Are you reading this from a forwarded email?
New readers can receive our TVBR Morning Epaper FREE for the next 60 Business days! SIGN UP HERE
Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 106, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning May 31st, 2005

TV News®

Ready or not, LPM is coming to
DC and Philly in two days

No minds were changed as Nielsen officials met with a roomful of clients last week in Washington, DC, so Local People Meters (LPM) will become the local TV ratings currency in both Washington and Philadelphia day after tomorrow (6/2), even though the owners of five of the DC market's six major commercial stations want LPMs put on hold (5/26/05 TVBR #104). "It's unclear what we can do. They're a monopoly," said Jerry Fritz, VP of Allbritton, which owns WJLA-TV (Ch. 7, ABC). Fritz expressed frustration that Nielsen wouldn't put off LPMs for a month, which is how long company representatives told the broadcasters it should take to improve fault rates. "I take that with a little grain of salt, because that's exactly what they said in New York over a year ago," Fritz said. "We're afraid, here in Washington, that this is lip service." There's some disagreement between the broadcasters and Nielsen about just how bad the fault rate problem is. The stations put out data from the week of May 15th, showing that the fault rate for Hispanics was 25.5%, compared to 11% for non-Hispanics, and 17.2% for African-Americans, compared to 10.6% for non-African-Americans. But Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus says the fault rates for LPMs in DC have actually been lower than for the meters that have been used previously in the market for the meter/diary system. According to Nielsen, the fault rate in DC from April 25th to May 22nd was 10.7% for the old meters and 8.1% for LPM. For African-Americans, the fault rate fell from 16.8% to 11.6% for LPM, and for Hispanics it fell from 17.4% to 13.7%.

TVBR observation: It's not just the fault rates that concern broadcasters, but change itself. By instituting a new system of measurement, there are going to be winners and losers. So far, the experience with LPM has been that stations targeting younger demos, particularly young blacks and Hispanics, have seen their ratings decline, while a number of cable networks have seen their ratings improve in those demos - - and overall. Nielsen says that's because LPM is providing more and better data. The stations who've lost out say LPM is not doing a good job of counting viewers in their demos. The bottom line is that by early next year, all of the top 10 markets will be bought and sold on the basis of LPM numbers. Broadcasters can pressure Nielsen to improve its sample and work on training participants to reduce fault rates, but they're going to have to get used to LPM as the new currency for their business.

The final numbers:
Fox by a nose for 18-49

That's all that was ever in doubt, since CBS was well ahead of the pack for household ratings, persons 2+ and most other demos. But Fox has bragging rights to the big bucks 18-49 demo, if only because of the good luck of having the Super Bowl rotation this year. After trailing badly through the first half of the season, Fox picked up steam in the back half on the strength of the Super Bowl and its annual blockbuster, "American Idol." In the end, it held onto the 18-49 crown by a margin of 140,000 viewers, scoring a season average rating of 4.1 and an 11 share to CBS' 4.0/11. For total households in primetime, CBS won handily with an 8.4 rating and 14 share. Despite its declines this season and 4th place finish 18-49, NBC still managed a virtual tie with ABC for second place with a primetime HH rating/share of 6.5/11. But the Peacock network also fell to 4th place for viewers 12+.

TVBR observation: Idol held strong, and even drew a bigger audience for its 4th year finale than for the third year, so it appears that the franchise is not yet getting stale. But between now and next January, what is Fox going to do to strengthen its non-Idol ratings? There's no standout in the new shows (although something could become a surprise hit), returning shows like "House" and "The O.C." are doing well, but some of Fox's offerings are getting a little long in the tooth, like "That 70s Show," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "The Simpsons." The good news for Fox, though, is that there's not much buzz about the new shows coming from its competitors this fall either. Are we in for a battle of the dull next year?

Part 1, DTV: Broadcast v. Cable
One of the huge sticking points remaining to be resolved going into a successful DTV transition is the issue of must-carry. It is notably an issue not addressed at all on the discussion draft of the "DTV Transition Act of 2005" currently under consideration by the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. We believe there is general agreement, or at least general acceptance, that cable operators will be required to carry the main signal of all broadcast television stations in their market. We're talking 6 kHz of bandwidth for the new digital signal, enough to put out high definition (HDTV) programming. However, with current technology, broadcasters could fit up to six program streams into that same amount of bandwidth whenever they are not in HDTV. Cable operators don't want to be forced to carry any more than one stream (although it may carry more via individually-negotiated contracts). And one of the last acts of Michael Powell at the FCC was to side with cable on grounds that forcing them to carry more than one stream could not be defended in court. Broadcasters, on the other hand, think their full programming stream should be carried regardless of how they choose to use it - - as Barrington Broadcasting's Jim Yager told the panel, "6 kHz if 6 kHz."
Tomorrow: Look at how the Political party is divided on multicasting.

TVBR observation: Who should figure this out, industry or government?

