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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 79, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning April 23rd, 2007
RBR News Analysis
RBR Observation
No longer "the beer guy"
A year ago this month, most of us met David Rehr for the first time in Las Vegas. The former beer industry lobbyist had only been in his new role as President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters for a short time. Convention attendees were duly impressed with the enthusiasm and obvious intelligence of "the beer guy" and generally wished him well in the new job. After all, he was their new chief spokesman in Washington. We noticed in listening to his debut speech to the Las Vegas convention last year that Rehr was glued to the podium and teleprompter, maybe a bit nervous and careful to read his speech word for word so there was no chance of misspeaking on political issues and technologies that he was just getting his arms around. This month, though, we saw a very confident and aggressive David Rehr - exactly the kind of bulldog that the NAB Joint Board had sought to lead the association. No need for the podium. Rehr confidently strode to the front of the stage and delivered his speech, clearly familiar with the message he wanted to deliver and the background of the issues he was addressing. Calling the previous year "phase one," where he was listening to the membership, learning the job and putting his team in place, Rehr declared that he and the NAB were ready for "phase two," where the organization will take the lead in addressing issues of importance to broadcasters, rather than reacting to events in DC.

"Ladies and gentlemen, today we can't wait. If we simply wait and react, it's often too late. Instead, we have to anticipate," he said. And, with his bi-partisan team of advocates ready to carry the NAB message to Congress and the FCC, Rehr also called for local radio and TV station owners and managers to be more aggressive in grassroots contacts with their Senators and Representatives. "As an industry we need to rebrand over-the-air radio and television broadcasting to reflect the new digital industry that we are creating," Rehr said. HD Radio has replaced IBOC and made radio's digital message easier to communicate. For TV, he said, don't let cable shape the debate. "When people hear about 'multicasting,' they assume that the cable companies have to cut their channels to accept ours. Now we all know that's not true," Rehr said, suggesting rather that broadcasters explain that the cable MSOs want to strip out content from free broadcasting and deny it to cable subscribers. "And even though NAB holds its annual convention in Las Vegas every year, and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, let me assure you we are 'anti-stripping'," Rehr told the delegates. We were also impressed with Rehr as he quizzed FCC Commissioners Michael Copps (D) and Deborah Tate (R) in their joint appearance to discuss broadcast issues before the Commission. Rehr was quite clever in framing his questions so that the obvious answer was to support the position favorable to broadcasters. Sometimes the Commissioners took the bait and sometimes they didn't, but we got a chance to see a master advocate (Rehr doesn't like the term lobbyist) at work. With so many major issues facing broadcasters in Washington, it should be reassuring for people in radio and TV to know that he is representing their interests. No longer "the beer guy," David Rehr is now a broadcaster.


Radio News ®

Clear Channel moves TV group, moving radio properties
Providence Equity Partners will spend 1.2B to take over Clear Channel Communications' television group. It will be run by Sandy DiPasquale's BlueStone Television, keeping DiPasquale in the station operating biz after it BlueStone sold its previous eight-market TV group in a deal announced last fall. Also, CCU said that just over a third of its 448 small market stations have been sold for about 331M. Analysts quickly pegged the deal as at or exceeding expectations and recommended adding CCU to your shopping list. CCU describes the televison package as "56 television stations (including 18 digital multicast stations) located in 24 markets across the United States." It includes "ten CW, eight FOX, seven NBC, six ABC, six CBS, four My Network TV, two NBC Weather Plus, two Telemundo, five independent stations, and six stations affiliated with Clear Channel's Variety Television Network (VTV)." DiPasquale looked forward to getting his hands on the helm of the group, saying, "These are well run, quality television stations. I look forward to continuing my partnership with Providence Equity and working with the talented CCTV employees to build on their success integrating broadcast and internet services to serve their communities." As for the radio group, 287 remain out of the small-market for-sale group, in 54 markets.

RBR observation: Most of the big deals these days have involved investment groups. Some large broadcasting groups have been pruning their portfolios, others - especially the biggest groups on the television side - are at or near local and national caps, and most are taking it easy while riding out the current economic challenges. We can't say for sure if there will be a major M&A party if there ever is a successful attempt to raise broadcast ownership caps again, but we do can say this: There will be a lot of broadcast inventory in the hands of companies with no long history of broadcast operation who would resist selling just to stay in the game.

