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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 73, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning April 13th, 2007

Radio News ®

The other shoe falls for Imus
Don Imus will not be on the air this morning for the final day of the WFAN Radiothon. Rather than beginning a two-week suspension next Monday, CBS announced late yesterday that it had canceled the "Imus In the Morning" show permanently, effective immediately. In the statement he issued, CBS Corporation President and CEO Les Moonves was careful to avoid even mentioning Imus. "From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent. Those who have spoken with us the last few days represent people of goodwill from all segments of our society - all races, economic groups, men and women alike. In our meetings with concerned groups, there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision, as have the many emails, phone calls and personal discussions we have had with our colleagues across the CBS Corporation and our many other constituencies. I want to thank all those who came to see us to express their views. We are now presented with a significant opportunity to expand on our record on issues of diversity, race and gender. We intend to seize that opportunity as we move forward together," Moonves said. Don Imus began his annual radiothon yesterday morning by conceding that it may be his last. Having already been canceled by MSNBC, Imus joked that the effort needed to raise about 100 million bucks - about two and a half times the 40 million that has been raised in the previous 17 years. The handwriting was on the wall, hours before Moonves lowered the boom. "I don't know if this will be my last radiothon. My suspicion is it will be," Imus said on the air. Day one raised 1.3 million through yesterday afternoon, which put it on track to match or exceed last year's 2.9 million. At one point, WFAN personality Mike Francesa blasted MSNBC for pulling the plug just ahead of the fundraiser to benefit three child-oriented charities. "They could have waited a day. MSNBC showed no guts and no loyalty," Francesa said. That was before his own employer did the same.

RBR observation: In the end, there may have been no choice - either fire Imus because of the protests or shut down the show because advertisers won't touch it. Unlike conservative talk hosts whose names have also been bandied around in the media lately for alleged racially insensitive remarks, Imus In the Morning had mostly mainstream advertisers. That's because Imus wasn't a conservative talk host, or even a conservative. His show was a one-of-a-kind mix of entertainment, politics, popular culture, sports and education. That's why it attracted big names from across the political spectrum - and big advertisers. Having lost 100 million in billings from Howard Stern a little over a year ago, CBS Radio will now have to deal with losing another 15 million plus in billings from the end of Imus In the Morning. Joel Hollander may not miss his job so much as he exits today. Dan Mason, it's for you to deal with now.


CBS and WW1 extend & revise
Westwood One announced a letter of intent with CBS Radio to extend their programming and distribution agreements through 2017. But, in an important change, CBS Radio will no longer manage WW1 and employ its top officials. WW1 confirmed to RBR that Westwood One President and CEO Peter Kosann will remain in his current position, becoming a WW1 employee rather than a CBS Radio employee. Assuming the letter of intent is carried through to a final contract, which is still being negotiated with CBS Radio by the Strategic Review Committee of the WW1 board of directors, the pact would guarantee that CBS Radio distribute the same level of WW1 commercial inventory as now through March 31, 2017 and continue to provide WW1 with exclusive syndication rights to CBS Radio News through the same period. Financial terms would be similar to the current agreement, with ties to audience delivery and audience clearance. WW1 would also get a right of first refusal to syndicate CBS Radio programming. "Extending our distribution and programming agreements with CBS Radio delivers Westwood One several key benefits - long term distribution on major market radio stations, programming rights from a top radio broadcaster and station compensation tied directly to audience delivery," said Kosann. The biggest change is the termination of the management contact under which CBS Radio and Infinity Broadcasting before that have operated WW1 since 1994, when Unistar was merged into WW1. CBS agrees not to sell any of its 18% stake in WW1 until at least the end of this year and the warrants that CBS holds to buy more WW1 stock, which carry a strike price way out of the money these days, will be canceled.

RBR observation: The upshot is that WW1 will be more independent, but still have the things it needs most from CBS Radio - inventory and clearances. Analysts were quick to suggest that ending the management contract could open the door to someone else acquiring WW1. The stock has certainly been beaten down, but the network radio business has also been beaten down, so it remains to be seen whether new money is interested in entering the business. WW1 Chairman Norm Pattiz would still have control over whether any such transaction would take place, since he still holds almost all of the super-voting Class B stock.

