2007: The Need for -- Ideas Working Now
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Welcome to RBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 9, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning January 15th, 2007

Radio News ®

Minority buyers step up,
but funding is issue

Minority Media & Communications Council (MMTC) Executive Director David Honig is happy with the turnout for last week's three-day conference for minority and women entrepreneurs to find out how they can best position themselves to buy the radio and TV assets that Clear Channel has up for sale. Honig notes that the event drew more people than a similar one back in 2000 when Clear Channel divested 110 radio stations from its acquisition of AMFM, with 40 of those going to minority-owned or controlled companies. While only 16 participants chose to stand up and talk about themselves before the entire group, Honig told RBR/TVBR that approximately 60 separate potential buyers were in among the more than 120 attendees. "I don't know how many will actually bid," he told RBR/TVBR. Indeed, it will be a few more days before potential bidders will know which of the 448 radio stations and 43 TV stations slated for the initial sale round (not including larger market divestitures from the pending deal to go private) are still available, since some have already been sold and others are in advanced sale negotiations. Then an online due diligence room will open for qualified bidders. One broker who attended the gathering last week in DC complained to RBR/TVBR that without seller financing from Clear Channel itself, the effort to attract first-time minority buyers is an exercise in futility, since there is almost no lending available for broadcast deals under five million bucks. Clear Channel Chief Communications Officer Lisa Dollinger told RBR/TVBR that the company itself will not provide financing, but noted that "many financing sources attended the conference." Honig was optimistic that some of the attendees would merge their efforts to become more viable as bidders. For example, had noted that some had money but no experience in broadcasting, while others had plenty of experience but little cash to bring to the table. Pictured: Clear Channel Communications VP of Corporate Development Dirk Eller speaks at the gathering. Also shown are Kelly Callan (left), Frank Kalil (right) and Lou McDermott (far right) of Kalil & Co. The event, hosted by NAB, was presented by MMTC and sponsored by Clear Channel.

RBR observation: It is the same chicken and egg problem that has always presented a barrier to new entrants. You can't get credit without money and you can't get money without credit. The recent exit of Wells Fargo Foothill from the 1-10 million lending market for broadcast loans (12/14/06 RBR #242) eliminated one of the very, very few sources for financing of small station purchases. It has never been easy to find financing for deals below 10 million, and particularly below five million, but it seems more difficult than ever today.

Senators address digital copyright issues
One of the quickest ways to get something on the agenda of a new Congress is to take failed, tabled or otherwise unfinished business from the previous Congress, slap it in the legislative microwave and serving it back up in the new Congress. That's what's happening with The PERFORM Act. A bipartisan quartet of senators are putting it back out there in an attempt to protect rights holders of content offered on digital platforms. The senators include Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). The bill is designed to "...protect copyrighted materials distributed by cable, satellite and Internet radio services, while encouraging the use of new technologies and services." Said Feinstein, "The PERFORM Act would require satellite, cable and Internet broadcasters to pay fair market value for the performance of digital music. Additionally, the bill would require the use of readily available and cost-effective technology to prevent music theft. I believe this legislation is a good step forward in addressing a real problem that is occurring in the music industry, and I encourage discussion to ensure that this law will fully serve the needs of our emerging technologies." PERFORM stands for "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act," and it would try to level the playing field by providing "...equity and parity among the 'new' platforms that provide 'radio-like' services - cable, satellite, and Internet. Currently, different rates standards are paid by these different companies, different conditions are applied to their performances, and the content protections have been outdated by on-going technological advances."
| Details here |

Group to oppose satellite radio merger
It is not often that the NAB and its largest members find any common ground with the folks who organized the National Conference on Media Reform last week in Memphis. But the NAB and its AM and FM owner members tend to be in full agreement with one group that made its debut at the gathering. The Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio (C3SR) has been launched to oppose any merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. The student-run consumer organization says it speaks for the 13 million satellite radio subscribers in opposing any move to create a single monopoly. No actual merger has been proposed, but Wall Street talk continues and Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has not hesitated to promote the merger idea, so C3SR founding member Chris Reale, a George Washington University Law School student, is worried. "There I was studying antitrust concerns from a consumer perspective while these executives from Sirius and XM - operating in an industry with no other competitors - were chatting away on the merits of a merger. When I subscribed to XM back in 2005, I had a choice. Now it looks like some of my favorite channels may disappear and/or the subscriptions fees will go up if this merger happens," said Reale as he helped launch the new group.