SaveNetRadio Coalition
speaking to Congress loud & clear

The SaveNetRadio coalition announced it had exceeded the initial outreach goal for the national campaign to save Internet radio. In the three days since SaveNetRadio.org was officially launched, nearly 280,000 messages have been sent by net radio listeners and webcasters to Congress opposing the royalty rate increase imposed by a Copyright Royalty Board 3/2 ruling. More than 3,500 artists that depend on Net radio have also joined the fight to preserve music diversity and called on their Congressional representatives to take action. The three millionth visitor to savenetradio.org was recorded Friday. "The initial success of the SaveNetRadio campaign directly reflects the influence of Internet radio and the energy of those artists, listeners and webcasters that rely on it," Jake Ward, a spokesperson for SaveNetRadio campaign, said. "With more than 70 million Americans listening to Net radio every month, and the four largest webcasters yet to direct their listeners to savenetradio.org, we believe this is just the beginning. The reality is that there are only 27 days until the retroactive increased royalty payment comes due and thousands of webcasters go silent. 278,000 messages is a tremendous start, but we must continue to send the message to Congress to ensure they hear our message loud and clear." The SaveNetRadio coalition is comprised of webcasters, artists, listeners and labels from throughout the country committed to preserving the future of Internet radio.

RBR observation: We hope this effort won't fall upon deaf ears. Call it a crazy guess, but it seems the goal is to drive independent webcasters out of business to make room for the largest, deep-pocket corporations to dominate what's left of the space. When the musicians and labels themselves have a problem with the royalty structure CRB has shoved in everyone's face, you know something's wrong.


39 is the bid, what are the odds?
Just back from Las Vegas, we must have odds-making on our minds. So, just how much have Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital improved their odds of winning Clear Channel Communications with their increased bid of 39 bucks a share? Even if the vote had been held last Thursday at the original bid price of 37.60, it no doubt would have been endorsed by a majority of Clear Channel shareholders. But that is not enough. Under the laws of the State of Texas, where Clear Channel is incorporated, two-thirds of all shares must approve a total buyout of public shareholders - and, importantly, under Texas law, unvoted shares count as no votes. That creates a very high hurdle for any buyout bid that has organized resistance by dissatisfied shareholders. Highfields Capital and the Fidelity mutual funds group certainly qualify as dissatisfied shareholders - and major shareholders at that - who have already signaled that they are dissatisfied with the new offer, despite the insistence by Lee and Bain that this is it, they will go no higher. That means that an important core of opposition remains and, if other major holders who had resisted the buyout remain in the same camp with Highfields and Fidelity, that core may be about 25%. To overcome that, Lee, Bain and Clear Channel management will have to really beat the bushes to find lots and lots of small shareholders who normally wouldn't bother to vote. People who follow such things say it is generally the case that 10% of shares are not voted in cases like this, so reducing the non votes by a couple of percentage points could tip the scales. Also, that 25% core could be shaved a few points if Institutional Shareholder Services changes its view and endorses the deal at the new price. This is a case where it is really true that every vote counts. While we previously saw the 37.60 bid going down to certain defeat, it looks like about 50/50 as things stand now for the May 8th vote on the 39 bucks bid.

RBR observation: Friday's announcement of a deal to sell the Clear Channel Television group was both bad news and good news. Back when the group was put up for sale last November, we estimated it would bring around a billion bucks. The good news for Clear Channel is that the sale price was 1.2 billion. The bad news for Clear Channel is also that the sale price was 1.2 billion. That impressive price (an estimated 15 times cash flow for mostly medium and small market stations) could make shareholders look again at whether they are getting a good price from Lee and Bain. That unexpected 200 million, by the way, stays in the corporate coffers for the benefit of the company owners - either the current owners or, if the company is sold, the new private equity owners. So, do we still think Clear Channel's stock will plummet if the deal is rejected? You bet. The arbs will flee and the result will be a roller coaster ride for the shareholders who decide to hang on. Eventually rational valuation will take hold, but it is hard to guess how far the stock will fall before it begins rebounding. Will another bidder step forward to offer 40 bucks or more per share? Not likely. This has been percolating a long time and there are just a limited number of private equity firms who play in the media field and have resources of this size. Sure, Lee and Bain have protection written into their latest bid that will pay them 200 million if Clear Channel is sold to someone else within a year of the bid being voted down, but that is just CYA. If the 39 bucks bid is rejected, Clear Channel will then become a public company with activist, disgruntled, large shareholders putting the screws to management to sell more assets, cut costs, sell more assets and pay out more to its shareholders. Mark and Randall Mays will likely start buying Maalox or Tums by the case.


