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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 144, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning July 25th, 2005

TV News®

TVBR observation, Part 1
Sen. Burns bill and the four Amigos! Missing the Point
Much will be said about Nielsen's Local People Meters (LPM) at this Wednesday's Senate hearing on Sen. Conrad Burns' (R-MT) bill to regulate TV ratings. The four Amigos - Conrad Burns (R-MT) Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) and George Allen (R-Va.). TVBR is on the record stating: "None of which have a clue what they are about to undertake and the potential problems all broadcasters and total media will face if this gains more speed." Here is the kicker to the TV owners that have cross ownership with radio or wish to be in the radio business: Never count out that radio too could get sucked into this the same issue in a couple of years or if not sooner. That sooner will depend on what wild hair a Senator(s) is festering at the time. The fact is Bill S.1372 won't do a thing to change LPMs or deal with the real problem - The difficulties all survey firms face in getting cooperation in the young demos, particularly young males. Rather, the bill will lead to frivolous lawsuits and hurt all broadcasters - even the ones who are foolishly supporting this bad legislation. Passing a federal law to make accreditation by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) mandatory for TV ratings firms won't do a thing to deal with the real problem because that is the problem that Nielsen, Arbitron and every other company involved in surveying listenership & viewership faces - the growing difficulty in getting cooperation from people in young demos, particularly young males. It has been an issue and problem as long as we can remember and publishing for over 22 years. What's Congress going to do about the growing difficulty of the younger generation and possibly minorities just not wanting to participate? Bring back the Draft?

Poll Question
A bill sponsored by Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) would make it a federal law that would make accreditation by the Media Ratings Council, currently voluntary, mandatory for Nielsen and any other TV ratings company. This follows complaints from some broadcasters that Nielsen's Local People Meters undercount minority and young audiences.

Do you think mandatory MRC accreditation
will make TV ratings any more accurate?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sold either way

TVBR observation, Part 2
Sen. Burns bill and the four Amigos!
Do we need a federal law
What's Congress going to do about that? Do we need a federal law to mandate participation in media ratings surveys? Should we revoke the driver's licenses of young males who forget to punch their button on a set-top box? How about a weekend of home detention (with a Martha Stewart designed ankle bracelet) for teens who unplug a meter to hook up their video game box and then don't put things back properly? Such ideas are ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than thinking that turning the MRC into a federal ratings cop will boost ratings for the News Corporation and Tribune TV stations. That, after all, is what this is about. Those two companies, in particular, have seen ratings go down for shows targeting younger African-American viewers on their stations in LPM markets - - and they want somehow to force Nielsen to boost their ratings back to where they were with the meter/diary method. So, were the ratings overstated by the meter/diary method (with parents "helping" their kids complete their diary entries) or understated by LPM (with youngsters unconcerned about doing something that their parents committed them to). Probably a bit of both. | If too many minority homes |


Gray adds Fox outlet in Mississippi
Gray Television has been actively adding UPN outlets on its digital multicasts in markets where it has CBS stations and there's no analog UPN affiliate. Now, it's doing much the same in Meridian, MS, where its main station is an ABC affiliate - - WTOK-TV (Ch. 11). Come this fall, it will also have the market's Fox affiliation - - to be called "Fox Meridian" - - which will be delivered via digital multicast, local cable systems and EchoStar's local-to-local satellite service. In addition, Gray announced a shared services agreement with Global Communications of Meridian's WGBC-TV (Ch. 30, NBC), effective August 1st. "This is an exciting time for the Gray Television family," said Tim Walker, General Manager of WTOK-TV. "We look forward to providing this area with three local channels of quality television in the great tradition that is WTOK."

Pre-Judge Roberts, the litigator
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has dug up some deeper background on Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts. During his days at Hogan & Hartson, he was on the losing side in Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) v. USDA, arguing before the Eighth Circuit Court. Roberts was representing Nebraska Cattlemen Inc. (NCI) which sided with USDA. This was the case in which the LMA objected to being forced to pay into a general fund for generic beef advertising put out by the government, arguing that it was a violation of their First Amendment rights. NCI/USDA argued unsuccessfully that the ad campaigns were "government speech" and therefore not entitled to the same degree of First Amendment protection. That argument eventually won the day at the Supreme Court, but by then Roberts was no longer on the case. Of greater note was his involvement on a team representing TV networks in Fox Television Stations v. FCC and the DC Circuit in 2002. They were trying to shoot down the national 35% TV cap, saying it deprived them of speaking directly to 65% of the nation, and that the "spectrum scarcity" principle upon which the rule was based no longer had any practical application. Although these arguments were rejected, the DC Circuit found the rules arbitrary and capricious anyway, and sent them back for further justification, one of the factors leading up to the infamous 6/2/03 ownership ruling. Of course, it was the Third Circuit that found the new rules were still mostly arbitrary and capricious, although by then the 35% cap had been turned into a 39% cap by an act of Congress.