More Lowdown on down-converters
In his opening comments at the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet last week, Cliff Stearns (R-FL) gave voice many items on the Republican wish as the DTV transition goes into the beginning of the endgame. While many Republicans have said they'd support at limited subsidization of digital-to-analog downconverters, he said he was against such a program. His investment would be in consumer notification - - with enough warning, he said that everyone, regardless of their financial condition, should be able to afford their own equipment. With a year's notice, a 50 dollar converter box could be acquired by putting away 14 cents a day. The democrats on the panel could not have disagreed more. "Government is imposing a burden on consumers, and government has a responsibility to alleviate that burden," said Albert Wynn (D-MD). "You do not mess with America's car or America's TV," said Bobby Rush (D-IL). "If you're one of the consumers that has an analog clicker in one hand, you'd better have your other hand on your wallet," said Ed Markey (D-MA). Numerous other Republicans, up to and including Energy and Commerce charm Joe Barton (R-TX), indicated that they would support limited, usually means-based subsidies. Dems were generally inclined to provide converters universally with proceeds from the resulting spectrum auction. How it would be done: Without recommendation or endorsement, Mark Goldstein of the Government Accountability Office put on the table four methods for handling subsidies. "Several administrative options could be used to provide a government subsidy to help households obtain DTV equipment," he testified, "including a refundable tax credit, government distribution of equipment, a voucher program, and a rebate program. The suitability of any of these methods depends on aspects of the subsidy's design, such as which entity is most appropriate to administer the subsidy and who would be eligible to receive the benefit."

Foul shot?
Will NBA put ads on uniforms?
NBA Commissioner David Stern feels that advertising on team uniforms is inevitable, although the league says there are no such plan at this time. In fact, at the moment, the manufacturer of the uniforms, Reebok, isn't even allowed to sew a logo on. However, Stern thinks that will change - - he said the price must reflect the value, and Dallas Mavericks maverick owner Mark Cuban said he wished it was a policy in effect now. RBR checked with respected NBA news outlet and Swish Magazine's Publisher & Editor Steve Kyler on this possibility and the findings have: "The NBA has only said it would consider branding similar to that of professional soccer, only if the price is right. This is the NBA "Chumming" the waters to see what the value is. If the right signature sponsor came along - say Coke or Pepsi and was willing to drop the 300 million to 600 million a year the NBA would hope to fetch from such an idea then the NBA would bite. The concept would have to blend into to existing designs and logos, not the "slapped" on patches found in NFL Europe. Baseball seriously considered on field advertising, with the theatrical release of Spiderman 2 using the bases... The NFL has radically increased its near field advertising space and there continues to be talk of adding sponsorship space in the End Zone. TV networks have been selling ad space around in-game events for years - such as The Dodge "Keys To The Game"... Subway's Sub Of The Game... and so on. The jersey is simply the next logical step in an industry that's continues to find new revenue streams to meet ever rising costs.

TVBR observation: In other words - Bob's Tire Barn is not gonna find its way onto an NBA jersey at any price. Keep in mind this was the same league that fined its players $10,000 for wearing their shorts too long - the image on court is very important to the NBA and they routinely alter rules to insure the "on court" image is of the highest standards they can enforce. On the field/court of play it was bad enough when they started selling stadium naming rights but sports has become a big league business and like all businesses they need the money churn. The major question for all media is National and Local ad dollars when a shift is made in spending. If Pepsi or Coke ponies up the millions for the jersey logo then where is that ad money being shifted from? Again product placement and National business is at high risk. If you are a media outlet that has broadcasts rights our suggestions is learn to integrate your brand with this potential opportunity. Editor's note: Steve Kyler hosts a weekly sports program called The Game ( which is broadcast on ESPN Florida heard across all of Central Florida and on the internet via web stream. Steve's company Basketball News Services offers products and services to sports radio stations and is a must for those stations carrying NBA programming, bringing locker room insight and bringing up your local sales.

7th grader gives Redstone a grilling
It was the highlight of Viacom's annual shareholders meeting. 12-year-old Joshua Block, who owns two shares that his grandparents gave him, stepped up to the microphone and noted that a year earlier, CEO Sumner Redstone had told shareholders that everything was OK between him and then-President Mel Karmazin. A few months later, Karmazin was out the door. So, Block wanted to know, was there anything else going on that shareholders would want to know about? After the laughter died down, Redstone assured the young shareholder than he hadn't lied the year before - - that things then were "only OK" between him and Karmazin, but that things are much better now in the Viacom executive suite. Afterward, Block told reporters he wasn't satisfied with Redstone's answer. There were also union protests at the meeting, since CBS is in the midst of negotiating a new contract with its newswriters, and objections to the big pay packages for Redstone and other top execs while the company's stock price continued to languish. But there was nothing new to report on the biggest issue for most Viacom shareholders - - Redstone's plan to split the company in two. As previously announced, he expects the board of directors to vote by the end of June on making the split. So, shareholders won't see the nitty gritty details for a few months - - with the actual division expected to take place in Q1 of 2006.


