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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 200, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning October 12th, 2005

TV News®

Double digit quarter for Gannett
That's not a positive. We're talking TV division revenues down 19.3% to 166.4 million and operating cash flow down 35.2% to 69 million. Gannett President and CEO Craig Dubow told analysts that local sales were down 11% and national 33%. Ominously, he also said there was no positive movement in the vital auto sector for either TV or newspapers. Newspaper revenues were up 7.1% for the quarter to 1.7 billion, but adjusted for acquisitions that gain was only 1.1%. On a same paper basis, classified rose 1.4% and local 1.3%, with national flat. What about the current market for acquisitions? Chairman Doug McCorkindale said Gannett is in the hunt for any TV and newspaper properties that come on the market. However, he said paying 16 times broadcast cash flow for a well run TV station just doesn't make sense.

TVBR observation: We all knew what to expect after reading Gannett's monthly reports. What's of most concern, though, were Dubow's comments on the lack of momentum in the auto sector. Until auto gets back in gear, it's going to be tough to grow core revenues significantly in TV. We would note that one group owner recently noted that dealers' used car lots are overflowing as a result of trade-ins from the automaker's employee-pricing campaigns. If your station isn't working the "pre-owned" sector, that's one area worth looking into.

Senate gets set to take up DTV
The Senate Commerce Committee has made it official: On Wednesday, 10/19/05, it will be mark-up time for a bill to forward the DTV transition. The session will kick off at 2:30 PM eastern. The DTV measure is expected to call for a hard deadline for broadcasters to return spectrum which will be set sometime in 2009. It is possible that key elements of the DTV transition will be saved for another day - - to date, committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) wasn't getting specific about what will be in the bill under discussion. Among these issues is whether or not multicast must carry will be mandated. The "Truth in Broadcasting Act of 2005" is coming from Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), John Kerry (D-MA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mark Dayton (D-MN). It will require that all releases from the government are appropriately labeled and credited, and instructs the FCC to come up with rules on just how that should be done, including "the exact design, presentation and additional language, if any, required for the announcements..." Also on the agenda is the "Warning, Alert and Response Network Act," which will attempt coordinate the dissemination of emergency information over all available media, including just about everything under FCC jurisdiction. A fourth bill will also be addressed, "The IP-Enabled Voice Communications and Public Safety Act of 2005."

TVBR observation: A frequent occurrence at mark-ups we've attended is the plaintive moaning of an author of a piece of legislation, wishing to present a "clean" bill to the floor for consideration of the full House or Senate, occasioned by the fact that the author's committee colleagues are all merrily tacking on their own "perfecting amendments" and even items that are completely unrelated to the original bill. Like adolescence, a mark-up is a big moment in the life of a bill, but along with providing a path to maturity, it also offers many opportunities for mischief.

TeleFutura to debut newscast
Univision's younger-skewing network, TeleFutura, is getting into the news business with a daily news and information program. "TeleFutura En Vivo y Directo" (TeleFutura Live and Direct) will debut Monday, October 17th in a one-hour format. The network says the new show, anchored by news veterans Carmen Dominicci and Rolando Nichols, will "offer reports on the day's breaking stories, the world of entertainment, sports, health, finance, technology, and consumer issues." With TeleFutura's younger-skewing audience, the plan is to have a "fast-paced, multi-faceted contemporary format."

TVBR observation: Folks and ABC, CBS and NBC may want to watch for some tips if Univision succeeds in getting Hispanics in the younger demos interested in watching a daily network TV newscast. All three are desperately trying to find a new formula to draw younger viewers and maybe even some advertisers who aren't after the geriatric set.


