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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 201, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning October 13th, 2005

TV News®

Media General exceeds low expectations
The bar was so low for Q3 that Media General surprised Wall Street with a net income decline of only 38% to 9.8 million bucks, or 41 cents per share. That was well below the 66 cents reported a year ago, but still a penny better than the analysts' consensus collected by Thomson/First Call. Those estimates, however, had been lowered last month after Media General warned that it had taken a financial hit from Hurricane Katrina (9/16/05 TVBR #182). Overall, Media General's Q3 revenues rose 1.5% to 220.8 million, with all of the gain coming from a 3.2% increase in the publishing division. Television revenues fell 3.4% to 74.7 million and operating cash flow dropped 29.7% to 17.2 million. Although he noted proudly that the company's broadcast division continued to outperform the industry, CEO Marshall Morton noted that increased local sales weren't enough to close the gap left by the lack of political advertising. At the local level, not including political, spot sales were up 12.7%, with financial, fast food and medical cited as strong categories. National without political was down 5.4%, with an 11% drop in the auto sector as the biggest factor. Also down were fast food and services.

TVBR observation: The crying continues from TV all this year and adding to the list of reasons is Katrina. Media General is a little harder hit since it owns newspaper and no matter how hard they try to market 'Life Printed Daily' newspapers in today's world is 'Life Printed Yesterday.'

A silver lining from a cloud...or, rather, a hurricane
Not much good came out of Hurricane Katrina for anyone. But Media General CEO Marshall Morton did manage to find a couple of bright spots to mention in his quarterly Wall Street conference call, despite the significant financial loss the company suffered and the damage to some of the communities its TV stations serve. First, he noted, all of Media General's employees were uninjured by the storm. Marshall then said that the aftermath of Katrina led to establishment of some new relationships in the communities that Media General's stations serve, including some co-operative relationships with radio stations that he expects to continue into the future - - to the benefit of all parties.

Dobson's choice: Explain on the radio
Focus on the Family honcho and radio commentator James Dobson has been trying to calm conservative misgivings over the SCOTUS nomination of Harriet Meirs, saying he had been given top level assurances - - however, they were assurances which he was unable to share in public. That is, apparently, until be did yesterday's radio show. On "Focus on the Family Commentary," an ABC Radio Networks offering carried by some 300-plus affiliates, Dobson said that he was told by White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove that President George W. Bush had a short list of candidates. However, many asked that their names be removed "...because confirmation hearings have become utterly vitriolic, bitter and undignified."

TVBR observation: In the music performance biz, we'd call this a clam - - a clanking loud wrong note. Many of the questions concerning Dobson's secret were emanating from Capitol Hill, and the crux was why Dobson was getting special insider information which was not being made available to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who will give the nominee thumbs up or down. And what Dobson seemed to be doing was whispering to his constituency that she'd be alright on issues of concern. The was no reason for anybody to even remotely deduce that he was attempting to telegraph that she was Bush's first choice or his 20th choice. The biggest clam of all is the suggestion of a horrific confirmation process after the orderly, polite and entirely dignified hearings on the Roberts nomination. Dobson is under no obligation to explain himself, but for all these reasons we believe that far less than the full story went out over Dobson's slice of radio spectrum.


Apple unveils Video iPod
As anticipated, Apple unveiled yesterday an iPod capable of playing videos, evolving the ubiquitous music player into a multimedia platform for everything from TV shows to music videos. Videos will now be sold alongside songs on Apple's iTunes Music Store - - including ABC-TV and Disney Channel shows. Citing the groundbreaking deal with ABC, Apple CEO Jobs said the companies will start with five shows, including ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," as well as the new ABC drama "Night Stalker" and the two most popular shows on Disney Channel, "That's So Raven" and "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." Current season episodes of the ABC series will be available for download from Apple's iTunes Music Store the day after they are broadcast, while the entire first season of "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" will be available for download immediately. Current season episodes of Disney Channel series will be available for download on an ongoing basis, with selected past episodes of "That's So Raven" and "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" available beginning immediately. Customers can purchase and download current episodes or past season episodes with just one click and view them on their PC or Mac, and Auto-Sync them onto the new iPod for viewing anywhere. "This is the first giant step to making more content available to more people online," said Robert Iger, Disney CEO. "It is the future as far as I'm concerned. It's a great marriage between content and technology and I'm thrilled about it." The new video iPod, available in black or white, will be able to play video and podcasts. A 30-gigabyte version will sell for 299 bucks and a 60-gigabyte, 399. Extra features on both versions include a clock, a calendar, a stopwatch and a screen lock. In the last fiscal quarter, the iPod accounted for nearly a third of Apple's revenue; Macintosh computers, accounted for about 44% with 1.2 million units sold.

