Good Morning - Thanks for your loyal RBR readership.
TVBR EPAPER - Gaining a personal edge on today's business day.
Are you reading this from a forwarded email?
New readers can receive our RBR Morning Epaper for the next 30 Business days! SIGN UP HERE
Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 202, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Friday Morning October 14th, 2005

TV News®

Tough quarter for Tribune
And another one coming. CEO Dennis FitzSimons says TV revenues are pacing down in the low double digits for Q4 after dropping 6% in Q3 to 307 million bucks. That was blamed on a generally soft ad market, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on its New Orleans stations and the continued impact of Nielsen's Local People Meters. Television operating cash flow fell 21% to 105 million. Including radio and entertainment, the rest of the division, Broadcasting & Entertainment saw Q3 revenues drop 2% to 422 million, with operating cash flow down 5% to 144 million. Newspaper ad sales were up 2% in Q3, with total publishing revues flat at 980 million. Publishing cash flow, however, rose 22% to 212 million. On the bottom line, Tribune took a big hit in Q3 from an adverse tax ruling, which it is still appealing. That reduced earnings per share to seven cents, from 37 cents a year ago.

TVBR observation: We can accept Katrina and we have heard all this year of no political, no Olympics, the rep issue and even LPM. When TVBR was asked in January how we viewed the television business, our statement was, "Wait till next year." That statement still holds true about next year. But on the LPM issue, last we looked, to get good ratings which produce quality ad revenues you have to have quality programming content. TVBR reminds all - Content is King. Maybe it is time for a joint RAB and TVB management sales marketing conference to compare notes and work together.

No hint on new Trib TV boss
Tribune Company CEO Dennis FitzSimons gave no indication in his quarterly conference call how soon he'll act to fill the vacancy created by the recent exit of Pat Mullen as President of Tribune Broadcasting (10/10/05 TVBR #198). For now, FitzSimons says the company has "excellent leadership" in the TV division (which also includes one radio stations), with Tribune Broadcasting Vice President's John Reardon and John Vitanovec reporting directly to FitzSimons. Also worth noting. One analyst asked about the rumors which pop up from time to time that Time Warner is interested in selling its share of the WB network. Would its partner, Tribune, be interested? FitzSimons replied that he's gotten no indication that Time Warner has any interest in selling out of the WB.

Liberty sale to Raycom
hits a speed bump

After discussions with the DOJ, Raycom has withdrawn and will re-file its antitrust notification and report relating to its pending deal to acquire the Liberty Corporation TV group for 987 million (8/26/05 TVBR 168). That will move the Hart-Scott-Rodino review expiration date to November 11th. Raycom and Liberty said the move was a procedural step to provide DOJ with additional time to review the merger.

TVBR observation: Doesn't appear to be a big deal. Raycom and Liberty compete in only four markets and any required divestitures are going to coincide with divestitures that will have to be made anyway under the FCC's local ownership limits. The real question is whether the FCC is going to go along with giving Raycom temporary waivers to own two stations in each of those four markets, pending spin-offs. The other option would be requiring an outside trustee to hold the licenses of the excess stations pending sales.

Political category humming: Governor races
Candidates for governor in two states, proponents and opponents of ballot initiatives in California and an unusual campaign targeting a prosecutor in Texas are keeping the political ad category alive despite the odd-numbered off-federal election year. It's especially hot in New Jersey, where two rich candidates are squaring off. According to the Associated Press, between the primaries and the upcoming general election, US Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) has already spent 23.5M dollars that he found in his own wallet; and Republican Doug Forrester has spend 21.7M, cash which was also tucked away in his own back pocket. And that doesn't begin to account for cash raised through the usual channels. In Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine is duking it out with Republican Jerry Kilgore (and independent Russ Potts), and the airwars are just beginning to heat up with the introduction of an emotional ad from Kilgore accusing Kaine of being soft on the death penalty. The ads have been described as both powerful and loathesome (depending on your point of view). Regardless of where you stand on that, what they are likely to do from a media perspective is inspire further advertising.

