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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 196, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning October 6th, 2005

TV News®

Stevens: Four goals of DTV bill
Senate Commerce Committee Chair Ted Stevens (R-AK) spoke at a conference held by the Association of Maximum Service Television, and noted four goals his committee had to address by 10/19/05, when a bill is to be presented to the full committee. They include increasing public safety, advancing service to the American consumer, advancing the transition to DTV and finding a way to pay for it all. On the we-all-can-take-a-deep-breath-and-relax-a-little-bit front, Stevens noted that there was a certain futility to calls for move the hard deadline for the transition significantly forward. The reason? The goal of achieving communications system interoperability, the key to first-responder upgrades, will not happen overnight, regardless of when television's analog spectrum is turned over. The important factor will be making sure developers and manufacturers believe in an attainable hard date so they can proceed with necessary investments of time and capital in earnest. Stevens telegraphed that digital-to-analog set-top box subsidies figure into his thinking, by noting that the 2009 date would give consumers three holiday gift-buying seasons to invest in digital televisions - - and every digital television bought will reduce the financial hit on the government. He also said that any solution will be nationwide, rejecting the option of a market-by-market approach. Stevens also indicated he was working in conjunction with his House Commerce counterpart, Joe Barton (R-TX) and that both were keeping Democratic leadership closely involved in the process - - a critical factor in transforming a bill into a law.

TVBR observation: If 10/19/05 is going to be the big day, the Committee still has much to accomplish. One of the first things Stevens mentioned to MSTV was multicasting. One of the last things he said was that there was much he could not yet discuss - - including multicasting. That gives NAB and NCTA two more weeks to lock antlers.

Viacom details split plans
Just keep it simple. There'll be no complicated formulas for splitting Viacom in two. If you own a share of the current Viacom, you'll get a half share of the new Viacom and a half share of CBS Corp. Still left open in the SEC filing made yesterday was a precise date for the split, which the company has said will likely come in Q1 2006. The new Viacom will retain the company's current stock symbols on the NYSE: VIA for the Class A voting stock, mostly controlled by Sumner Redstone, and VIA.B for the non-voting Class B stock, mostly owned by the public. CBS Corp., as expected, will get the ticker "CBS," but will give the three-letter designation to its more widely held non-voting Class B - - CBS - - while the voting Class A stock will be designated CBS.A, also mostly controlled by Redstone. One big difference: CBS will continue to be a dividend payer, planning to equal the 2004 Viacom payout of 25 cents per year to shareholders by doubling that to 50 cents (approximately 450 million/year in total), but dropping a recent three cent increase. Meanwhile, the new Viacom will not pay any dividend at all. Thus, CBS will be presented to Wall Street as a cash generator and the new Viacom as a growth company.
| Read More... |

CBS Corp. and New Viacom by the numbers
While current Viacom shareholders will receive exactly the same number of shares in the post-split companies, CBS Corp. and New Viacom, there is considerable difference in the financial numbers for the two parts. New Viacom has less revenues, but higher profit margins. Net earnings per share for the first half of this year were virtually identical, but, as noted in the previous story, CBS plans to pay out some of those earnings in dividends, while New Viacom will hoard its cash for expansion.
| Here's a side-by-side comparison |

Is UT talker utilizing airwaves to launch campaign?
US Rep Jim Matheson (D-UT) suspects that KSL Radio Talkmeister Doug Wright is planning to challenge him for his seat in Congress. That's the buzz behind the scenes, at any rate. However, for the time being Wright is keeping mum about his electoral aspirations and continuing on with his three-hour daily program. Matheson is calling foul, saying the show gives Wright a free platform to espouse his viewpoints, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. He thinks that he and all other candidates for the office should be given an equal amount of free airtime on the station. A KSL spokesperson said that Wright will surrender the program if and when he becomes an official candidate.

TVBR observation: This is another one of those issues that cuts across party lines. Republicans in Washington state were similarly aggrieved last year when Democratic Talkmeister Dave Ross went from a speaking before a studio mic to speaking from the stump. However, until Wright announces his candidacy, files to run for the office or otherwise begins campaigning for it, he is allowed to keep his radio gig. By the way, Ross's radio exposure did not usher him into office - - he lost to Republican Dave Reichardt by a 51.5%-46.7% margin in the 2004 general election.

PA radio owner sentenced
Former radio station owner Doug Lane is headed to prison for 14-30 years on conviction for several counts of child molestation and child pornography violations - - unless he is able to mount a successful appeal. Lackawanna County officials had previously given their blessings to a 1.925M deal to sell WWDL-FM, WICK-AM & WYCK-AM in the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market to Vince Benedetto's Bold Gold Media Group. The deal featured an unusual provision under which some of the proceeds would go to Lane's creditors and victims, with leftovers going to sex abuse charities. Lane, who is said to be 61 years old, received a stiff sentence despite the fact that much of the evidence, and even entire cases brought by several alleged victims, could not be used due to excessive passage of time.