Ray Warren on the upfront
As most of the broadcast nets were writing upfront business on Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, with ABC almost wrapped up and NBC still trailing the pack, we had a chance to speak with Ray Warren, Managing Director, OMD USA. He's been on both sides of the desk, also working as a network seller doing the upfronts for a couple years. Ray had some comments that back up what we've been hearing--that cable didn't get off to quite a good start this time around as last year: "There were some cable deals done early, but I thought cable came out a little hot and we need to let them cool off a little bit."

So cable may have thought this would be a repeat of last year, starting off before broadcast, and it just isn't so this time?
"No...we had to just let them know that we didn't think we were like-minded, and therefore, we're not looking to do deals [right away]."

Is this because broadcast has stemmed the tide of erosion this time around with stronger shows, as we discussed in our May RBR/TVBR print feature?
"It's kind of like one pot of money, then you have to decide what is the best place to put it all and you look for value. And the broadcast value proposition got a little better this year."

Tomorrow: Carat Americas CEO
David Verklin speaks about upfront activity, as of 5/27. Also, if you missed it, check out what Jon Mandel, Andy Donchin, Ira Berger and an anonymous seller told us about this year's upfront last week:
(5/25 TVBR #103) (5/26 TVBR #104) (5/27 TVBR #105)

Research guru discusses XM ratings report
We asked a well-known industry research guru about XM's "Custom Listening Study" from Arbitron, sent to agencies for a year or so now. A radio buyer had sent the report to the researcher, who looked it over for both of us. This was the latest report, Fall 2004 (mid Nov.-mid-Dec.). The researcher had a few questions and concerns on the methodologies. | More... |

Schwab consolidates planning and buying with PHD
Charles Schwab announced the consolidation of its media planning and buying assignments with PHD USA. Schwab completed a formal review which included incumbents PHD and RPA, and MPG. PHD has held media planning responsibilities for all of the company's offline advertising, and managed print and out-of-home media buying since 1997. PHD will assume additional responsibilities previously shared with two other agencies: RPA of Santa Monica, which has held broadcast media buying responsibilities for Schwab since 1990, and KP Media of San Jose, which has managed online planning and buying since 1997. PHD's responsibilities will include media planning and buying for Charles Schwab, as well as for its Charles Schwab Bank, Cybertrader and U.S. Trust subsidiaries. "We are very excited and pleased that Charles Schwab has appointed PHD as their full service media partner," said Steve Grubbs, CEO of PHD NA. "It will enable us to impact Schwab's business growth through complete strategic integration of online and offline communications. We are thrilled that Schwab has acknowledged the fine work of our PHD San Francisco team and entrusted PHD USA with their consolidated media responsibilities."

American Century Investments
selects TBWA\Chiat\Day NY

American Century Investments has selected TBWA\Chiat\Day New York as its creative AOR following a comprehensive review. American Century also awarded its interactive advertising responsibilities to TEQUILA\New York, TBWA's marketing services network and media responsibilities to OMD New York. TBWA and OMD are both Omnicom Group Companies.

Wieden+Kennedy scores EA
Electronic Arts and Wieden+Kennedy announced that they will work together on EA's global advertising business. After having worked closely on two of EA's key franchises last fall, EA now is moving the majority of its print and broadcast advertising business to Wieden+Kennedy Portland. The shop will take the lead on EA's North American business and W+K Amsterdam will manage the European assignment. In signing this deal, W+K will bring their expertise in branding to some of the most well-known videogame franchises in the industry including The Sims, Madden NFL, FIFA, Need For Speed and up and coming blockbuster EA game franchises including The Godfather and James Bond. The first media campaigns under this new agreement will be Medal of Honor European Assault, NCAA Football 06, Madden NFL 06, and additional EA titles shipping this summer.

Media Business Report
Green Bay to be one paper town
Green Bay, WI is not only the smallest city to have an NFL team, it's one of the smallest to still have two daily newspapers. That's about to change. Come this Friday, the Green Bay News-Chronicle will publish its last edition. The end had been expected, but still hit hard in the newsroom. Gannett, which already owned the Green Bay Press-Gazette, bought the News-Chronicle less than a year ago, not so much for the daily, but for the 33 shoppers and non-dailies owned by its parent company. "The News-Chronicle had a long history of financial struggle and there was no indication during our ownership that its trend of poor performance could be reversed," said Publisher Ellen Leifield, Midwest Group VP for Gannett. Only six full-time and eight part-time employees are being pink-slipped. The other 25 full-timers are being offered comparable jobs at other Gannett operations in the area.

