Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 224, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Thursday Morning November 15th, 2007
WGA Strike Central: Day 11
Indie producers craft letter:
"We aren't the ones"

A group of 85 independent producers, many of them with credits on studio and independent films, signed a joint statement that ran in The LA Times asking the print and broadcast media to quit referring to the strike between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as between "writers and producers." "Actually, the Writers Guild is negotiating against an entity that represents studios, networks and multinational conglomerates," said Linda Goldstein Knowlton (pictured), whose producing credits include the film "Whale Rider." Julie Lynn, whose producing credits include "The Jane Austen Book Club," said: "In many of the publications we read and [broadcast] stations we listen to, it almost always is viewed as a dispute between the writers and producers. While the AMPTP has 'producers' in its name, that's not really what it is."

In their statement, the producers say that "it serves the studios' interests to pretend to represent individual producers instead of corporate entities." They also noted: "Creative producers are not directly involved in this dispute: We do not receive any residuals, nor are we stakeholders in the studio profits (excepting where some powerful producers do have back-end holdings in particular studio shows and films, just as do powerful actors, writers and directors). "We do not dispute the need for residuals, including those from DVDs and new media. Residuals are important and significant revenues. It is only fair that the creators of films and television share in the proceeds from all of the ways the product they create may be exploited. "We support our wonderful writers, directors and actors. We are also happy to pay benefits to the fantastic tradespeople on our films." Among the producers signing the statement were Susan Cartonis ("What Women Want"), Effie T. Brown ("The Station Agent"), Caldecot Chubb ("Eve's Bayou"), Richard N. Gladstein ("Finding Neverland"), Lynette Howell ("Half Nelson"), Eva Kolodner ("Boys Don't Cry"), Janet Yang ("The People vs. Larry Flynt") and Clark Peterson ("Kinsey").

WGA, AMPTP trade barbs over scabs
The Writers Guild (WGA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) traded public comments yesterday on their respective websites over the issue of informing on potential scab writers. Said AMPTP: "In response to comments by Dan Wilcox, the chairman, of the WGAW's newly formed Strike Rules Compliance Committee regarding the new rules that require members to "inform the Guild of the name of any writer you have reason to believe is engaged in strike-breaking activity or other scab writing," AMPTP President Nick Counter issued the following statement: 'The WGA is using fear and intimidation to control its membership. Asking members to inform on each other and creating a blacklist of those who question the tactics of the WGA leadership is as unacceptable today as it was when the WGA opposed these tactics in the 1950s'." The WGAW responds to the AMPTP: "Mr. Counter's charge is as offensive as it is untrue. To accuse the Writers Guild of America of blacklisting, when it was we who suffered the most from it in the past, is simply Mr. Counter's desperate attempt to divert attention from the fact that it was he who walked out of the negotiations, and it is he who refuses every day to return to the table. The WGA has an offer on the table and is ready and willing to meet with the AMPTP any day, anywhere."

TV Guide cancels Online Video Awards
TV Guide announced it is cancelling the ceremony and TV Guide Channel broadcast of its Online Video Awards, both originally scheduled for early December, in light of the current labor dispute between the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). TV Guide will still announce the winners of this year's Online Video Awards in 18 separate categories on 11/26.

WGA strike jeopardizes Television Critics Association's winter press tour
The Television Critics Association's winter press tour, one of two gatherings where networks showcase their new shows in January, could be nixed over the WGA strike. NBC has reportedly pulled out of the event, citing "challenging times due to the strike." The other broadcast networks have not decided yet, but reportedly, only cable channels have committed for sure.

Ellen won't tape next week
Ellen DeGeneres has pulled the plug on plans to tape her show next week in New York, where Writers Guild East members had vowed to protest her decision to stay on the air during their strike. Said Michael Winship, president of WGA East: "She knows that the Writers Guild East would have been there to protest her lack of solidarity, not only with her Guild writing staff but all the striking members of the Writers Guild, of which she is a member," he said in a statement. Ellen told her audience last week that while she supported the writers, she was under contract to continue hosting the show.


