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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 223, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Monday Morning November 14th, 2005

TV News®

Scripps guides lower
Even its red hot cable networks business can't shield Scripps from the softness of Q4. Citing hurricane impact on its Florida newspapers and WPTV-TV (Ch. 5, NBC) West Palm Beach, plus soft sales for Shop At Home, Scripps says Q4 earnings per share will be at the low end of its previous guidance of 52-56 cents per share. Revenues for the Scripps TV stations group fell 28.1% in October to 30.7 million. As with most other TV groups, that reflects the lack of political advertising this year. The Scripps stations has booked 19.2 million in political ads in October 2004, but only one million this year. Excluding political, local ad revenues rose 31.5% and national gained 25.6%. Scripps Networks, the cable networks unit, had another double digit month. Operating revenues were up 29.8% to 84.3 million, with ad revenues up 32.2% and affiliate fees up 16.8%. Newspaper revenues were up 1.4% in October to 64.1 million, with local ad revenues down 1%, national down 0.2% and classified up 2.7%.

IMS playing it cool on VNU merger
While Nielsen parent VNU has publicly acknowledged that its seven billion bucks merger acquisition of IMS Health is in trouble (11/8/05 TVBR #219), the about-to-be-jilted bride is keeping silent, at least publicly. Since it is VNU's big shareholders who want to kill the deal, not anyone on the IMS side, IMS management is reportedly holding out to have its costs reimbursed before agreeing to walk away from the deal. IMS did, however, file with the SEC this internal email that IMS CEO Dave Carlucci sent to all employees last week:
| Read the Email |

TVBR observation: To some extent, IMS has VNU over a barrel. If VNU management bows to the wishes of its major stockholders and withdraws its endorsement of the merger, the contract with IMS requires VNU to pay a 125 million breakup fee - - something neither VNU management nor its big shareholders want to see happen. So, VNU management is continuing to say it supports the merger, even as it negotiates how to get out of it. It could let the merger go to a shareholders vote, but then it would face the embarrassment of having its "yes" recommendation rejected by shareholders, who would almost certainly register a "no" majority, making the tenure of VNU CEO Rob van den Bergh even more tenuous. On the other hand, he could further agitate already angry shareholders by agreeing to pay IMS anything to scuttle the merger. Or, maybe just maybe someone inside VNU can come up with a fresh business plan for 2006 that refocuses the assets of VNU and outlines a more manageable media company. VNU has a ton of money invested in LPM and best stay focused. Just see RBR - Radio News on the 'First-ever Advertiser/Agency Advisory Council' meeting and learn from it because it doesn't get any better. Last, will someone inside VNU/Nielsen email TVBR to VNU overseas and maybe this will sink in what has to be done.

Reardon heading Tribune Broadcasting
John Reardon has gotten the nod to move up to President of Tribune Broadcasting, following last month's exit by Pat Mullen (10/10/05 TVBR #198). Reardon had been one of two VPs that Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons had praised in his Q3 conference call as providing "excellent leadership" for the broadcast group (10/14/05 TVBR #202). He's now picked Reardon for the top job and John Vitanovec has also gotten a promotion, to Executive Vice President. Reardon had previously been regional VP for the Western and Southern regions and Vitanovec for the Central and Eastern divisions. "We have talented people and managers at each of Tribune's 26 television stations and across Tribune Broadcasting. The success of our stations is based on localism, and I look forward to helping them serve viewers and advertisers in all our markets," said Reardon. Tribune Broadcasting also owns one radio station, WGN-AM Chicago.

Where the sex is
In a report which came out last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 70% of all shows on television contain some kind of sexual content. But which shows? They answered that question too. And the answer is most. The leading category is partially imported to television from the theatrical cinema universe - - we'd guess it's not easy to fill 90-120 minutes without some kind of sexual reference, and the resulting statistic is that 92% of all movies shown of television include some kind of sexual reference. After that it's a dead heat between three categories: sitcoms (87%), drama series (also 87%) and soap operas (85%). News magazines (70%) and talk shows (67%) aren't that far behind. The safest category turns out to be reality programming, at a mere 28%. If MTV were responsible for content on broadcast TV, this most likely would not be the case, but sexual topics don't come up often on American Idol, or Wheel of Fortune, or Nightline - - the types of shows put into this category.

