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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 203, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning October 17th, 2007

TV News ®

Wall Street applauds Scripps split
Scripps shares jumped 8.6% on Tuesday after the company announced plans to split into two companies. The current E.W. Scripps Company will retain the newspapers and TV stations, while the cable networks and online shopping comparison operations will be spun off into a new Scripps Networks Interactive. Current CEO Ken Lowe will go with the newbie, while COO Richard Boehne moves up to the top job at the newspaper/TV company. In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, the two explained the division as a split between national media, cable/online, and local media, newspapers/TV. Now that the decision to divide the company has been made by the board of directors, Lowe says the company is no longer considering the possibility of selling the TV group. Both of the new companies will still be controlled by The Edward W. Scripps Trust, with the right to elect a majority of the board members via its Common Voting Shares, which are not publicly traded, as opposed to the publicly traded Class A shares. That system of two classes of stock will continue for both companies. The makeup of each board of directors will be announced later. Both companies will be headquartered in Cincinnati.

Scripps Networks Interactive will be anchored by the company's two most successful cable channels, HGTV and Food Network. By the way, much as Lowe would like to be able to buy up the one-third of Food Network owned by Tribune Company, he says no talks are currently taking place. Other cable networks will include DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country. The spin-off will also own the Shopzilla and uSwitch Internet sites for comparative shopping. It is estimated that the new company will have annual revenues of around 1.4 billion and 2,100 employees. Meanwhile, the stripped-down E.W. Scripps Company will retain daily and community newspapers in 17 markets and 10 TV stations, including six ABC affiliates, three NBC and one independent. It will have revenues of around 1.1 billion and 7,100 employees. Bond analysts on the conference call were happy to hear that the two companies will be refinancing their debt, rather than leaving all of the bond debt with the newspaper/TV company. In fact, it will end up with no more than 100 million in debt, while the new cable/Internet company will have around 465 million. Even so, Moody's immdediately put E.W. Scripps on review for a possible ratings downgrade.

TVBR observation: Who's next? Wall Street applauded as Belo announced a split - and now investors are cheering this move by Scripps. It seems unlikely that Gannett will follow suit. The TV business is a relatively small portion of the newspaper giant and it is the main business line, print, which is a drag on the stock price. There are hopes on Wall Street, though, that Media General might do a similar split into newspaper and TV companies. Even post-split, E.W. Scripps is going to see its valuation driven more by the struggling newspaper business than the more robust television side. TV accounted for 364 million of 2006 revenues and 121 million of profits, while newspapers owned solely by Scripps brought in 716 million of revenues and 189 million of profits.

NAB unveils 697M DTV plan
As promised, the National Association of Broadcasters is spearheading a major educational campaign aimed at making a success of the transition to digital broadcasting. Included in the package is a guarantee of at least 327M worth of air time to get the word out. Part of the NAB plan is to make sure Congress is up to speed, and to that end it put an ad in Capitol Hill newspaper The Politico asking "Are your constituents ready for the switch?" The ad directs legislators to a portion of the NAB website dedicated to answering most questions about what's coming and what people need to do to get ready. The announcement got the attention of at least one key player. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (R) said, "Today's action by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) will play a significant role in ensuring Americans will have a smooth transition to digital television. A successful completion of the digital transition depends upon government and industry working together in promoting consumer awareness." He pledged to make sure the FCC is up to speed on the policy side of the equation.

TVBR observation: As we've noted many times, there is no better vehicle to teach consumers about changes to television than television. A campaign placed there will be reaching the target demographic, people who use television, by definition. We think this change will be kind of like Y2K. There were a lot of apocalyptic predictions, but in the end, nothing much happened.

Presidential campaigns
pull in over 400M

20 candidates for president have been collecting funds, and their collective total has now grown to 416.1M. The bulk of the cash has been going to Democrats, who enjoy a 241.0M to 175.1M advantage. Eight Democrats and 12 Republicans are on the Federal Election Commission report. However, two of the Republicans, Tommy Thompson (R-WI) and Jim Gilmore (R-VA) have formally exited the race, and one newcomer, Fred Thompson (R-TN) has been added to the list. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) leads all comers and had the best quarter, bringing in 26.5M to Barack Obama's (D-IL) 20.8M in receipts. No other Democrats were able to add cash at a double-digit pace.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney (R-MA) has amassed the most cash and picked up 18.1M during Q3, but he also chipped in nearly 9M out of his own pocket, more by far than the other 19 candidates combined -- only six have donated to themselves, and the only significant amount is the 935K John Cox (R-IL) has used to seed his own longshot campaign. Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) added 11.3M to his coffers and Fred Thompson (R-TN) went from zero to 12.7M during the quarter. The fastest pace has been set by Ron Paul (R-TX), whose outsider Libertarian stances have generated a lot of internet buzz along with a healthy dose of free media coverage. But even though he doubled his take and then some, he is still far down the list with only 8.2M in total receipts so far.
| View the Chart |