TV News ®

Local TV likely to snare Fox spins
It's hardly surprising that Local TV LLC was a bidder for the nine Fox stations that News Corporation put up for sale in June (6/14/07 TVBR #116). What is surprising is that, due to the current tight credit market, Local may have been the only bidder. Is a deal going to be announced soon? When News Corp. announced that it wanted to divest these nine stations there was lots of interest from private equity firms wanting to get into television. But that was before the credit markets took a big hit from the subprime debacle. Reuters reported that when it came time to bid this week, Local, backed by Oak Hill Capital Partners, was the only firm to submit a bid, reportedly in the 1.1-1.2 billion range. If Local, run by Randy Michaels, is the buyer, it would greatly expand the group begun by acquiring the former New York Times stations and move it up considerably in market size. Of the nine markets offered by News Corp., Local is in only one, Memphis. It doesn't look like a real duopoly is doable there, so we would likely find out if Michaels has lined up a virtual duopoly partner to take the excess station.

Fox stations offered for sale by News Corporation

CALLS

Ch.

Market

Rank

Rev.'06 (000)

WJW-TV

8

Cleveland-Akron, OH

17

72400

KDVR-TV

31

Denver, CO

18

44900

KTVI-TV

2

St. Louis, MO

21

39000

WDAF-TV

4

Kansas City, KS-MO

31

42900

WITI-TV

6

Milwaukee, WI

34

34900

KSTU-TV

13

Salt Lake City, UT

35

29200

WBRC-TV

6

Birmingham, AL

40

38500

WGHP-TV

8

Grnsboro-HighPoint-Winston Salem, NC

46

23950

WHBQ-TV

13

Memphis, TN

47

22000

Total

347750

Source: BIAfn Media Access Pro

TVBR observation: Back when these stations were put on the market we had envisioned a higher price tag. But we have since learned that these stations do not have the same sort of high margins that Fox is known for in its largest markets. That could well explain why News Corporation decided to put them up for sale.

Stuck in the middle
If anybody out there thinks FCC Chairman Kevin Martin got it exactly right with his proposal for a limited rollback of cross-ownership restrictions, they don't seem to be talking. There is, however, no shortage of people who think he went too far or didn't go far enough. Take a look under the click.

TVBR observation: Most inside-the-Beltway actions worthy of comment attract both pros and cons. Martin has managed the feat of attracting cons and cons, but seems to be a little short on the pro side. That is one of the special attributes of communications issues. Just ask the NAB, which often gets stuck in the middle of internecine warfare among its constituents, who have many goals in common but a seemingly equal number of concerns that pit one subgroup against another. Although we knew Martin's proposal would have detractors, we actually thought for a few moments yesterday that the spirit of compromise seemingly built into Martin's proposal would turn a hot ongoing story into a quieter, cooler affair. It seems the regulatory climate will remain deep in the hottest equatorial zone. We suggest that Martin begin wearing a rhetorical pith helmet.
| Cons and cons here |


Hispanic media paves the way for 2008 windfall
Multimedia powerhouses Univision, Entravision and ImpreMedia are in the enviable position of furthering civic public interest goals -- encouraging participation in the 2008 elections -- in a manner which holds the potential to direct political money from campaign treasuries into their own. The voter drive, It's Time, Go Vote! (we'll spare your in-box the Hispanic lettering and punctuation, but the slogan translates to Ya es Hora, ve Vota!). The three companies are pushing the drive, along with Mi Familia Vota Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Broadcast, print and grassroots elements will be incorporated into the campaign, which encourages eligible Hispanics to apply for citizenship if necessary and register to vote if possible. The coalition hopes to register millions in 2008. The three Hispanic media companies between them claim 99% reach into the Hispanic community over various electronic media. And an NCLR poll reveals that 52% of Hispanics respond and take action when seeing ads from the coalition.