MBR observation: The News-Chronicle has had a remarkable run, if not a profitable one. Born as a retaliatory tactic by striking Press-Gazette workers in 1972, TVBR Executive Editor Jack Messmer remembers the paper a few years later, while he was at WNFL-AM, as a scrappy daily with its staffers working hard to outmaneuver the much larger staff of their competitor. Even then the News-Chronicle was perennially "financially challenged," although it had stabilized somewhat after being sold to the shopper publisher, Frank Wood. It's doubtful that Wood ever made a nickel off of the paper, but it added prestige to his operation to have a daily. Gannett didn't need a hobby - - it already had a daily in Green Bay, a bigger one - - so it was inevitable that declining circulation and ad sales at the News-Chronicle would lead to Green Bay becoming a one paper town.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Close encounter in Vegas
NBC's Hispanic arm Telemundo has upgraded it's Las Vegas TV outlet from affiliate to O&O status. It came in a 32.1M dollars deal with Scott Gentry's Summit Media LP. KBLR is on Channel 39, with up-and-running DTV operations on Channel 40. The deal also includes an as-yet-unbuilt LPTV in Pahrump NV. This is not a duopoly deal. The local NBC affiliate is part of Sunbelt Communications.

Disputed CCU station acquisition approved
Clear Channel will be allowed to acquire WQYZ-FM Ocean Springs MS in the Biloxi-Gulfport-Pascagoula Arbitron market, according to a ruling by the FCC. It had been the subject of two different challenges. CCU some time ago cut a three-way deal for the station with Golden Gulf Coast Broadcasting (GGCB) participating, valued at almost 1.29M. One complainant, Douglas A. Hutcheson, was sent away with a dismissal. He argued that CCU dealings involving another station in another market had bearing on the Biloxi deal - - the FCC said it was irrelevant. Another complainant, WJZD Inc., aired numerous beefs, one of which involved an LMA between GGCB and CCU for the station. The FCC noted that the LMA was legit, and that seeming irregularities - - such as CCU moving the station into its own building - - were fine within the parameters of the law. What wasn't fine, however, was GGCB's failure to notify the FCC that the station's main studio address had thus changed. That cost it 7K for failure to maintain a main studio presence. And CCU is cleared to finish its acquisition.

Washington Beat
Reporters find friendship among state AGs
A clear plurality of state attorney generals is getting set to file a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court in support of shield protection for reporters who get into hot water for protecting confidential sources, according to an Associated Press report. In fact, it would be a veto-proof plurality, if such a thing were applicable (which of course, it isn't) - - 34 AGs are signed up to sign the brief, representing 68% of the 50 states, and representing members of both the Republican and Democratic parties. The filing is in support of reporters Judith Miller of the New York Times and Matt Cooper of Time Magazine, concerning their role in reporting the exposure of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Tennessee House vets look to upgrade chambers
Three veterans of the US House of Representatives are among the announced candidates for the Senate seat being vacated by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). The latest to jump in is currently serving - - Harold Ford (D-TN) made it into the national spotlight as a keynoter in 2000 at the convention which nominated the Al Gore/Joe Lieberman ticket. He's facing a state legislator in the primaries. Two former Republican reps are facing off for that party's right to run in November - - Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary are in a three-way race with ex-Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker. Hilleary failed in an attempt to win the statehouse and Bryant lost to Frist for the Senate seat, both in 2002. A local professor of political science told AP Ford should have no trouble getting his party's nod, but may run into statewide name recognition problems in relation to his opponents thereafter.

CMA switches to ABC
after 34 years on CBS
The Country Music Association awards show will air next year on ABC after 34 seasons on CBS. Ed Benson, head of the CMA, said the switch will mean several million dollars more in licensing fees. He also said ABC presented an attractive marketing plan to promote the show on its other programs. The show, usually held each November, will originate this year from NYC after being staged in Nashville.

RBR Stats
TV's top shows - - the final tally
The 2004-2205 network TV season is officially over and the winner is... "CSI." The CBS hit edged out Fox's "American Idol" and ABC's "Desperate Housewives" as the most watched regular series of the past TV season. In all, CBS put six shows in the Nielsen top 10, ABC two and Fox two (although both were "Idol," which airs episodes on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The once-mighty NBC's best showing was #13, with Donald Trump's "Apprentice 2." Here's the entire list, from "CSI" down through Pax's "Cold Turkey II." | Nielsen Television Index Ranking Report |

RBR - Radio News

2005 Radio forecast goes Lower
Half way to closure in '05 the number guru's begin to play spin the wheel of fortune. "Although there have been some markets with promising revenue growth, we continue to see the same disappointing growth rates of the past two years. While there have been efforts to bolster the prospects of the radio industry, it will take some time for these initiatives to sufficiently impact stronger industry growth," said BIA Financial Network (BIAfn) Vice President Mark Fratrick, obviously alluding to Clear Channel's Less is More initiative. Thus, after analyzing five months of data, BIAfn has reduced its forecast of 2005 radio revenue growth to 3.3% - - down a tenth of a percentage point from its March forecast of 3.4%. The company analyzes data market-by-market on a quarterly basis. While he notes that BIAfn has raised its 2005 forecast for 17 markets, at the same time it has lowered them for 34. "While many of these changes were minor, some markets have shown surprising growth. We now expect San Francisco to see revenue increases of 5% instead of 2.5%, and Boise, ID will enjoy a 6% growth rate instead of the 3.4% originally estimated. On the flip side, BIAfn projects major markets such as Washington, DC, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Macon will experience a 2% decline in their estimated growth rates," Fratrick said. But while the outlook for five of the top 10 markets has dropped, Fratrick said those are mostly minor changes, so the good news is that BIAfn's estimates haven't changed much from one quarter ago.