Political category humming: Other races
In California, where no political offices are at stake, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is waging war on the Democratic legislature via a series of ballot initiatives. What most Californians are agreed upon, however, is that they aren't much interested in the vote, other than to balk at the expected 52M-55M pricetag just to hold it. Both sides are investing in highly targeted media campaigns to motivate small groups of individuals which have a high stake in the outcome of the initiatives - - Democrats in particular are said to be using television and radio to that end. Then there's the case of Tom Delay (R-TX), facing indictment in Texas on campaign finance charges. According to a Texas television station, Delay is availing himself of free time whenever possible. A report from ABC KLTV 7 in Tyler-Longview-Jacksonville says he's taken to the airwaves, radio and TV, over 20 times since 9/28/05, the day the first indictment went down. And he's getting a helping hand from watchdog Free Enterprise Fund in the form of a TV/radio ad comparing prosecutor Ronnie Earle to a bad dog. FEF's reason for being is to buy radio and TV time to provide, among other things, "...timely and tactical policy guidance to members of Congress..."

FTC nails supplement subsidiary end-around
NBTY Inc. (once known as Nature's Bounty Inc.) was ordered way back in 1995 to stop making inaccurate claims about the benefits of using its products. However, a subsidiary - - Dynamic Essentials Inc. - - went ahead and marketed "Royal Tongan Limu," a seaweed extract said to "...cure, prevent, or treat a range of diseases and disorders such as allergies, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease." And for those of you who dislike dieting and exercise, and would prefer to lose weight during your sleep, there's "Body Success PM Diet Program." The situation is being handled via a consent decree, terms of which will require NBTY to pay a 2M civil penalty and another 250K in consumer redress. "Misleading health claims prevent consumers from getting useful information and can delay treatment for serious medical conditions," said Lydia B. Parnes, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Companies already under order for making deceptive health claims should know better than to try it again."

TVBR observation: Such ads also make your station look silly at best when you make them part of your own spotload diet.

Conference Calls Q3 2005
Tribune by the numbers
Here's a look at Q3 for the Tribune Company.

Tribune Company, Q3 2005
Broadcasting & Entertainment Division
in thousands)
Segment Revs. Change Cash flow Change
TV 306,649 -6.2% 105,338 -21.0%
Radio/Ent. 115,807 9.7% 38,264 111.9%
Total 422,456 -2.3% 143,602 -5.2%
Publishing Division
Publishing 980,354 -0.1% 212,028 21.7%
Tribune Company
Total 1,402,801 -0.8% 342,936 9.3%


Fred Flintstone "Trusts the Midas Touch" in new spot
Two of the earliest automobile drivers - - Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble - - appear in a new commercial for Midas as part of its "Trust the Midas Touch" campaign. In the spot, Fred and Barney appear in a Midas shop with questions for the Midas mechanic, "Is it true you do more brake jobs than anyone else and you guarantee all of your work?" asks Fred. A mechanic responds that Midas is the #1 brake repair provider with two million jobs annually and confirms the Midas lifetime guarantee then pauses to ask, "Do you smell something burning?" Barney quickly quips that the smell is Fred's sore, red feet - his old brakes. The spot ends with the famous "Trust the Midas Touch" tag sung by Fred and Barney. DDB Chicago blended the animation with real footage, mirroring the set-up of other "Trust the Midas" spots, but casting Fred and Barney as the customer. Representing Midas, DDB Chicago worked closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products who handles the licensing of the Hanna-Barbera library of characters including The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and The Jetsons, among others. Warner Bros. Animation created the animation for the spot.

Bulk of Unilever biz goes to Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Unilever named Bartle Bogle Hegarty as the global creative AOR of its 280 million account for the detergent brands grouped under the platform "Dirt is good" (Omo, Persil and Skip in Europe; Wisk and Sunlight in North America, and Omo in South and Central America). The move ends a review that included incumbents JWT and Lowe against BBH. Lowe previously handled two-thirds of the "Dirt is good" billings; JWT the rest. Lowe will keep a small portion of the work for Omo in Asia, Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, Paragua and the Caribbean, the company said.

