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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 107, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning June 1st, 2005

TV News®

CBS and NBC want hold on LPM rollout
With Local People Meters (LPMs) due to debut tomorrow (6/2) in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, a large number of station groups have now asked Nielsen Media Research to put LPMs on hold while the ratings company works on Media Ratings Council (MRC) accreditation in its existing LPM markets. For the first time, both CBS and NBC have joined in the growing chorus of broadcasters calling for a halt to the LPM roll out. As signatories to a letter written by Tribune Broadcasting President Pat Mullen, the list of objecting broadcasters includes long-time LPM opponent News Corp./Fox, along with such major groups as Cox Television, Gannett, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Emmis, Scripps, Fisher, LIN, Barrington, Liberty Corp., Belo, Allbritton, Media General and Post-Newsweek. To date, the MRC has only accredited LPMs in Boston and San Francisco, but not New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. "We're asking them to get MRC accreditation before they launch any additional markets," Mullen told TVBR. In his letter, Mullen told Nielsen President and CEO Susan Whiting that the broadcasters support new technology, but that LPM first must prove its reliability. "Flaws in the system must be removed before LPM service is expanded. Otherwise, Nielsen threatens to irreparably harm the television industry that has served the public interest for 60 years," the letter said. In reply, Whiting noted that there are several groups with an economic stake in TV ratings. "Any agreement with your group of broadcasters, or even the appearance of such, could adversely affect these different interests and subject Nielsen as well as your group of broadcasters to legal action," she said. In addition, Whiting said the issue of mandatory MRC accreditation "raises considerable antitrust questions." Mullen denied last night that there were any legal issues raised by the broadcasters' request, as Whiting had suggested, and said so in a second letter to the Nielsen President. Ms Whiting also spoke with TVBR late last night and stated "LPM will roll forward in DC and Philly as scheduled." As for being perceived as not hearing or wanting to listen to broadcasters concerns Whiting said "Is further from the truth as we (Nielsen) don't want to be at odds with so many large clients and at the same time we are trying to balance reporting information and accomplish the best of all clients concerned."

TVBR observation: Talk about politics well this is it. First party ready to roll out LPM and move forward to the future with technology and the other side not wanting or ready to improve until they are faced with a crisis then react to the crisis. Bottom line nobody likes change or improvement until a crisis hits them in the face. | The letters: | Broadcasters to Nielsen; Nielsen to Broadcasters; Broadcasters reply to Nielsen. Kicker is the last letter sent to Nielsen by Broadcaster (Mullen) late yesterday, 5/3/1/05, Broadcasters did not wait for a Nielsen reply to which Mullen stated he would be on the next plane to NYC to discuss the issue(s). Instead, Broadcaster just fired off a PR release last night to what you have just read.

Analyst: Clear Channel needs Plan B
Clear Channel Communications tried to wow Wall Street by announcing a major restructuring (5/2/05 TVBR #86) - - spinning off CC Entertainment, selling 10% of CC Outdoor in an IPO, upping the company's regular dividend and paying a special three bucks per share dividend. But while the stock got a brief bump, it has since been hurt by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst dumping its stake (5/10/05 TVBR #92) and is now back at its 52-week low. So, Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller says Clear Channel management needs a Plan B - - and he has one to recommend. "We wonder if investors would be more interested if CCU executed the 'mother of all buybacks'," Miller suggested in a research note to clients. His idea is to have Clear Channel sell CC Entertainment outright (which he values at 1.5 billion, or three billion less than the company paid for it), then use the proceeds from that sale, proceeds from the 10% CC Outdoor IPO, the 1.6 billion now earmarked for the special dividend and 25% of the company's 2005 free cash flow to buy back nearly four billion bucks worth of Clear Channel's outstanding shares - - or about 27% of the company's shares at an average price of 33 bucks. The rest of Miller's "Plan B" is to have Clear Channel use the rest of its 2005 free cash flow to retire debt, which would keep its leverage at about four times, which he believes is "vital" to the company retaining the investment grade status of its debt. Finally, Miller suggests keeping Clear Channel's dividend at 50 cents per share annually, rather than increase it to 75 cents. Could this happen? "We believe that while a Plan B could occur with the support of the CCU Board, it is probably very unlikely. But we do believe this approach should be considered. We think Plan B is likely to mean more for the stock's near-term and long-term prospect than CCU's current Plan A," Miller said.