Icahn turns up the heat
on Time Warner

We doubt that Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons believed he had defused a threat from Carl Icahn when he met recently with the renowned corporate raider. Rather, Parsons was likely waiting to see Icahn's next move. It came yesterday - - a stinging letter to fellow shareholders accusing Time Warner management of a long list of blunders, with the botched acquisition of AOL as only the beginning. According to Icahn and his associates, Time Warner's management and directors have more recently hurt shareholders by selling off valuable assets at "fire sale prices" - - including the sale of Warner Music, which has since done an IPO, and the sale of Comedy Central to Viacom. Also, Icahn accuses Time Warner management of maintaining a "bloated cost structure," including the company's 800 million bucks corporate headquarters with an employee cafeteria overlooking Central Park. He wonders how that enhances shareholder value and just where the shareholders get to eat lunch. "Given this extravagance and the failure to cut costs at businesses like Warner Music described above, we intend to hire, in the next few weeks, an industry consultant to analyze and compare Time Warner's costs to its peers on a number of different levels to determine what other excess fat may lie in the Company's cost structure, including, but not limited to, perquisites afforded to the Board and top management," the letter stated. Icahn and his backers are demanding a massive restructuring of Time Warner, including the complete spin-off of its cable TV unit and a 20 billion bucks share buyback. There was no immediate response from Time Warner management.
| Here's the entire Icahn letter |

Louis Nye dead at 92
One of the pioneers of television, Louis Nye, has died at age 92 after a long battle with lung cancer. Nye was the comic sidekick on Steve Allen's groundbreaking TV show from 1956 through 1961, best known for the catch-phrase, "Hi, ho, Steverino." But while most of his contemporaries had long since retired or died, Nye was still appearing in clubs and on TV into the 21st Century. He had a recurring role on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" from 2000 through 2002.

More buzz on buzz marketing
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) is not happy about a headline about its stock in trade used by AdAge.com. That story, headlined "Is Buzz Marketing Illegal," was discussed in an article in TVBR (10/5/05 TVBR #195), but we used it to illustrate a point about techniques like product placement. Our headline was "What's the buzz about disclosure?" Anyway, WOMMA is upset that the AdAge headline implies that encouraging word of mouth is shady, when in fact, if done correctly, it is anything but. That point was actually made clear in the AdAge article, and that is why we picked it up in TVBR - - even a word of mouth campaign MUST be conducted on the up-and-up. If an agency sends its agents out into the field to talk up a product or service, they must make it know that they are in fact agents being paid. It is part of WOMMA's code of ethics. The point of such a campaign, of course, is to move the marketing beyond the realm of paid instigators and into the zone of true consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth, at which point there is no relationship to disclose. However, the whole controversy still serves to underscore the importance of properly disclosing all cash/commercial relationships between the media and advertising, marketing and promotional companies. If it is true for instigated word-of-mouth, then you can rest assured it's true for everything.


Conference Calls Q3 2005
Outlook soft for Gannett
After reporting soft ad revenues for Q3, Gannett President and CEO Craig Dubow didn't offer investors much hope for Q4 either. Gannett's TV group was unable to replace over 20 million in Q3 political spending from 2004 and nearly 30 million related to the Summer Olympics. The good news is that both will be back next year - - albeit a non-presidential election year and the lower-revenue Winter Olympics. But first Gannett's TV group has to get through Q4 of 2005. "Our latest pacings for the fourth quarter are down in the low to mid teens, reflecting roughly 48 million in ad revenues related to political ad spending that benefited the fourth quarter of '04. November and December are stronger than October, which included the lion's share of political spending in 2004," Dubow said. "Local is stronger than national at this point," he added.


Adbiz©

Verklin on dealing
with Katrina's aftermath

In our November RBR/TVBR Solutions magazine, we ask stations (including Entercom New Orleans Market Manager Phil Hoover and WWL-TV GM Bud Brown), engineers, agencies and rep firms about life during and after Katrina. In our AdBiz section, agencies and reps speak about how Katrina affected marketing, planning and buying for clients. How are media agencies working through this? We asked David Verklin, Carat Americas CEO: "For us, we paid particular attention to it, because it has affected all parts of the marketing food chain. It has affected the media sellers and our clients both in the retail business and distribution. It has also affected media consumption and delivery, and product marketing. It certainly proved to be the perfect storm for us climactically and it was a perfect storm in the media business as well. We've had some real major problems. Think about Hyundai and the devastation to the dealer network. Think about Radio Shack and all of its stores. We've really seen a number of clients affected." More from Verklin in our November issue.