TVBR observation: So, as an attorney Roberts was working for the big dogs, and had a mixed-to-losing record. He left the beef game with his legal team behind - - a legal game essentially won by the bullpen at a higher venue. On the TV cap, he got a no decision, despite the fact that his pitches were deemed outside the strike zone - - it was remanded because the FCC also failed to find the strike zone. However, based on this history, one would think that attorneys for the big dogs would have the inside track for the Roberts vote when push comes to shove.


Publishers Perspective
Accountability is for all during 2005
You can not change the ratings game if you do not know the history and in this case the history was just weeks ago. TV execs you may say to yourself, 'Hey not my problem' but the old saying is 'What runs down hill?' Yep somewhere along the this long gray line inside the beltway when Senator's begin to hold hearings everything from the past of the 1996 Telecom Act to the kitchen sink is going to be brought up. Why? Each of these ill educated and ill advised Senators want their opening statements on the congressional record and they hope to get their fifteen seconds of video on the TV and the same with the audio clips. We will let you know if these hearings are televised on C-Span to tune in and get your education and you will say 'Holly you know what.' Or we voted for these people that don't know our business? It is the position of TVBR to bring you the analysis of events so you can make sense on the rumors and chatter. But in this case my suggestion is now you educate yourselves and take a little time and read this past brief history because it will eventually run down hill. | Read, Learn, Get involved |


Conference Calls Q2 2005
Belo TV revenues down 3.6%
Sales initiatives stemmed some of the drop off from the lack of political ads, according to Belo CEO Robert Decherd, but Q2 TV revenues were still off 3.6% in Q2 to 177.7 million, with spot sales off 4.1. "While Television Group results were affected by the anticipated decline in political revenues, initiatives implemented by Belo's sales teams offset much of the decline. Expenses increased minimally as we continue to manage controllable costs in a disciplined manner. And, the company's strategy initiatives positively impacted Belo's second quarter financial results, as they did in the first quarter," Decherd said in his quarterly conference call. Political revenues were 1.9 million in Q2, compared to 7.5 million a year earlier. Local spot was down 0.2% and national spot was down 2.2%. Advertising revenues from Belo's TV group Web sites were up 41%. For the TV group, earnings from operations declined 11% to 64.7 million. Newspaper revenues were up 2.5% in Q2 to 207 million, with retail down 1.7%, general down 11% and classified up 10%. Looking ahead, CFO Dennis Williamson said TV will be down again against tough comps in Q3. "Belo's Television Group generated 22 million of political and Olympics revenue in the third quarter of 2004. We currently expect only about 500K of political revenue in the third quarter of 2005 and there will be no Olympics revenue. In July, Television Group spot revenues, including political, are pacing down 6-7%. For the third quarter overall, we expect Television Group spot revenue to be down in the mid-to-high single digits with spot revenue, excluding political, close to flat with last year," he said.


Adbiz©

Coca-Cola still world's top brand
The red and white of a Coke can is recognizable across the world Coca-Cola has been named the world's top brand for a fourth consecutive year in a survey by consultancy Interbrand. It estimated that Coca-Cola's brand was worth 67.5 billion. US firms dominated the top 10 and made up more than half of those listed. The biggest non-US company was Finnish mobile phone group Nokia at number six, valued at 26.5 billion. Ford only managed to feature at 22 in the list, slipping two places from last year - in 2001 it was placed at number eight. Elsewhere, several new companies managed to push into the top 100, including UPS, Google, Novartis, Spanish fashion chain Zara, Hyundai, luxury goods company Bulgari and electronics group LG. Most Valuable Global Brands: Coca-Cola - 67.5 billion - Microsoft - 59.9 billion - IBM 53.4 billion - General Electric 50 billion - Intel 35.6 billion - Nokia 26.5 billion - Disney 26.4 billion - McDonald's 26 billion - Toyota 24.8 billion - Marlboro 21.1 billion

Direct TV agencies to merge
Direct response television marketer Advanced Results Marketing (ARM) on said it would merge with smaller rival Results Media Group in a sign of the commercial format's growing appeal for large advertisers. The estimated value of the merger is about 40 million and the combined billings for the two privately held firms at nearly 200 million. "Fortune 500 advertisers have basically found out they can run a traditional brand commercial with a 1-800 number ... and buy the media very inexpensively," said Victor Grillo, founder of ARM, told Reuters. Grillo will serve as CEO of the combined company, which will use the ARM name. Broadcast and cable networks sell direct response ad time well below normal rates, sometimes at less than one-third the price, to fill unsold inventory. To qualify for cheaper direct response rates, an ad must include a call to action inviting viewers to call a phone number or visit a website for product info.