RBR observation: Through Q1, RAB reported that radio revenues were up 2% overall, with national up 3% and local up 2%. Although Universal McCann's Bob Coen is the most closely watched media forecaster, we're hard-pressed to see how radio is going to get to the 5% growth he's forecast for this year. Fratrick''s projection seems more likely - - and it's more in line with what Wall Street analysts are now expecting. Coen will be revising his numbers next month, so we'll be waiting to see if he hangs tough at 5%. Last key piece of advice is getting your business plans in focus for 2006 as the question is - 'Will you be able to compete next year if you don't properly fix problems right now because the clock is ticking.'

SBS goes bilingual in LA;
Emmis heads to court
KXOL-FM Los Angeles, formerly "El Sol," has re-launched as "Latino 96.3" - - targeting 18-34 year old Hispanics with a mix of Reggaeton and Hip-Hop. Former air staffers have been pink-slipped and the search is on for new DJs. But the move has Emmis up in arms. It leases tower space to SBS for KXOL and says the new format violates the provision that SBS can't compete with an Emmis station in LA. Look for court action to follow. As for the new format, SBS says Reggaeton is an upbeat music genre with roots originating almost 20 years ago in Panama and Puerto Rico and is now "becoming the hottest new musical trend among Spanish-speaking audiences throughout the world." SBS LA VP/GM David Haymore says Latino 96.3 will benefit from SBS' radio presence in Puerto Rico, which includes an intimate relationship with core Reggaeton and Latin Hip Hop artists through its recently launched "Reggaeton 94" FM network on the island. SBS radio stations WSKQ-FM in New York and WXDJ-FM in Miami also feature a regular staple of Reggaeton acts. ""It's exciting to target the Hispanic youth of Los Angeles, which also happens to be a majority of this market's radio listeners. It's about time the country's number one radio market has a station that features this unique mix of music for these listeners," said Haymore.

RBR observation: What's the legal beef? Earlier this month the local web blog LARadio reported that SBS had shelved plans to go bilingual and youth oriented because Emmis had invoked a clause of its lease that let it veto any format on KXOL that would compete with KPWR-FM, which goes after the young demos and has a 40% Hispanic audience. Now, though, SBS has apparently decided to go ahead anyway and let the lawyers fight over whether the new format competes with KPWR. Emmis says it does. In an Emmis statement sent to RBR stated "In Los Angeles, Emmis has leased tower space to SBS under the stipulation that any format change cannot conflict directly with an Emmis station. It is our position that SBS's actions have violated this condition of the agreement. Emmis intends to take appropriate action to enforce this provision of the lease." RBR would have rather heard it verbally than in a statement. So say hello to a long court battle and people always like a good fight especially when it is in LA. Emmis could sell LA if they choose before this fight is over and SBS has taken a hunk of numbers into their ratings and bank books.

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 4/18/05-4/22/05
What three fairly large transactions couldn't do last week, one station almost accomplished on its own - - the feat of pushing the weekly station trading total into triple digits. An FM in a top five market will do that (see below). There was just enough value underneath to push it over the top in what was otherwise another basically slow week.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Infinity shows it cares for KEAR
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
Back to the nap room...

2M WQBS-AM Puerto Rico (San Juan PR) from Aerco Broadcasting Corporation (Angel O. Roman-Lopez) to International Broadcasting Corporation (Pedro Roman Collazo). Swap for WRSJ-AM Bayamon & WCHQ-AM Quebradillas. Price is RBR estimate. Consolidation with WEKO-AM Morovis, WGIT-AM Canovanas, WIBS-AM & WXRF-AM Guayama, WTIL-AM Mayaguez & WVOZ-FM Carolina. Crossownership with WVEO-TV Aguadilla, WTCV-TV San Juan, WVOZ-TV Ponce & WIVE-LP Ceiba. [File date 4/28/05.]

2M WRSJ-AM & WCHQ-AM Puerto Rico (Bayamon, Quebradillas PR) from International Broadcasting Corporation (Pedro Roman Collazo) to Aerco Broadcasting Corporation (Angel O. Roman-Lopez). Swap for WQBS-AM San Juan PR. Price is RBR estimate. Crossownership with WSJU-TV San Juan PR. [File date 4/28/05.]

