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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 150, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning August 2nd, 2005

TV News®

Upcoming FX offering draws protest
"Starved," an upcoming sitcom on cable network FX, is scheduled to kick off 8/4/05. It plans to chronicle the lives of three men and a woman, all of whom are victims of eating disorders - - anorexia, bulimia and complusive overeating are all in the mix. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is not happy. NEDA CEO Lynn Grefe said, "More than tasteless, 'Starved' may be dangerous, leading some sufferers to identify with the characters, justify their own behavior and resist treatment. Americans wouldn't find it acceptable to ridicule and mock people with physical disabilities or a disease like leukemia and I don't believe they'll find it tolerable to satirize mental illness. We urge both advertisers and viewers to boycott such a hurtful and damaging show and ask that it be taken off the air quickly. NEDA hopes to steer people affected toward treatment, not ridicule." According to NEDA, postings on the FX website are overwhelmingly negative.

TVBR observation: A documentary on this topic is understandable, but it could easily veer into controversial territory. It would be a highly questionable topic for a reality show, but at least that forum, handled properly, could offer the possibility of serious look at the problem and the road to a cure. It's impossible to figure why anyone would want to play such a thing strictly for laughs.

Gatorade comes in first
at MLB All-Star game

One way to get your product's image before a big audience is to put that image somewhere where there are likely to be TV cameras. Such a place was Comerica Park in Detroit, site of this year's Major League Baseball All-Star game. Counting in-stadium and superimposed images, Gatorade led all comers when it came to making a lot of impressions. These included both actual stadium signage and broadcast-only superimpositions. The sports beverage logged 212.2M impressions among viewers 18+, according to Nielsen Sports, followed by Budweiser (189.1M), Chevrolet (168.9M), Pepsi (139.8M) and SBC Communications (88.6M). Comerica Bank, which bought naming rights for the stadium, made 68.5M. As in most things, location is everything. Home place superimpositions totalled 506.1M impressions, followed by scoreboard (422.7M), on-air broadcast graphics (291.8M), home-plate non-superimposed (90.3M) and the outfield wall in right field (84.3M). Budweiser led the way in category share - - beers accounted for 13% of all impressions, and 80% of the 13% was commanded by Bud.

When News Corp. plays the borscht belt,
it really plays borscht belt
News Corp. would have to be very careful where it buys a television station in the US - - it is very close to the national audience cap, and only gets under by a literal act of Congress which upped it from 35% to 39% last year. That won't stop it from making a purchase in Russia, though. According to the Associated Press, it's looking at acquiring a 35% stake in Moscow's REN TV network. Currently, a Russian tycoon holds 70% of the network, which has a 700 town and city footprint throughout the country. That stake came for 100M last month. A German company holds the remaining 30%. AP says that News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch was involved, along with execs from the USA and Germany, in private talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin earlier this summer.

Teens can't tune in when they're logging on
Modern teenagers have a place where they can play games, research topics of interest, shop, get news and health information, share items and generally talk to their friends. According to a new report from Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number of teens using the Internet is up 24% in just four years. 87% of all US teens spend time on line. Pew says "teens' use of the Internet has intensified and broadened as they log on more often and do more things when they are online."

TVBR observation: We've all seen what the personal computer did to big music. Broadcasters must keep the PC in mind when thinking long range. It may steal the 18-49 demo before it even gets here.