TVBR observation: And they may well respond and take action if political candidates put the right message over Hispanic airwaves. Immigration is a white hot issue. The Hispanic population is expanding rapidly but is still concentrated in a limited number of jurisdictions. In those districts or states with heavy concentrations, the Hispanic vote may well be a deciding factor on Election Day. We expect Hispanic media will get their share of the political pie this time around.

Watchdog barks up the wrong tree
StopBigMedia is incensed. CW network is running ads trumpeting the fact that they do not include local news in their programming schedule. The "good news," says a faux-professor in one promo spot, is that "there is no news." Rap artist Biz Markie presents a similarly-themed message in another spot. "The CW continues to broadcast no news in certain markets without the slightest blink from the bureaucrats who are duty sworn to protect our airwaves from such abuse," bays the watchdog.

TVBR observation: CW's not doing local news? Gosh, neither is ABC, CBS, Fox nor NBC, except where they have O&Os. Local news is the purview of the licensee, and must by definition include major input from local staff. A CW affiliate may or may not have news programming, but that situation has nothing whatsoever to do with the programming CW pipes in. Most stations consider local news to be THE major profit center, but they have to have achieved a certain amount of income to produce it in the first place, and that is where the success of CW programming comes into play. Furthermore, the bureaucrats, far from being duty-bound to oversee the programming of individual broadcast stations, are completely horn-swaggled by the Constitution and its free speech provisions, and that's a good thing. We keep up with the news, so the CW campaign is especially unappealing to us, and we believe there may be a better way for the network to self-promote, but we've thought that about advertising campaigns since we first became aware of advertising back in out elementary school days. Think what you want about it. It's not sinister, and StopBigMedia is highlighting a non-issue.


Wall Street Business Report TM
Interep posts positive quarter
In its quarterly report to the SEC, Interep showed Q3 operating income before depreciation and amortization of 13.8 million, as opposed to a loss of 3.9 million a year ago. However, the bulk of that positive number was due to recording 11.9 million in contract termination revenue for the quarter, mostly from Emmis ending its representation by Interep at the end of Q3 to move to Katz. Commission revenues for the quarter were down 2.7% to 17.4 million, with the decrease largely due to the loss of the former Susquehanna stations, now owned by Cumulus Media Partners and repped by Katz. But Interep had some good news for investors in noting that selling expenses were down 32.1% to 13.7 million, largely due to the severance programs implemented in 2006 and this year to cut overhead at the rep company. On the bottom line for Q3, net income applicable to common shareholders was 7.6 million, vs. a loss of 9.5 million a year ago. Interep is primarily a national rep for radio, but recently launched its second TV rep firm, both targeting Hispanic stations.

TVBR observation: Aside from operating improvement, which is showing up in its quarterly financials, the big task facing Interep Chairman Ralph Guild and CEO David Kennedy is refinancing the company's 99 million in bonds coming due July 1, 2008. Interep recently disclosed that it had retained Jefferies & Company to help with that task.

Revenues down for SWMX
Online media ad transaction platform company SWMX, operator of the SoftWave Media Exchange, reported that Q3 revenues fell to 321,930 from 632,579 a year earlier. The company's net loss increased to 3.4 million from 2.8 million. If your company is owed money by SWMX, you will be interested in this statement from the quarterly SEC filing: "Over the past quarter the delinquency of our accounts payable to media organizations has increased significantly. This increase has adversely affected our business and relationships. Certain media organizations have referred us to collection agencies. Others have refused to accept orders from our customers placed through our marketplace. In addition, some of our customers have refused to pay outstanding receivables. We have been and continue to attempt to remediate this situation through the following steps:

1. On October 3, 2007, we restructured our credit facility with BlueCrest, providing us with the ability to borrow up to 3.5 million to fund operations, through January 31, 2008.
2. We have begun to repay amounts owed to media organizations.
3. We are communicating with our media vendors to keep them informed of our progress and the steps we are taking to remedy the situation.
4. We are seeking to complete a financing transaction, which would satisfy the requirement to repay BlueCrest by January 31, 2008, properly fund our company and allow us to satisfy our payables that are in arrears.