TVBR observation: Admittedly unlikely to happen, but an interesting proposition from one of Wall Street's more creative thinkers. One problem, though, is finding someone willing and able to pay 1.5 billion or more for CC Entertainment. Although competitors House of Blues and JAM Productions are reportedly interested bidders, it appears they only want the concert promotion business - - and as we noted previously (5/4/05 TVBR #88), it would be very difficult to find buyers at decent prices for some of the other pieces of CC Entertainment. It would have to be all or nothing to make sense for the seller.

Schwarzenegger product placements
draw howls
It figures that the most prominent politician with Hollywood roots would bring to politics one of Hollywood's most potent revenue streams - - product placements. However, a consumer watchdog is not amused and wants campaign donations returned to the beneficiaries from whence they came. The companies involved are Pepsi and Nestle. In the commercial in question, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is "talking to people in a lunchroom," according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) with prominent screen time for Pepsi's cola products, along with other products including Ruffles Sun Chips, Cheetos and SoBe Beverage. Nestle is represented by Arrowhead Water. FTCR documents 30K in campaign donations from Pepsi to the Governor, while Nestle gave 21.2K. Another Nestle company, Dreyer's Ice Cream, kicked 228.6K into Schwarzenegger's campaign coffers. "Schwarzenegger has turned the governor's office into a vending machine," said FTCR's Carmen Balber, who called for the campaign cash to be returned. "Every second of a political ad is important, so every second is planned. As a Hollywood actor and businessman, Governor Schwarzenegger knows that product placements are worth millions to corporate sponsors." FTCR notes that in general, branded products are specifically excluded from political commercials so that companies are not linked to a given candidate inadvertently.

TVBR observation: Got to laugh at these Beavis and B head watchdogs as they have too much time on their hands. Product placement - hey - it is everywhere and will grow. Advice to politicians - don't even think about standing next to a cow with a great set of utters. You fill in the rest and use your imagination.


2004-2005 season wrap-up by the numbers
As we reported yesterday (5/31/05 TVBR #106), CBS was the overall winner for the just-completed TV season, but Fox had plenty to celebrate, having won (by a hair) the lucrative 18-49 demo. | Here are the final numbers from Nielsen. |

DTV Part II: Politics, negotiations
One of the huge sticking points remaining to be resolved going into a successful DTV transition is the issue of multicast 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. Democrats seem to side with broadcasters on this issue, but would likely give it a bitter-pill coating by trying to impose public interest requirements when multicasting is being used. Indeed, the FCC, even in denying multicast must-carry to broadcasters, did extend children's programming requirements currently in force for a station's main program stream on any multicast use. Republicans seem to have a more laissez-faire attitude to the whole thing - - as Cliff Stearns (R-FL) pointed out, the ideal solution would be for NAB and NCTA to get together and work out their own solution without government intervention. The cable and noncommercial TV industries were able to sit down and hammer out a deal - - cable will carry up to four program streams in lieu of HDTV as a result of that agreement. BTW, thanks to all the readers who pointed out our slip-of-the-mind substitution of kHz for mHz in Tuesday's story.