TNS finds the political hot spots
The crystal ball gazers over at TNS Media Intelligence see between 2.5B-3B in political spending in 2008, on top of 700M spent this year in the run-up to actual voting. It also took a look at where it thinks a lot of the cash will be directed. Holding the early primaries catapult Iowa and New Hampshire to the top of the list. Both will likely be battlegrounds in the general election, and both have competitive House races, plus Democrats have painted a big target on Sen. John Sununu (R-NH). Battleground states Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Louisiana all figure to attract national cash during the general election, and CO, ME, MN and LA also have hot Senate races. California also made the list because of its propensity for hard-fought ballot initiative battles.

Other states predicted to generate political dollars include Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. High demand is predicted to spread the wealth. Although television will benefit from the bulk of campaign advertising budgets, TNS expects "the need for more ad inventory in several battleground states." Because of this, "radio and newspapers should also see significant increases in political ad dollars in a number of states."

Fred Thompson puts the
focus on the campaign

One-time events crowded out a lot of the ongoing coverage type stories during the week of 10/7/07-10/12/07, according to the latest news coverage study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Shootings in Cleveland and Wisconsin received play in the media. But no single story was able to eclipse the ongoing coverage of the presidential race. The first debate for latecomer Fred Thompson (R-TN) was the cause for much of the attention. In an otherwise fairly diffuse coverage week, it was the one and only story that made all five individual top ten lists. The flip side is that there were ten stories that only made it on one list. Scandals involving athlete Marion Jones and Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) were the biggest stories to completely disappear.
| Top ten lists here |

Wall Street Business Report TM
DG prepares to raise cash
DG FastChannel has filed a shelf registration with the SEC to sell up to 3.5 million new common shares and up to 25 million bucks worth of preferred stock. The company says the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. DG FastChannel business focuses on digital delivery of commercials and other content to radio and television stations.

Ad Business Report TM

Nielsen issues C3 Commercial Minute
rankers for premiere week

Nielsen has issued C3 Commercial Minute rankers for broadcast network primetime shows and specials during premiere week (9/24-9/30). C3 (Live +3 day viewing) represents live viewing of commercials combined with viewing of commercials during 3 days of DVR playback. CBS's CSI took the cake, with the highest average commercial rating. Following, in order (Live +3, Persons 2+) were ABC's Dancing with the Stars, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Dancing with the Stars 9/25 Special; Fox's House, CBS' Without a Trace, ABC's Dancing With The Stars Results Special; NBC's Heroes and Sunday Night Football, CBS's CSI: Miami, and ABC's Private Practice. The good news for the industry is C3 ratings closely parallel live program ratings. For example, CSI had a live program viewing audience of 23.7 million, and a C3 viewing audience of 23.8. Grey's Anatomy had 19 million live program viewers and 19.1 C3 viewers.
| See the 25 shows with the highest C3 ratings for the week of 9/24 |

Baby Bee Bright launches national TV campaign
Baby Bee Bright, developer, manufacturer and marketer of prenatal educational and related products, will launch its new nationwide television advertising campaign this month. "This advertising campaign is only one element in our ramped-up new product sales and marketing campaign," said CEO Fred Dahlman. "But it will get the Baby Bee Bright brand in front of much larger audiences in select markets around the country." The commercial can already be seen at and on

Media Business Report TM
Madonna's deal is done
Live Nation and Madonna finally confirmed yesterday that they have struck an exclusive deal covering concerts, albums and just about everything else that Madonna has to sell. They did not, however, disclose the financial terms, although the package had been rumored to guarantee Madonna 120 million over 10 years (10/12/07 TVBR #200). "The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a business woman, I have to move with that shift. For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited. I've never wanted to think in a limited way and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless. Who knows how my albums will be distributed in the future? That's what's exciting about this deal -- everything is possible. Live Nation has offered me a true partnership and after 25 years in the business, I feel that I deserve that," said Madonna in announcing the move away from a singer's traditional link with a record label. The first-of-its-kind partnership between Madonna and Live Nation encompasses all of Madonna's future music and music-related businesses, including the exploitation of the Madonna brand, new studio albums, touring, merchandising, fan club/web site, DVD's, music-related television and film projects and associated sponsorship agreements.