ExxonMobil in review
ExxonMobil is reviewing its corporate ad account, worth reportedly 30-40 million in billings. AAR Partners is handling. TM Advertising Irving, Texas, part won the account in March 2002. TM and McCann NY will team to defend.

Mississippi Media RAMPS up
Gulf Coast recovery

Triad Broadcasting SVP Steve Fehder announced subsidiary Biloxi-Gulfport's Mississippi Media Broadcasting is donating 1-million in free radio advertising to Katrina-ravaged businesses in the region. The Rebuilding Assistance Marketing Program - - RAMP - - launches in cooperation with local Gulf Coast Chambers of Commerce. All six Mississippi Media radio stations in Biloxi-Gulfport are sponsoring RAMP - including Classic Rock WXRG, Active Rock WCPR, "The Monkey' CHR WXYK, "Hank" Classic Country WUJM, ESPN Sports Radio WXBD and News/Talk WTNI. Traffic One is also in the program. RAMP is targeted to begin advertising local businesses by the first week of November. Spots will run 24/7 Monday-Sunday. Each :60 commercial will feature two local businesses and include a message from the local Chambers. Mississippi Media will handle creative copy, scheduling and follow-up.

Media Business Report
Internet-cable giant in the works?
Rumors abound that Google and Comcast are in talks with Time Warner to acquire stakes in AOL. The plan would be to create an Internet portal powerhouse. Although AOL has suffered from subscribers to its dialup service moving to broadband connections, it still has lots of content - - and experience in generating content. Google would, of course, supply search capability and Comcast would provide broadband access to supplement that of Time Warner Cable. Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons says such talk is just "market rumor" - - but he didn't deny it, either.

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
Hearst-Argyle sees Q3 at 163M
After withdrawing its Q3 guidance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which affected its TV stations in New Orleans and Jackson, MS, Hearst-Argyle now says it expects to report Q3 revenues of approximately 163 million. That's at the low end of the original guidance of 163-172 million, but still within the original range. However, Wall Street analysts had been looking for a couple of million more.

Washington Beat
NBC/Telemundo outwrestles
Univision in Phoenix

The Phoenix DMA is one of the top ten in the US in terms of Hispanic population, but has only one full-power Hispanic television station, Univision's KFPH-TV 13. NBC/Telemundo is there, but with a low-powered Class A station on Channel 11, KPHZ, licensed to Holbrook AZ, a community within the DMA but physically distant from the Phoenix urban area. Telemundo has persuaded Community Television Educators to swap noncommercial KDTP-TV 39 for Channel 11 (in a deal which includes unspecified compensation) - - requiring the licenses of both to be changed via FCC rulemaking from commercial to noncommercial status and vice versa. Univision objected to the move, saying that thanks to cable carriage, Telemundo has access to just as many viewers as does its own station. The FCC came down on Telemundo's side, however, noting the preferential status full-powered stations have over Class As. In particular, the Telemundo station in Phoenix was disadvantaged on a Cox cable system by its placement on a tier with an extra fee attached over the amount charged for the basic tier where all full-power TVs are carried. FCC agreed that the Telemundo station was further disadvantaged to participate in the DTV transition with lower statue. It finally noted that the disadvantages appeared to be reflected in ratings and revenues figures. Democrat Michael Copps weighed in on the decision, saying it was a rare occasion where disadvantaging a noncom (albeit with its own blessings) was warranted because the move actually increased competition and service to a significant niche audience.

A "Simple" cancellation
Fox has obliged Paris Hilton's wish to bounce Nicole Richie off the "reality" series in which they co-stared for three seasons. Oh, and by the way, you're fired too, Paris. In fact, the official view from Fox is that the network is just so chuck full of new hits and returning shows that there just didn't seem to be any place on the schedule for "The Simple Life." Yeah, right! Meanwhile, the show's producer, 20th Century Fox Television (which, like Fox, is owned by News Corp.) is going ahead with plans for season four, with both Paris and Nicole on board despite their squabbling. There's reportedly interest in a pickup by either NBC or the WB.