Restrictions on junk food ads widely supported
A clear majority of Americans would support government-imposed restrictions on the advertisement of junk food, according to a new poll released by marketing information firm Lightspeed Research. 70% would support such measures, either strongly or somewhat, compared to 23% who would offer strong or mild opposition. Congress, led by Sam Brownback (R-KS) and with public support from FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (R) and Deborah Taylor Tate (R), is looking at ways to combat childhood obesity, and placing restrictions on ads for sugary or fatty foods is one of the items definitely on the table. Lightspeed found that 38% of a very large sample pool totaling over 137K US adults would strongly support such measures; 32% are somewhat in favor; 12% are somewhat against; and 11% are strongly against (7% don't know). Women were more open to the idea, 73% to 20%, but men were still supportive, to the tune of 63% to 31%. A look at different age demos revealed a slightly greater tendency to support restrictions as age increases, with 70% support from 18-24s compared to 73% support from 65+. As strong as US citizen support for such legislation is, it is even stronger in other countries. Lightspeed noted 89% support levels in Australia, Italy and Sweden; 86% in Great Britain; 85% in France; 82% in Spain and the Netherlands; and 74% in Germany.

RBR observation: One purpose of the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular is to guarantee certain rights regardless of passing political whims. So if 70% of Americans think free speech should be restricted, the remaining 30% can demand and receive protection from the First Amendment. But commercial speech has never been as free as other forms. Thus far, many food manufacturers and distributors have been taking voluntary steps to limit the exposure of children to junk food ads, and they've been cooperating with Brownback and others in Washington with an interest in the matter. But we won't be surprised if somehow, sometime, somewhere, someone will literally make a federal case out of this.


FTC report on violence, etc.
Marketers of R-rated or unrated violent movies, explicit-content music recordings and M-rated violent video games are being taken to task by the Federal Trade Commission, and they're tattling straight to Congress, by design, in the agency's fifth report on the matter. One thing the FTC measured was how successful underage individuals were in getting hold of various restricted materials. The movie industry manage to reduce the sale of R-rated movie tickets to children from 46% in 2000 to 39% in 2006. The sale of M-rated video games really dropped, from 85% to 42% over the same period. Sales to juveniles of explicit music are down, but still very high, having gone from 85% to 76%. R- or unrated movie DVD sales, added more recently, both stand at 71%. As for marketing such material, FTC noted that the movie industry limits television ads for R-movies to shows which attract no more than a 35% underage audience. However, the FTC notes that the 35% standard is too high to prevent such ads from getting on shows most popular with teenagers. Explicit music ratings are not tied to specific age groups, and the FTC noted that such material is routinely advertised on venues "...with a teen audience of 40% or more." The FTC said broadcast ads for violent games seem to be going down. In all three cases, however, advertising on the Internet has been pretty much on an anything goes basis. For example, "18 of the 20 movies studied by the Commission were advertised on Web sites where more than a third of the audience was under 17."

RBR observation: Broadcasters actually look better than producers, retailers and theater operators in this study. But unless the stakeholders find a way to prevent material falling into the hands of the underaged on their own, you can bet that the government will be active in this arena.

MoveOn has the right stuff
for Democrats...

And that's probably because it's oriented more to the left. Democratic presidential contenders may have no time for Fox News Channel, but seven of them were able to fit MoveOn.org into their schedule for a simultaneous campaign event. An audio-only webcast debate was held by MoveOn, which gained fame in 2004 as a liberal, ad-buying 527 organization, and participated in the 2006 elections as a more-highly regulated political organization. John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama all took part. For what it's worth, MoveOn conducted a poll of its members based on the event. Barack Obama was the winner in a split vote. Here are the results: 1. Obama (28%); 2. Edwards (25%); 3. Kucinich (17%); 4. Richardson (12%); 5. Clinton (11%); 6. Biden (6%); 7. Dodd (1%)

RBR observation: The Internet continues to grow in stature in just about all phases of life. MoveOn's ability to put together something like this at all would have been inconceivable a few years ago. And it also shows how polarized politics have become. MoveOn was characterized by many as a far left fringe group in its early days. The Democrats are treating Fox as if it were enemy turf. It will be really interesting to see how this all plays out in the coming 19 months.


Executive Comment
Jerry Della Famina on Imus
RBR note: This commentary by the noted advertising guru appeared this week as his weekly column "Jerry's Ink" in The Independent newspaper, of which he is a part owner, published on eastern Long Island. It is reprinted by permission.

