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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 23, Issue 230, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning November 28th, 2006

TV News ®

LIN fills out executive suite
New LIN Television CEO Vince Sadusky has filled his old job, tapping Bart Catalane as the company's Sr. VP and CFO. Meanwhile, Robb Richter has joined LIN in the newly created position of Vice President, Internet. Catalane may be familiar to many of our readers, although he has been out of broadcasting for a while. He was most recently President, COO and CFO of Ziff Davis Media, a publicly traded company that produces B-2-B magazines and websites primarily related to the computer and e-commerce industries. Before that, though, he had a long career with Capital Cities/ABC that continued after ABC was acquired by Disney. He was CFO of ABC Radio Networks, ABC Radio and ABC Broadcasting from 1989 to 1999. Richter joins LIN from ShopNBC, where he was Vice President of Marketing and Sales Planning. "I am excited to have an e-commerce leader of Robb's caliber working to monetize LIN's existing Internet traffic, evaluate on-line partnerships and develop new products that are extensions of our traditional television station operations," Sadusky said.

TVBR observation: Luring Richter away from ShopNBC shows just how important the Internet is to future planning at LIN. Most TV group owners are trying to get their arms around ways to make new revenues from the Web, but LIN is already an established leader. No doubt Sadusky and Richert will be hatching some more ideas which will be worth keeping an eye on.

Parties likely to reheat the hot spots
If you are in a Congressional district that was hotly contested this year, and especially if it is one where the seat moved from the Republican to the Democratic side (none went the other way), look for a major Republican effort to get it back in 2008. The hottest three may be those where a scandal-ridden would-be incumbent was absent, those being the seats of Tom DeLay (R-TX), Mark Foley (R-FL) and Bob Ney (R-OH). Republicans were unable to defend with last-minute stand-in candidates, but according to analysis from the Washington Post, the districts are still considered Republican strongholds, and the party will do whatever it can to reclaim the seats. A fourth which could go into the scandal column is the seat being surrendered by Don Sherwood (R-PA). A strong push will likely be made to recapture other new Democratic seats, including two in Indiana and one each in North Carolina and Kansas. The Post notes that the Republicans will have to find other places to snatch turf in order to regain control of the chamber. On the Senate side, likely Democratic targets include Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Republican senators in the crosshairs likely include John Sununu (R-NH), Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Norm Coleman (R-MN). The latter may be facing a challenge from Air America radio host and Saturday Night Live veteran Al Franken.

TVBR observation: So you think the money is spent only during election times. Nope, guess again as when the heat is beginning to get turned up so are the political bank accounts to spend their way to the office chair of choice. Politics is a big business so understand how it works or hire someone that does.

Welch may not abandon bid
for Boston Globe

Despite being turned down for a friendly purchase of The Boston Globe (11/27/06 TVBR #229), both the Wall Street Journal and Boston Herald report that former GE CEO Jack Welch isn't going to pack up and go away. The WSJ reports that Welch and his group of investors are pondering whether to make a formal bid for the newspaper early in 2007, a move that would put pressure on New York Times Company management, although Welch is unlikely to align himself directly with dissident shareholders, led by a Morgan Stanley investment fund. That fund manager has been publicly criticizing Times management and demanding that the Ochs Sulzberger family relinquish its super-voting stock which gives it control of the company, despite being a minority shareholder. One key to how hard Welch will push is what happens with the current effort to sell Tribune Company, either as a whole or in pieces. If the big newspapers there, such as the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, are sold off individually, the WSJ story suggests that pressure could increase on the NY Times Co. to consider selling off the Globe in addition to its TV station group, which is currently being shopped.

TVBR observation: We are not sure why Morgan Stanley is pursuing the course of publicly attacking the controlling family at the NY Times Company. We cannot imagine anything short of a change in federal law or SEC regulations that would persuade the Ochs Sulzberger family to turn its super-voting shares into regular shares. We note that the SEC floated a proposal a few years back which would have barred the creation of any new publicly traded companies with disproportionate voting shares, but would have grandfathered those already in existence. The response from the investing public was overwhelming to the point of being almost unanimous in support of the idea. In fact, many investors also demanded that the SEC go further and set a date for the sun-setting of all existing super-voting shares. So, did the SEC enact this extremely popular proposal? Nope. The companies who have such super-voting share arrangements and the investment bankers who hope to make fees from future IPOs of companies where the founders might want to hold onto voting control without actually having to own a majority stake succeeded in getting the whole idea shoved permanently to the back burner.