Although we believe these steps are helping to remediate the situation and reduce our risk, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in executing these steps or that if successfully executed these steps will improve the adverse affects that may have already been caused."


Ad Business Report TM

Westinghouse Digital launches campaign
Westinghouse Digital Electronics, one of the top four LCD TV manufacturers in the US, announces the launch of a TV campaign to support its line of high-end LCD HDTVs, LCD computer monitors and digital photo frames. The campaign will run throughout the end of 2007 and further connects the coveted and venerable Westinghouse brand with its family of LCD HDTVs and consumer electronics products. The national campaign features three separate commercials, 15 seconds each. The effort runs on 19 TV stations including 12 CBS, four CW and three independent stations during morning news programs, late night talk shows and sporting events. The campaign will air in 12 markets across the U.S. covering over 30% of the country with an estimated audience of 105,000,000. In addition, the campaign will include an online presence on 12 CBS TV station's Web sites that will deliver over four million impressions. Three custom ad units will be designed and highlight overall branding messages, Westinghouse Digital's product line and Holiday product messaging. Markets include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle and Minneapolis.


Washington Business Report TM
Cochran will try to return to Washington
There has been some speculation that Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) would call it quits when his fourth term expires next year, but it can now be laid to rest. Cochran will indeed campaign for another six years on Capitol Hill. The announcement is good news for Republicans, who also face the prospect of defending five open seats. Exiting are John Warner (R-VA), Chuck Hagel(R-NE), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Larry Craig (R-ID).

TVBR observation: The early betting has Warner's seat going to another Warner, former Democratic governor Mark Warner, and Colorado and New Mexico may prove tough for Republicans to hold. Nebraska looks safer now that former seat-holder Bob Kerrey has indicated he won't run. Nobody expects the Democrats to take Idaho (except some Dems with the rosiest of colored glasses). We suspect the Mississippi seat would have fallen into that category as well. Cochran won his last electoral contest with 85% of the vote. It's still good news for Republican planners, who can leave Cochran to fend for himself while they direct their resources elsewhere.

Big Ben gets transparent
Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke announced a move to provide more public disclosure of the inner workings of the Fed. Instead of issuing economic projections twice a year, the Fed will now put them out four times yearly - and they will provide more detail. The first such report will be issued November 20th, when the Fed releases minutes of its monetary policy making Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting from October 30-31. Since 1979 the Fed had issued its projections of economic growth, unemployment, and inflation semiannually in its reports to Congress on monetary policy. From now on, it will compile and release projections four times each year rather than twice a year. In addition, the projection horizon will be extended to three years, from two. FOMC meeting participants will now provide projections for overall personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation, as well as for real gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the unemployment rate, and core PCE inflation. Projections of nominal GDP growth will be discontinued. Summaries and explanations of the projections will be published along with the minutes of the FOMC meeting at which they were discussed. These descriptions will provide a fuller discussion of the projections, covering not only the outcomes that most meeting participants see as most likely, but also the risks to the economic outlook and the dispersion of views among policymakers.

"The changes will provide a more-timely insight into the Committee's outlook, will help households and businesses better understand and anticipate how our policy decisions respond to incoming information, and will enhance our accountability for the decisions we make. But the changes are also evolutionary, in that they build on long-established practices; in that respect, they represent just one more step on the road toward greater transparency at the Federal Reserve. The Committee will continue to look for ways to improve the accountability and public understanding of US monetary policy making," Bernanke said yesterday in a speech to the Cato Institute's 25th Annual Monetary Conference in Washington, DC.


Media Markets & Money TM
Sinclair makes another non-TV buy
Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it had acquired approximately 95% of Alarm Funding Associates for approximately 5.5 million - yet another investment by Sinclair in a business outside its core television operation. Alarm Funding Associates purchases the recurring monitoring and maintenance contract revenue streams of full service alarm companies, then collects the revenues.