Stock Talk
Stocks flat ahead of holiday
The stock market moved sideways in light trading Friday as traders prepared for the three-day Memorial Day weekend. The Dow Industrials edged up five points to 10,543.

TV stocks were mixed. The big mover was Nexstar, up 8.1%, with no news to account for the gain. Other than the penny stocks, the biggest decliner was Emmis, off 1.1%.


Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change













Media General




Clear Channel












News Corp.
















NY Times
















Saga Commun.




Gen. Electric




















Time Warner




Gray, C1. A




















Viacom, Cl. A




Journal Comm.




Viacom, Cl. B




Liberty Corp




Wash. Post













Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

Should an employee be fired for an accidental indecency?
(5/23/05 RBR #101)

Regarding the
Arthur Chi'en F bomb on WCBS, what happened to the venerable broadcast rule - - Consider all microphones live, even if they aren't plugged in? (Remember Uncle Don and "That'll hold the little bastards!") And why would a broadcaster have a mind-set that would allow the use of the F word, no matter what the situation?

Robert Conrad
WCLV, Cleveland

Your item on the firing of
Arthur Chi'en understandably misstates a bit of FCC regulatory history. The reference to Bono's "excited utterance" (my phrase) of the word in accepting a Golden Globe award ("this is f---ing brilliant") was considered in actionable not by the FCC but in a ruling by the then-Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, David Solomon. On review, however, the FCC reversed Solomon and admonished NBC-TV for airing the word, holding that the word "f---" and its variations is indecent per se. That unfortunate ruling came back to haunt the Commission in the Saving Private Ryan matter, where the Commission realized that context matters! As for Mr. Chi'en, my sympathy, but there is a saying in Washington that you should never say or write anything that you would not want to see in the Washington Post. It seems one should never say anything remotely near a microphone -- on or off -- that might cost you your job.

Roy R. Russo
Cohn and Marks LLP
Washington DC

Upped & Tapped

Mile High GM
Mark Cornetta, who has been VP/Broadcast and General Sales Manager of KUSA-TV (Ch. 9, NBC) Denver, is moving up to the post of President and General Manager. He succeeds Roger Ogden, who was named President and CEO of Gannett Broadcasting, in turn succeeding Craig Dubow, who has been named CEO of the entire company
(5/26/05 TVBR #104).

More News Headlines

The Noor, the merrier
Queen Noor of Jordan is this year's recipient of the Leadership Award handed out annually by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF), in recognition of 30 years worth of effort promoting international humanitarian activities. She joins a list which includes Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, Muhammad Ali and Rudy Giuliani. The award will be presented 6/13/05 at the Service to America Summit in Washington.

Radio One is #1
in Maryland

Radio and cable TV company Radio One has once again made the list of top black-owned businesses, as determined by Black Enterprise magazine. BE pegs the group as the #1 such business in the state of Maryland based on 2004 revenues of 364M. It is ranked #10 nationwide.

TVBR News Analysis

NBC looking to
cable for filler?
Radio opportunity for cross-platforming only If
Remember back when ABC was in the ratings cellar and it started running "Monk" from USA Network to try to attract viewers? Well, now that NBC is the network suffering from declining ratings, they're saying it's about to do the same thing - - turn to cable. The Peacock net has struck a deal with Court TV to air episodes of "Psychic Detectives" this summer as the 8-9 pm (ET) Wednesday night lead-in to "Law & Order." NBC had previously aired episodes of Court TV's "Forensic Files" back in 2002 (when NBC was not so ratings-challenged) and the two co-produce "Dateline/Court TV" specials.

Publisher observation: WOW. What a light bulb idea. Now - - Attention NBC the Peacock looking for Content - - Hello again - - You can revitalize the show you cancelled - - American Dreams. You heard about my passion for this program or if you forgot, re-read it - TA DUM - 04/29/05 TVBR #85. Keep this series going and capitalize on the already loyal audience. Plus I see at least another spin off of American Dreams and it is entertainment and youth-driven. If you could see past your feathers it is already in your face. American Dreams, youth, dance and cable is the place for this program.
Reminder - - JL Media SVP/Director of Broadcast Services
Rich Russo who knows radio and spends lots of money in this medium laid out the programming format for NBC - 'NBC doesn't get it - (Radio's Opportunity to Cross Platform' 05/04/05 TVBR #88.) Russo hits it on the CD hit single - - "What is more appalling on the marketing side in the case of something like "American Dreams". Here you have a scripted show that features a built in marketing component that has been grossly overlooked: Current artists redoing great songs from the 60's. Why doesn't NBC set up a deal with every R&B station to play Usher covering Marvin Gaye or John Legend doing Stevie Wonder? It's a built-in day-after promotion on radio, or better yet, play it the day of the program to hype the show. NBC, you own the USA Network, so that is where you build with solid content - - we all know cable is grabbing the ad dollars. American Dreams Executive Producer Jonathan Prince has become an expert in ad content placement. NBC turn your GE bulb on to high and see the light. If you don't get then - - call me. The advice will be free.
05/27/05 TVBR #105