Drug makers develop
voluntary ad principles
Drug industry lobbying group PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) responded to the increased backlash against consumer-directed ads last week by setting voluntary guidelines they said would make the ads more educational and balanced. The "guiding principles" state that ads aimed at consumers "should be accurate and not misleading, make claims only when supported by substantial evidence, reflect balance between risks and benefits and be consistent with FDA-approved labeling." The guidelines also encourage companies to discuss new medicines with physicians before starting ads for consumers, to promote "health and disease awareness" in their ads and to target them to appropriate audiences and age groups. The announcement follows criticism from some patients, doctors and lawmakers that companies inundate consumers with glitzy television and magazine ads that glorify drug benefits while minimizing potential side effects. Some critics partly blame the ads for unnecessary prescribing of medicines such as Merck's Vioxx. The new ad guidelines received preliminary approval from PhRMA, President and CEO Billy Tauzin said in a statement. Once the language is finalized, each company will decide whether to follow the principles, Reuters reported the lobbying group as saying.


Media Business Report
Cable will double revenues by 2015
It's an intensely competitive era for cable, but according to Kagan analyst Renee Shaening, the sector is better equipped than ever to combat the competition. "Cable's ability to pack its broadband pipe with a host of compelling services will enable the industry to better than double overall revenue from 66.5 billion to 139 billion by 2015," said Shaening. In the most recent issue of Cable TV Investor: Deals & Finance, Kagan projects cable TV will lift subscriber intake from 80/month in 2005 to past the 100 mark as early as 2008, as customers subscribe to more and more services. Cable's voice segment is finally gaining traction thanks to expansive IP voice deployments. And by 2015, after growing an explosive 18%, compounded annually, voice subs are projected to reach 29 million, generating 11.7 billion in revenue. Including commercial revenue-another nascent segment with enormous growth potential overall industry revenue is expected to grow at a 10.5% CAGR over the next five years.


Radio & Television Business Report

Radio's Important September Face Off
UpFront 2005 - will radio face the mild reception as Network TV? Look for the major Ad Agency decision makers to speak they mind in our upcoming September magazine. This is last call for networks to get their message across for 2006.
(15,000 mailed and Special distribution at NAB Philly )

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Media Markets & MoneyTM
Sinclair asks FCC to waive through Nashville triple-play
If Sinclair gets approval from the FCC, it will own add a Nashville WB affiliate to its local ownership portfolio, which already includes the Fox and UPN affiliates for the market. Sinclair is counting on a failing station waiver to allow its acquisition of WB WNAB-TV Channel 58. The trio have been operating on a somewhat parallel course since May 2002, when Sinclair signed a shared services agreement/purchase option with Michael Lambert's Nashville License Holdings LLC. Sinclair contracted to pay 750K (in three 250K payments) for the option, bought the station's intellectual property back in 2003 for 18M, and per terms of the contract will pay 5.62M for the license assets, for a total of 24.37M. The other stations in the market are Fox WZTZ-TV Channel 17 and UPN WUXP-TV Channel 30. In its request for a waiver, Sinclair noted that there were currently 12 broadcast stations in the market with 11 distinct and separate owners, and if granted, this deal would make it 12 stations with 10 owners. Sinclair argued that would still be sufficiently diverse. And the public interest would be served by its ability to salvage an otherwise failing station.


Washington Beat
Political fund-raising on the rise
The Republican Party has successfully greased the wheels of its fund-raising operation during the first half of 2005, banking an increase over the same portion of 2003, and a huge increase over the more-comparable mid-term to mid-term results 2001. Democrats, while still playing catch-up, are going at warp speed when looking at comps. The totals, released by the Federal Election Commission, encompass results from all federally-registered party committees. Republican committees have raised 142.7M, up 2% over 2003 and 50% over 2001. They've spent 98.1M of that. 125.9M came in from individuals, with political action committees ponying up another 11.7M. The committees ended the reporting period with 72.5M cash on hand and 800K in debt. Democratic committees did not pull in as much, but the rate of increase was noteworthy, as they combined to bring in 86.3M, an increase of 53% over 2003 and 113% over 2001. They've spend 60.M. 63.6M came from individuals, with another 11.4M from PACs. They are left with 32.7M cash on hand and debt of 4.6M.