Entertainment Business Report TM
Rudolph, Frosty and lingerie for the holidays
CBS announced a lineup of holiday classics for next month, including the annual visits of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (12/4), "Frosty the Snowman" (12/7) and "Frosty Returns" (also 12/7) to bring holiday joy to the kiddies. And, for those a bit more mature, there's the holiday tradition of "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" airing December 4 after the kiddies have been put to bed. This year's lingerie fashion show will feature the debut television performance of the Spice Girls. For the whole family, there's the "9th Annual A Home for the Holidays with Sheryl Crow" on December 21, featuring performances by Crow, James Blunt, Carol King, Reba McEntire and others. Rene Russo will be among the celebrities telling touching stories about adoption to raise awareness for this important social issue.


Ratings & Research
Week 7: 4 from cable make top 100
As in previous weeks this TV season, "Monday Night Football" on ESPN was the top-rated show on cable/satellite TV, but barely made the top 20 for the big bucks 18-49 demo when the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) did its weekly number crunch combining broadcast and cable data from Nielsen Media Research. It was, indeed, #20. Three other cable/satellite shows made the top 100, so 96 came from broadcast networks.
| See the top 100 list |

Consumer spending continues to show restraint
October retail sales were up, though only slightly, signaling a slow down in consumer spending as the retail industry begins its holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for October (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 4.4% unadjusted over last year and 0.1% seasonally adjusted from September. October retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted from last month and 6.7% unadjusted year-over-year.


Stock Talk
Broadcasting stocks fall
Stock prices ended lower amid continued uncertainty about the fallout from the subprime credit market. The Dow Industrials fell 83 points, or 0.6%, to 13,224.

TV stocks, though, were almost all down, with no news to account for the drop. Just a day earlier broadcasting stocks had gotten a boost from retail giant Wal-Mart reporting better-than-expected Q3 results. Emmis, which yet owns only one TV station, fell 12%. Media General dropped 5.4%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme

ACME

3.41

-0.14

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

62.10

-0.57

Belo

BLC

16.39

-0.47

LIN TV

TVL

11.59

-0.30

CBS CI. B CBS

27.28

-0.61

McGraw-Hill

MHP

47.61

-0.80

CBS CI. A CBSa

27.31

-0.60

Media General

MEG

27.43

-1.56

Clear Channel

CCU

35.25

-1.21

Meredith

MDP

57.66

-0.95

Disney

DIS

31.80

-1.21

News Corp.

NWS

22.01

-0.24

Emmis

EMMS

4.17

-0.57

Nexstar

NXST

9.70

+0.10

Entravision

EVC

6.83

-0.17

Ion Media

ION

1.35

-0.01

Equity Media EMDA 2.10 unch

Saga Commun.

SGA

7.43

+0.03

Fisher

FSCI

43.16

-0.75

SBS

SBSA

2.12

-0.06

Gannett

GCI

40.35

-1.09

Scripps

SSP

44.17

-0.37

Gen. Electric

GE

38.92

-0.29

Sinclair

SBGI

11.30

+0.04

Google GOOG

641.68

-18.87

SWMX

SWMX

0.02

unch

Gray

GTN

8.22

-0.08

Time Warner

TWX

17.05

-0.68

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

8.21

unch

Tribune

TRB

29.29

+0.76

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

21.31

-0.04

Wash. Post

WPO

798.87

-35.63

Journal Comm.

JRN

9.20

+0.33

Young

YBTVA

1.11

-0.19


Bounceback

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Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
Westinghouse Digital
One of the top 4 LCD TV manufacturers has launched a biggie...

Media, Markets & Money
Sinclair makes another
Non-TV buy acquired approximately 95% of Alarm Funding Associates...

Washington Business Report
Cochran will try to return
To Washington there has been some speculation that Cochran (R-MS) would call it quits...