Legislator puts Martin
onto minority ownership

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), pictured, used last week's House Appropriations Committee hearing on the FCC's budget to prod Chairman Kevin Martin about the lack of minority broadcast licensees. "The best way to curb racially and sexually insensitive and other discriminatory portrayals perpetuated by the media is to provide women and minorities with greater access to the media," she said. "While we can work with networks and other media organizations to make sure minorities are present in front of and behind the camera, we must also work to make sure government rules and regulations provide them with equal opportunities to be owners." She went further, saying, "The [FCC] should broaden the scope of the 1934 law [Communications Act] to prohibit racist and sexist language."

RBR observation: You should not have to pay the fine or do the time if they cannot define the crime. For the same reason indecency is impossible to ban effectively, regulating sexist and racist speech will prove to be impossible as well. The gray areas will defy definition, and without a definition, there can be no punishment - or at least there shouldn't be. As for minority ownership, efforts have been made periodically to get the minority tax credit back into effect, which would help nudge some licenses into the hands of small-, minority- or female-owned businesses. Martin has floated the idea of leasing digital side channels, with full cable carriage rights, to such owners. We'll see if that proposal has any legs.

Everything is food, food, food
Anybody out there remember the Popeye movie starring Robin Williams? And the brilliant score by Nilsson that somehow manages at times to go half-speed and full-throttle at the same time? Our favorite song is the one listed in the headline above, but instead of applying it to the movie, think Washington DC. There's Sam Brownback's task force on childhood obesity looking into it; there's watchdog Kaiser Family Foundation pumping out statistics; there are industry and media groups trying to develop voluntary guidelines; Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) rattling his saber (and knife, fork and spoon) on the topic and demanding FCC actions; and there's the FCC, participating in the Brownback effort and acting anyway without the need for any of Markey's prodding. Think that's enough? Then you obviously aren't too familiar with the ways of Washington DC, as the Federal Trade Commission jumps into the act. The FTC has approved for publication in the Federal Register a call for commentary on this: "The FTC proposes to issue compulsory process orders to major food and beverage manufacturers, distributors, and marketers and quick-service restaurant companies for information concerning, among other things, their marketing activities and expenditures targeted toward children and adolescents. The notice provides background on the purpose of the proposal, details the types of information to be requested, and tells interested parties how and where to submit their comments. Comments are due to the Commission on or before May 18, 2007."


Ad Business Report TM

CC Radio launches
"Lone Star" in Dallas
with new ad model

CC Radio has launched "Lone Star" in Dallas today, a mix of Outlaw Country, Southern Rock and Alternative Country. The station focuses on local and does away with traditional commercials; Charter and exclusive sponsors include Guitar Center, Southwest Airlines, AT&T and Coors. Lone Star uses legendary Dallas radio personalities Bo and Jim, Jon Dillon and Red Beard. And Willie Nelson will serve as the "voice of Lone Star". Lone Star will not air traditional commercials. Instead, sponsors will get one to two minutes of integration in an hour and will be treated as part of the fabric of the experience, not as an interruption. Free reign was provided to programmers with expertise in Texas sound to create a format that is reminiscent of the early days of FM. These programmers were told from CC corporate to "break the rules." To complement the no-hype environment, the station is abandoning the daypart concept. Instead, on-air, online and streamed programming will be supported by sponsorships instead of traditional commercial spots.

"Anything that brings a new, exciting way to get a message across and makes for good radio is a great thing," said Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services. "Like we've always said-if radio is going to start getting into product placement, this is a great start. We're going to see more and more of these types of things as radio stations try to take advantage of keeping listeners there for longer periods of time. This is very exciting. I think this is going to do very well in Dallas." From Willie Nelson to ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan to the The Old 97's to Pat Green, Lone Star's on-air and online media will celebrate a unique Texas sensibility. The brainchild of home-grown radio programmer Duane Doherty, Lone Star was road-tested on one of Clear Channel Radio's HD-2 digital side channels over the past 12 months.