Hats in the ring, or aimed there
Forget about who is running for president. The potential 2008 field is so full that there have already been five drop-outs. According to CQ Politics.com, four Democrats - former VA Gov. Mark Warner, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and former Senate majority/minority leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) - and one Republican - former Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) - have already officially pulled their names from consideration. That leaves 12 Democrats and 14 Republicans in various stages or running. On the Democratic side, official announced candidates include Sen Chris Dodd (D-CT), who just announced he was running on radio's Don Imus Show, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), former Sen. and VP candidate John Edwards (D-NC), exiting Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK). Exploring the possibility is Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), and subjects of widespread speculation include former candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), activist Al Sharpton, former Gen. Wesley Clark, former Sen. and VP Al Gore (D-TN), and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. On the Republican side, there's been only one official announcement, that of Illinois attorney John H. Cox. Exploring the possibility are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Subject to widespread speculation are Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

Auction 68 produces modest results
There are nine CPs up for grabs at the FCC auction which began last Wednesdaym 1/10/07. As of Round 13 Friday afternoon, the bidding was ongoing, and all of them had been spoken for if not finally claimed. That is something of a positive feat, since these are all leftovers from Auctions No. 37 and No. 62. By the end of the 13th round, 3.161M had been committed (amounting to 2.7775M after bidding credits are deducted where appropriate). The top prop at this point is the Kihei HI stick, upon which Visionary Related Entertainment has staked over 1.1M. Tri State Radio has put down an 892K bid on Parowan UT. No other property has yet reached the 400K level, and one, the stick earmarked for Covelo CA, hasn't hit 30K.
| Recap of available FM CPs here |

The Federal Communications Commission and other federal offices are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King Holiday. US stock and bond markets are also closed.

Executive Comment
Lund stands firm on LIM research
Regarding the "response" of Brainerd Communicators (a PR firm in Manhattan) in RBR (1/10/07 RBR #6) on behalf of Clear Channel in response to comments I made in your first issue this year; Lund Media Research and Lund Consultants stand by those comments. Enlarged spot loads and more 60s in many markets can be easily documented by listening to Clear Channel stations or reviewing documentation from Media Monitors or Media Base (both firms, coincidentally, are owned by Clear Channel). For example, Media Base reports that on December 27 - two days AFTER Christmas - KIIS-FM in LA ran 16 spots in the 6 PM hour (7 60s, 4 30s, 4 15s, and 1 5-second spot) and KBIG-FM aired 17 spots in the 9 PM hour on Dec. 27 (7 60s, 9 30s, and 1 5-second spot). Does any seasoned radio professional not consider this clutter? Our expertise assisting radio stations (including Clear Channel) achieve profit, more listeners and higher ratings has been documented over two decades. Neither Brainerd nor Clear Channel has "reached out directly to [us]..." as stated in Brainerd's response to you, but we have heard from a number of broadcasters since our findings were shared in RBR. The Lund Consultants, Inc., does not retain a PR firm; rather, we are honored to communicate directly and openly with broadcasters in all market sizes on a continuous bases. The discussion of units versus minutes is well known to any Manager, Sales Manager, or Program Director in our business. Research documents that commercials are perceived as interruptions. Raising the unit count substantially, even when lowering the minute count, has a negative effect on time spent listening. Brainerd Communicators mentions that independent research shows listeners consume even more radio six months after heavy usage of an iPod. Wouldn't that be wonderful! Lund Media Research conducted a world wide study of 1200 service people and family members for American Forces Radio/TV last year. This cross section of Americans primarily 18-34 utilize their iPods to such an extent that their commanders are interested in seeking ways to bring them back to local radio for basic command information. This is a challenge facing all broadcasters in this age of "new" media. Lund Media Research regularly conducts perceptual research for broadcasters to ascertain the most important opinions in our business: that of the listener.