He's a good man. He's under fire. Don Imus is so many things.

If you're a soldier wounded in Iraq, who is caught in a rotting ward at Walter Reed Hospital, he is the best man to have on your side. That goes for a kid of any race or religion with cancer. Or a parent who has lost an infant to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

He's built hospitals and a ranch in New Mexico for kids who face an early death, and if you have a good cause he is by your side and he puts his money where his mouth is.

If you're a phony this is your time to come out from under your rock. He's reeling and he's in trouble...

| Read the full article |


Ad Business Report TM

Space:
The next advertising frontier?

Are you ready to ride the RBR Space Shuttle? It may be a possibility, if we decide to pony up the cash and NASA gets government approval to start selling advertising to bolster its budget. The idea of allowing America's space agency to explore the world of advertising as well as the trackless expanses beyond the bounds of Earth is being considered, according to Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA). According to Reuters, money thus raised would be used for prizes awarded to innovators who come up with new technology useful to NASA but outside normal Congressional budgeting parameters. Calvert told a symposium that he was not thinking about slapping a bumper sticker on the Mars Rover, but rather the selling of sponsorships a la NPR, the Smithsonian or the PGA.

RBR observation: The idea takes us back - all the way back to a MAD Magazine issue published during our youth. Spoofing Star Trek, a brilliant Mort Drucker (we assume) drawing of the equipment on the starship bridge was labeled Remco, a major toy manufacturer of that time. And of course, TANG was a real product closely associated with the space program back then. Nowadays, we could have events, like the Taco Bell "think outside the capsule" Space Walk (with the astronauts decked out in Bill Blass designer space suits). The possibilities are endless...

Slap that ad, if you can hear it
We are wondering if we should file an age discrimination lawsuit, or simply put our children on the case of the interactive Kentucky Fried Chicken MosquitoTone caper. The chicken-selling firm is pushing a brand new offering, the Boneless Variety Bucket, and in the television ads promoting the bucket, it's including a high-pitched buzz "allegedly heard by only segments of the population..." That would be the segment which can still hear certain high-frequency tones, a human skill which is said to begin to deteriorate at about the age of 20 or so. The buzz will be emanating from a certain item in the commercial, and the first 1K viewers who correctly identify the source and report their finding to KFC.com will get a 10 dollar gift certificate, just enough to cover a sampling of the 9.99 menu item. KFC's James O'Reilly said, "We're also committed to finding new ways to engage Americans through their television sets, with advertising that is interactive, fun and ultimately rewards people for paying attention. We call it the '21st century dinner bell.'"

RBR observation: We're interested in seeing what our dog thinks of this one - he definitely likes fresh chicken when he can get it (and of course, boneless is an absolute must), and he definitely hears things we can't hear. Unfortunately, however, his Internet skills aren't so hot, so we will definitely put the children to work to see if they can score the family a free bucket of bird.


NAB Daytime Planner
The following will be attending the NAB.
Call or email to make your
appointment in advance.

BANKERS
Jacob J. Barker; Barker Capital www.barkercap.com Bellagio Hotel
(212) 332-4312 [email protected]

Peter H. Ottmar; Dover Capital Partners, LLC; office 401/723-1063 x103;
cell 401/639-4958; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]

Brian Eick/Dave Meier/John Weller; Gladstone Capital; Bellagio Hotel;
Brian cell 847-612-3002, Dave cell 847-650-1735, John cell 509-496-3254; [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

BROKERS
Todd Fowler/David Reeder; American Media Services; Bellagio Hotel; 843-972-2200; [email protected], [email protected]

Brian Cobb/ Denis LeClair /Dan Graves/Jack Higgins; Cobb Corp; Bellagio Hotel; 212-812-5020; [email protected]

Andy McClure/Erick Steinberg, The Exline Company, Bellagio Hotel, office 415-479-3484, cell 415-497-3855, [email protected]. [email protected]

Frank Boyle; Frank Boyle & Co.;
Imperial Palace;
203-969-2020; cell 203-249-7818; [email protected]

John L. Pierce/ Jamie Rasnick; John Pierce & Company LLC; office 859-647-0101, John cell 859-512-3015; Jamie cell 513-252-1186, Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]; [email protected]
Gordon Rice; Gordon Rice Associates;
843-884-3590; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]