TVBR observation: Barrington Broadcasting's Jim Yager is right - - 6 mHz is 6 mHz. But if you're a cable operator who wants people to watch MTV, USA, Lifetime, etc., you'd much rather carry one TV competitor than six. Yager's right, the issue isn't capacity, it's competition. And if broadcasters and cable operators are smart, they'll work something out between themselves. Some are worried, however, that if broadcasters are granted multicast, all we'll get out of it is a new diet of shopping channels and time-shift reruns of regular network programming - - hence the desire by Democrats to attach strings to the split channels. These channels COULD be used for local public affairs programming, local entertainment features, small niche programming tailored to ethnic enclaves or other small groups, religious fare, etc. The challenge, of course, will be to get enough people to watch to make it worth airing - - have you watched your local county government or school board in action on local cable access lately? (As consumers, by the way, we aren't going to be very happy if we've shelled out big bucks for a brand spanking new HDTV set and all we see on it are reruns, jewelry sales, K-Tel commercials and town hall meetings. Give us that hi-def, and make it entertaining, or kiss our eyeballs good-bye!) Bottom line: Stearns is also right. All things considered, with the axe of 12/13/08 now hanging over both broadcast and cable, maybe it is time to seriously hammer out a compromise before the government imposes something. Remember, if the government comes up with it, it's likely to be bad for BOTH sides.

Baby Bells rebuffed in Texas
Just two months ago at NAB2005, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg was asking broadcasters to help his company pass new state laws to make it easier for phone companies to compete with cable MSOs. Apparently, his plea for help didn't elicit a big response in Texas. The Texas Legislature wrapped up its 2005 session over the weekend without voting on a bill that would have allowed phone companies to seek statewide, rather than local approval to provide video services. Both Verizon and SBC were pressing for the legislation, but will now have to make their planned roll-outs in the Lone Star State on a city-by-city basis. That is, unless the Baby Bells succeed on another playing field - - Washington, DC - - where they're seeking new federal regulations to eliminate the local franchising process.

Broadcast TV topped cable
TVB has completed its number crunching and concluded that broadcast TV gained ground over cable in the just-completed 2004-2005 TV season - - in both household ratings and the key 18-49 demo. Total broadcast delivered a combined 34.78 primetime HH rating over the season, surpassing last year's 34.52 HH and beating ad-supported cable's 32.09, an 8.4% advantage. In the Adults 18-49 demo, broadcast also improved its showing over last season. It delivered a combined 19.50 primetime A18-49 rating during 2004-05, surpassing last season's 18.99 A18-49 and beating ad-supported cable's 15.29, a 27.5% advantage. TVB's broadcast aggregate analysis, as always, includes Hispanic stations and independent stations in addition to the seven major broadcast networks and includes all the ad-supported cable sources measured by Nielsen. | Here are the numbers. |


Adbiz©

Verklin on the upfront
As of last week on the network upfront, The WB was reportedly near a one-third sell-out of its primetime inventory; Fox was beginning to write business; NBC has not written any upfront business; ABC wrapped up its deals at an average CPM rate increase of between 5 and 6%; CBS and UPN have been cutting deals in the 4-5% range. Fox was doing early deals falling between 3 and 4% CPM increases, and the WB was in the 2-3% range.

We asked Carat Americas CEO David Verklin on Friday, while interviewing him for our July print issue, where he thought the upfront was situated:
"I think it's much softer than anyone wants to talk about - - much softer. I've been saying it to you guys in the beginning, that I didn't see the upfront going higher than 3% CPM increases. I think I'm actually high - - I think we'll end up at one or two percent when all the smoke clears. Budgets, are probably down by 10% overall. We may be much closer to the buyers market of 2001 than anyone wants to talk about. Les Moonves talked about writing double-digit orders - - I mean it's not happening. The biggest story in this upfront is that the market was way softer than anyone wants to talk about. I think the numbers you mentioned to me are a little overstated. Instead of the threes, I'm saying ones and twos; instead of fives I'm saying threes and fours. There's just less money in the market. The cable guys are going to be writing less business and therefore they're not going to be able to get the CPM premiums they want. I don't think it's going to be a great year for anybody, and if you think ABC at four or five is going to be...I mean in the old days they'd want 15! So again, I think the big story is going to be how soft the market is."