The Very Best,
John Lund
The Lund Consultants to Broadcast Management, Inc., and
Lund Media Research
Burlingame, CA

Wall Street Media Business Report TM
Nice work if you can get it
A higher stock price for Disney and higher ratings for ABC Television paid off for Bob Iger in his pay envelope for last year. According to a Disney filing with the SEC late Friday, the CEO got a hefty bonus on top of his two million bucks salary for 2006. Iger also got a 15 million bonus (about double the previous year), a 4.3 million payout for his long-term compensation package and 2.9 million worth of stock options. All in all, that is 25 million plus spare change. The pay package for Iger was included in the materials filed for the annual meeting of Disney shareholders on March 8th in New Orleans. RBR/TVBR found an interesting side note in the proxy document. Steve Jobs, who has been a Disney director since its merger acquisition of Pixar, has declined to accept any cash or stock compensation for his service on the board, while other non-employee directors received a minimum of 65K in cash plus 6K shares of stock (plus additional payments for committee work and/or being chairman). Jobs holds 138,000,004 shares of Disney as a result of the Pixar merger.

Ad Business Report TM

"Radio from the Agency View"
Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller held a conference call on Friday with Rich Russo, Director, Radio Broadcast Services, JL Media and Kim Vasey, Senior Partner and Director of Radio, Mediaedge, CIA. This week, we'll run a bit of a series on some of the major topics discussed-from Google Audio to satellite radio PPM to HD Radio. First, Miller asked about any big takeaways from 2006 and is 2007 likely to be any different for radio ad spend?

Said Russo: "You know I don't think so. I don't think there should have been excuses last year. Going into 2007 basically there should be nothing other than the technology stuff. Whether they want to give out the People Meters and all that, that's an issue, but in terms of doing business, getting clients to do business it's the same approach that we've taken in the past. We've got to get people to do radio."

Said Vasey: "I have to say that I've had quite a few successes in moving some clients into radio in this past year. I think if you look at it from the station perspective it was to some degree a disappointing year. But the more I talk to a lot of the managers and the different broadcast groups I know that one of the big areas of focus was developing money in NTR. I think the growth in their revenue base will be from the NTR, the non-traditional revenue, which is going out and developing programs for specific clients for specific campaigns. Clearly we can see a pattern there in selling a particular package or relying on the transactional business, you really can get people's attention. You really can get clients interested in radio. We had a great deal of successes in the past years since I've been in the industry and working in radio and working on different types of packaging, different types of mixes. I think a lot of the networks and the stations are really focusing on all of the new platforms and extensions such as streaming and podcasting and the HD channels etc, etc. So looking forward I feel very, very optimistic about 2007. I have seen just with my own efforts in focusing on dedicating a little bit more of my time internally talking to the planners, teaching the planners, working with the planners, the account teams and even the clients directly you really can engage their interest and get them to reconsider radio as a viable medium.
| Read More... |

Media Markets & Money TM
Cape Cod duo sold
According to the Cape Cod Times, Sandab Communications has announced locally that it has a deal to buy WFCC-FM and WKPE-FM on Cape Cod from Charles River Broadcasting, which previously sold its Boston station, WCRB-FM. Sandab will team the two stations with its existing two on Cape Cod, WQRC-FM and WOCN-FM. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Close encounter in Philadelphia
WSJI-FM, which serves the Philadelphia market from Cherry Hill NJ, has made its way from the portfolio of Tom Moffitt's New Jersey Broadcast Learning Center to the ever-expanding portfolio of Educational Media Foundation. According to broker John Pierce, the pricetag was 2.45M. Meanwhile, the EMF shopping spree continued further down the east coast with a deal to pick up WWTB-FM from Eric Jorgensen's Sea-Comm for 900K. The station is licensed to broadcast on 103.9 MHz out of Topsail Beach NC, but has a CP to go to 104.1 MHz out of Swansboro, which will put on the southern, coastal portion of the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market.

Washington Media Business Report TM
Birds beware: Tower tilt extended
Are communications towers taking a toll on migratory birds? Does something need to be done in addition to normal obstruction lighting to make sure that our avian friends do not go crashing into them on their way north or south, as the case may be? Maybe, maybe not, but parties studying the matter on both sides are telling the FCC that they cannot have their material ready by 1/22/07. Asking for more time are the American Bird Conservancy, CTIA, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense, National Audubon Society, the National Association of Tower Erectors, PCIA and our own National Association of Broadcasters. And these parties are asking for three more months. The FCC, while noting that it doesn't routinely grant such extensions, also noted the ubiquity of the request, and granted it. Comments are now not due until 4/23/07 and reply comments are due 5/23/07.