Dick Kozacko/George Kimble;
Kozacko Media Services; office 607-733-7138; cell 607-738-1219; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected], [email protected]

Media Services Group; Bellagio Hotel; www.mediaservicesgroup.com

Elliot Evers/Greg Widroe/Brian Pryor/Patricia Carberry-Harris;
Media Venture Partners;
415-391-4877; Bellagio Hotel;
[email protected]
mediaventurepartners.com

Brian Byrnes; Paramount Media
Advisors, Inc.; 312-396-4043;
cell 312-933-7559; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]@earthlink.net

Glenn Serafin; Serafin Bros., Inc.;
office 813-885-6060; cell 813-494-6875; Aladdin Hotel; [email protected]

Bill Schutz; Schutz & Company; Bellagio Hotel; 757-258-8740, cell 757-880-9251; [email protected]

Larry C. Wood; Wood & Company, Inc.; Alexis Park Hotel; Office: 513-528-7373; Cell: 513-225-5100; [email protected]

CONSULTING ENGINEERS
Gary Cavell, Richard Mertz, Michael Rhodes, Dan Ryson; Cavell, Mertz & Associates, Inc.; Main Office 703-392-9090; [email protected]

Washington Media Business Report TM
Markey keeps the pressure on
Ed Markey (D-MA) is once again entertaining members of the communications universe at his Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. This time, however, those involved in the entertainment side of the business can take somewhat of a breather. The double-colon event dubbed "The Digital Future of the U.S.: Part 3: Spectrum Opportunities and the Future of Wireless" figures to involve broadcasters only as a side issue (anytime the words "spectrum" and "future" appear in the same sentence in Washington, broadcast engineers should silently add two words of their own: "potential" and "interference"). The session is scheduled for next week, Thursday, 4/19/07 at 10AM.


Media Markets & Money TM
Around, around the spinner they go...
...and where they stop, unlike on a carnival wheel, is known, actually. As reported last week, Three Eagles is getting seven Mason City IA stations from Clear Channel in a three market group deal that also includes three properties in Mankato MN and two in Fort Dodge IA. The Mason City cluster coming from the spin-cycling radio giant include KCHA AM & FM, KCZE-FM, KGLO-AM, KLKK-FM, KIAI-FM & KBMA-FM. However, Three Eagles already owns KLSS-FM, KRIB-AM & KYTC-FM, which would result in the kind of 10-station cluster that would fail to fly even in the nation's largest markets. The local Globe Gazette reports that a plan is already in place to keep the cluster legal. In Mason City, Three Eagles will keep its existing stations and assimilate Clear Channel's KIAI-FM & KBMA-FM. The other five will go to Jim Coloff and his Coloff Media.

RBR observation: This is actually Coloff's second buy in recent weeks, and it's much more significant than the prior one. He filed 3/21/07 to acquire KHAM-FM Britt IA for a mere 10K, a price that'll go up 15K if an upgrade is approved by the FCC. That station, in unrated territory, will overlap his KIOW-FM out of Forest City IA.

Neuhoff springs for a CCU market
The latest to go is Springfield, IL, which used to be an Arbitron-rated market but is no longer. Broker Kalil & Co. reports that Neuhoff Communications, which already owns stations in nearby Danville, IL (plus TV in Idaho), has won the bidding for WFMB-AM & FM, WCVS-FM and WXAJ-FM. There was no immediate word on how much Neuhoff will pay Clear Channel Communications for the four stations.


Internet Media Business Report TM
CBS goes Interactive
CBS Corporation announced the creation of the CBS Interactive Audience Network to deliver advertiser-supported content direct to consumers. CBS announced initial deal to provide content to AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media and Veoh. CBS will begin selling the CBS Interactive Audience Network in the coming weeks, including the upcoming Upfront marketplace. Advertising revenue will be shared between CBS and its partners. All content will be available domestically with select clips and full-length sports programming distributed worldwide. "Today marks an important step in our strategy to distribute content broadly across the online interactive landscape on an open, non-exclusive basis. Each of these partners offers value to our audience and our advertisers, who can now come to CBS not only for the most watched network on television, but for the most widely distributed professional content online," said CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves. A rotating list within a specified viewing timeframe of programming from entertainment, news and sports will be offered including "CSI," "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Survivor," "Showtime Championship Boxing," "CSTV Game of the Week," "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" and other shows, including classic programming from the vast library of CBS Television Distribution. CBS has previously entered into existing and ongoing content distribution arrangements with Yahoo!, Apple iTunes, Microsoft's Xbox, Amazon UnBox and others.