McDonald's targeting African Americans on the web
McDonald's is promoting its new Fruit & Walnut Salad by enticing African-American women to engage with rich media ad units. The six-week campaign was designed by digital marketing agency ImagineThat in conjunction with McDonald's multicultural agency, Burrell, reports ClickZ. The effort employs United Virtualities' Ooqa-Ooqa branded-browser takeover, as well as expandable ads and interstitial units from Eyeblaster. Standard Flash banners will also appear as part of the campaign. The buy includes BET.com, BlackPlanet.com, AOL BlackVoices, and Vibe Online. The Ooqa-Ooqa ad, which will run exclusively on BET.com, is triggered whenever an Internet Explorer user enters a content category ImagineThat found to be popular with women -- books, health, or beauty. When the browser launches, its usual navigation is replaced by a McDonald's themed navigation, which includes a picture of the Fruit & Walnut Salad and a button that says, "play game." The themed browser remains until either the user turns it off or leaves the channel. Both the expandable creative and the interstitial unit feature games as well. The online campaign is running in conjunction with TV and print creative targeted to the same African-American audience.


Media Business Report
WSJ to provide content to Washington Post
If you subscribe to both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, you may soon find some duplication. Beginning today, Dow Jones & Co. has agreed to provide some editorial content from the WSJ to run in the Post. Up to five international business stories daily from the WSJ will be allowed to run daily (Monday-Saturday) in the Post as part of a redesign of the Post's business section. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


Radio & Television Business Report

Coming in the July issue:

Media Business Report:
"People Make the Difference" -- We've asked our readers to give recognition to the people that are making a difference in today's business environment.

GM Talkback:
Who in your company or stations deserves
a pat on the back and why?

AdBiz:
Carat Americas CEO David Verklin: "Mastering a digital future" from advertising in a digital convergence world to improving metrics to the TV upfront and more.

Special Report:
Part II: "Going Private" - time to loose that chain around your neck. We show you how.

Media Markets & Money:
Mid Year Report -- "Going independent": Not many have taken this road, but in recent years Post-Newsweek's WJXT-TV Jacksonville, FL and Young Broadcasting's KRON-TV San Francisco have gone from being major network affiliates to being independent. RBR/TVBR looks at how they did it.

Reserve your Ad Marketing Space today. Advertising space is limited, contact:
June Barnes [email protected] -- or -- Jim Carnegie [email protected]


Media Markets & MoneyTM
Nielsen buys BBC
No, not the British Broadcasting Corporation. Nielsen Media Research International has acquired BBC De Media en Reclame Bank B.V., a leading advertising intelligence company in the Netherlands. It currently monitors all types of Dutch media, including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, Internet direct mail and cinema. BBC will remain based in Amsterdam, but will be re-branded Nielsen Media Research.


Washington Beat
Baby Zapata FMs move ahead past protester
Hispanic Target Media Inc. (HTM) was top bidder for a pair of Class A FMs - - one on 102.7 mHz and the other on 103.9 mHz - - licensed to Zapata TX, an unrated portion of the state south of Laredo and on the border with Mexico. Fireside Media has filed to have the CP permits on the stations denied. One argument is that it will create an overlarge cluster in the market. However, already in existence in town is KBAW-FM Zapata, and covering the town is KDBR-FM Mirando City, neither of which is owned by HTM. That means that the pairing of two co-owned FMs is legit. Fireside Media has another gripe, thought. It says that HTM "may be fronting or have an agreement with an existing broadcaster who [Hispanic] would ostensibly sell all or a part of its awarded frequencies." The FCC said that Fireside's "to the best of [our] knowledge" was not sufficient grounds to initiate any kind of government action on the matter. The petition to deny is denied and the CPs are granted.