RBR observation: The broadcasters who have spoken to this issue are wondering why they are not finding multitudes of crashed birds around their towers, if this is such a big problem.

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 11/27/06-12/1/06
Two big transactions fueled the bottom line as November segued into December. The biggest was an eight-market, ten station television group sale to Bonten Media Group. Two cluster sales from CBS Radio, to Peak in Fresno and Curtis in Greensboro, accounted for most of the week's value.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
CBS spins out of Fresno
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
Blue Stone turns into Diamond
| More...

200K WJER-AM Dover OH from CC Licenses LLC, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. (Mark Mays) to WJER Radio LLC (Gary Petricola). Cash. LMA 1/30/04. [File date 12/20/06.]

18K KURT-FM CP Jackson WY from Broadcasting for the Challenged Inc. (George S. Flinn Jr.) to Jackson Hole Community Radio Inc. (Walt Farmer, Walker White, James Tallichet). Cash. CP is for Class C3 on 89.1 MHz with 2.2 kw @ 1,102'. [File date 12/20/06.]

Stock Talk
Another record high
Despite the usual caution ahead of a three-day weekend, stock traders pushed the Dow Industrials to another record close on Friday, up 41 points, or 0.3%, to 12,556. A strong report on retails sales and still lower oil prices gave stocks a boost.

Radio stocks were also higher. The Radio Index gained 1.566, or 1%, to 157.640. Westwood One led the way, up 2%. Entravision rose 1.7%. Continued merger speculation gave satellite radio stocks another good day, with Sirius up 5.1% and XM 4.5%.

US stock markets are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King Holiday.

Radio Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change





Journal Comm.








Lincoln Natl.







Radio One, Cl. A







Radio One, Cl. D




Citadel CDL
10.02 +0.08





Clear Channel




Saga Commun.




Cox Radio




Salem Comm.








Sirius Sat. Radio








Spanish Bcg.
























Westwood One








XM Sat. Radio














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Below the Fold
Executive Comment
Lund stands firm on LIM research, Agree to disagree but no real word from Clear Channel except a PR firm...

Ad Business Report
The Agency View
From Google Audio to satellite radio PPM to HD Radio...

Music Media Business Report
EMI dumps top music executives
It is getting hard to make a buck in the record business...

Monday Morning Makers & Shaker
Transactions: 11/27/06-12/1/06
Radio, CBS spins out of Fresno
Television, Blue Stone turns into Diamond...

Stations for Sale

Central CA Coast FM: $1.5M
Pacific Northwest FM: $750K

Terms Available
MCH Enterprises: 805.543.3466

Pacific Northwest
2FM & 1AM
$1.3M terms or $1.15M cash
Two markets, will sell separately
MCH Enterprises: 805.543.3466

HAWAII - The Big Island
Profitable 3-stn group
Buy 2xFM 1xAM @ 8xbcf
[email protected]
(352) 746-7121

Market your Stations For Sale
in our daily epapers.
Contact June Barnes
[email protected]

More News Headlines

EMI dumps top
music executives

It is getting hard to make a buck in the record business. As it warned that revenues and profits for the second half of its fiscal year were below expectations, EMI Group gave the heave-ho to EMI Music CEO Alain levy and Vice Chairman David Munns. The company also announced cost saving measures which it projects will reduce costs by 110 million euros per year by its fiscal year running from April 2008 through March 2009. But will EMI Group be around long enough for full implementation? The New York Times reported Saturday that the restructuring is seen as an attempt to prepare EMI for sale. Meanwhile, the company's stock price fell more than 10% Friday in trading on the London Exchange. For the short-run, there are concerns by analysts about EMI Music being run directly by EMI Group CEO Eric Nicoli, who has no direct experience in running a record label.

Woman dies
after radio contest

The coroner in Sacramento says the death of a 28-year-old woman on Friday was due to drinking too much - not alcohol, but plain, ordinary water. Jennifer Lea Strange was found dead at her home a few hours after she participated in a contest at KDND-FM, owned by Entercom, in which the winner was the contestant who was able to drink the most water without going to the bathroom. The Sacramento Bee reports that her death has now been ruled to have been from water intoxication, in which sodium levels in the blood drop too low because of ingesting too much water, which can lead to cardiac arrest. Local police say there will not be any criminal investigation.