Cingular pulls upfront commitments from Fox
Cingular Wireless has reportedly pulled millions in upfront media commitments from Fox and is said to be spending the money with other broadcast nets. The commitments were part of deal to purchase airtime on Fox Sports programming. The change happened around three weeks ago and was the talk of the town at last week's Association of National Advertisers conference in Phoenix. Cingular had two media agencies after its purchase of AT&T Wireless. In March the company gave the TV buying and planning part of its 1 billion dollar account to Mediaedge:cia (formerly AT&T Wireless' media agency). OMD handles radio and print buying. Cingular is a major supporter of Fox's American Idol.

Anheuser-Busch contributes to
Great Lakes Forever campaign

Biodiversity Project, in partnership with Michelob Golden Light and Anheuser-Busch, raised 10,000 as part of a summer environmental preservation campaign to help protect the Great Lakes. The campaign was promoted in local bars, restaurants and retail outlets throughout the Great Lakes region in July, August and September. A portion of sales from Michelob Golden Light from July to September was used to fund the donation. Anheuser-Busch also contributed to the campaign by offering the marketing services and distribution networks of its Wisconsin and Illinois wholesalers to raise awareness at key retail accounts during the summer months. The contribution will help fund Biodiversity Project's Great Lakes Forever awareness campaign (www.greatlakesforever.org), which includes radio and print ads and signage in state parks, among other things. The campaign, designed to educate residents about ways to help protect and restore the Great Lakes, will continue to run in the Great Lakes region.


Media Business Report
NY Times to launch free movie magazine
The New York Times is launching a free movie magazine which will be given away to moviegoers at Loews Cineplex theaters. "OnMovies" will be distributed in beginning 12/16. The magazine will include movie reviews and other stories repackaged from the Times' movie coverage. The initial print run of 1.25 million copies will be distributed in eight cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The magazine pages will be evenly split between advertising and stories.


RBR/TVBR Special Salute to Radio & TV

Vigilance In A
Time Of Crisis

In RBR/TVBR's November Solutions Magazine, we talk with WWL-TV GM Bud Brown and WWL-AM GM/Entercom Market Manager Phil Hoover about the importance of being two of the only stations that continued broadcasting throughout hurricane Katrina. These are great reads with touching stories about heroes, saving lives and helping those in need with information.

We all in the Radio and TV business have been trying to say - 'Thank You to the broadcast communities of New Orleans and Gulfport and everywhere else for upholding our end of the deal to the American public. May free broadcasting be forever.'

If you'd like to congratulate the broadcast community for showing what it does best, we still have a few ad positions available in this amazing 5-page feature.

Contact June Barnes at [email protected] at 803 731 5951or
Jim Carnegie at [email protected] at 813 909 2986


Media Markets & MoneyTM
Griffin goes for Tulsa twosome
Griffin Communications has a 14.5M deal which would add a WB affiliate to its market-leading CBS affiliate in the Tulsa market. A subsidiary of Cascade Broadcasting Group - - Carol Lafever's Tulsa Communications LLC - - is the seller of KWBT-TV Muskogee OK. David F. and John W. Griffin head up the buyer, which owns KOTV-TV in the Tulsa DMA. The contract provides for an initial escrow deposit of 1M, followed by an addition 2M if the FCC doesn't get around to offering initial consent to the transaction by year's end. An LMA is scheduled to kick off by the first of November at the latest.


Washington Beat
Arab antenna structure
runs afoul of the FCC

Fun Media Group's WAFN-FM in Arab, Alabama had a tower in need of a cleaning and a paint job. That's what an FCC field agent concluded based on observations taken 10/30/02. A subsequent 10K fine was reduced to 8K due to FMG's previous record of compliance with FCC rules. It wanted the entire fine reduced, however, and argued that the field agent did not get close enough to the tower to make an accurate observation and that furthermore, the weather on the day in question was overcast, which would make the tower appear faded and dark. The FCC noted that the agent got to within 100 feet of the tower and was using binoculars, which was quite sufficient. Testimony provided by "independent third parties" was also thrown out - - one of them observed the tower a month earlier from an airplane 1 1/2 miles away, but the FCC noted that his testimony seemed to be based on his general knowledge of the terrain in general and the tower's location in particular rather than in the condition of its paint job. The fine stands at 8K.

TVBR observation: It would seem to us that the point of making a tower visible is to make sure it can be seen regardless of weather conditions. Asking the FCC to come back when the weather is nicer would not provide much consolation to a pilot who clips the tower on an overcast day.