4M per Senate seat bankrolled so far in 2005
33 seats in the US Senate are up for grabs in 2006, and in the first nine months of 2005, candidates for those seats have put 126.6M in the bank, averaging just a shade or two under 4M per seat. Democrats, with 42 announced candidates, have the lead thus far, 73.7M to 52.9M - - 43 Republicans have thrown their hats in the ring thus far. According the the Federal Election Commission, the Republicans have two more incumbents than do the Democrats running this time around. Incumbents have raised 90.4M of the total. Incumbents in the last comparable period, the first nine months of 2003, raised 65.6M. Among challengers, Democrats have pulled in 11.6M compared to 3.9M in 2003. Republican challengers have banked 8.5M, compared to 4.5M in 2003.

Clear Channel Outdoor
IPO disappoints

The billboard business may be outgrowing radio and TV, but Wall Street was none too impressed with the spin-out of 10% of Clear Channel's outdoor advertising business. Rather than pricing in the projected range of 20-22 bucks (10/31/05 TVBR #213), the IPO of Clear Channel Outdoor managed to command only 18 bucks a share. Even then it looked for a while like the IPO would go bust. The stock, which trades as "CCO" on the NYSE, opened Friday at 17.75, but managed to claw its way back up above the offering price, even trading at one point as high as 19.05. It closed at 18.55 as investors who'd signed on to buy IPO shares breathed a sigh of relief.

TVBR observation: Don't look for Goldman Sachs and the other firms involved in this IPO to tap the 5.25 million share greenshoe. 35 million shares of CCO seem to be quite enough for the market at this point.


Audible to offer ad tool for podcasters
Audible, a clearinghouse for downloadable audio programs, announced it's rolling out a paid service for podcasters to track how many downloaders listen to a file and for how long. For an additional fee, Audible will insert ads into programs. "For the first time, podcasters will be able to accurately measure and monetize their audio content without significant infrastructure investments, allowing them to focus their resources and energy on creating superior audio programming," MarketWatch quoted the company as saying. Data collected by the AudibleWordcast service can be used by marketers to make decisions on whether to use podcasts. And while ads currently are a rarity, Audible's announcement comes as at least one major consumer products company reportedly is eyeing podcasting. Schering-Plough plans to promote a device on pet-friendly programs for finding lost animals, according to a Wall Street Journal report. "Our goal is to reach pet owners any way that we can," a spokeswoman told the newspaper. Audible plans to charge podcasters 5 cents per listener-download for its expanded service, which includes measurement of usage. It will charge an additional half cent per download if the podcaster wants an ad inserted, said ZDnet. Podcasters who want only to measure the number of downloads and not the usage of that download will be charged 3 cents per download, or 30 dollars per thousand. Advertisers will receive a podcast's aggregated information; no info on a particular user will be released.

Nets to chime in on Nielsen SAA debate
A group of broadcast networks led by NBC and including CBS, Fox, and the WB, this week reportedly plan to unveil an official response and DVR data presentation to media agencies' with their position on time-shifted TV audiences. In all likelihood, Nielsen's new Shifted Average Audience estimates (SAA) will be a major topic in the response as well. Most agencies have said ratings for programs recorded on DVR/PVRs should be deducted in their negotiations with the networks, that live ratings are the only currency. The networks are likely to say the opposite - - time-shifted viewing presents more opportunities to see advertisers' commercials. Indeed, SAAs include all subsequent playback instances of DVR-recorded shows.
| Read More... |

Media Business Report
Radio turned up the heat for off-year candidates
Media Monitors took a close look at radio advertising patterns in the final week of the 2005 off-year vote, and found a relationship between buying radio and winning in the poll booth. The bigger radio buyers prevailed in two out of three races for political office, and carried the day in the matter of the California ballot initiatives. In New York City, Michael Bloomberg coasted to victory. According to Media Monitors, in the final week of the campaign, he ran 996 radio spots, compared to 143 by opponent Fernando Ferrer. John Corzine took the governor's mansion in New Jersey - - how much does he owe to the 504 radio spots he ran? Who knows - - but opponent Doug Forrester only bought 164. At least one opponents of the Arnold Schwarzenegger ballot props in California - - the "No on Prop. 75 Coalition" - - bought 1,713 ads, compared to 468 bought in favor of the initiatives, which went down at the polls. The exception to the radio rule was in the Virginia governor's race, where Jerry Kilgore lost despite buying 833 radio ads compared to Tim Kaine's 705. Media Monitors called the use of radio "extraordinarily high."