Seattle set to host next unofficial forum
Media watchdog Reclaim the Media, the Seattle Times, Bellevue Community College's KBCS-FM, the Minority Executive Directors Coalition and the Communications Department of the University of Washington are hosting yet another public forum on the topic of media ownership. It'll convene Thursday 11/30/06 from 6PM-9PM at the Main Auditorium of the Seattle Public Library. In addition to luminaries such as Time publisher Frank Blethen, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Democratic FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein will be on hand. According to Ryan Blethen of the Times, it will be the Commissioner's second visit to the city. They also participated in an unofficial forum in 2003 the first time the media ownership rules came under serious FCC review. That 2003 rulemaking is now being considered again under court remand. According to reports, the three Republican commissioners declined invitations. The FCC has held one official ownership forum in Los Angeles and has another in the works for Nashville TN 12/11/06.

Let the public decide what's indecent
The New Republic's Michelle Cottle has weighed in with a piece called "The FCC's Illogical Standard of Indecency." Cottle's take may be of interest to broadcasters who have to live under the nebulous and inconsistently-enforced rules. For starters, she thinks as fleeting as the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident was, it could probably, in her opinion, pass muster as an example of indecency. She would therefore shoot down the network argument that the incident in not indecent on fleeting and inadvertent grounds. On the other hand, "...given that CBS was apparently clueless regarding Jackson and Timberlake's plans, the purity police should probably just let this one go." She wonders how much money and how many man-hours have been wasted on this, a case in which the network clearly was not aiming for the display it inadvertently got. She finds more obvious offensiveness in the plan to put on the infamous OJ special. It was on tape, it's contents were known, and it was to many people "truly objectionable." But here too, she says the FCC had no business intruding - on First Amendment grounds. She wrote, "Not every public affront must be dealt with by the government. In this case, the public proved capable of handling the situation itself."

TVBR observation: Hear, hear. The less we resort to shackling one of our most basic freedoms, the better. Increasingly effective parental blocking technologies and the channel changer, whether it be a remote, push button or the good old-fashioned dial, are tools of choice.

AT&T U-verse TV to Include NBCU content
AT&T and NBC Universal announced a distribution deal to deliver NBC Universal linear, high-definition (HD) and on-demand programming as part of the AT&T U-verse(SM) TV channel lineup. AT&T will distribute to U-verse customers the analog and digital signals of the NBC and Telemundo O&O stations, as well as NBCU's CNBC, CNBC World, MSNBC, Telemundo, mun2, Telemundo Puerto Rico, Bravo, the SCI FI Channel, Sleuth, ShopNBC, USA, Universal HD and the Olympics on Cable. The deal also includes VOD rights for Universal Pictures' movies. AT&T U-verse TV is delivered by Project Lightspeed, the company's initiative to expand the fiber-optics network deeper into neighborhoods to deliver U-verse TV, AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet U-verse Enabled and, in the future, Voice over IP services. Through its subsidiaries, AT&T expects to reach nearly 19 million households by the end of 2008 as part of its initial deployment.

Why Do We Bring
TV & Radio Together?

Right this minute Radio & TV are more closely tied together than ever before. Both regulated by the FCC, we are being Challenged by New forms of Media from the likes of: iPods, Mobile Services and do not forget internet giants like Google and Yahoo. Contact & Discuss how you can Partner with TVBR in the January report.

June Barnes: 803 731-5951
Carl Marcucci: 703 492-8191 ext 202
Jim Carnegie: 813 909 2916

January 2007 report:
* AdBiz--Spot cable keeps getting hotter
* One-on-One--Alan Frank, CEO Post-Newsweek Stations

Wall Street Media Business Report TM
Sinclair hopes to redeem bonds
Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it is seeking to amend its bank credit facility to increase the available borrowing from 275 million to 500 million. The 225 million increase, if granted, will be used to redeem Sinclair's 8.75% senior subordinated bonds due 2011. There was no word on how soon Sinclair expects to complete the amendment of its bank facility nor when it will launch a tender for the bonds.

Ad Business Report TM

MindShare Interaction's "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" campaign detailed
Crisp Wireless, a provider of mobile content creation and delivery solutions, set up mobile brand experience to MindShare Interaction for Unilever's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! brand. The content-rich WAP site features Fabio, in the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter 'Kitchen of Love,' which was originally developed for online audiences. The site ( also delivers "Fabiograms," recipes, wallpapers, downloadable video and exclusive Fabio voicetones to user's phones. Users are driven to the site by clickable banner ads running on Third Screen Media's TSM Network. "Unilever is making history on mobile in the same way that they made advertising history on broadband and interactive television. We needed a solid solution for this campaign, and Crisp Wireless has delivered a WAP site that satisfies the ad delivery and the creative side of the brand," said Margaret Clerkin, senior partner and managing director, MindShare Interaction. "This is a site that will receive tremendous traffic, and we have clearly found the right formula for delivering ads to consumers on mobile devices."