TVBR observation: FEC notes that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 made this report possible by requiring regular party fundraising reports. It also notes the ban on soft money affecting these groups. If they are already leaving the hotly contested elections of 2002 and 2004 in the dust, we can not even imagine what it's going to be like when we get closer to some real electoral action.

FCC rules ID TV CP is no family affair
The Post Company has tried and - - again - - failed to get the FCC to wrest a CP for a Channel 20 TV station away from Meridian Communications of Idaho Inc. Post claims that Meridian is actually a front for the true party-in-interest, which it says is Sunbelt Communications Company. Sunbelt is headed by James Rogers. His daughter, attorney Suzanne Rogers, is a principal of Meridian. The FCC agreed with Meridian and Sunbelt that nothing really new was brought up to change prior decisions. We will spotlight the FCC's keys when examining family ownership tendrils. Relevant factor include:

"...1) representations that the media interests of close family members will be independent and will not be subject to common influence or control; 2) commingling of ownership or other interests in media businesses; 3) participation by family members in the financial affairs, programming, and personnel decisions of each other's media interests; 4) prior broadcast experience of the individual seeking to establish independent interests; 5) financial independence; 6) sharing or personnel, equipment, contractors or information regarding programming; and 7) involvement of family members in the acquisition or application process." The FCC said that it is not unusual for family members to have ties of one kind or another, but that does not bar them from operating independent media companies; in this case, it long ago determined that Suzanne was acting independently from her father.


Ratings & Research
Seinfeld claims #3 spot
Here's a rare occurrence for you - - one of the top three rated shows in syndicated television is NOT from KingWorld. In the latest week, the weekend reruns of "Seinfeld," syndicated by Sony Pictures Television, claimed the #3 spot. As per usual, "Wheel of Fortune" was #1 and "Jeopardy" #2, both KingWorld entries.

Here are the top 10 syndicated shows for the week of 7/4-10:
1. "Wheel of Fortune," KingWorld, 7.0 rating.
2. "Jeopardy," KingWorld, 6.0.
3. "Seinfeld" Weekend, Sony Pictures, 5.7.
4. "Oprah Winfrey Show," KingWorld, 5.5.
5. "Everybody Loves Raymond," KingWorld, 5.3.
6. "Seinfeld," Sony Pictures, 5.2.
7. "Friends," Warner Bros., 4.6.
(tie) "Judge Judy," Paramount, 4.6.
9. "Dr. Phil show," KingWorld, 4.4.
(tie) "CSI," KingWorld, 4.4.
Source: Nielsen Media Research


Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 6/13/05-6/17/05
Two radio deals, completely different in outline, propelled the week to the half-century mark, just a hair under 55M, in fact. One was an eight-station, two-market transaction, and the other was a singleton in a top market. The eight-pack is noted below - - Amador Bustos was the other, spending 20M in Seattle. That was just about it for value, though.

6/13/05-6/17/05

Total

Total Deals

7

AMs

3

FMs

12

TVs

0
Value
54.995M
| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Wilks scores eight in two
| More...
|
TV Transactions of the Week
Back on break...



Stock Talk
Week ends on the upside
Stock prices posted modest gains on Friday, with gains in energy stocks counteracting a soft day for tech issues. The Dow Industrials rose 23 points, or 0.2%, to 10,651.

TV stocks were even stronger, with no particular news to account for the enthusiasm. Belo, which reported earnings, was up 1.4%. The bigger gainers were Liberty Corp., up 4.4%, Emmis 3.9%, Fisher 3.8%, Sinclair 3.6% and Saga 3.5%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Friday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme

ACME

4.17

-0.03

Media General

MEG

68.64

+1.39

Belo

BLC

24.07

+0.34

Meredith

MDP

50.00

+0.64

Clear Channel

CCU

32.12

+0.74

News Corp.

NWS

17.65

+0.07

Disney

DIS

25.83

+0.27

Nexstar

NXST

5.63

-0.02

Emmis

EMMS

19.22

+0.72

NY Times

NYT

31.79

+0.20

Entravision

EVC

8.47

+0.09

Paxson

PAX

0.59

-0.01

Fisher

FSCI

46.05

+1.68

Saga Commun.