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

On 12/31/08,
kiss analog TV good-bye
The House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet entertained a panel of no less than 11 witnesses as it discussed the Staff Discussion Draft of the DTV Transition Act of 2005. At this point, nothing is set in stone, much less ink. We witnessed it personally as RBR was there and we viewed the audience and did not seem to be a single person who objected to setting 12/31/08 as the last day for analog TV broadcast. TVBR observation: Don't buy a new TV set, LCD or DTV monitor until 2008.
05/27/05 TVBR #105

Anonymous on the TV upfront
Right now there are very preliminary kinds of conversation. Everyone is saying, sit tight. We'll call them and ask if anything is going on...anything happening, can we do anything? No, just sit tight, we're trying to get our budgets, etc. I think they all want to know what the networks are doing because the networks are obviously sending a signal that they're going to be very accommodating this year. So if that's still the linchpin, and regardless of what everyone says in the trades, it is the linchpin of your national buy as far as television is concerned, you've got to do that first. 05/27/05 TVBR #105

DC stations want LPM halted
There are two very different views of how Local People Meters (LPM) are working in the Washington, DC market. "Nielsen's numbers are wrong, because the new Local People Meter System is not counting lots of people," said Allbritton Communications Sr. VP Jerry Fritz. The faulting rates are simply off the chart. Nielsen won't fix them before it launches the new service and we don't like that." Specifically, Allbritton, Gannett, News Corporation and Tribune, which collectively own five of the six major commercial stations in the DC market, want Nielsen to put LPMs on hold until it corrects what they identify as problems and get Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for the LPM service. That's not likely to happen. "The sample is right on," said Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus. TVBR observation: Little noticed, Nielsen last week got MRC accreditation for its San Francisco LPM system, the second market to earn that distinction after the original LPM market, Boston. But there are still issues to be resolved in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. We find it interesting that no one in Philadelphia has asked for an LPM delay, although News Corp. and Tribune both have stations there as well. The LPM opponents know that DC is not just another market - - the Senators and Congressmen who write the laws, as well as their families, watch WJLA, WUSA, WTTG, WDCA and WBDC. They are going to hear the complaints about LPMs. And while Allbritton insists that it doesn't want government regulation, but rather for the TV industry to resolve this within the family, News Corp. has been pressing, and pressing hard, for Congress to get involved. We have warned that this is a dangerous and stupid move by Rupert Murdoch - - and that he'll hurt himself and every other broadcaster if he succeeds - - but he knows that DC is the place to fight this battle. Nielsen had better wise up and marshal its own forces on Capitol Hill. 05/26/05 TVBR #104

Andy Donchin on the upfront
Carat Americas Director of Broadcast Buying - still in the talking phase right now and thinks it will be heating up soon. Any programs out there getting your attention? "No. I'm still definitely a believer in broadcast television, but support cable in a big way, and syndication. There's really not to say right now, as I said, we're still feeling each other out and talking-kicking the tires.
TVBR observation: We told ya - no big rush and business will be under the microscope so best get your business plans in order now if you want to compete in 2006. Radio & Television Business Report's June issue has a close-up view. If you didn't sign in you won't get it. 05/26/05 TVBR #104

Starcom MediaVest CEO Renetta McCann: Print needs more online, wireless delivery
Print publishers are falling behind other types of media in their ability to deliver content over broadband and wireless. McCann predicted consumers will "engage with content primarily onscreen and not on the printed page," and print publishers must adapt or face the consequences. Publisher note: Agree with Renetta 100% that is why RBR & TVBR stopped printing weekly and deliver content with solid presentation and interaction with our colleagues via this morning e-paper. Others just don't get it. Plus, Radio & Television Business Report - The First Monthly Business Magazine - was the First to go Digital 2 years ago with audio and video capabilities. Only problem is not all consumers, including the media, understand Rich Media and digital publishing. If you want to learn to maximize and get familiar with digital - see our June issue soon. 05/26/05 TVBR #104

Stern will have fewer commercials
Zen Master Mel Karmazin says fewer commercials than the 20 minutes per hour that his show currently carries on Infinity. any other big personalities going to be signed by Sirius? Don Imus? "He's very greedy," Karmazin said, suggesting that he'd like to have the "I-Man," but doubted that the math would work. RBR observation: Speaking of math, what was Mel smoking before he suggested that satellite radio could reach 300 million subscribers? What a salesman. But at some point satellite radio is going to have to prove to Wall Street that it can turn a profit. Sirius claims it can go cash flow positive in 2007. But rival XM has to meet its own cash flow positive commitment this year. We remain skeptical that either company will ever reach that point. It's a good thing Mel already has that waterfront house in Naples, Florida.
05/26/05 RBR #104

