two full-power stations owned by Dave Becker's Peninsula Communications (but not the other two) for repeatedly defying Commission orders to shut down seven illegal FM translators (6/20/03 RBR #121) was the last word on the case, think again. Congress has now gotten into the act, with someone slipping language into the massive appropriations bill passed last month that could restore all of Becker's licenses - - even the translators. It's all explained in this guest article from attorney Henry Solomon of Garvey Schubert Barer. | More... |

More on Jerry Springer's radio show
Starting next Monday, Springer will launch his three-hour, daily talker from Cincinnati, which he hopes to start rolling out nationwide as early as next month on about a dozen Clear Channel stations, reports the NY Post. | More... |

JRN to debut "True Country"
Jones Radio Networks announced the January 24th launch of "True Country," the fourth country format offering in their 24-hour format lineup. True Country combines the format's biggest hits by country music's A-list and the most popular country songs of all-time. The format is family-friendly programming that's familiar even to the occasional country listener. True Country is available as a turnkey localized satellite delivered option, a library with a customized playlist for individual markets with consultation, or a combination of both.

WKOE-FM Atlantic City-Cape May (Ocean City NJ) from Ocean Communications Broadcasting LLC to Press Communications.

WBOP-FM, WSIG-FM Harrisonburg VA (Churchville, Mount Jackson VA) from Shenandoah Valley Television LLC to Force 5 Communications Inc.

| More... |

Stock Talk
Stocks rise on merger talk
It wasn't much of a gain, but the stock market was up on Monday for the first time in 2005. An announcement that Movie Gallery had topped Blockbuster's bid for Hollywood Entertainment gave stocks a boost, along with rumors of a banking merger in the works - - that Wells Fargo is in talks to buy Barclays. The Dow Industrials rose 17 points, or 0.2%, to 10,621.

Radio stocks also edged up for the first time this year. The Radio Index rose 0.851, or 0.4%, to 219.615. Cumulus led the pack, up 3%, with Regent gaining 2.7%. Satellite radio companies fell on rumors, which turned out to be false, that DirecTV was planning a competing service.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Journal Comm.




Citadel CDL
14.65 -0.27

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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Upped & Tapped

New helmsman
in Houston
Patrick Fant has been named Market Manager for Cumulus in Houston, where the company owns KWRP-FM and KVST-FM. Fant is a veteran of the Houston and Dallas markets, having worked, by his estimate, for nearly a dozen radio companies in 20 years, often changing employers without changing his desk.

Laud lauded
at Excelsior
Excelsior Radio Networks announced it has named network radio affiliate marketing veteran Liz Laud as its Executive Vice President Affiliate Sales and Marketing. She will oversee Excelsior's Rick Dees affiliate marketing efforts with Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40 as well as other programming.

Mid-days in Philly
Christy Springfield has joined the on-air lineup on Greater Media's WPEN-AM Philadelphia as mid-day host.

Stations For Sale

Rated Market AM Coverage
Bristol, TN (#98) and adjacent Western Virginia Coverage with two great AM's. Priced to Sell!
Cliff at Clifton Gardiner & Co (303)758-6900
[email protected]

Tennessee / Alabama Border AM
2.5 KW AM on border with Rated Market Coverage (#118). Motivated Seller! Cliff at Clifton Gardiner & Co (303)758-6900
[email protected]

10 Station (One State) Cluster
Four Markets with $900K Trailing Cash Flow. Excellent Management. Located in Far Northwest.
Cliff at Clifton Gardiner & Co (303)758-6900
[email protected]

More News Headlines

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

Analysts see Emmis' guidance
as weak
A couple of Wall Street analysts told clients that the company's guidance for the current quarter - - that both TV and radio would be up 3% - - seemed a bit on the light side. Some expectations for the radio industry for the period - - 2% - - but still below the 3.6% he had been expecting. Emmis' television group, like many in TV, will now face a "difficult hill to climb" in replacing 300 million in political revenue in the coming fiscal year. RBR observation: Right hand must be used to wash the left hand last time we tried it. It will be a interesting year for all. 01/10/05 RBR #6

Liberman IPO slammed by Forbes
Liberman Broadcasting's planned IPO has been on hold for months, but it nevertheless is the subject of a negative review in Forbes. The article doesn't deny that Hispanic media is hot, but says Liberman is "a small company coming late in the cycle and it won't add much to investors' portfolio." Ouch! RBR observation: Why would anyone put themselves thru this much pain of going public. Stay private. 01/10/05 RBR #6

Fox nixes bare-butt Mickey Rooney ad for Super Bowl
Rejected a proposed ad for Airborne, a natural cold remedy revealing the 84-year-old's rear end.
RBR observation: Sources of this report comes from USA Today so don't blame our butt we are just letting you know in advance. Actually seeing Rooney's 84 year old bare butt just has us off the record laughing our butts off. Now there probably would have been a big brouhaha if it was the other Mickey's bare butt Airborne was using. Think about it. 01/10/05 RBR #6

Tribune Co. dumps
Armstrong Williams
Conservative pundit Armstrong Williams no longer has a nationally-distributed newspaper column, but he still has media access via his self-syndicated radio and TV programs. Tribune Media Services stopped distribution of Williams' newspaper column, "The Right Side with Armstrong Williams," after it was disclosed that he had been paid 240,000 by the US Department of Education to promote the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind Law. 01/10/05 RBR #6

Court orders CC Radio
to feed to Sirius
The first court battle has begun over terrestrial radio stations defending their play-by-play sports turf from new competitors - - satellite radio. The first round goes to satellite, with a judge in Louisville, KY ordering Clear Channel Radio to provide a feed to Sirius Satellite Radio of University of Louisville football and basketball games. Clear Channel was sued by the university and Nelligan Sports Marketing, which holds the radio broadcast rights to Louisville games. Although Nelligan and the school had struck a deal to allow Sirius to carry Louisville games, Clear Channel had insisted that it had no contractual obligation to provide a feed to the satellite outlet.
RBR observation: Look for much more litigation of this sort - - particularly over terrestrial radio station's market exclusive rights to pro sports broadcasts, following recent league deals giving nationwide play-by-play broadcast contracts to Sirius and XM. Nutshell: The order means that WHAS-AM, the school's flagship station, will be providing Sirius with programming content.
TA DUM. 01/07/05 RBR #5

Emmis: Less Is More
impact minimal so far
Clear Channel's "Less is More" (LIM) initiative continues to be a top focus for Wall Street analysts, who are trying to discern what impact the clutter-cutting move is having on radio ad demand and pricing. But with LIM underway for several weeks now, Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings said the overall impact has not been great so far - - and he's hopeful the long-term effect will be to improve pricing for the entire radio industry. He indicated that Emmis had no need for a formal companywide edict such as LIM to control inventory, but said he'd probably do the same thing if he had to manage as many stations as Clear Channel had! 01/07/05 RBR #5

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