SGA

14.70

+0.50

Gannett

GCI

73.02

+0.78

SBS

SBSA

8.72

+0.22

Gen. Electric

GE

35.07

+0.07

Scripps

SSP

50.65

+0.01

Granite

GBTVK

0.25

+0.02

Sinclair

SBGI

9.02

+0.31

Gray

GTN

13.22

+0.37

Time Warner

TWX

16.64

-0.01

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

11.98

+0.10

Tribune

TRB

36.77

+0.94

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.43

+0.27

Univision

UVN

27.95

+0.66

Jeff-Pilot

JP

50.02

-0.08

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

33.00

+0.27

Journal Comm.

JRN

15.90

-0.09

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

32.88

+0.28

Liberty Corp

LC

38.48

+1.62

Wash. Post

WPO

874.50

+9.51

LIN TV

TVL

15.21

+0.44

Young

YBTVA

3.66

+0.11

McGraw-Hill

MHP

44.74

+0.36

-

-

-

-

-


Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

On "NAB pushes for IBOC standard now" (7/20/05 RBR #141):

IBOC (IBAC) is such an old and flawed system that no "real" 21st century communications engineer would buy into it. That said, if a "standard" is established it should not preclude newer technology from being deployed. As a participant in the AM Stereo wars, I can say that the marketplace did decide after some 45 million decoder chips were sold and nearly 2000 stations were on worldwide. Here we sit with a few hundred stations operating and no serious deployment of receivers at any price much less in the 50 dollar class. Another old technology, DRE digital sub carriers needs a good look as well. Economically, what station (other than government funded or stock supported corporations) can see and near-term ROI going IBAC. What bank will lend a 100k to a station worth a few 100k to install IBAC? If the NAB wants to fund stations with no interest loans to put it on let them step forward. Now there is simply no market for IBAC to make a "market" decision. If IBAC (Ibiquity) becomes a mandated standard with all other technical advances blocked out, then the "standard" should be open and free to deploy. Motorola did not license the stations (they actually put free engineers in the field to aid C-QUAM installations) - - their return was made from a simple 25 cent per receiver fee. That was so small it did not even affect low end portable radios. Let's see Ibiquity follow that plan like Dolby and many other patent holders did and do. Then the consumer will pay for the long term deployment and the users (stations) might just be moved to get on with it.

Rich Potyka
KRDE 94.1
Globe (Phoenix), AZ

Point # 1: AMEN! Let's get a standard set NOW! While we still have a chance to be viewed as "today" technology, a time which is quickly passing Point # 2: Once we're all digital, we must remember that programming content will still be THE reason our local listeners choose us over all other competing media. We must develop new talent to entertain our listeners over that digital signal. Same old stuff, in digital, will fail! Point #3: I very clearly remember the AM stereo debacle, and I'm still pissed at the FCC and a certain Mr. "K" for screwing those of us who spent thousand of dollars to convert to AM stereo. Some of us lead - - but very few followed.

Mike Basso
Community Radio
Texarkana, TX


More News Headlines

RBR - Radio News

Beasley's South
Florida Super-tower
all but approved
AMS Media Services' Frank McCoy tells RBR his client, Beasley Broadcasting, has all but gotten full approval for its proposed super-tower that would be built in the Everglades an cover the Naples-Ft. Myers, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach Markets (7/30/02 RBR #17). The opportunity to file against the tower's construction has come and gone. The FAA approved it many months ago. And, says McCoy, "It has been approved by the FCC and could be granted at any time. There is only one further step to get full thumbs-up, and that is de minimis at best. It's really just a matter of everybody making up their mind to construct it. And this tower could hold other stations as well. If more of these type of towers get built, the likelihood of there being workable spectrum space to cover very much area at all for pirates will be reduced." | More from McCoy |


July Digital Magazine
Now Available

Management Buyout:
Considerations and Consequences
of 'Going Private'
Step by Step process.