Media Markets & Money TM
WFXU, this Budd's for you
Budd Broadcasting is picking up a Pegasus station licensed under WFXU Corporation in the Tallahassee FL-Thomasville GA market. WFXU-TV operates on Channel 57 with a digital license for Channel 48. The station, licensed far to the east of Tallahassee in Live Oak FL, has been operated as a satellite of WTLH-TV, which is now the CW affiliate in the Tallahassee market. The price tag for Harvey and Irene Budd's company is a modest 100K, a quarter of which has already placed on deposit.

Washington Media Business Report TM
File under fine
The latest culprits have been named in the FCC's ongoing war against those who would fail to maintain their public file to specification. A quartet were caught, as usual, while attempting to renew their licenses. Here is your virtual post office wall of the apparently liable. All of the stations were granted renewals. * New Jersey Catholic Radio, operating as licensee WVRM Inc., and operator of WDDM-FM Hazlet NJ in the Monmouth-Ocean market, has been hit for the full 10K. Its issue/program lists from Q2 2001 to Q1 2006 were missing. * Radio One's WKAF-FM Brockton MA (Boston) intermittently omitted to file issue reports, and was hit with a 10K fine. * KCRX-FM Seaside OR, owned by New Northwest Broadcasters LLC, was hit for 4K for intermittently failing to keep its issues/program lists on file. * Detroit Public Schools operates noncom WRCJ-FM Detroit. It allowed one of its personalities to remain on the air while running for a seat on the University of Michigan Board of Regents, and aired PSAs voiced by a Congressional candidate, and failed to note either in its political file. Considering its lack of funding, the FCC hit it with a 2K fine.

Entertainment Media Business Report TM
Nick gets serious
about online danger

Nickelodeon isn't the first network most people think of when you mention news coverage, but veteran journalist Linda Ellerbee has been doing some real reporting with a focus on kids and her latest special for Nick News is no exception. She looks at the very real dangers lurking for teens and younger children on the Internet in "Online and In Danger? How to Protect Yourself in the Virtual World," airing Sunday, December 10th at 8:30 ET on Nickelodeon. How real are the risks? According to recent data gathered by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 71% of teens online have received personal messages from someone they don't know, 45% have been asked for personal information by a stranger; 34% have had unwanted or unsolicited exposure to inappropriate images; 20% have received a sexual solicitation over the Internet, 30% have considered meeting in person someone they met online, while 14% have actually done so. Approximately one million kids have received an aggressive sexual solicitation: someone asking to meet in person, calling on the telephone or sending snail mail, money or gifts. Yet fewer than one in five kids who have experienced any of these things, have told a parent or guardian. "For a lot of kids, the virtual world is their playground, recreation center, arcade, and mall. Going online isn't something they do, it's somewhere they are," said Ellerbee. "The goal of this show is not to scare kids offline or encourage parents to unplug computers, but to help kids better understand and use this evolving technology, and show them ways to protect themselves in the process," she added. Nick News, celebrating its 15th year, is the longest-running kids' news show in television history. It is produced by Ellerbee's Lucky Duck Productions.

Internet Media Business Report TM
Majority of auto dealers plan to
increase online ad spend in '07

Nearly two-thirds of car dealers said they will increase their online advertising budgets in 2007, a recent dealer poll found. The results echo online advertising expenditures reported by, which expects car dealers nationwide to spend 1.9 billion on Internet marketing in 2006 -- more than twice what they spent in 2004. The group projects a 42% increase in 2007. In the October issue of's monthly DealerADvantage newsletter, dealers were asked to share their ad plans for the new year. More than 20% said they will maintain their current spending levels, while 18% expect to spend less.

Stock Talk
Dollar, Wal-Mart worries sink stocks
A weakening greenback and disappointing sales figures from retail giant Wal-Mart sent stock prices skidding on Monday. The Dow Industrials dropped 158 points, or 1.3%, to 12,122.

Almost all TV stocks were lower. Fisher and Media General each dropped 4.5%. Emmis was down 3.7%.


Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Media General











Clear Channel




News Corp.
















NY Times








Ion Media








Saga Commun.












Gen. Electric




















Time Warner




Gray, C1. A
















Journal Comm.




Wash. Post




Lincoln Natl.









Send Us Your OpinionsWe want to
hear from you.

This is your column, so send your comments and
a photo to [email protected]

Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
MindShare Interaction's
Campaign details in the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"...

Media Markets & Money
WFXU, this Budd's for you
Budd Broadcasting is picking up a Pegasus station...