TVBR observation: First the iPod was a threat to radio listening. Now it's a threat to TV viewing. At least Disney/ABC had the foresight to step up and grab a financial stake in this new challenger to its own video programming delivery system. Publisher note: For how the iPod Grinch is about to steal more than this years TV Christmas read today's perspective at 'Carnegie Cuz Network'

The Wall Street view on PPM
It appears Wall Street investors have pretty much the same questions as broadcasters about Arbitron's Portable People Meters (PPM) - - how much will it change ratings, who gains, who loses, and when might it be implemented? Bear Stearns hosted Arbitron Sr. VP Jay Guyther on a conference call yesterday to discuss the data obtained thus far from the ongoing PPM test in Houston. With radio ratings down in morning drive and TV viewership up, in part because PPM measures out-of-home viewing as well as in-home, one investor wanted to know whether Arbitron would pursue using PPM only for TV if radio broadcasters resist - - pretty much the opposite of the "radio first" strategy that Arbitron is currently pitching to major radio groups. But Guyther stuck to the company line, declaring that Arbitron is committed to pursuing a joint venture with Nielsen for measurement of TV.

TVBR observation: Nielsen may be hesitant about PPM, but some of its clients are pushing hard for it to adopt Arbitron's passive measurement system. Even some of the most vehement critics of Nielsen's Local People Meters (LPM) have told us good things about what they've seen in the PPM data for TV in the Philadelphia and Houston tests.

Who got the boot at Clear Channel?
Corporate headquarters is keeping mum about who were the two employees fired as Clear Channel completed its payola probe (10/12/05 RBR #200), but RBR/TVBR sources confirm that Michael Saunders is out the door at WWPR-FM New York, where he had been Program Director. Documents accompanying Sony BMG's settlement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said record label reps had agreed to send a plasma TV and entertainment system worth several thousand dollars to Saunders, but that Sony BMG lawyers nixed the deal before the goods were delivered. Folks at WWPR weren't commenting yesterday, but were referring all calls to Clear Channel headquarters, which, as noted, wasn't divulging the names. While Clear Channel may not be naming names, stories in both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times noted that three Clear Channel employees were named in the Sony BMG documents. In addition to Saunders, KHTS-FM San Diego Program Director Diana Laird was listed as having received a flat-screen TV and Donnie Anderson, known on the air as Donnie Michaels, was listed as having received a trip to Las Vegas and a laptop computer - - however, that was while working for a previous employer, before his current job as Assistant PD and mid-day host on WHYI-FM Miami. Both Laird and Michaels still have working voice mail accounts at the Clear Channel stations, but neither returned phone calls from RBR/TVBR.


Conference Calls Q3 2005
Media General optimistic on Q4
Is demand finally catching up with inventory? Perhaps the most interesting thing from yesterday's Q3 conference call for Media General was CEO Marshall Morton's reference to "tightening inventory" at some stations. Broadcasters are still up against tough comps from last years election-inflated numbers, but he's sounding pretty upbeat about Q4 for Media General's TV group. "New business development initiatives are expected to continue to boost local time sales and national spot sales for several stations should benefit from a tightening inventory. Overall, and this excludes political, we expect local and national time sales combined to be 12% above last year's fourth quarter. As I said, that excludes political and we do not expect to offset 20 and a half million dollars in political revenues that we had in last year's fourth quarter," Morton told analysts in his conference call.


Adbiz©

ABCRN details ABC Hispanic Advantage RADAR net
The debut of ABC Hispanic Advantage in RADAR 86 reinforces ABC Radio Networks' commitment to bring to advertisers this valuable consumer group via a strong national platform. ABC Hispanic Advantage commercials reach over 5.4 million Hispanic consumers ages 12 and over in an average week. The network features a line-up of Spanish-language stations in 13 of the Top 16 Hispanic markets, including KLAX-FM Los Angeles, WSKQ-FM New York and WXDJ-FM Miami. The net has a growing list of affiliates from Spanish-language station group owners including Spanish Broadcasting System and Entravision Communications. According to the RADAR 86 survey released recently, 79% of U.S. Hispanic consumers ages 12+ listen to a RADAR network affiliate in an average week. RADAR network affiliates reach: 80% of Hispanic Adults 18-34; 79% of Hispanic Adults 18-49; 79% of Hispanic Adults 25-54.