WMAL puts Graham on ice
WMAL-AM Washington's President/GM Chris Berry, said that Talker Michael Graham crossed the line when he suggested all Muslims are terrorists on his show Monday 7/27/05. "We do not condone his position and believe his statements were irresponsible." This after initially backing him up in public. Muslim watchdog Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had organized a protest against Graham's comments, and initiated a campaign directed at the station and its advertisers. "We believe the station's actions are appropriate, if long overdue," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "It is time for WMAL to distance itself and its advertisers from bigotry by making Graham's suspension permanent." Graham himself remained unapologetic. He said the suspension coincides with a long-planned vacation, and said that he'd received 10K emails supporting him, saying " blew away the few hundred pro-CAIR emails and phone calls the station received." Graham hinted on his website that the action came down to the station from corporate. "My radio station, 630 WMAL, has publicly announced that I've been suspended by ABC (no doubt Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings are thrilled) and I am 'under investigation' for my discussion on Islam and the tragedy of its current links to terror. What exactly is I'm being 'investigated' over, I have no idea. After all, everything I do, I do on the air in front of thousands of people. What's to investigate?"


Miller Brewing adds Studiocom
to Interactive agency roster
Studiocom, an Atlanta-based interactive agency, has been tapped by Miller Brewing to provide the online experience and online creative for brands of the Milwaukee-based brewer. This includes full product website development and digital support for guerilla campaigns and on-premise efforts. Says Keary Phillips, associate relationship marketing manager at Miller: "We understand that our target consumer demographic is spending an incredible amount of time online. As a result, we are relying more heavily on the interactive and viral strategies to help build our brands and ultimately drive sales." Studiocom will also work with Miller's other marketing agencies to incorporate and integrate interactive elements into all areas of new product launches.

Crispin Porter dumps Gateway
Crispin Porter + Bogusky has resigned its account with Gateway Computers, due to an inability to agree on the strategic direction of the brand. Said Crispin Porter in a statement: "We feel they would do better with another partner. For that reason, we have resigned the account. We wish everyone at Gateway enormous success and remain big fans of the Gateway brand." The MDC Partners agency got the account some 10 months ago. Leo Burnett also handled the account. No review has been announced yet and the client will continue work with existing agencies Carat and direct-response agency, Woo. Gateway spent 90 million in ad spend in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Radio & Television Business Report

Radio's Important September Face Off
UpFront 2005 - will radio face the mild reception as Network TV? Top media agency buyers and network radio sellers participating so far: Kelly Cadotte, Natalie Swed Stone, ,Irene Katsnelson, Chris Fontana,Rich Russo, Matt Feinberg, Matthew Warnecke, Kim Vasey, and Lisa Opensky Greenberg.

And we go One on One with
Charles Courtier, Executive Chairman of Mediaedge:cia

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Media Markets & MoneyTM
Myrtle Beach price revealed
Barrington Broadcasting's acquisition of WPDE-TV Florence SC, in the Myrtle Beach-Florence DMA, is weighing in at 24.1 dollars. And that's not all - - the deal includes a duopolistic sweetener in the form of a transferred, ongoing time brokerage agreement. WPDE is the market's Channel 15 ABC affiliate. Also included in the deal is WWMB-TV, which carries UPN on Channel 21.

Washington Beat
Fee filer fo fum
The FCC has initiated a new electronic form which will make it easier for multi-station licensees, or groups using multiple licensee names to file and submit regulatory fees. FCC Form 159 how has the companion FCC Form 159-E. The FCC says it "now offers to populate more information for certain fees, reducing the collection burden on the public." The new system allows filers to combine payments for both billed and unbilled regulatory fees. The online Form 159-E can be used to facilitate and ease filing, then printed out to accompany mailed or faxed payments. Or payment can be done online via secure credit or debit card. Both broadcast and cable operations have access to the form.

Stock Talk
A mixed day on Wall Street
A strong sales report from retail giant Wal-Mart failed to inspire stock traders and the market closed mixed. The Dow Industrials ended the day down 18 points at 10,623, while the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 were up slightly.

TV stocks were also mixed. Emmis led the way, up 4.4% as it continues to seek a buyer for its TV group. Saga rose 4.1%. The day's worst performer was Nexstar, which fell 2.3%. It reports Q2 results today.