J.D. Freeman (pictured), Dallas market manager for Clear Channel Radio, tells RBR: "Kelly Kibler, director of sales here, went out and spoke with selected clients that she believed were looking for unique and different ways of communicating with an audience. She had confidential discussions and agreements with them and told them how we're going to integrate them on-air, online and on the street. There were a lot of clients who in the beginning maybe understand what we were talking about. But those that did were really excited. We're putting them into the entire fabric of what Lone Star is all about." Freeman says CC Radio CEO John Hogan has been asking folks there to come up with different ideas for radio-more creative, not only with programming but for clients. He's asking PDs and DOS's to start with a blank canvas. More re-crafted stations are on their way.
|Listen to the ads here | AD 1 | AD 2 |

RBR observation: Finally, corporate radio is taking some chances. And ironically, much of what's going on here is pulled from the pages of the beginnings of FM rock radio. The DJ knows the music and talks up the advertisers. It's free-form-ish with deeper cuts. Remember, the easiest thing for listeners to do is turn on their radio. Downloading can be tedious. Ipods in the car use annoying wires and often batteries. People are sick of paying 12.95 a month for satellite radio. If we give them a reason to just kick, back, relax, and do the easiest thing available to them-flip on their radio switch-they'll be there...again. No one knows music like the talent we have employed at our stations across the nation. Let's put them to work, rather than forcing a cookie-cutter format down their throats.


Media Business Report TM
Webwatcher sees ad adds for video games
Internet marketing researcher eMarketer sees the market for advertising in video games just nosing over the half billion mark this year, and predicts it will almost get the rest of the way to the 10-figure mark by the end of 2011. The growing ad category pulled down 346M in 2006 and is headed to a 502M total by the end of this year. About 295M of this year's total is predicted to go for in-game ads, with the rest coming from games specifically created to promote a certain brand. eMarketer predicts that this ration will be turned on its head and then some by the year 2011, with 344M going to in-game ads and 625M going for the full sponsorship model. A hurdle yet to be cleared? Confirming ROI. eMarketer's Paul Verna said, "Now the question is how to standardize in-game ad viewing measurements across platforms - including PCs - and figure out what works best where. When those issues are resolved, placements will take off." Following the 2006 502M take, eMarketer is looking for totals of 665M in 2008; 829M in 2009; 928M in 2010; and 969M in 2011.


Media Markets & Money TM
And now for the real Clear Channel news
You thought the 1.2B sale of the television group was it for Clear Channel in this issue, didn't you. Wrong! Hitting the FCC on Friday was documentation detailing the sale of the group's four-station radio cluster in Springfield IL. The buyer for WFMB AM & FM Springfield IL, WCVS-FM Virden IL & WXAJ-FM Hillsboro IL is Nuehoff Family LP, headed by Roger A. Neuhoff. They'll pay 11.8M cash for the cluster. It will go into the portfolio with a one-AM, two-FM group in Danville IL and CBS KMVT-TV in Twin Falls ID. Both of the Illinois towns are former Arbitron markets that have left the fold.


Washington Media Business Report TM
FEC shines light on
in-kind contributions

Toward the end of the 2004 elections, Pappas Telecasting created a stir by making air time on its television stations available to certain political groups. The problem was that they were predominately Republican county political organizations. Although Pappas argued that they were not supporting any particular candidate, Democrats called foul and Pappas was eventually ordered to provide equal time to equivalent Democratic operatives or the time would be considered an in-kind contribution to the Republicans, for which Pappas would be liable. The Federal Election Commission has shed more light on in-kind contributions. A company called Atatl Inc. has software called Simply Easier Payments which it offers to campaign organizations, streamlining the process of collecting citizen donations online. There apparently is no upfront charge to the campaign; however, Atatl gets a processing fee for each donation done through its software. The FEC has offered an advisory opinion (approved by a 4-1 vote) that even though the campaign is not getting 100% of the donation, the entire face value of the donation will be attributed to it. For example, a citizen cannot donate the maximum campaign contribution amount AND add on Atatl's fee as a separate transaction. And if Atatl provides the service for free and decides not to skim fees off the top of the donations, that would constitute an in-kind contribution amounting to the fair market value of its service.

RBR observation: All of which means, if you're thinking about making air time or any other service available to a particular campaign, think long and hard, because it looks like the FEC is getting more rather than less strict about such things.