Transactions
600K KCUB-FM Ranger TX from Back to Roots Inc. (Jerry Evans II, Harry Bradberry, Steve Ross) to Mandatory Broadcasting Inc. (John Hellinger, Cleve Cole). 60k earnest money, balance in cash at closing. [File date 3/26/07.]

18,661.92 WDNG-AM Anniston AL. 33.3% of WDNG Inc. from Tracie Foster (33.3% to 0%) to Charles R. Fuller (33.3% to 50%) & Francis J. DiPietro (33.3% to 50%). Cash. [File date 3/23/07.]


Stock Talk
Stocks back up
Wall Street shrugged off warning about soft retail sales in April after a strong March and traders bought stocks again. The Dow Industrials rose 68 points, or 0.6%, to 12,553. That's nine up days for the Dow out of the last 10 sessions.

Radio stocks were even stronger. The Radio Index rose 2.482, or 1.6%, to 161.140. Beasley led the way, up 5.9%. Emmis gained 4.3% and Cumulus was up 3.4%.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

48.49

+1.33

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

27.45

+0.18

Beasley

BBGI

9.13

+0.51

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.07

+0.06

CBS CI. B CBS

31.41

+0.42

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

67.70

+0.41

CBS CI. A CBSa

31.45

+0.44

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

7.12

+0.18

Citadel CDL
9.65 +0.02

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

7.14

+0.17

Clear Channel

CCU

36.05

+0.15

Regent

RGCI

3.42

+0.02

Cox Radio

CXR

14.79

+0.24

Saga Commun.

SGA

10.25

+0.01

Cumulus

CMLS

10.12

+0.33

Salem Comm.

SALM

12.53

-0.07

Disney

DIS

34.67

+0.08

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

3.08

-0.01

Emmis

EMMS

9.45

+0.39

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

3.80

-0.04

Entercom

ETM

28.38

+0.32

SWMX

SMWX

0.71

-0.03

Entravision

EVC

10.00

-0.15

Westwood One

WON

6.78

-0.01

Fisher

FSCI

49.44

+0.48

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

12.14

-0.30


Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

So, Carter Crawford (RBR 4/13/2007) works for GCI Cable in Alaska. I'm not sure why a cable employee is responding in a radio publication [Editor's note: The comment appeared in both RBR and TVBR], but regardless, Crawford states "It has been years since I listened to New York Radio and since we can not get any satellite radio in Alaska I have never heard him"... One wonders if Crawford has ever tuned to Channel 66 of GCI system?

| Read Full Repsonse |

Randy Kabrich
Radio consultant


Below the Fold
Executive Comment
Jerry Della Famina on Imus
If you're a soldier wounded in Iraq he is the best man to have on your side...

Ad Business Report
Utah bans keyword advertising
Google and other search engine companies are gearing up for a Court Battle...

Space: The next Ad frontier?
Are you ready to ride the
TVBR Space Shuttle?...

Media Markets & Money
Around the spinner they go
Three Eagles is getting 7 Mason City IA stations from...



Stations for Sale

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
Newly Upgraded Daytime AM's
Each covers over 2 mil pop
As package or alone
[email protected]
215-205-2920

Ski Country FM
NEast, very profitable w. T site.
8.5x trailing CF. Price 950K
Inquiries 781-848-4201
email: [email protected]
Web: RadioStationsForSale.net


Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

Contact
June Barnes
[email protected]

Arbitrends



Radio Media Moves

Same town,
different building

Mapleton Communications announced that Bill Heirendt has joined its team as Market Manager for San Luis Obispo, CA. Heirendt was most recently Market Manager for American General Media operations in San Luis Obispo.