ABC Hispanic Advantage Network RADAR 86 Results:
Mon-Sun 6a-12mid
Avg. Rtg. (%)**
Mon-Fri 6a-7pm
Avg. Rtg.(%)**
Hispanic Persons 12+ 4.7 5.9
Hispanic Adults 18-34 5.4 7.0
Hispanic Adults 18-49 5.2 6.7
Hispanic Adults 25-54 5.5 7.0

Lucas Group: Advertising, Marketing
and PR industries bouncing back

Lucas Group, a professional recruiting agency, reports employment in the advertising, marketing and public relations industries is regaining strength with the rise of the economy. "In the wake of 9/11, many marketing budgets were slashed," said Jamie McCann, executive senior partner and advertising recruiter for Lucas Group, Irvine. "Since then, the economy has recovered and so has our industry. Advertising and marketing companies are now looking for candidates that embrace integrated marketing approaches." Integrated marketing consists of traditional advertising, marketing and PR avenues, such as broadcast and print, as well as more recent forms of messaging, including direct response mail and more interactive, online approaches. Effective marketing today means being able to measure and track results, which means knowing the right target audience. "Candidates that are in highest demand are the ones who appreciate all mediums and know how to match the medium with the market," said McCann. "One form of marketing will not suffice. Employees must understand, appreciate and see the benefit of combining traditional approaches with surfacing interactive methods." Similarly, mid-level PR positions are opening on both the corporate and agency side because they were the positions let go first during the economic downturn. The public relations industry is gaining momentum and mirroring the same.

Nielsen Outdoor releases
Chicago Ratings to charter clients

Nielsen Outdoor released the first-ever GPS-based outdoor ratings data measuring the Chicago market. Initially the data have been delivered to a group of advertisers, agencies, and media owners who are the charter clients who have helped design this new innovative service. After an initial period when the charter clients will be able to uniquely use the data for planning and marketing, Nielsen Outdoor will release the data to new industry subscribers. Earlier, Nielsen Outdoor formed the Global Outdoor Advisory Committee (GOAC) whose mission was to enable charter clients to effectively co-develop this new service so it met all the disparate needs of advertisers, media owners, and advertising agencies. The GOAC included industry leaders such as the Starcom MediaVest Group, Universal McCann, Mindshare, Mediacom, Clear Channel, JCDecaux, Lamar, Viacom, Van Wagner; the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Traffic Audit Bureau.

"It is now time for the outdoor industry to have a comparable currency with the other measured media to enable us to seriously consider outdoor in our media planning schedules and marketing mix models" says Kate Sirkin, EVP global research director, Starcom MediaVest Group. "We welcome this early planning period for the GOAC members and encourage the industry to embrace outdoor ratings by actively pursuing not only the general Chicago data release in a couple of months, but a commitment to encourage the accelerated rollout of additional markets with Nielsen Outdoor." Nielsen Outdoor and its technology partner, RDP Associates, developed the Npod, which about the size of a cell phone. Measurements are drawn from people who carry the Npods in their pockets, purses or wear them on a belt clip while they travel on foot or in cars. The continuous GPS satellite linkage enables Nielsen Outdoor to identify where the people are located relative to the location of outdoor advertising messages; their speed and direction of travel; and the exact time of day when they passed the outdoor ad locations.

Kellogg buying in review
Kellogg has put its 500 million U.S. media buying business in review. The account is handled by Publicis Groupe's Starcom.


Media Business Report
Readers think advertisers rig mag copy
The dawn of product placement in the print world has been noted of late in the trade press, but for magazine readers, apparently, it's already happened. Starcom USA has released a study of consumers which found that 65% believe advertisers are paying their way into editorial copy. According to an AdAge.com article, this is considered a no-no by an editor's trade group, but the consumers themselves don't seem to mind. Just about 83% said such mentions were appropriate. The concept is deemed more appropriate for articles on topics other than hard news.