Entertainment Media Business Report TM
Smerconish to take Imus slot
on MSNBC until Wednesday

WPHT-AM Philadelphia talker Michael Smerconish will be simulcast today through Wednesday on MSNBC in place of Imus. MSNBC announced 4/11 it will no longer broadcast Imus in the wake of the now-infamous comments made by Don Imus on the 4/4 edition of the show. In addition to hosting his own talker, Smerconish has been a guest host for MSNBC's Scarborough Country and The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly.


Ratings & Research
Imus is the talk of Talk
The Project for Excellence in Journalism reported that Imus received an extraordinary amount of coverage from the nation's news media after his controversial remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team during the week of 4/8-13/07. In fact, 26% of the news hole went his way, driven by massive allocations of time by cable and radio outlets. But that was nothing compared to the interest the story generated among the media's gabmeisters. Talkers have established a clear pattern of ratcheting up the hottest news stories, and this time, they took the I-man all the way up to 61%. The second-hottest Talk topic, the Duke lacrosse scandal, was all the way down at 8%. Most weeks, no matter what is going on, you can add up Iraq/Middle east topics (policy, events, homefront, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.) and get into the 20s or high teens. This week, four related top ten items in that category combined for a mere 8%. In fact, the topic accounted for 19% of the news hole, making it one of the rare times the Talkers ran counter to the news.


Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 3/5/07-3/9/07
With no really major action, the first full week of March reverted to the generally sleepy pattern that has characterized the early going in 2007. A six-pack sale in the Idaho capital, one of the Clear Channel spin-offs, accounted for the bulk of the value this week, and was the only deal to get into double-digit millions. In fact, it was the only one to top 4M.

3/5/07-3/9/07

Total

Total Deals

11

AMs

9

FMs

8

TVs

0
Value
32.715M
| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Boise cluster now in Peak condition
| More...
|
TV Transactions of the Week
Restin' up for the vernal equinox (or something)



Transactions
16.5M KECH-FM/KYZK-FM/KSKI-FM Sun Valley ID; KSGT-AM/KMTN-FM/KZHJ-FM/KJAX-FM Jackson WY; and KWYS-AM Yellowstone MT from Chaparral Broadcasting Inc. (Jerrold T. Lundquist) to Blue Point Media LLC (Christopher F. Devine). 100K escrow, 300K deposit, 6.4M cash at closing, 4.7M note, 5M in stock. Includes non-compete. Sun Valley cluster overlaps KEZJ-FM Twin Falls ID; Jackson cluster overlap KID-AM Idaho Falls ID. [File date 4/2/07.]

375K WZJY-AM Charleston SC (Mount Pleasant SC) from Levas Communications LLC (Bennett Lomax) to Thomas B. Daniels. 20K escrow, balance in cash at closing. Superduopoly with WJNI-FM Ladson, WAZS-AM Summerville & WAZS-FM McClenllanville. [File date 4/4/07.]

30K KFNR-TV & KFNE-TV Casper-Riverton WY (Rawlings, Riverton WY) from First National Broadcasting Corporation to Wyomedia Corporation (Marvin Gussman). Debt forgiveness of 15K for each station. Stations are both satellites of buyer's Fox 20 KFNB-TV Casper WY. [File date 4/5/07.]


Stock Talk
Is Dow 13K at hand today?
High flying Google flew even higher on Friday, beating expectations with its Q1 earnings and helping to drive stocks to record heights. The Dow Industrials rose 153 points, or 1.2%, to spend the weekend at a record high 12,962, less than 40 points from the psychological barrier of 13,000.

Radio stocks also shot up. The Radio Index gained 1.715, or 1.1%, to close at a year-to-date high of 164.156. But while the Dow is breaking all-time records, the record for our Radio Index is in no danger of being broken. The all-time record was 289.720, set on December 29, 2003. As for Friday, Radio One Class D led the advance, up 3.3%, with its Class A up 2.9%. Cox Radio rose 1.9%.


Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Arbitron

ARB

49.40

+0.21

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

27.58

+0.38

Beasley

BBGI

9.03

-0.01

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.02

+0.17

CBS CI. B CBS

31.71

+0.13

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

69.72

+0.87

CBS CI. A CBSa

31.73

+0.17

Radio One, Cl. A

ROIA

7.45

+0.21

Citadel CDL
9.81 +0.15

Radio One, Cl. D

ROIAK

7.46

+0.24

Clear Channel

CCU

35.75

-0.21

Regent

RGCI

3.55

+0.05

Cox Radio

CXR

15.15

+0.28

Saga Commun.