More News Headlines

Utah bans keyword advertising
Google and other search engine companies are gearing up for a court battle to strike down a law that was passed in February with little fanfare by the Utah State Legislature. Titled "Trademark Protection Act," what the Utah law actually does is ban comparative advertising (like the Pepsi vs. Coke blind taste test) and sponsored ads linked to keywords on the Internet (a Ford ad comes up if you query Chevrolet). Even the Utah legislature's General Counsel thinks the law is unconstitutional, and told the legislators so, but they went ahead and passed it unanimously. The State of Utah is now required to establish a database where companies may register trademarks they wish to have protected by the law. They could then file suit in Utah state courts against alleged violators, which would essentially make the law apply worldwide since the Internet is the same in Utah as everywhere else. By the way, it will cost you a maximum of 250 bucks a year to register a trademark for protection in Utah - renewable every five years - that is if the federal courts don't strike this law down before then.

RTNDA offers preventive medicine
The Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) has joined the massses in deploring the recent remarks of Don Imus, but unlike most, it's prepared to help news organizations do something about such situations before they happen. Via it's RTNDF (change Association to Foundation), it offers a Diversity Toolkit which may help guide such discussions in your own station's newsroom. It includes: * A downloadable instructional guide for diversity training within the workplace; * Interviews and varying definitions of diversity with news leaders; * Streaming video of five in-depth stories about diversity; * Step-by-step instructions for holding a diversity workshop and strategies for achieving diversity in hiring, retention, advancement and content; and * A form to order a free copy of the DVD. Check at www.rtnda.org/diversity/toolkit.shtml. RTNDA credits MK Level Playing Field Institute with funding the Toolkit.

DOJ wants satellite info
To no one's surprise, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is taking a closer look at the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. This from an XM filing yesterday with the SEC: "Today we received from the Department of Justice a request for additional information and documentary material relating to our merger with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., generally referred to as a 'Second Request,' under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the 'HSR Act'). The effect of the Second Request is to extend the waiting period imposed by the HSR Act until 30 days after we and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. have substantially complied with the Second Request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the parties or terminated sooner by the Department of Justice. We intend to respond expeditiously to the Second Request."

Jones and Air America part ways
Having sold national advertising for Air America Radio since its inception in 2004, Jones MediaAmerica (JMA) announced that it will end the business relationship effective May 31st. "We wish the new ownership of Air America the best of luck, and we will continue to provide AAR quality sales representation until that date," said JMA President Gary Schonfeld.




RBR Radar 2007
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

MSNBC dumps Imus
Rather that just suspending the "Imus In the Morning" program for two weeks as previously planned, MSNBC has cancelled the show completely.

RBR observation: First on CBS, it will be an interesting first day on the job for new CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason as he begins his return on Monday 16th. Now on NBC - Imus helped build MSNBC out of loyalty to Jack Welch and Bob Wright going back to his days at NBC radio WNBC. But Welch and Wright are gone and with it went a lot of vision and guts. - PR releases are just releases until you actually see into the eyes of the person who wrote and issued the release. In this case it was Steve Capus, NBC News President , who appeared on MSNBC's Hardball Wednesday night, 4/11/06, for 20 minutes and RBR watched as he explained why he terminated Imus. Capus said it was NOT because of advertisers who were canceling on MSNBC. In fact, Capus stated that he was Not Fully Aware of the dollars involved until recently. RBR says Bull to that statement - as anyone in the media knows the ad dollars do a lot of talking. Plus, you can not tell us at RBR that the President of NBC News did not know the ad dollars to the pennies that were at issue of being lost. Next, Capus admitted what seemed to be the True Reason for the firing of Imus - Not being able to take the Heat. Capus said the attention from all media was tremendous. It wasn't just Imus all over the 24/7 news world, but Imus/MSNBC/NBC News appearing together in report after report. NBC became the news and management could not take the heat. Capus Caved In.
04/12/07 RBR #72

Clock ticking for CCU bidders
The vote on a 26.7 billion buyout of Clear Channel is scheduled for next Thursday, 4/19 - and almost certain defeat. That is, unless Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital up the ante.

RBR observation: We noticed the other day that Clear Channel had made a filing with the SEC, changing its bylaws so that the company is no longer required to have its annual shareholders meeting in April. That would clear the way for a postponement of the April 19th vote on the Lee/Bain buyout, without the company having to go ahead with a shareholders meeting (a pointless exercise if it is going to be sold, lock, stock and barrel). At this point, the only reason we could see for a second postponement would be to issue new proxy solicitations for a higher bid. Will it come? The magic number appears to be 40 bucks a share to get over that two-thirds hurdle. It looks like that additional 2.40 per share is going to be tough for Lee/Bain to justify.
04/12/07 RBR #72


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