Mediaedge:cia taps Killingsworth for Paramount Pictures
Mediagedge:cia has tapped movie marketing vet Jeff Killingsworth to run its Los Angeles office as managing partner. In his new job, Killingsworth will take charge of MEC's Paramount Pictures account. Killingsworth comes to MEC after eight years at MGM/UA Studios as EVP/Media, where he was responsible for developing, presenting and implementing media plans for every theatrical release from MGM/UA. Prior to that, he served as SVP/Entertainment for Western International Media, where he managed their Touchstone, Hollywood and Walt Disney Pictures accounts. "With his experience in media planning and buying for several major studios, both in-house and at the agency level, Jeff Killingsworth is the perfect fit for our Paramount Pictures account," said Lee Doyle, head of client service at MEC. "Jeff has kept pace with the rapidly changing world of theatrical film marketing and home video technologies, and his presence will strengthen MEC in Los Angeles."

Gillette chooses
SMV, Zenith for buying duties

Starcom Mediavest and Zenith Optimedia, both Publicis units, have won the bulk of the global buying for Procter & Gamble's Gillette. Buying had previously been with WPP's Mindshare. The bulk of the Mindshare contract will shift by the end of the year to Starcom Mediavest. Zenith Optimedia also won part of Gillette's business. Gillette's global buying account is estimated at 800 million.

MMS wins Slimquick launch biz
MMS, an integrated communications agency and part of GroupM, has been chosen by Toronto's Slimquick Laboratories to handle broadcast planning and buying for the U.S. launch of SlimQuick, marketed as the first diet pill designed for women. The campaign will run through October. "We are very excited to have SlimQuick Laboratories as a new client at MMS, particularly as it is an international company launching a new product in the United States via television," said Loretta Volpe, president and CEO of MMS. "We expect this launch to be extremely successful and represent the start of a long relationship between us." "We are truly enjoying working with everyone at MMS who has contributed to making our first SlimQuick campaign a success, and look forward to many successes in the future," said Jennifer Pilon, Senior Media Buyer. "They are a professional and dedicated team and it really shows. Each of them has proven that selecting MMS as our media agency was the best choice we could have made."

Washington Beat
NAB/MSTV pick two to develop set-top converters
LG Electronics and Thompson SA are the winners of among more than a dozen contenders to develop industry-standard prototype digital-to-analog set top down-converters, as announced by the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The goal is to combine high quality with low cost. NAB President Eddie Fritts said, "There are 21 million homes and 73 million receivers relying exclusively on antennas to receive local television signals. Disenfranchising these viewers would present a significant problem for broadcasters, the government and consumers. This project demonstrates a willingness by both broadcasters and two of the world's leading electronics companies to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to local television signals both during and after the transition to digital." The move got quick approval from key Sen. Ted Stevens, chair of the all-important Commerce Committee, who said, "I do, by the way, congratulate you for the initiation of research to develop converter boxes. I think it's a very key element of the process we are going through now. We wish you a speedy success."

NBC picks up "Earl"
NBC has picked up its new comedy hit "My Name Is Earl" (Tuesdays, 9-9:30 p.m. ET), for the rest of the season by adding nine additional episodes. This makes "My Name is Earl" the first new Fall comedy this season to be granted a full season order of 22 episodes, according to Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment. "We are extremely encouraged by the response to 'Earl' from the audience and critics alike," said Reilly. "Greg Garcia and the producers are doing a great job creatively and Jason Lee's Earl is a truly original TV comedy character that we hope will be around for years to come." Through the first two weeks of the 2005-06 television season, "My Name Is Earl" has averaged a 5.8 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49 and 13.3 million viewers overall.

UPN orders full season
for "Everybody Hates Chris"

UPN has given a full season order to the critically acclaimed new comedy hit "Everybody Hates Chris", from Paramount Network Television and inspired by the childhood experiences of comedian Chris Rock, who serves as executive producer and narrator of the series, it was announced by Dawn Ostroff, President, UPN: "The early ratings results for have been very encouraging, and we're thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response that we continue to get from the press, the advertisers, the creative community and our viewers. We're now in production on our 11th episode, and from what we've seen and read, this wonderful series maintains its incredibly high-standard of quality and the best days still lie ahead." Through the first two weeks of the season, Chris ranks third in the time period among adults 18-34 and adults 18-49. Additionally, it scored growth at 8pm in key demos, including 93% in adults 18-34, 100% in adults 18-49, 191% in women 18-34, 230% in women 18-49 and 82%in viewers. As the only network with a two-hour comedy block on Thursday, UPN has improved the night by 19% in adults 18-34, 13% in adults 18-49, 92% in women 18-34 and 120% in women 18-49.

Ratings & Research
Raymond tops Wheel in syndi
Apparently, "Everybody Loves Raymond" as much in syndication reruns as they did when the episodes were new. Raymond was the top rated show in syndication for the most recent week, edging KingWorld stable mate "Wheel of Fortune." Here's the top 10 list compiled by the syndicated Network Television Association (SNTA).
| View the Chart |

Stock Talk
More dark clouds over Wall Street
Fears about corporate earnings, inflation and rate hikes by the Fed depressed Wall Street traders on Wednesday. The Dow Industrials fell 124 points, or 1.2%, to 10,317.