Copper theft kicks KAHL off air
On the same day the city passed an ordinance aimed at cracking down on copper thieves, a copper theft caused KAHL-AM San Antonio to go off the air. Thieves last Thursday reportedly stole about 200 dollars' worth of copper from the transmitter but caused about 25,000 in damage.

RBR Radar 2006
Radio News you won't read any where else. RBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Google, CBS and Westwood:
behind the curtain
A bit of surprise that CBS Radio and Google didn't unveil their much-talked about deal at CES, analysts made a point about being upbeat that the CBS Radio deal would likely be wide-ranging and include both advertising and content components.

RBR observation: Another possible reason there was nothing announced on this at CES could be because of ongoing issues we speculate may be going on between Westwood One and CBS Radio over an inventory deal with Google. Remember, Peter Kosann is the CEO of WW1, a public company, and also an employee of CBS Radio. The problem is if CBS Radio, WW1's management company, does a deal with Google, they may be creating a new competitor for WW1 in the marketplace which could put further downside value on its stock. Kosann and the board may be worried about shareholder lawsuits and liabilities. CBS Radio CFO Walter Berger sits on the WW1 board as a representative of Joel Hollander and Les Moonves and CBS owns 18.5% of WW1 common stock. So the answer may be a separate deal with WW1 and Google for inventory, a rumor that keeps coming back to us. Meanwhile, WW1 has a rep agreement with CBS Radio f! or national inventory until 3/31/09. Meanwhile, we've heard Clear Channel is still working a major deal with Google for inventory. Part of that deal might say Google can't recruit any CC sales folks. Note none of the Google Audio sales reps so far are from CC Radio, we've heard.
01/12/07 RBR #8

Listening up in LA & Chicago
But analysis of Arbitron 12+ numbers from the Fall book the good news is far from universal. Radio One suffered a 54% drop in audience share in LA, as KKBT-FM failed in its first attempt to re-launch as an Urban AC (attempt #2 now underway with new calls), while total radio listening rose 1%. The gain in Chicago was also 1%. Univision was a big gainer in both markets - up 19% in LA and an even stronger 29% in Chicago. There is a detailed analysis in RBR for your review
01/12/07 RBR #8

What is wrong with NYC?
You've no doubt heard that New York radio stations have been hard hit by a revenue decline blamed in part on major advertisers experimenting with new media alternatives. But there are also listening changes in play. Analysis of Arbitron Fall 2006 data for New York finds bad news for most, but not all of the publicly traded radio companies, with 12+ listening down 4% from a year earlier. CBS dropped the most, 19%, but much of that is still being attributed to the loss of Howard Stern.
01/11/07 RBR #7

Gannett, McClatchy, Tribune
team for web ads
Newspaper publishers Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune will soon jointly sell display ads on their websites as a network targeting national advertisers with easier buying. The companies will likely to contribute 10% of their online ad space for the venture.
01/11/07 RBR #7

The worst is behind us
Fiscal Q3 radio revenues plunged 9.2% at Emmis (down 9.7% pro forma), with its US stations down 11.5%. CEO Jeff Smulyan told analysts the shortfall was all due to New York and LA, with other markets up. Also, Smulyan on Google and hedge funds "We're not willing to liquidate this company for the benefit of anybody's hedge fund," said Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan in a rebuff to Frank Martin of Martin Capital Management. Martin is the shareholder who is trying to pressure Smulyan to give up his super voting rights (1/9/06 RBR #5), something the CEO says he will not do. As for Google you need to read RBR.

RBR observation: Everyone wants to be in New York and Los Angeles, so no doubt there will be intense bidding for the one FM that Clear Channel has to spin off for its going private transaction, not to mention the possibility that Radio One might sell its LA FM. The two biggest markets have been going through rough times, but the pool of ad revenues in those two mega-markets is still huge and the opportunity to go after a piece of that ad pie coveted by many. That said, there is not going to be an immediate recovery. Thus, analysts are not rushing back to Emmis or other radio stocks. "Despite stronger trends in October/November, radio and other traditional media continue to face a challenge in growing revenues, as the ad market slows year-over-year and new ad dollars are allocated toward newer media. The recent quarter marks the forth straight quarter of Emmis underperforming its markets, and the outlook for continued year-over-year declines against easing comparisons still does not look encouraging," said Mark Wienkes at Goldman Sachs in summing up his views.
01/10/07 RBR #6

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