Programming
Newsguy to play newsguy
The rumor mill says NBC isn't taking any chances on its November 9th live presentation of "The West Wing," featuring a debate between presidential candidates played by Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda. For fear that an actor might choke in the live role of moderator, the network is reportedly going to use a real reporter/anchor - - Forrest Sawyer.

"Inconceivable" goes bye-bye
NBC's temporary removal of "Inconceivable" from its new Fall lineup has been made permanent. The freshman drama about a fertility clinic drew poor ratings - - an average of only 5.4 million viewers - - in two outings at 10:00 pm on Friday night - - once a strong time slot for the Peacock net. A rerun of an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" got the slot last week and drew seven million viewers. So, "L&I:CI" reruns will continue to occupy the slot for three weeks more while NBC programming execs look over their stable of mid-season replacement possibilities. If you're keeping track, new series cancelled so far this season include Fox's "Head Cases" and WB's "Just Legal," while UPN's "Sex, Love & Secrets" has had production suspended, although episodes already in the can continue to air.


Ratings & Research
Bragging rights again for CBS & ABC
Three weeks into the new TV season, a pattern appears to be emerging, with CBS winning the overall Nielsen HH ratings and ABC claiming the 18-49 demo. "CSI" was again the #1 show. CBS's victory came with a HH rating of 8.4 and 13 share, followed by ABC at 7.0/11, NBC 6.5/10, Fox 5.5/9, WB 2.5/4, UPN 2.3/4 and i 0.4/1.
| View the Chart |


TVBR Stats
Consumer holiday spending to rise
Despite rising gas and oil prices, a new survey reveals that consumers intend to spend slightly more this holiday season than last. A new NPD Group survey of holiday buying intentions finds that consumers are undaunted by rising gas and oil prices, and that they intend to spend more this holiday season - - both online and off - - than last year. On average, consumers told NPD they plan to spend 681 this holiday season versus 655 in 2004. In view of the pessimistic economic news headlines so prevalent in recent weeks, the rise is slight but significant. Of course, that is not to say energy costs will not have any impact on holiday spending - - they will. But NPD found that those concerns would not overwhelm the spirit of giving. "Holiday '05 will be remembered as the year of giving to those in need," said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD. "This holiday we will see more individuals giving to the needy and buying products where the proceeds go to charities." NPD found that the bargains offered by major discount stores will attract the most customers this holiday season.

Other key influences that will affect where and how consumers shop:
51% of consumers say they comparison-shop before they buy a gift
48% prefer to buy special gifts the recipients wouldn't buy themselves
43% use ads and circulars to guide their gift shopping
37% think it is nicer to give a gift than a gift card or gift certificate
32% plan to buy their holiday gifts on sale
27% say they will pay more for the perfect gift

Cohen concludes, "Despite the challenges of higher fuel prices and higher heating expenses, retailers will fare well this holiday season and consumers will not let these distractions spoil their holiday shopping spirit."


Transactions
987M WAVE-TV Louisville KY; WTOL-TV Toledo OH; WIS-TV Columbia SC; WLBT-TV Jackson MS; KGBT-TV Harlingen-Weslaco-McAllen-Brownsville TX (Harlingen TX); WFIE-TV Evansville IN; KLTV-TV & KTRE-TV (satellite) Tyler-Longview TX (Tyler & Lufkin TX); WSFA-TV Montgomery AL; WWAY-TV Wilmington NC; WALB-TV Albany GA; KCBD-TV Lubbock TX; WLOX-TV Biloxi-Gulfport MS (Biloxi MS); KPLC-TV Lake Charles LA; and KAIT-TV Jonesboro AR. 100% of The Liberty Corp. from W. Hayne Hipp et al to Raycom Media Inc. (Paul McTear et al). Stock transaction. Duopolies in Columbia SC (with WACH-TV 57 Fox); Toledo OH (with WNWO-TV 24 NBC); Albany GA (with WFXL-TV 31 Fox); and Wilmington NC (with WECT-TV 6 NBC). Raycom has applied for temporary waivers to sell stations in each market to come into compliance with ownership caps. WAVE-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 3; WTOL-TV is an CBS affiliate on Channel 11; WIS-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 10; WLBT-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 3; KGBT-TV is an CBS affiliate on Channel 4; WFIE-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 14; KLTV-TV/KTRE-TV are ABC affiliates on Channel 7 & 9; WSFA-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 12; WWAY-TV is an ABC affiliate on Channel 3; WALB-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 10; KCBD-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 11; WLOX-TV is an ABC affiliate on Channel 13; KPLC-TV is an NBC affiliate on Channel 7; and KAIT-TV is an ABC affiliate on Channel 8. [File date 9/12/05.]