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

NAB adds its fire to Burns MRC bill
President/CEO Eddie Fritts fired off a letter to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) expressing the organization's support for legislation which would strengthen Media Rating Council (MRC) oversight over TV ratings companies. Fritts noted it was an unusual stance given the NAB's general preference for "voluntary inter-industry cooperation."
TVBR observation: To say the least, we are very disappointed by this NAB move. This legislation to inject federal regulation into the TV ratings business is bad for every broadcaster and every NAB member. Those broadcasters, led by News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch (not even an NAB member, by the way), who are now foolishly backing the Burns bill will someday regret their actions. If this bill becomes law it will add needless delay and cost to future attempts to upgrade and improve TV ratings - - and likely be expanded someday to include radio in the mess. It the short-run it will hurt broadcast stations and cable networks targeting ethnic audiences, in particular, because Nielsen would have to shut down such offerings as the Nielsen Hispanic-American Television Index , which doesn't even qualify for MRC accreditation. ! Disputes about LPM can and should be dealt with inside the industry. The NAB has wandered off course and needs to get back to defending the free marketplace. Don't believe us read the letter Fritts sent 07/22/05 TVBR #143

Swords remain sheathed,
but pens unholstered
Reaction to news of the NAB/Fritts letter to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) was swift from the principals involved in the dispute. Both sides seemed surprised by the development, with Nielsen literally saying as much. The reactions were, of course, completely opposite. Comcast has also weighed in, on Nielsen's side. Here they are and in a word - Ouch 07/22/05 TVBR #143

Not a broadcaster, nor does
he work for Nielsen

Terry Baker of Brooksville, FL contacted TVBR after sending a brief note to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) asking him to withdraw as a co-sponsor of S. 1372 to regulate the TV ratings industry. You got to read this to believe it a consumer fighting for your TV business against Sen. Martinez. Baker makes sense where TV has clouded vision.
07/22/05 TVBR #143

TV-Ratings task force
opposes Burns bill
Sen. Conrad Burns' (R-MT) bill to regulate TV ratings is drawing fire from the Independent Task Force on Television Measurement that was set up to deal with allegations of minority undercounting by Nielsen. Although the Burns bill to make Media Ratings Council accreditation mandatory for TV ratings services was prompted by allegations that Nielsen's Local People Meters undercount minorities, the Task Force says the legislation would hurt minority programmers and ad agencies. The Task Force, which was chaired by former Rep. Cardiss Collins (D-IL), says such regulation would impair Nielsen's ability to introduce new services for stations and networks aimed at minority communities. TVBR observation: Don't know what it is going to do to convince broadcasters especially local TV GM's to see that Burns and crew are shut down. We as broadcasters at TVBR and some with media research experience see bright lights of trouble for local TV if this is not stopped and now.
07/20/05 TVBR #142

Forrester study sees radio gaining 700M a year from PPM
Here's the short-hand summary of the Portable People Meter economic impact study by Forrester Research that was made public by the RAB-PPM Task Force: If radio adopts PPM, ad revenues will go up, but if it sticks with diaries, ad revenues will go down. Not all of the 189 advertisers surveyed said they would increase radio ad spending with PPM, but 23% - - about one in four - - said they would. TVBR observation: One thing Forrester didn't analyze is whether PPM deployment would justify the 40-65% increase in ratings costs that Arbitron has told radio broadcasters to expect from transitioning from diaries to PPM. 700 million bucks is about 35% of radio current revenues, so if Forrester's projections are accurate, paying Arbitron an additional 110-180 million a year would be a good deal for broadcasters. But while that may be true industry-wide, it's a different calculation in the real world, where stations in smaller markets where ratings are less important than face-to-face selling are less likely to see a cost benefit from PPM. That's also likely to be the case for many niche players in larger markets. If radio embraces PPM, it will be because the big guys - - Clear Channel and Infinity in particular - - see a cost benefit in it. 07/21/05 TVBR #142

Where would that
PPM gain come from?
If advertisers are going to increase ad spending on radio if PPM is deployed, that additional cash has to come from somewhere. When RBR/TVBR asked about that, Josh Bernoff, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, said the survey didn't specifically ask that question. However, he noted that in incidental comments during the survey, several of the participants indicated that they would move dollars from television, while others said it would just be a result of radio getting a bigger share of growing ad budgets. Notably, there was a lot more dissatisfaction with current radio ratings - - Arbitron's diaries - - than with Nielsen's TV ratings, whether Local People Meters or meter/diary. TVBR observation: Being a radio-centric survey, the Forrester study assumed that only radio would switch to PPM in assessing the financial impact. Of course, Arbitron is also seeking to get Nielsen to commit to a joint venture which would make PPM the ratings currency for broadcast TV and cable, as well as radio. We would assume that such a move would reduce any potential shifting of ad budgets from TV to radio. But it would also keep the ratings cost increase for radio closer to the 40% end of Arbitron's range, rather than the 65% jump for a radio-only PPM system. The math on all this is complicated, to be sure.
TVBR note: Ditto goes for LPM so TV take a lesson from this research and Forrester interviewed the same people that have view on LPM. 07/20/05 TVBR #142


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