Washington Business Report TM
Senate Commerce Committee teeing up radio
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has a date with the radio business on 10/24/07. A hearing called the Future of Radio will be held to "assess the state of innovation and competition" in the biz. The session will kick off at 10AM. No other details are yet available.

TVBR observation: This would be a good time to discuss tax credits. But watch out -- if John McCain (R-AZ) can drag himself away from the campaign trail long enough to attend this session, it could turn into a discussion of LPFM.

Hutchison weighing early exit from Senate
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has announced that this will be her final term as a US senator, and she may even exit early, if she decides to run for governor of her state in 2010. If she were to win that race, she would be able as governor to appoint a successor to finish off her term, which will be voted on by citizens in November 2012. Hutchison is a member of the influential Senate Commerce Committee. On broadcast issues, she is one of the group of Republicans who have occasionally cast their support for anti-consolidation measures such as the Byron Dorgan (D-ND)/Trent Lott (R-MS) repudiation of the FCC's 2003 ownership rulemaking.

Entertainment Business Report TM
Kimmel coast to coast
Jimmy Kimmel might want to get a second wristwatch before next week, rather than try to keep changing to adapt to his current time zone. Kimmel has signed on to sub for vacationing Regis Philbin on "Live with Regis and Kelly," which shoots in NYC, but still do his own LA-based daily show. That means he will take two coast-to-coast flights every 24 hours. Kimmel plans to try to sleep on the redeye heading east after wrapping up his show in LA and to prep for his show while flying westward. That is, if he doesn't fall asleep and tumble from his stool while co-hosting with Kelly Ripa.

Victoria's Secret gets Spicy
If a lingerie fashion show isn't hot enough already, CBS is heating it up even more this year. The network announced that the December 4th (10-11 pm ET/PT) broadcast of "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" will feature the debut television performance of the Spice Girls, and performances by Grammy Award-winning recording artists Kanye West and Seal. Kanye West will open the show. This will be the Spice Girls debut television performance since reuniting. Top models appearing on the runway will include Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova and Selita Ebanks. "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" is being produced by done and dusted, inc. Edward G. Razek, Monica Mitro, Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton are the executive producers. Hamish Hamilton is the director.

Internet Business Report TM
Inergize Digital Media to Google email
through station websites

Inergize Digital Media, the interactive Web services arm of Clear Channel Television, announced it is deploying a new free e-mail service through Google Apps-Google's web-based platform for communication and collaboration. The service will be launched in Tulsa, where Inergize manages the website of KOKI-TV Fox23. Tulsa viewers can receive a personalized homepage and a vanity e-mail address linked to local domain names including sports fan affiliations and the Tulsa market. Google Apps' tools include Gmail webmail services, Google Docs, Google Calendar shared calendaring, Google Talk IM and VoIP, and the Start Page feature for creating a customizable home page on a specific domain. This partnership makes Inergize the first media company in the U.S. to offer the Google Apps service.

YouTube unveils copyright controls technology
YouTube has rolled out its long-awaited technology to automatically remove copyrighted clips, hoping to satisfy movie and television studios fed up with the site's piracy issues-and alleviate further lawsuits like the one from Viacom, which sued it for 1 billion. The filtering tools are designed so video copyright owners can block their material from appearing, but also gives them the option to sell ads around their content if they want the clips to remain available. YouTube needs cooperation of the copyright owners for its filtering system to work. Movie and TV studios will have to provide decades of copyrighted material and data if they don't want it to appear on the site. To find and remove copyrighted music, YouTube already uses separate filtering tools developed by Audible Magic.