MBR observation: There is no Greater Media than the one RBR/TVBR calls home: print. Many are just as good, like Radio; One other is television. You could go on Forever, from here to Infinity, under nimbus or Cumulus clouds, and not find a more Clear Channel to profitability. But you could travel from Salem to the Susquehanna, and whether you're a Young Fox or Gray as Granite, and you'll never catch us gratuitously mentioning radio and television companies, for pay or otherwise. Heh heh.


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


Washington Beat
On the Martinized FCC
Kevin Martin returned to his roots this week, speaking at an event held in Charlotte NC, not far from where he was raised. He gave a few hints as to where he was going to be heading the Commission in the coming months. He has been an indecency hawk alongside Democrat Michael Copps (Martin is a Republican), he has long favored stiffer penalties and surer punishment for transgressors in the indecency front. However, according to the Charlotte Observer, he is now taking a closer look at using technological tools which allow parents to block objectionable or otherwise undesired programming. He also expressed an interest in further pursuing mandated regulatory tools, in particular the institution of a la carte channel menus from cable and satellite MVPD operators. Also, look for yet another attempt to allow more local co-ownership broadcast/newspaper. This is an item from the stalled 6/2/03 ownership rulemaking that Martin favored, and which the 3rd Circuit ruling only partially condemned (the court found the concept to be OK, but not the rationale for caps proposed by the FCC at the time). According to the Observer, he may begin to pursue this before year's end or early in 2006. Other FCC items on his agenda include promoting broadband and improving the public safety communications infrastructure.

Do you have a blog in this fight?
Events of the past year, highlighted by the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller for refusing to revealing a source, and the coercing of testimony from other reporters on threat of jailing, has put a new focus on legislation to protect the reporter/source relationship. A federal shield law in on the docket, mirroring similar legislation in many states, with bipartisan sponsorship on both sides of the building on Capitol Hill. It seems to cover the journalistic gamut - - check this out from the Free Flow of Information Act of 2005 - - see the attachment. But key senate sponsor Richard Lugar (R-IN) told a gathering of journalists that bloggers may not be covered under the measure, according to Editor & Publisher.

TVBR observation: Despite a definition that includes the dissemination of information via "print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, or other means," it seems there's still some defining going on. Might want to be careful about what you put up on your website, and who you let put it there.
| Bill language here |


Programming
ABC gathers "The Evidence"
Production is set to begin tomorrow on a new dramatic series for ABC, "The Evidence," with Rob Estes in the staring role as Detective Sean Cole. The series also stars Orlando Jones and Martin Landau. From producer John Wells ("ER," "The West Wing," "Third Watch") and director Gary Fleder ("Blind Justice," "Runaway Jury"), the series is touted as putting a twist on the standard police procedural. At the top of each episode, all of the clues are revealed in a videotaped evidence log. The show then flashes to the day the crime was committed and invites viewers to play along with the investigators as they find each clue, determine its meaning, put the pieces of the puzzle together and figure out who committed the crime. The series will be filmed on location in San Francisco and Vancouver, BC. "The Evidence" is executive-produced by Sam Baum and Dustin Thomason. Nelson McCormick is co-executive producer and Christopher Chulack is consulting producer. The drama series is from John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television Production Inc.


Ratings & Research
Raymond rules in syndi world
"Everybody Loves Raymond" continues to top the syndicated TV ratings, according to Nielsen Media Research data distributed by the Syndicated Network Television Association (SNTA). Raymond again beat KingWorld stable mate "Wheel of Fortune" in the most recent week's ratings.
| View the Chart |


TVBR Stats
60% of mobile ringtones driven by "realtones"
Telephia, a provider of performance measurement info to the mobile industry, reports 60% of mobile ringtone revenues are generated by realtones [a ringtone with MP3 quality sound and vocals]. Traditional mono and polyphonic ringtones comprised nearly 33% of the revenue share, while callback tones accounted for 7% of the total revenues. Telephia debuts the first ever actual audience measurement report for ringtones in its new Mobile Audio Report, which tracks purchase activity for mobile ringtones, including traditional ringtones, realtones, callback tones [the sound the caller hears when calling someone vs. the tone the caller hears on their device], and voicetones from a panel of more than 30K wireless subscriber bills. According to the Telephia Mobile Audio Report, realtones from pop divas Gwen Stefani, Destiny's Child, and Mariah Carey were favorites among mobile users. Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl, Cater 2 U by Destiny's Child, and We Belong Together by Mariah Carey were three of the leading realtones in July 2005. The Rap/Hip-Hop, Pop, Soul/R&B, Voice, and Alternative/Punk categories led realtone genres, comprising 76% of all realtone revenues. Rap/Hip-Hop alone accounted for a quarter of realtone revenues, with Pop and Soul/R&B posting 17% and 14%, respectively. Voicetones snatched 11% of realtone revenues, while the Alternative/Punk genre posted a 9% share.