Ratings & Research
Eyeballs still on broadcast nets
The folks at the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) are always happy to point out just how many shows the cable (or, as TVB prefers, Subscription TV) networks are able to put in Nielsen's primetime top 100 - - a total of five in the most recent week. The best showing for cable was #47, ESPN's NFL broadcast of the Cincinnati Bengals-Jacksonville Jaguars game.
| Top 100 List |

Stock Talk
Uncertainty on Wall Street
Growing concerns about inflation have Wall Street traders nervous, keeping a cap on trading. The Dow Industrials were more or less flat yesterday, slipping a fraction to close at 10,217 in a mixed day of trading.

TV stocks were also mixed. LIN had a good day, rising 4.7%. Tribune gained 2.4% as its dismal Q3 results were less dismal than expected. Media General had the worst performance, falling 2.5%.


Here's how stocks fared on Thursday

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]

Share The Voice

'Today's Perspective'
Christmas Marketing of Biblical Proportion -
iPod now with Video.

More News Headlines

WideOrbit celebrates National Traffic Directors Day
WideOrbit, a provider of radio and television traffic, sales and promo systems software, announced an agreement to provide membership in The Traffic Directors Guild of America for all of its client station Traffic and Continuity department personnel. The program, the first of its kind for a Traffic Software provider, provides added benefits for WideOrbit customers through one-year memberships in the non-union membership association. The commitment was timed to coincide with NTDD - - National Traffic Director's Day on 11/2. TDGA conducted a pilot program for WideOrbit over the last year, and with its announced expansion of the program will include full membership dues for personnel at more than 340 radio and television stations and cable networks, worldwide.

October RBR/TVBR Digital Magazine

TV News
LPM cussed and discussed

GM Talkback
TV and Radio GM's talk about Local auto dealer ad dollars and what trends they see.

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.

Apple unveils Video iPod
Now a TV Problem
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.
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'
10/13/05 TVBR #201

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? Stearns hosted Arbitron Sr. VP Jay Guyther on a conference call 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.
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. We still say Arbitron and Nielsen do a power lunch and move forward into 2006.
10/13/05 TVBR #201

Who got the boot at Clear Channel?
Corporate headquarters is keeping mum about who were the two employees fired. RBR/TVBR sources confirm that Michael Saunders is out the door at WWPR-FM New York, where he had been Program Director. KHTS-FM San Diego Program Director Diana Laird and Donnie Anderson, known on the air as Donnie Michaels also named. Sony BMG's settlement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer outlines the payola goods.
TVBR observation: Surprise nobody at Clear Channel wants to talk or return phone calls which is a bad move. Best way to clean the slat is to come clean and be a leader in this mess. RBR hunch is that if payola goods are floating around bet more eyes are looking deeper. Face it RBR could gather numbers of people that will go off the record sighting of payola cases of decades. The big issues were back in the mid 1980's when organized crime was involved and that ended up on the scrap pile.
10/13/05 TVBR #201

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. 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.'
10/13/05 TVBR #201

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

Be a Media Mogul
Tired of working for someone else and have the energy to create your own success. Unprecedented opportunity for media sales pros who have an entrepreneurial bent who can run their own business helping local and regional advertisers compete with the big boys. Additional info, contact Mike Harding, President, MMI Affiliates Corporation
See TV Careers

Find Your TV Career

Post Your Companies Job Openings

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.

Other Links

State Associations

Contact Us

Publisher question:
Reading TVBR from a friend?
Receive your own morning copy at

Help Desk

Having problems with our epapers?
Please send Questions/Concerns to:
[email protected]

If you wish to unsubscribe
to TVBR ONLY use this link

If you wish to remove your name completely from our database use this link __UNSUB__

TVBR Epaper -- 108 annual
or just 9 a month

©2005 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved.
Television Business Report -- 2050 Old Bridge Road, Suite B-01, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 -- Phone: 703-492-8191