TV stocks went along on the downhill slide. Not a single stock in our list was up. Claiming the title of worst performer on a really bad day was Nexstar, which fell 5.7%. Fisher fell 4.9% a day after naming its new President and CEO.


Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

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]

More readers weigh in on how to number and brand HD Radio.

The idea of any type of numeric designator for a content stream is pretty silly when you think about it. In fact, with the exception of those stations with snappy frequencies (like 100, 90, 900, 101, etc.), an increasing number of broadcasters are using their network identification or a tag to encourage differentiation - hence "The UPN", "Fox", "Jack Radio" and others. This is also one of the advantages that Satellite Radio has over broadcast: the ability to differentiate channel content with a descriptive name rather than a numeric designator.
| Read More... |

Brett Brennan
Homenode Group Inc.

The 4 digit numbering concept is an excellent idea and definitely makes sense from a marketing standpoint. But from a consumer perspective channel numbers may not be very helpful. If the marketing message doesn't reach them, how can they discover interesting programming. Pressing seek and waiting 5 seconds between stations for channel acquisition would be very annoying.
| Read More... |

Mike Maciejewski,
Chief Engineer; Regent Broadcasting; WFGR, WGRD, WLHT, WNWZ, WTRV Grand Rapids, MI

TV Media Moves

Promotion in Portland
Tribune broadcasting has upped John Manzi to VP/GM of KWBP-TV (Ch. 32, WB) Portland, OR. He had been the station's General Sales Manager since 2003.

From Infinity to Viacom
That would, until now, have been a move within the same company, but Jacques Tortoroli has been named Sr. VP, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for the post-split new Viacom, the cable/movie company, where he'll report to CFO Michael Dolan. Tortoroli is currently Exec. VP and CFO of Infinity Broadcasting, which will go to CBS Corp. in the Viacom split. He'd previously served as CFO of Westwood One as well.

Gordon gets
CBS checkbook

Susan Gordon has been named Sr. VP, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Office of CBS Corp., following its split from Viacom, reporting to CFO Fred Reynolds. She has held the same titles at Viacom since 2002 (and all but the "Sr." part since 1995).

Yahoo! guy
to HBO

Jim Moloshok has been named to the newly created position of President, Media Ventures, at HBO, focusing on "the point of intersection between innovative content and fast changing technology." He was previously Sr. VP, Entertainment & Content Relationships, at Yahoo!

More News Headlines

RBR - Radio News

Sirius gains
ground on XM

Is it having Mel Karmazin pushing the accelerator or anticipation of Howard Stern's arrival in January? In either case, Sirius Satellite Radio took market share from larger rival XM in Q3, with 97% more new subscribers than a year ago - - a total of 359,000. That's still behind XM's 617,000 net new ads (10/4/05 RBR #194), but that 97% growth rate was well ahead of XM's 48%. "We continued to experience strong subscriber growth during the third quarter, which was the best third quarter in our history, and increased our market share from the year-ago quarter by more than 20%. With the traditionally heavy holiday selling period coming up, we fully expect demand for our service to accelerate significantly through the remainder of the year," said a happy Karmazin. Sirius now has 2.17 million subscribers and reiterated its projection that it will reach the three million mark by the end of this year.

RBR observation: Give the Zen Master credit as he sure is one hell of a salesman as he doesn't knock where he comes from but focuses on today and tomorrow. Forget the churn or Wall Street, Karmazin is having fun and this is something that is missing in Free Radio - people having fun. Here is a quote that only a few will get - "If we only knew how much fun we were having when we were not having fun."

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

Mandel comments on Apollo issues
I think that the Apollo Project is a great idea. It's something that advertisers want. It will be, ideally, multimedia. And ideally, these things are paid for by the advertisers and the media companies and the advertising agencies - - all of the people that would use the information. And everybody has to put in equally. Everybody has the potential to get a benefit out of Apollo, so everybody should have some skin in the game..."
TVBR observation: One thing we respect about Mandel puts his money where his mouth is - period - and you always know where you stand when you go toe to toe with him.
10/05/05 TVBR #195

RBR Observation: HD Radio is a chance to re-brand radio
Radio is at an important crossroads with the launch of HD Radio multicasting and RBR is calling for some creative thinking to make sure this opportunity to re-brand radio isn't missed or muddled. We presented our channel numbering proposal. We want to hear from you by email via [email protected] We want to facilitate an industry-wide discussion of this vital issue. See our first feedback in today's Bounceback section. For full HD details read
10/05/05 TVBR #195

Consumer Reports gives
thumbs up to HDTV
Are all but unanimous in their praise of high-definition television." But what about consumers? The answer - - they too are all but unanimous. Only issue with consumers - Not enough programming content.
TVBR observation: All in all, this is good news for HD Radio as well. If people like what they hear, they will want to move from analog to digital. But the content has to be compelling. The biggest complaint that came up in the Consumer Reports survey was the lack of high-def programming for people to look at on their HDTV screens. Remember Content is King.
10/05/05 TVBR #195

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