Stock Talk
Down, down, down we go...
Apple announced its new video iPod, but also lower-than-expected earnings, so the tech sector dragged the stock market lower. Media stocks were also hit, as Deutsche Bank lowered its rating on Gannett and JPMorgan dropped its rating on Tribune. The Dow Industrials dropped 36 points, or 0.4%, to 10,217.

Most TV stocks were lower. Media General, however, rose 3.5% after delivering better than expected results for Q3. Spanish Broadcasting System was down 3.3%, Tribune 2.8% and Gannett 2.3%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme

ACME

3.90

+0.05

Media General

MEG

57.40

+1.92

Belo

BLC

21.53

-0.66

Meredith

MDP

49.16

-0.80

Clear Channel

CCU

31.11

-0.62

News Corp.

NWS

15.36

-0.19

Disney

DIS

23.34

-0.43

Nexstar

NXST

5.02

+0.04

Emmis

EMMS

19.64

+0.02

NY Times

NYT

28.03

-0.37

Entravision

EVC

7.36

-0.14

Paxson

PAX

0.45

+0.01

Fisher

FSCI

45.91

+0.05

Saga Commun.

SGA

12.22

-0.16

Gannett

GCI

64.67

-1.55

SBS

SBSA

6.51

-0.22

Gen. Electric

GE

33.80

unch

Scripps

SSP

48.51

-0.47

Granite

GBTVK

0.30

+0.01

Sinclair

SBGI

8.23

-0.10

Gray

GTN

9.92

+0.07

Time Warner

TWX

17.49

-0.31

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

9.45

-0.06

Tribune

TRB

31.81

-0.90

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.09

-0.17

Univision

UVN

25.09

-0.40

Jeff-Pilot

JP

52.49

+0.12

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

30.93

-0.51

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.83

-0.32

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

30.80

-0.55

Liberty Corp

LC

46.64

+0.03

Wash. Post

WPO

742.00

-16.64

LIN TV

TVL

12.80

-0.04

Young

YBTVA

3.23

+0.02

McGraw-Hill

MHP

46.14

-0.20

-

-

-

-

-


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TV Media Moves

Promotion at NBC Uni
Kathleen Polett been named Vice President, Midwest Sales, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. In her new position, Polett will handle programming sales in a number of major markets and with station groups based in the Midwest. She most recently served as Director, Midwest Sales, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.


More News Headlines

NJ broadcasters help hurricane-damaged brethren
State broadcaster associations across the nation are stepping up to help small market stations in Louisiana and Mississippi rebuild their facilities destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In once such move, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) has made a contribution of 10K bucks, to be split between the two states. "We feel it's crucial to assist these small market gulf-area broadcasters not affiliated with any larger group in getting back on their feet, so they can continue doing what they do best, serve their local communities. Without local news that's immediately accessible in emergencies, school closings, weather and traffic, communications breaks down totally," said NJBA President Philip Roberts.


October RBR/TVBR Digital Magazine

Engineered For Profit
2006 budgets and capital expenditures examined.

Media Markets & Money

Has the bid/ask gap narrowed?


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

Gannett as others Hard Times
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. There was no positive movement in the vital auto sector for either TV or newspapers. 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. We have seen two TV Presidents out of work due to what we assume similar problems - and TVBR sees more heads rolling because someone has to take the bullet.
10/12/05 TVBR #200

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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Keep Your PC Clean

With the ever growing importance of computers in our daily lives and our businesses, it is important to remember that software and hardware often need attention too.
Rules For The Road To 2006:

1. Windows Update
(run it every two weeks)
2. Microsoft is putting out "critical" updates every month. Turn Auto-Update On. When it asks you to install the new updates - say Yes!
3. Virus Protection (make sure your system is up to date) Norton, McAfee - all flavors of the same ice cream. We like ice cream right?
4. Application Updates - Office - Lotus Notes, all software typically has updates, make sure you update your software once per month.


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