Ratings & Research
Big week for CBS
Sunday's NFL game produced big ratings and ran into primetime, helping to power CBS to a win in the Nielsen ratings for Households and a tie with ABC for the 18-49 crown. In HH, CBS had a 7.9 rating and 13 share, followed by ABC at 7.2/12, NBC 5.2/9, Fox 4.9/8, CW 1.9/3, Univision 1.7/3, MyNetworkTV 0.6/1, Telemundo 0.5/1, TeleFutura and Ion 0.3/1 and Azteca America 0.1/0. In 18-49, CBS and ABC tied at 3.6/10, with NBC at 3.0/8 and Fox 2.9/8. Among the smaller nets, the ranking was Univision, CW, Telemundo, a tie by TeleFutura and MyNetworkTV, and a final tie by Azteca America and Ion. "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC topped the HH ratings, but "CSI" on CBS had more total viewers. Here is the list of the top 20 shows.
| View the List |

Consumers to take cautious approach to Holiday shopping
Though shoppers still plan to spend more on the holidays this year than last, consumers say their spending will be a bit restrained this holiday season. According to NRF's 2007 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of 816.69 on holiday-related shopping. In addition, these shoppers will spend an additional 106.67 on special "non-gift" purchases by taking advantage of special promotions and discounts to treat themselves. This brings total planned holiday-related spending to 923.36, an increase of 3.7% from 2006 and in line with NRF's economic forecast of 4%. Discounters can expect the most traffic as 68.4% of consumers plan to shop there (compared to 70.3% in 2006). Department Stores will also see a lion's share of traffic as 58.2% will choose this format (vs. 61.6% last year). Other popular destinations include grocery stores (44.6% in 2007 vs. 49.3% in 2006) and online (44.3% in 2007 vs. 47.1% in 2006). The Internet will once again play a crucial role for retailers this holiday season as consumers, on average, plan to do 30.2% of their shopping online compared to 28.9% in 2006.

Stock Talk
Big Ben sends stocks lower
Stock prices fell Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a Monday night speech that the housing market remains a "significant drag" on the economy. The Dow Industrials were down 72 points, or 0.5%, to 13,913.

TV stocks were lower. A notable exception was Scripps, up 8.6% after announcing that it would split in two. Tribune fell 2.5%, as did Journal Communications.


Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change





Lincoln Natl.






















Media General




Clear Channel












News Corp.
















Ion Media




Equity Media EMDA 2.90 unch

Saga Commun.




















Gen. Electric








Google GOOG











Time Warner




Gray, C1. A












Wash. Post




Journal Comm.









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Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
C3 Commercial Minute
Nielsen issues C3 Commercial Minute rankers for premiere week, CBS's CSI took the cake...

Washington Business Report
Senate Commerce Committee
Teeing up radio but word to the wise, this would be a good time to discuss tax credits...

Entertainment Business Report
Victoria's Secret gets Spicy
CBS is heating it up even more this year...

Ratings & Research
Big week for CBS
A tie with ABC for the 18-49 crown...

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TV Media Moves

Krone to Comcast
Former NCTA executive David Krone will join Comcast as Sr. VP for Corporate Affairs, effective January 2, 2008. Krone Exec. VP of NCTA for over five years before stepping down at the beginning of this month.

VCI selects Caird
VCI Solutions, supplier of media revenue solutions for the broadcast and cable industry, has selected Ron Caird as Director of Sales for its Automation Division. Caird will be responsible for managing the expanding sales of the autoXe automation product line, including the new autoXe MC product. Prior to joining VCI, Caird was DOS for Broadcast Stations and Groups at Pathfire, Inc.

staying a while

CBS Corporation announced that Les Moonves has signed a new contract extending his employment as CEO through September 30, 2011. In announcing the new contract, CBS Executive Chairman praised Moonves. "What he has accomplished since we unleashed the new CBS Corporation has exceeded all my expectations. There is no better CEO in America, and I have no doubt that his success will only continue as he leads CBS into the next decade," said Redstone. Under the new contract, Moonves will actually receive a smaller salary - 3.5 million per year, down from 5.9 million, although that included 2.9 million in deferred compensation. But Moonves will heavy up on CBS stock. He gets a one time option to purchase five million shares and he gets restricted stock units valued at 7.6 million per year.

More News Headlines

"Mama Carlson" actress dead
Actress Carol Bruce, who played the station owner and mother of the "Big Guy," station manager Arthur Carlson (the late Gordon Jump) on CBS' "WKRP in Cincinnati," has died. She was 87. Bruce was actually the second "Mama Carlson," joining the show for its second season in 1979 and continuing until the series ended in 1982. The late Sylvia Sidney was cast in the role for the series pilot. (A bit of trivia: Bruce was actually only 13 years older than Jump.)