MBR observation: It's true that the bulk of political advertising seems to go to television - - you don't here radio group execs indulging in excessive hand-wringing about the loss of the political category during odd years the way TV execs do. But it shouldn't necessarily be that way. We are at ground zero in Virginia, and it is instructive that the difference between the radio volume of the two candidates wasn't that great. Also, it must be noted how Kaine used radio's greatest strength - - speed. We didn't hear very many Kaine ads in Northern Virginia until Kilgore launched a television ad about Kaine's stance on the death penalty, an ad so negative it actually made national headlines. Kaine immediately launched an oft-repeated radio retaliation, along with a television response. Conventional wisdom has it that this was a turning point in the race. Political operatives nationwide should note that radio was a key tool at one of the campaign's decisive moments.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Close encounter in Albany
This would be the little Albany, the one in Georgia, where Gray Television has sealed its deal for WVAG-TV, licensed to nearby Moultrie GA. It bought the UPN affiliate for 3.75M cash. Technically, it becomes Gray's third TV station in the state, joining CBS WRDW-TV in Augusta GA, and state border straddling CBS WCTV-TV Thomasville GA, part of the Tallahassee FL-Thomasville GA DMA.

Washington Beat
Competing AM applicants decide to merge
Douglas M. Sutton's Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting Company decided to use AM Auction No. 84 to upgrade its WRGC-AM Sylva NC, in the mountainous far western sliver of the state. However, that turned out to be mutually exclusive with the plans of Charles M. Anderson's Anderson Communications LLC, which also had an Auction 84 plan involving a new station in Mascot TN, just east of Knoxville, and way too close for comfort as far as WRGC was concerned. The two companies chose to resolve the situation with an FCC Form 314. Pending FCC approval, the station will now be owned by 540 LLC, owned 50-50 by the hitherto competing applicants. The Sylva AM will get its upgrade, again pending FCC approval, and Anderson will have the Mascot application dismissed.

Closing the door on "7th Heaven"
The WB is ending its long-running "7th Heaven," with the Camden family bidding goodbye as the current 10th season comes to an end. "The debut of '7th Heaven' launched The WB's first-ever Monday night broadcast on August 26, 1996, at 8:00 p.m. Remarkably, the series has remained in that timeslot ever since, holding its own against the 92 other series that have aired against it over the past 10 seasons. Recently the series celebrated its milestone 200th episode," noted the WB in announcing the show's coming retirement. "The WB is eternally grateful to Spelling Television, the producers, cast and crew of the little show that could - - and did," said David Janollari, President of Entertainment for The WB. "7th Heaven" stars Stephen Collins as Reverend Eric Camden, Catherine Hicks as Annie Camden, Barry Watson as Matt Camden, David Gallagher as Simon Camden, Beverley Mitchell as Lucy Kinkirk, Mackenzie Rosman as Ruthie Camden, Nikolas and Lorenzo Brino as Sam and David Camden, George Stults as Kevin Kinkirk and Tyler Hoechlin as Martin Brewer. Jessica Biel was also a member of the series' original cast. Both Biel and Barry Watson have gone on to successful film careers, and Biel was recently named "The Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire magazine - - an interesting development, since "7th Heaven" has long been regarded as one of the most "family friendly" shows on TV. "7th Heaven" was created by Brenda Hampton, who also serves as executive producer along with Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent.