Programming
Twiggy to judge for UPN
"America's Next Top Model" is coming back to UPN for its 5th cycle, but there's going to be a change in the judging ranks. Twiggy (yes, she does have a last name, Lawson) will be replacing Janice Dickinson, who's been dropped (despite the nice things UPN said about here in its announcement). Runway expert J. Alexander, who has been a frequent guest on the previous editions of the show, is also being added to the judging panel, replacing fashion editor Nolé Marin. Tyra Banks returns as head judge, joined by Twiggy, J. Alexander and fashion photographer Nigel Barker. There will also be special judges to critique their special areas of expertise.


Ratings & Research
Jeopardy stuck in 3rd
The battle for the right to face Ken Jennings in the "Ultimate Tournament of Champions" didn't boost ratings for "Jeopardy" as Jennings' record-setting run a few months back did. The show still trailed KingWorld stable mates "Wheel of Fortune" and "Oprah" in the most recent week's Nielsen ratings for syndicated TV shows. We know that Jennings finished 2nd as the championship wrapped up on May 25th, but it will be a while before we have complete ratings results for that week.

Here are the top 10 syndicated shows for the week of 5/9-15:
1. "Wheel of Fortune," KingWorld, 8.1 rating.
2. "Oprah Winfrey Show," KingWorld, 8.0.
3. "Jeopardy," KingWorld, 7.1.
4. "Everybody Loves Raymond," KingWorld, 6.6.
5. "Seinfeld" Weekend, Sony Pictures, 6.2.
6. "Dr. Phil Show," KingWorld, 5.7.
7. "Seinfeld," Sony Pictures, 5.6.
8. "CSI," KingWorld, 5.4.
9. "Friends," Warner Bros., 5.3.
10. "Entertainment Tonight," Paramount, 5.1.
Source: Nielsen Media Research


Stock Talk
A down day for stocks
A negative report by the Purchasing Management Association of Chicago put Wall Street traders in a selling mode. The Dow Industrials fell 75 points, or 0.7%, to 10,467.

TV stocks followed suit. Young was the big mover, down 5.6% and edging toward penny stock territory. Nexstar, which is also close to penny stock status, was up 1.6%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme

ACME

3.96

+0.10

McGraw-Hill

MHP

43.66

+0.06

Belo

BLC

24.58

+0.03

Media General

MEG

61.10

+0.13

Clear Channel

CCU

29.23

-0.50

Meredith

MDP

49.60

-0.51

Disney

DIS

27.44

-0.44

News Corp.

NWS

16.71

-0.20

Emmis

EMMS

17.76

unch

Nexstar

NXST

5.59

+0.09

Entravision

EVC

7.43

-0.17

NY Times

NYT

31.37

-0.23

Fisher

FSCI

50.84

+0.61

Paxson

PAX

0.75

+0.03

Gannett

GCI

74.46

-0.61

Saga Commun.

SGA

13.80

-0.28

Gen. Electric

GE

38.48

-0.40

Scripps

SSP

51.10

-0.13

Granite

GBTVK

0.17

-0.01

Sinclair

SBGI

8.81

+0.16

Gray

GTN

11.75

-0.20

Time Warner

TWX

17.40

-0.19

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

11.15

unch

Tribune

TRB

36.18

-0.31

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.96

-0.11

Univision

UVN

26.61

-0.03

Jeff-Pilot

JP

50.40

-0.01

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

34.44

-0.65

Journal Comm.

JRN

16.75

-0.10

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

34.29

-0.64

Liberty Corp

LC

36.11

-0.30

Wash. Post

WPO

830.00

-6.00

LIN TV

TVL

14.55

-0.12

Young

YBTVA

5.76

-0.34


Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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


Upped & Tapped

Coats joins
Research Director
Formerly of D&R Atlanta and Arbitron, Eric Coats has joined Research Director Inc. as Account Manager. The company provides ratings analysis for over 350 radio and TV stations.