SGA

10.12

-0.09

Cumulus

CMLS

10.06

+0.18

Salem Comm.

SALM

13.38

+0.20

Disney

DIS

35.28

+0.36

Sirius Sat. Radio

SIRI

2.98

unch

Emmis

EMMS

10.02

+0.18

Spanish Bcg.

SBSA

3.70

unch

Entercom

ETM

29.28

+0.37

SWMX

SMWX

0.70

unch

Entravision

EVC

10.18

+0.15

Westwood One

WON

6.75

+0.04

Fisher

FSCI

50.58

+0.89

XM Sat. Radio

XMSR

11.49

-0.09


Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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


Below the Fold
Media Business Report
Webwatcher sees ad adds
For video games as the market for ads is just nosing over the half billion mark...

Ad Business Report
"Lone Star" in Dallas
CC Radio has launched a mix of Outlaw Country, Southern Rock and Alternative Country...

Media Markets & Money
The real Clear Channel news
You thought the 1.2B sale of the TV group was it. Wrong! Hitting the FCC...

Ratings & Research
Imus is the talk of Talk
DA? Received an extraordinary amount of coverage from the nation's news media...



Stations for Sale

CA Coastal Class A
Rated Market $1.5M
CO Rated Market C.P.
Class C1 $400K
Brett Miller - 805.543.3466
[email protected]

OR Coastal Class A FMs
Positive Cashflow $795K
ND Small Market C.P.
Class C1 $150K
Brett Miller - 805.543.3466
[email protected]


Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.

Contact
June Barnes
[email protected]



Radio Media Moves

Jody Mac stays put
Greater Media's WPEN-AM "Sports Radio 950 AM" Philadelphia announced that afternoon drive host Jody McDonald, known as "Jody Mac," has signed a contract extension. Since its inception in October 2005, McDonald has been heard weekdays 3-7 pm on Sports Radio 950.


More News Headlines

Complaint filed
over Google-
DoubleClick deal

Consumer groups asked the FTC Friday to investigate and block Google's proposed 3.1 billion purchase of online ad firm DoubleClick if the companies don't improve consumer privacy protections. The complaints, filed by The Public Interest Research Group, The Center for Digital Democracy and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), allege Google and DoubleClick collect "exhaustive personal information on consumers using the Internet but don't comply with government and industry privacy standards." Google's acquisition of privately held DoubleClick "will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world," the complaint from EPIC said. "Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security and accuracy of the personal data that it collects." The complaint cites published reports that claim Google plans to combine its data with DoubleClick's and would then be able to track an individual's Internet searches and website visits, according to an AP report. DoubleClick said Google would not have access to the data it collects on consumers who view its online ads. That data belongs to its clients, DoubleClick said in a statement.

XM lawsuit
goes forward

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling, so a lawsuit filed by an Arkansas man against XM Satellite Radio can go forward. The suit, which seeks class action status, accuses the satellite radio firm of fraud for claiming that its music channels are commercial-free. Although XM customer agreements require disputes to go to arbitration, the court ruled that the lawsuit can proceed because it challenges the legality of that arbitration clause.

CBS Radio goes to court over Imus
A small radio station operating in the areas east and south of Los Angeles is facing legal action from CBS Radio because it is continuing to broadcast tapes of Don Imus. The station is 1050 kHz daytimer KCAA-AM, owned by Broadcast Management Services. It claims First Amendment rights in airing the tapes, which it will discontinue doing soon anyway; CBS Radio says it's all about copyright infringement. The case is headed to court. The station used to carry Air America fare, but discontinued that relationship earlier this year.

RBR observation: For those of you who are so inclined, or are a member of the legal profession, KCAA has posted numerous documents related to the lawsuit at kcaaradio.com.




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

CCU bidders say offer is final
Don't go saying "please, sir, may I have some more" to Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners. They upped their offer for Clear Channel to 39 dollars a share, and that's as high as they're going to do. But it looks like two big stakeholders aren't going to budge from their opposition to the offer.