Stock Talk
Broadcast stocks slouch
Radio and TV stocks were down nearly across the board as the broader market finished the day mixed. The Dow Industrials crept up 14 points to 10,253 on strong earnings from Alcoa, but other indices were lower.

Only four TV stocks rose, including two penny stocks - - Paxson and Young. Gannett edged up 0.1% after delivering its Q3 report. McGraw-Hill rose 0.5%. But there were far more losers. Emmis, Entravision, Hearst-Argyle, Journal, LIN, Nexstar and Saga were all down more than 3%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme

ACME

3.85

-0.07

Media General

MEG

55.48

-0.78

Belo

BLC

22.19

-0.34

Meredith

MDP

49.96

-0.04

Clear Channel

CCU

31.73

-0.13

News Corp.

NWS

15.55

-0.22

Disney

DIS

23.77

-0.11

Nexstar

NXST

4.98

-0.30

Emmis

EMMS

19.62

-0.77

NY Times

NYT

28.40

-0.15

Entravision

EVC

7.50

-0.30

Paxson

PAX

0.44

+0.01

Fisher

FSCI

45.86

-0.17

Saga Commun.

SGA

12.38

-0.49

Gannett

GCI

66.22

+0.03

SBS

SBSA

6.73

-0.20

Gen. Electric

GE

33.80

-0.19

Scripps

SSP

48.98

-0.75

Granite

GBTVK

0.29

-0.01

Sinclair

SBGI

8.33

-0.17

Gray

GTN

9.85

-0.22

Time Warner

TWX

17.80

-0.21

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

9.51

-0.20

Tribune

TRB

32.71

-0.15

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.26

-1.09

Univision

UVN

25.49

-0.11

Jeff-Pilot

JP

52.37

-0.92

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

31.44

-0.46

Journal Comm.

JRN

14.15

-0.46

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

31.35

-0.45

Liberty Corp

LC

46.61

-0.23

Wash. Post

WPO

758.64

-11.42

LIN TV

TVL

12.84

-0.63

Young

YBTVA

3.21

+0.20

McGraw-Hill

MHP

46.34

+0.25

-

-

-

-

-


Bounceback

Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

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

If only the FCC took all of its responsibilities as seriously as it does indecency
(10/10/05 TVBR #198).

I hope that the new FCC website also shows users how to step-by-step file complaints about cell phones that don't work, cell coverage maps that appear inaccurate, cell phone billing that appears questionable, AM Radios that appear to not meet minimum standards, and microwave ovens that leak - - all come under the purview of the FCC and cause me a lot more concern than on-air farting.

Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
New York


International

NHL sells rights
to broadcast games
in Europe

The NHL has signed a four-year broadcast deal with fledgling European network devoted to North American sports, the North American Sports Network. NASN, which also recently landed rights to show NFL games in 21 European countries, will air more than 200 games each season also in HDTV, broadband and wireless formats. The exclusive deal across Europe is effective immediately. NASN said it would show a minimum of six games a week, and its deal with the NHL includes the entire Stanley Cup playoffs and finals.


October RBR/TVBR Digital Magazine

TV Profiler:
Una Vez Mas, Randy Nonberg, President/COO and Bob Hyland, President of Television, tell us about navigating and expanding Azteca America's largest affiliate group.

News/Talk
Talk Radio Network's Jerry Doyle is waking people up-it's not about Conservative or Liberal anymore.