Laird named
Journal CTO
Andy Laird is the new VP/Chief Technology Officer for the Journal Broadcast Group. He replaces Randy Price who retired yesterday. Prior to joining the Journal Broadcast Group in 1998, Laird was VP/Engineering, Radio for Heritage Media Corporation.


More News Headlines

MTV drops band
over Bush backdrop
If you watch the "MTV Movie Awards" next week (6/9), you won't be seeing Nine Inch Nails. MTV gave the band the heave-ho because it planned to perform its anti-war, anti-authority song "The Hand That Feeds" in front of an image of President George W. Bush. The cable net decided that might just be a tad on the political side.

RTNDA terrorism workshop hits Denver
"News and Terrorism: Communicatins in a Crisis," the RTNDA workshop on news issues in the event of a 9/11-style incident, will convene in Denver at the Warwick Hotel on Thursday, 6/2/05 from 9AM-2PM. Produced in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Academies, the sessions provide scientific information, safety tips, and planning guidance, as well as what works and what doesn't when trying to communicate during an emergency. It also includes a simulation tailored to the city hosting the event. The workshop then moves to Boston 7/7/05 and San Francisco 8/4/05.


International

Springer disses Brit TV
Jerry Springer is getting lots of attention in the UK for declaring that British television is 10 years behind the US. He did allow as how the Brits do great documentaries, but said the rest of what's on the tube on the other side of the pond is stuck a decade in the past. No doubt, he figures they'll be able to learn something from his own show, which is going to air in the UK on ITV1. Springer did have some criticism for US television, saying American TV news is "sensationalistic, inaccurate, not important, teasing." His own show, he said, should not be judged by the same standard, because it is entertainment and "a circus." Not surprisingly, some in the UK are taking Springer to task for his comments. The Manchester Evening News noted that two of the biggest hits on US TV in recent years, "American Idol" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," were British imports. And the paper says Britain can hold its own against American dramas as well. "For every ER and NYPD Blue, there's a State of Play, Casanova or Cutting It. And just look at the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, led by Manchester-based Russell T Davies. Scripts so intelligent and entertaining, they're warp speed ahead of anything Star Trek had to offer," wrote columnist Ian Wylie.


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

Ready or not, LPM is coming to DC and Philly in two days
No minds were changed as Nielsen officials are all systems go as Local People Meters (LPM) will become the local TV ratings currency in both Washington and Philadelphia (6/2), even though the owners of five of the DC market's six major commercial stations want LPMs put on hold. "It's unclear what we can do. They're a monopoly," said Jerry Fritz, VP of Allbritton, which owns WJLA-TV (Ch. 7, ABC). 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. Learn now to use LPM, understand it, and work with it.
05/31/05 TVBR #106

Ray Warren on the TV upfront
As the saying goes or question - what runs down hill? 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."
05/31/05 TVBR #106

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. "They're rating XM listening based on interviewing what they call the 'primary user.' They have some good methodologies approaches-they're using random selection of the sample. Someone has to be a subscriber for at least 60 days. It's telephone interview, which is good. But what they're doing is asking the household to define the primary user of XM. Which raises the interesting question of how can a household determine this? In other words do they ask everyone in the household to vote on the primary user, do they simply ask the person who answers the phone, or do they ask the person who's listed as the subscriber?" TVBR observation: Satellite radio will be put under the microscope as business tightens. Radio operators your key is to stay focused and be Local and be seen in your communities with remotes. Real People not a satellite.
05/31/05 TVBR #106

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. 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

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


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See TV Careers

Dear Cathy- What a great job RBR/TVBR did recruiting top talent for W.B. Grimes & Company!! The quality and sheer number of candidates RBR/TVBR produced was just outstanding. You out-pulled all the other publications and on-line recruiting sources we've used ten to one. Every member of our broadcast brokerage team was introduced to us through RBR/TVBR. Thank you.

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W.B. Grimes & Company
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