RBR observation: So you the bump and run is turning to the poker game of bluffing. No matter what is being thought out at CCU in Texas in control are the shareholders. The shoe is on the other foot as the shareholders are calling the shots as time has a way of catching up. There is more in this issue of RBR.
04/20/07 RBR #78

Pittman: Follow the consumer
Forget about radio and TV being on the way out In a speech to NAB2007 on where to invest venture capital, MTV founder and former AOL President Bob Pittman, now heading the Pilot Group investment fund, noted the "continuing dominance of TV and radio" in consumer media usage. The three venture capital fund partners in the panel that followed Pittman on the same stage did not fully endorse his upbeat view of radio and TV investments. (more from Pittman and NAB in RBR)
04/19/07 RBR #77

On a Clear day,
you can see more money
Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners have adopted a new tactic in their battle to take media giant Clear Channel private. Apparently, the addition of non-monetary incentives to the deal has done little to erode shareholder opposition to the buy-out, so the bidders have elected to up the ante. The new offer is for 39 dollars a share, up from 37.60, taking the total value of the deal by about half a billion dollars to 19.5B.

RBR observation: Is it enough? We reported a few days ago that the magic number was 40 bucks. This offer doesn't quite get there, but is much closer. Still, it is a huge hurdle to get the two-thirds approval required by Texas law, especially since unvoted shares count as no votes. Vic Miller at Bear Stearns and Jonathan Jacoby at Bank of America continue to tell clients that 39 is just not full value for Clear Channel. Highfields Capital, and the Fidelity mutual fund group quickly repeated their opposition to the buyout. Attentive Clear Channel watcher Victor Miller of Bear Stearns wondered if the bidders were playing "bump and run," hoping that investors will simply go for the increased bid. He speculated that the offer still was on the low side and RBR happens to agree.
04/19/07 RBR #77

FM translators for
AM stations an idea on a roll
One AM station in Rock Hill, SC already has an FM translator under Special Temporary Authority and the two FCC Commissioners speaking at NAB2007 in Las Vegas indicated that action may come quickly on making it possible for many other AMs to do the same. - More from NAB in this report
04/18/07 RBR #76

Confusion for clients at
CC Radio over Google deal?
We're hearing from sources off the record that there's a bit of confusion in the client community and CC sales folks over the CC Radio-Google inventory deal yesterday (4/17/07 RBR #75). It could have been handled better internally: "A client just told me that she tried to get an update from Premiere yesterday but everyone was in the dark. The salespeople are looking for an answer but Kraig [Kitchin-Premiere Radio Networks President] hasn't had any sort of sales meeting. .. ." We also heard the rank and file sales folks at CC Radio aren't necessarily taking it well, at least just yet: The salespeople and some executives are upset about it for three reasons..." To review the 3 reasons see RBR Ad Business Report section in this issue.

RBR observation: Again and again the classic example of upper management not informing the key players involved on what is going on or, putting the Cart before the Horse. When will they ever learn.
04/18/07 RBR #76

Google chief wants to
partner with broadcasters
CEO Eric Schmidt sought to dispel ideas that Google poses a threat to broadcasters. Speaking just a few hours after announcing a major deal for Google to sell radio ad inventory for Clear Channel Radio, Schmidt called it the "defining deal for our radio business." Rather than competing with traditional radio ad sales organizations, Schmidt said Google's business model is not to target traditional radio advertisers or replace radio sales staffs, but rather to bring new advertisers to radio.
04/18/07 RBR #76

CC Radio signs Google
for ad inventory
Well, after months of rumor on the matter, Google and Clear Channel Radio announced a multi-year relationship that enables Google to sell guaranteed :30- second ad inventory on more than 675 of Clear Channel's stations. CC pre-sold about 200 million of ad time to Google for each of the next three years. :30's account for about one-third of CC Radio's total inventory.
04/17/07 RBR #75

SWMX reacts to Google/Clear Channel announcement
SWMX COO Bill Figenshu discussed implications of the Google/ Clear Channel deal. Fig said the deal was actually good news for SWMX, stating the age of electronic revenue generation for radio is here and that Google's worldwide name will lend legitimacy to the medium. "90% of SWMX revenue for radio stations is NEW revenue," he explained. "If Google brings more money into radio, it's good for radio.." There is also an a view from the agencies with Rich Russo, JL Media's SVP/Director of Broadcast Services, sort of called some of the details of the deal back in December. See Ad Business Report section in RBR.
04/17/07 RBR #75

Hogan's email to all GMs:
An RBR source delivered an email to us from CC Radio CEO John Hogan, which was sent to all GMs and radio operating management. Read the Hogan email in this RBR report page.
04/17/07 RBR #75


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