More "Freddie" for ABC
ABC has picked up a full season of shows for "Freddie," which joins "Commander In Chief" and "Invasion" in getting a full season commitment from the Alphabet net. ABC says the freshman sitcom starring Freddie Prinze Jr. ranks #1 in its Wednesday 8:30 p.m. time period among Adults 18-49, beating its nearest competition by 9%. Growing from its adult lead-in on each of its 5 telecasts, on average "Freddie" builds on its "George Lopez" lead-in by double-digits across the adult demographics: Adults18-34 (+ 21%), 18-49 (+17%) and 25-54 (+11%). Bruce Helford, Deborah Oppenheimer, Bruce Rasmussen and Freddie Prinze, Jr. serve as executive producers. "Freddie" is from Warner Bros. Television.

The ‘Martha’ Stewart’s Apprentice
Rumors circulating ‘The Apprentice: Martha Stewart’ will not make the cut after the finale this season. Reports have it that NBC has taken a pass on ordering the second course on the program. Martha has struggled since she opened the doors.

Ratings & Research
Broadcast nets all strong in 18-49
In its analysis of Nielsen ratings from the most recent week, the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) notes that each of the big four networks put at least one program in the top 10 for the big bucks 18-49 demo. Not so for Household ratings, where the top 10 all belonged to CBS and ABC. The cable networks, which TVB now calls "subscription TV," put only three shows in the top 100 for 18-49 and four in the top 100 for HH. Here's the complete list of 100 for the 18-49 demo.
| View the Top 100 List |

Monday Morning Makers & Shakers

Transactions: 10/3/05-10/7/05
The latest plank in the Emmis television group sell-off provided the lion's share of station transaction value this week. Five relatively small radio transactions had only added up to 4M and change.



Total Deals







| Complete Charts |
Radio Transactions of the Week
Citadel goes where the tusks are looser
| More...
TV Transactions of the Week
LIN scores big with Viacom spinners
| More...

Stock Talk
News Corp., GM and Dell boost stocks
A media company figured in Friday's Wall Street advance, with traders cheering the better-than-expected results that News Corporation delivered after the market closed on Thursday. Also encouraging were a labor deal at General Motors and quarterly results from Dell that weren't as bad as expected. The Dow Industrials rose 46 points, or 0.4%, to 10,686.

Pure play TV stocks didn't seem to benefit from the good news at News Corporation. The Radio Index slipped 0.934, or 0.5%, to 189.811. Fisher fell the most, 3%. SBS (which is mostly a radio company) fell 2.2% and Sinclair was off 1.2% Big media companies were up, along with News Corp., which was up 1.9%. Disney rose 0.6% and Viacom was up 0.8%.


Here's how stocks fared on Friday

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






















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TV Media Moves

Lewicki gets to
count the cash

The Board of Directors of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association has elected Allen L. Lewicki as treasurer. Lewicki is Director of Operations for WAWZ-FM Zarepath (Middlesex-Somerset-Union), a position he's held for only 21 years.

Below the Fold

Media Markets & Money
Close encounter in Albany
Gray Television has sealed its deal...

Shakers & Makers
A moving proposition for AGM...
Another chunk of Emmis moves...

Ad Biz
Nets to chime in on
Nielsen SAA debate
group of broadcast networks led by NBC plan to unveil an official response and DVR data presentation...

Ratings & Research
Broadcast nets all strong in 18-49

Media Business Report
Radio turned up the heat for off-year candidates
a close look at radio advertising patterns in the final week of off-year elections...

More News Headlines

1.25M for tornado relief
Last week's joint radio/TV/cable telethon raised 1.25 million bucks to provide relief to victims of the tornado that ripped through the Evansville, IN area on November 6th, killing 23 people and destroying hundreds of homes. Wednesday's all-day fundraiser began with morning drive radio and TV newscasts and culminated in a two-hour live telethon simulcast on all of the stations: WFIE (Ch. 14, NBC), WTVW (Ch. 7, Fox), WAZE (Ch. 19, WB), WNIN (Ch. 9, PBS), the five radio stations of SouthCentral Communications and cable operator Insight Communications. The relief will be distributed by the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