The CW: Live+7 been very, very good to me
The CW Network says it saw the largest primetime viewership increases (on a percentage basis) of any network in women 18-34 for the week of 9/24/07 once DVR playback was included, according to Nielsen Live Plus Seven Day ratings. Overall, The CW's primetime weekly average was bolstered 22% in women 18-34 (1.80rtg v. 1.48rtg) and 19% in adults 18-34 (1.45 v. 1.22) according to Nielsen live-plus 7 day ratings vs. live only viewing. "Gossip Girl," "America's Next Top Model," "Beauty and The Geek," "Reaper" and "Smallville" all benefited substantially from DVR usage, gaining 22-37% additional viewers who recorded and watched the shows within 7 days of its live broadcast.

MangoMOBILE fuels Nissan's shift into mobile marketing
MangoMOBILE, an Omnicom company and mobile marketing solutions provider, announces the launch of a mobile marketing campaign to support the launch of the Nissan Rogue crossover vehicle. MangoMOBILE worked with TEQUILA\, a division of TBWA Worldwide, to create a series of online ad units that empower consumers to download Rogue-themed content, including a fully-branded advergame. Flash-based "Online2Mobile" ad units streamline the process for acquiring of mobile content by eliminating the need for consumers to enter their mobile carrier, device make and model, or having to click through to a microsite. Consumers simply enter their mobile number directly into the ad unit and click "submit." All Nissan Rogue mobile content is offered free to the consumer, less standard carrier messaging and data fees.

Courvoisier launches campaign to "Find Greatness Within"
Beam Global Spirits & Wine and Courvoisier Cognacannounced the launch of "Find Greatness Within," the brand's first advertising and positioning campaign since 2005. The newly launched Courvoisier Exclusif and Courvoisier VSOP are featured in various publications in October and November. In addition to the marques, the campaign features Jermaine "JD" Dupri, renowned producer and founder of So-So Def Records. The ads feature Dupri posing with a snifter of Courvoisier VSOP. All the "layers" critical to his success are featured around him as a crest and are depicted in the ad including records, his drum set, music clefs, the skyline of Atlanta-Dupri's hometown, and basketballs, as he is a passionate basketball fan. The sidebar reads, "Jermaine Dupri. Artist, Music Mogul, Basketball Fanatic."

TVBR Radar 2007
Television News you won't read any where else. TVBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Market reacts to dropped Hearst bid
The stock price of Hearst-Argyle Television declined 6% Monday (10/15/07) after Hearst Corporation dropped its bid to buy out public shareholders. Even so, the stock price closed three cents above the abandoned bid of 23.50 per share and well above the 20.42 price back in August before the offer was made. So, what happens now? Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller doesn't think this is over. But he wonders what message Hearst Corporation was trying to send.

TVBR observation: Hearst Corporation still owns 73% of Hearst-Argyle, so it is not likely to seek another buyer, nor would any unsolicited bid have much chance of going anywhere. As noted by some of the folks who'd objected to the 23.50 price, Hearst Corporation has paid more than that for many of the Hearst-Argyle shares it now owns. We wait to see if the company goes back to buying shares in the public market. That 27% stake now held by the public could just be gnawed away until Hearst Corporation makes another bid to take Hearst-Argyle private.
10/16/07 TVBR #202

Commercial Minute
Ratings as currency
Shari Anne Brill, SVP/director of programming for Carat USA and her team have issued an official white paper defining why the media agency endorses Average Commercial Minute ratings, including up to three days of DVR viewing, or "C3." The catalyst behind the industry's migration to Commercial Minute Ratings was the growing number of DVR households and the need to include the increasing amount timeshifted viewing. View the white paper in TVBR
10/15/07 TVBR #201

Hearst drops Hearst-Argyle bid
To buy out other shareholders of Hearst-Argyle Television for around 600 million bucks. The tender offer to buy out the public shareholders for 23.50 per share expired last Friday (10/12/07) and Hearst Corporation then announced that its buyout bid was over and that all tendered shares would be returned to the shareholders.

TVBR observation: It will be interesting to see what happens to Hearst-Argyle's stock price today. It had closed at 20.42 on August 23rd, before the buyout bid at 23.50 was announced the next day. Traders had bid the price up above the tender offer in expectation of Hearst Corporation being forced to raise its bid to get the job done. But, instead, there is now no longer a bid on the table.
10/15/07 TVBR #201

Martin pushes LPFM
and DTV leasing

How can the FCC help more small businesses get into the communications field? FCC Chairman Kevin Martin cited leasing of DTV multicast channels and low power FM stations as opportunities for small businesses.
10/12/07 TVBR #200

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