Ratings & Research
4 from cable make top 100
Monday Night Football barely made the top 20...


Stations for Sale

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TV Media Moves

Upped at Telemundo
Mike Rodriguez, Vice President and General Manager of Telemundo O&O WSCV-TV Miami, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales for Telemundo, effective immediately. He takes over for Steve Mandala, who was recently named Executive Vice President, Cable Ad Sales for NBC Universal (10/18/07 TVBR #204). Rodriguez will be responsible for the sales and marketing efforts for the Telemundo network, its Spanish-language cable channel, mun2 and their digital properties. "Mike's understanding of the Telemundo brand and audience, as well as his strong relationships within the marketplace, make him a great fit for this role," said Mike Pilot, President of Sales and Marketing for NBC Universal.


More News Headlines

Sumner pockets
some cash

The Associated Press took notice this week when Sumner Redstone made an SEC filing showing that he had sold 503,529 shares of Viacom for nearly 20 million bucks. The shares were sold back to Viacom itself by National Amusements, the Redstone family company that controls both Viacom and CBS Corporation. In fact, National Amusements has been selling stock back to Viacom on a fairly regular basis. It has an agreement with Viacom to participate on a pro-rata basis in the media company's stock buyback program. Neither National Amusements nor Redstone himself has sold any CBS stock recently.

TVBR observation: We would note, however, that all of the shares that Redstone sold back to Viacom were non-voting Class B shares. He has not sold a single one of the 46.8 million-plus Class A shares by which he, via National Amusements, holds voting control of Viacom. A similar share class structure exists at CBS.

RFD-TV confirms
Imus simulcast

Rural Media Group Inc. announced that it has signed a 5-year agreement to simulcast the "Imus In The Morning" program from new radio flagship WABC-AM New York exclusively on RFD-TV and RFD HD. The show will air live on the cable/satellite network weekdays from 6-9am (ET). "Imus in the Evening," a rebroadcast of the morning's program, will air in primetime on RFD HD from 6-9pm and will be featured on video-on-demand enabling West Coast viewers and millions of fans to experience the show at their convenience. RFD, now available mostly on rural cable systems, is expected to use the Imus show to seek carriage by the major MSOs.

NABOB books a hotel
The Twenty-Fourth Annual Communications Awards Dinner of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters is on the calendar. The event will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC on 3/5/08. Co-sponsoring is the NABOB Telecommunications Education and Management Foundation.


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

How might the strike affect
the next Television upfront?

For the ad buying community, the strike is only in the second week and most say things are still business as usual. Right now if they bought in the last upfront, they are still guaranteed and protected. Most are saying the industry won't feel the real brunt of an ongoing strike until Q1. The worst case scenario, of course, is the strike dragging out into the spring, when the industry prepares for upfront--9 billion in primetime deals are up for grabs. The networks might have to present their schedules without pilots, and much of which would include reality programming. Some think there's a good chance the upfronts would be canceled-at least in the fashion the industry is used to. Brad Adgate SVP/Research, Horizon Media, tells TVBR there are two things to be thinking about: With less compelling viewing out there (i.e. repeats), people will migrate to other things besides watching network television. Some of them will not come back.

TVBR observation: The dollars could go into radio, gaming, mobile video, online video, cable, syndication, newspaper-you name it. Television has too many competitors these days to be comfortable with a prolonged strike. The producers and writers both stand to suffer more than they imagined. This is not 1988. Complete details on WGA Strike Central - Day 10 in TVBR.
11/14/07 TVBR #223

News Corp. ready to
set WSJ.com free
Rupert Murdoch told reporters back in his native Australia that News Corporation is already pacing ahead of its guidance for its fiscal Q2 and he seems anxious to take control of Dow Jones & Co. Murdoch confirmed that he plans to make the Wall Street Journal website, generally regarded as the most successful subscription site on the Internet, free

TVBR observation: Murdoch sees a bigger ROI reaching 15 million and going paid advertising model than scratching out a paid subscription model. This is good business reasoning. FYI: which is the same business model TVBR will be instituting and nice to know we are in good company.
11/14/07 TVBR #223

Dereg, Martin style: Just a nibble
Watchdogs have been howling at the moon for about a month now, in preparation for the nefarious plans of FCC Chairman Kevin (R) to gift-wrap what's left of the broadcast spectrum and hand it over to the nation's biggest communications companies. It turns out, however, that his one modest proposal is to allow newspapers to have a limited broadcast presence, and that only in the nation's top 20 media markets.