Read RBR/TVBR in 2 simple steps:
1.Create a simple account with Zinio and download the Zinio Reader.
2. You can then download the
October Issue of RBR/TVBR





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

The grass isn't any greener
If you read our dismal report on how poorly TV stocks have performed through the first three quarters of this year, maybe you were thinking that things were better in radio. No way. If it's true that misery loves company, then TV execs will find it comforting to read these figures for radio stocks. TVBR observation: Now the air is getting shorter to inhale in TV as radio has been short of breath since 2002. If you can not run them then you can not expect to see growth. Eventually the public will be the judge and jury.
10/11/05 TVBR #199

Viacom takes a file hit
in New Orleans

WUPL-TV, a Viacom UPN O&O on its way out of the portfolio, will have to settle up with the FCC. TVBR observation: The FCC requires every station to have it maintained as FCC regional inspectors monitor compliance. FCC views all obligations seriously, as shown by the one that just hit Viacom. Do you know what should be in your Public File? No? Look for a special Your Public File report that you need to have inside your station soon from TVBR but for members only. TVBR's job is to cover your back and do the hard work for ya.
10/11/05 TVBR #199

Clear Channel heating up
Hispanic menu
Within the next year and a half, radio giant Clear Channel is planning to go Latin "...across a full range of market sizes." It plans Hispanic conversions for anywhere from 20 to 25 radio stations in markets where Spanish-speaking residents are currently underserved. MBR observation: Clear Channel is under constant assault for having a political agenda, but this - - like its adoption of the liberal Air America network in many locations - - is further evidence that its primary political philosophy is the pursuit of profit, and it will go in whichever direction that pursuit takes it.
10/11/05 TVBR #199

Mullen out at
Tribune Broadcasting
After several quarters of soft revenues for its TV group, which the company has been blaming on Nielsen's Local People Meters (LPM), Tribune Company Pat Mullen has resigned. TVBR observation: Pat Mullen has been one of the most vociferous opponents of LPMs. He wrote the May letter co-signed by 16 other TV groups which succeeded in getting Nielsen to temporarily delay its LPM rollout in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, although not in getting the ratings company to put the entire project on hold until it got all of its LPM markets accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC). Mullen also testified on Capitol Hill against LPMs and in favor of Sen. Conrad Burns' (R-MT) to make MRC accreditation mandatory for any TV rating service. It will be interesting now to see if Tribune continues to be a leader in the campaign against LPMs, or if Mullen's successor - - yet to be named - - will decide to deal with the new ratings currency as a fact of life. PS: Do not be surprised to see more TV Presidents and CEOs out of work between now and end of first quarter 2006.
10/10/05 TVBR #198

Broadcast stocks still in doldrums
Three quarters of the way through 2005, investors remain sour on radio and TV stocks, with very few exceptions. The way to make Wall Street happy, it appears, is to sell assets. If you missed the total overview and all the Radio and TV stocks yet another quarter,
TVBR observation: Read 'em and weep here.
10/10/05 TVBR #198

Fox poaches Swanson from CBS
Having been passed over for the top TV O&O group job at the new CBS Corp., Dennis Swanson has been lured away by News Corporation to become President of Station Operations, Fox Television Stations Group. He'll report to work today, reporting to Jack Abernethy, CEO, Fox Television Stations Group.
TVBR observation: Rather than sitting back for a while and then drawing a retirement check from CBS (to go with the one he already gets from GE/NBC), Swanson was ready to take on a new challenge. Swanson was asked during the TVB conference this year when he would retire and his answer was, "When I stop having fun." This statement makes for one dangerous man as he feels no pressure and with the experience plus having fun is a pure formula for success.
10/07/05 TVBR #197

Stevens: Four goals of DTV bill
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.
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.
10/06/05 TVBR #196

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

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

VNU is in a Dizzy -
Will Billboard go on the block?
VNU, parent company of Nielsen Media Research, is facing a revolt by major institutional shareholders over its pending seven billion bucks deal to buy IMS Health. One possible outcome is that VNU may look at selling its trade publishing unit, including Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.
TVBR observation: Will Perry Partners step up to bid for Billboard to combine with Radio & Records? Or has Rick Perry had enough of the trade publishing business? We also have to shake our heads at 7 billion as this is a heavy price to pay for a seat at the NYSE. The entire VNU company has a lot a risk going into 2006 and our recommendation to VNU bosses - Do not wear rose colored glasses because with out focus no company can have clear vision.
10/04/05 TVBR #194


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