Some real ad nauseum
Energy company BP has joined Morgan-Stanley in instituting a policy in which any magazine advertising they may have booked is to be pulled if the magazine contains any editorial the company feels is negative or otherwise objectionable. The BP directive asks that publishers notify both their sales and editorial staffs about the policy.
TVBR observation: Editorial department here. We note this because this type of thing is just as applicable to radio and TV advertising. We dearly love our sales staff, especially on payday, but it is absolutely critical that we have an arms-length relationship when it comes to content. Without editorial integrity, there would be no point in reading us, nor would there be any point in advertising with us. Our sales staff has yet to be granted editorial privileges, just as our editorial staff has no say in what ads are sold, what they say or what they look like. Advertisers, if you want to control editorial in the magazines you advertise in, we suggest you do what Clear Channel did: Buy one.
05/25/05 TVBR #103

Jon Mandel on the upfront
Chairman/MediaCom US and Chief Global Buying Officer MediaCom Worldwide - Indeed, the 2005-2006 upfront isn't starting off with a rush or panic, as in recent years. Mandel's observation - "There's that, and also, if you're going to do the job right, you take the time to do the estimates properly; you take the time to watch every single pilot; you take the time to talk to the producers about where the shows are going. You don't just go and buy based on two-minute clips. People that do that aren't doing a good media job. They're just buyers. The reason why clients get crazy at the business is because they feel that people don't give it the proper thought. And you can talk strategy all you want, but when you go and do conceptual deals without having watched the shows and matched the shows, the audience and the brand you're advertising, then you're doing a disservice to your client and you're doing a disservice to the industry." 05/25/05 TVBR #103

Big 3 TV nets see revenue drop
That's according to Broadcast Cable Financial Management (BCFM), which tallies revenues for the network TV business. Q1 revenues for ABC, CBS and NBC combined were down 2.07% in Q1 to 2.88 billion. However, note that Fox does not participate in the BCFM revenue gathering, and it had the Super Bowl this year. Thus, sports revenues for the big three dropped 21.35% to 545 million. Chart worth a print out. 05/25/05 TVBR #103

Is deconsolidation
just part of a cycle?
That's the theory put forth by Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Gordon Hodge in a research note on the current wave of media companies spinning off units or selling assets. After a boom-bust consolidation period in the late 1980s, the Telecom Act of 1996 propagated another consolidation wave, which rolled through the Internet bubble and then crashed into the breakers of recession, antitrust concerns and 9/11. We are living in the aftermath of that wave. TVBR observation: Reminds us of a Yogi Berra quote on his hitting, "Slump? I ain't in no slump ... I just ain't hitting." Well same with many companies they just ain't hitting because as Berra would say - "90% of the game is half mental." Think about it because Hodge and Berra are both correct either a slump of the sum of their parts. Key for all media companies is your business plan and execution of the plan. If you didn't see it coming after 9/11 and the '02 recession which is still alive then you best get your house in order now or you will find it very difficult to compete in 2006. 05/23/05 TVBR #101

Time Warner may spin AOL
Has discussed with management of AOL the possibility of selling shares of the unit in an initial public offering and decided not to go ahead with such a plan "at this point," said Parsons. The likelihood of a spinoff probably depends on whether AOL CEO Jonathan Miller succeeds in his strategy of attracting more Internet users and advertisers to his service to compensate for the decline in dial-up subscribers. AOL's 112 billion purchase of Time Warner in January 2001 led to a record 98.7 billion loss in 2002 and caused the shares to tumble. 05/21/05 TVBR #101

Local Sales Manager
LIN TV, one of the premiere operators, needs a leader at WOOD-TV8, NBC affiliate, in Grand Rapids to take charge of the Sales Team. Revenue successes with Marshall Marketing, NSI Stellar data and Eckstein Summers projects required. Knowledge of VCI and One Domain a plus.

GSM Opportunity with Emmis
Legendary KSHE-95 St Louis needs a strong GSM with minimum 5 years battle experience and NTR skills a plus. Generous benefits and compensation await. Are you ready for this challenge!

Broker Opportunity
Established in 1979 we've conducted over 1 billion in transactions and seeking just one executive that desires to learn and become a player in the investment media station brokerage business. First quality in our firm - Integrity. - See TV Careers

Find Your TV Career

Post Your Companies Job Openings

Other Links

State Associations
Contact Us

Publisher question:
Reading TVBR from a friend?
Receive your own morning copy at

Help Desk

Having problems with our epapers?
Please send Questions/Concerns to:
[email protected]

If you wish to remove your name completely from our database use this link __UNSUB__

If you wish to unsubscribe
to TVBR only use this link

TVBR Epaper -- 108 annual
or just 9 a month

©2005 Radio Business Report/Television Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved.
Television Business Report -- 2050 Old Bridge Road, Suite B-01, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 -- Phone: 703-492-8191