RBR - Radio News

Pushing for PPM
Arbitron's first-ever Advertiser/Agency Advisory Council meeting brought a familiar refrain from the agency folks in a face-to-face forum with radio executives: The agencies want Portable People Meters (PPM) and they want them as fast as possible. "Generally the ad people were very vocal. They think PPM is a great thing and they can't understand why radio is dragging its feet," said Nick Anthony, who was one of the broadcasters who attended. He is the outgoing Chairman of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council and Exec. VP of Operations for Rubber City Radio. "Obviously, on the radio side we have the issues of how much it's going to cost and whether we think there's going to be a return on that investment," he noted. One big sticking point is how going from diaries to PPM would impact cost-per-point (CPP). Anthony said the agency reps assured the broadcasters that there would be a one-time adjustment in CPPs - - "and that once that's done radio should receive the same or even additional monies." From the agency side, we got this comment from Kathy Crawford, President/Local Broadcast, Mindshare: "The meetings in Washington were very positive. Hopefully the broadcasters felt the same way. My hat is off to Arbitron for getting us all together."

RBR observation: The agency/advertiser folks have pointed out repeatedly that changing technologies for ratings measurement is nothing new to them - - they've twice made the CPP adjustments in local TV as Nielsen went from diaries alone to set-top boxes and then, most recently, to Local People Meters (LPM). But radio folks know that the change was not without consequences. If the spending is the same or greater, the distribution of the pie is not the same. That's why News Corporation and Tribune Broadcasting are so upset about LPMs.

Publisher note: Unfortunately the "captains of the industry" don't focus on the big issues that effect our industry overall and its revenues. Instead they point the finger every where besides the mirror. Here is that word again - Accountability. This is a real issue that needs to be said loud and again confirms what RBR has been stating over for the past 3 years and backed up in our reporting at key agency conferences and not just wanting PPM but needing PPM and NOW. Radio has been dragging its heels and there is consistent talk about radio becoming a third level media if it does not stay in the game. RAB Pres/CEO Gary Fries has been pounding this gavel for years and must feel a sense of vindication on the position of this first meeting. RBR requested his thoughts on the total issue and Fries replied via email:

"The fact is that I have been telling this industry this in private conversations and industry speeches for the past 3 years. The advertising community can not understand why the radio industry is not embracing electronic measurement. They stated openly at the meeting that they have seen enough to be convinced that the diary is not accurate. They feel that if the radio industry does not move forward quickly that we will not be a credible media and not provide the accountability that the advertiser demands today. They also stated unanimously that if we go to a people meter world it will be a significant move and the net effect is that there will be more and larger spending in radio. They want to go deeper than the planned markets and they want it faster than the proposed roll out."

| See Who's Involved |

November RBR/TVBR Digital Magazine

Media Markets & Money
Behind the Emmis sales:
You've seen the deal announcements for one of the the biggest group sales in several years for TV . But what do they mean for station trading going forward? RBR/TVBR sorts out the buyers and analyzes the multiples, other pricing factors and strategies behind the deal.

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

CBS's Poltrack:
VOD market worth 5 billion
It pretty much happened all at once - - VOD content deals everywhere and more mainstream media channels going online. will feature content and video on its home page. Microsoft's MSN and the Associated Press announced a partnership to develop an online video network that will stream video news feeds to sites that subscribe to AP's wire service. TVBR observation: May '04 we warned of iPods and now look at the new iPod video. Also warned this past January when we covered the NATPE that VOD was coming fast and again here it is in your face. So, now what are Radio and TV head honchos going to do about it at the local level? It is like the oxygen is being sucked out of the room.
11/11/05 TVBR #222

AOL cuts content deal with
The latest in series of recent moves by companies to increase access to digital video programming. Nary a day after the deal with The AP and MSN was cut for news content, America Online's news channel,, announced it will feature content/video on its home page., which has 3 million daily users, already offers video content from CNN, ABC, AP and Reuters.
11/11/05 TVBR #222

Interep jumps into TV...Spanish TV
Making its first foray into television in a deal with Una Vez Mas (UVM), the largest affiliate group for the Azteca America network. Azteca America Television Sales (AATS), will handle the 12 existing UVM stations and another dozen to be added in the next 18 months. Interep veteran Bob Turner, is in charge. TVBR observation: This deal should be good for both companies. We understand that UVM had talks with other potential reps, but saw Interep as being hungry to open a new growth avenue - - something that's been lacking at the radio rep firm in recent years.
11/10/05 TVBR #221

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