TVBR observation: This really, truly is a very modest piece of deregulation. It's so small you'd think the watchdog community would accept it as a major victory and move on to help craft the localism and minority ownership proceedings to their liking. It will come as bad news to small market television operators hoping to get a chance to build duopolies, (Also in this mess Copps, Adelstein push back and in return Dorgan pushes back more in TVBR).
11/14/07 TVBR #223

WGA Strike Central: Day 9
Fox suspends producer-writers
At first it was a threat, now it's real: News Corp.'s Fox Studio has suspended producer-writers who refused to cross strikers' picket lines to perform non-writing work on television dramas and comedies. The company sent suspension notices, advising them they would no longer be paid.

TVBR observation: Veteran producer and director Jon Avnet said the strike was more inspiring than the one 20 years ago. "This is very different, a very real unity." Well guess those that walk together get fired together. This is no longer touch football this strike has now turned into the real deal of crunch and hit hard business. Those pinked slipped are lucky that Fox is paying their health benefits until the end of the year.
11/13/07 TVBR #222

Lincoln spins TV group
Some of the old Jefferson-Pilot stations acquired by Lincoln Financial have been resold, representing well over half a billion dollars in trading value. Television stations in three markets are headed for Raycom, and a powerful three-station cluster in Charlotte NC is headed for Greater Media. One of Raycom's acquisitions is also in Charlotte. Details on what Raycom took out see TVBR.

TVBR observation: Raycom took the entire Lincoln television portfolio, so Lincoln doesn't have any TV left to sell. But we don't see any way Raycom can hang on to everything in Richmond - and its usual virtual duopoly partner, Southeastern Media Holdings, already owns WUPV. So, it will be interesting to see how Raycom handles Richmond. Our sources say the pricing for each deal works out to north of 14 times expected 2007 broadcast cash flow, so pretty strong multiples despite the tough credit market. However, it appears the bidding wasn't as strong in the current environment for the other radio clusters. On the radio side, Lincoln is still peddling an old-fashioned AM-FM combo in Atlanta, an AM and two FMs in Miami, four FMs in San Diego and a two-AM, three-FM cluster in Denver.
11/13/07 TVBR #222


TVBR Classifieds

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See TV Careers

Associate Web Editor
Ideal candidate will work with our News Team developing / delivering quality web & e-paper content on a daily basis requiring a tremendous amount of creativity, flexibility and an ability to work on a deadline. Skills: Intermediate understanding of how websites, web pages are constructed and ability to write "News" ready copy. Plus, important, must be a strong communicator both Verbal / Written and able to manage multiple tasks. See TV Careers

Ad Sales Rep
Imagine Media Ad Sales Without - Long Commutes, 8:30 Sales Meetings, Bonus Spots, or selling Print in an Electronic medium. More Reasons to consider Selling Advertising with TVBR. Honestly, we are so busy we can not service all the accounts. Can you help us? Our Budgets Are Realistic. Compensation plan is good. If you are good, our Compensation plan is Great. If you are Great, our Compensation plan is Unbelievable! In confidence, contact Publisher Jim Carnegie at [email protected]

General Sales Manager
KSBI-TV, Oklahoma statewide independent network, is seeking an experienced GSM. Candidate with proven track record. Key is to have knowledge is sales strategy with contacts in national and regional business. Bachelor's degree in Marketing, Management or Business preferred. Enjoy making a great income. Opportunities are tremendous. See TV Careers

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