Here's how stocks fared on Monday

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]

On "Radio Buyer Gets Into Creative" (7/20 RBR #141)

It was interesting to read how enthusiastic
Kim Vasey has become about the power of good Radio creative. She, and most other media buyers, have been so steeped in buying "bodies by the pound" over the years that the true purpose of meaningful advertising has been lost to media buyers. She is finally finding out what local broadcasters have known forever: that outstanding Radio creative has been the cause of thousands of entrepreneurial successes at the local advertiser level. This same success can be transferred to regional and national advertisers but few agencies spend much time on creating excellent Radio ads. They spend much more time and effort trying to beat stations up for a better rate. Most local advertisers know how to market their products or services on the Radio and it starts with solid creative. 99% of successful local businesses couldn't care less about cost per point. Their success is measured by the increased traffic, sales & profits that are generated by a strong Radio schedule. So, it's nice to see Kim going to seminars, touring some Radio stations to get an idea of how effective Radio creative works and maybe listening to some of the classic radio ads done by people like Stan Freeberg et al. Perhaps we can get her to spread the word to her agency colleagues that it's creative, not CPP, that sells products and services on the Radio!

Rick Guest, Market Manager
KOOI, KKUS, La Invasora,
Tyler-Longview-Marshall, TX

July Digital Magazine
Now Available

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.

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

TVBR Observation
Readers reject Burns bill
The NAB may be supporting federal regulation of TV ratings, but TVBR didn't find much support for the idea among rank-and-file broadcasters. Lots of words tossed around and name calling but in short the business of audience measurement and both commercial mediums must move forward. The phone calls and emails TVBR received would never pass FCC guidelines as mother is only one-half of a word. So our observation and advice is for Nielsen chiefs and Broadcasting chiefs including NAB -TV Executive committee members, sit down and talk face to face. Break out the ham salad sandwiches and cream sodas. TVBR will supply the ice packs for cooler heads or to position any place you like. Just start talking face to face. 08/01/05 TVBR #149

What done fishing for Commissioners?
The rumor mill continued to churn about the imminent prospect of FCC commissioner nominations coming out of the White House. Republicans who would fill the seat vacated by Kevin Martin, who moved up to the chairmanship in replacement of the exited Michael Powell, and the seat currently held by the leaver-to-be Kathleen Abernathy. Still nada. TVBR observation: The need for action could not have been made any clearer than it was by the Sunshine Notice on the Commission's August Open Meeting, scheduled for next Thursday, 8/4/05. The supposedly dry and non-controversial plank from the July meeting which would initiate the court-ordered review of the 6/2/03 media ownership rulemaking proved to be - - surprise, surprise - - controversial. Its absence from the August list would suggest that it is still controversial, and held hostage by the lack of a tie-breaking vote on the current 2-2 Commission. In other words best keep trout season open and White House change your bait and keep fishing. Maybe even try trolling for the Commish fish.
08/01/05 TVBR #149

XM raises expectations
After beating its own guidance for adding satellite radio subscribers in Q2 adding 647,226 for a total of 4.4 million - - XM is now telling Wall Street it will have six million subs by the end of this year, up from its previous target of 5.5 million. CEO Hugh Panero declared that consumer adoption of satellite radio is outpacing new products of the past. RBR observation: OK, so they've forgotten that four million subscribers was supposed to be the magic number to go cash flow break even. Investors apparently don't care that the target has now been moved closer to 10 million. We continue to be the only ones who see churn as already a big problem for the satellite radio guys. XM insists that churn remains "low" at 1.4% per month, or nearly 17% a year - - already higher than the 15% they promised investors for a mature business, which is still several years away. Amazingly, XM said yesterday that six out of 10 people who buy new cars with XM receivers installed are continuing to buy the service once the trial period built into the sticker price expires. That's a 40% churn rate for OEM sales! And XM is pitching that as a good thing? We don't get it. 08/01/05 TVBR #149

Research Director
Univision and TeleFutura TV stations 4-6 years broadcast research required in medium to Top 10 market. Bachelor degree required. EOE. No phone calls, please. See TV Careers

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