Internet Media Business Report
Majority of auto dealers
Plan to increase Online ad spend in '07...

Entertainment Media
Business Report
Nick gets serious About
Online danger to kids asLinda Ellerbee has been doing some real reporting...

Stations for Sale

South Georgia
Includes 25kw FM
Zoph Potts @ (252) 940-1680
[email protected]

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2 LPTVs for Sale

Price Reduced-both for $9 mil
Washington DC - $5 mil
Philadelphia - $2.5 mil
Atlantic City - $1 mil
[email protected]
Kozacko Media Services

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More News Headlines

FNC's Shepard Smith heading to Jordan
Fox News Channel's (FNC) Shepard Smith is in Amman, Jordan to host special editions of "Studio B" (3PM - 4PM ET) and "The Fox Report" (7PM - 8PM ET). Beginning today with "The Fox Report," Smith will host and provide reports from the region through 11/30. Smith will be in Jordan to cover President Bush's planned visit and meeting with Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki, who has recently come under fire in Washington.

For-A opens
Miami office

For-A Corporation, a manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, has named Pedro Silvestre as the Regional Sales Manager-Caribbean and Latin America. Silvestre will based out of For-A's new Miami office, which opened 11/1. He was most recently the Regional Sales Manager for Verite Broadcast Solutions, a systems integrator and broadcast equipment dealer based in Miami.

TVBR Radar 2006
Television News you won't read any where else. TVBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

TVBR Observation
Growth or Cut and Run?
"We believe that in our business we can never save ourselves into prosperity. We must manage expenses, but the only road to success is to raise revenues through the culture and system we describe." That is one of the 10 commandments of the Cherry Creek Radio sales culture. What do they know that the people running the largest broadcasting companies in America just can't grasp? Another of those 10 commandments notes that "when you turn out the lights, the assets go home" - in other words, growth is based on recruiting and holding onto good employees. Meanwhile the large! st radio company in the country and one of the TV big four have been trying to save themselves into prosperity by ditching their most valuable assets, People. Clear Channel Radio has been axing people. NBC Universal has been doing the same thing with a reorganization dubbed NBCU 2.0. Or would it be better called NBCU -5% for the 700 people being cut from the workforce? As the saying goes - The Lights are On - But thinking short-term may help Clear Channel and NBC pay the light bills in 2007 - But is anyone at either company looking ahead to 2008 and beyond?

Editor's note: Have a comment let us know and send a photo to [email protected] Read TVBR Observation in
11/27/06 TVBR #229

FYI: Why PPM wasn't
approved by MRC
Still more delays for an improved ratings system for radio: At a recent MRC meeting and vote on approving Arbitron's PPM system, the thumbs up was not given for two issues that required more inspection, according to TVBR sources. They related to the compliance issue of those people, who for whatever reason, did not carry the meter every single day that they were supposed to. There are more details in
11/27/06 TVBR #229

Voicing Out
Your conclusion to the OJ
Cancellation piece that: "We wonder why [the Powers That Be at Fox] didn't see this coming when they decided to publish the book and create the TV special to go with it" seems so naive...Rather, it takes months of intensive, coordinated planning by dozens of creators and decision-makers, all of whom are awash in ratings data and craft their product carefully to fulfill known audience expectations. Surely they were all keenly aware of the reaction their concept.. Peter Gutmann of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Washington, DC

TVBR note: We want to hear from you. This is your column, so send your comments and a photo to [email protected]
11/22/06 TVBR #228

Third Circuit is
malfunction junction

Viacom's CBS is not giving up its challenge of a 550K fine leveled against it for the airing of the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl halftime show back in 2004. Neither is the FCC giving any ground. CBS says that the Commission has failed to produce any evidence whatsoever that anybody at CBS had any knowledge of the incident beforehand.

TVBR observation: Hey, there may be millions of Americans who were highly disturbed by the wardrobe malfunction, but there are no doubt also millions of Americans (though very few, evidently, in Congress) who think that the incident was no big deal.
11/22/06 TVBR #228

TVBR observation:
Just wishful thinking
Had Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays talked to his lawyers before he was interviewed by David Lieberman of USA Today about the management-backed plan by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital to buy out the public shareholders? Time for a reality check
11/21/06 TVBR #227

Clear Channel deal
requires creativity
Private equity funds are moving into broadcasting in a big way, but they have to dodge some landmines at the FCC. Thomas H. Lee Partners already has a 23.3% attributable interest in the group buying Univision and both it and Bain Capital hold 25% attributable ownership stakes in Cumulus Media Partners, so it is going to take a creative ownership structure to make their 26.7 billion buy of Clear Channel comply with the FCC's ownership rules. No one is saying yet how the ownership issues will be dealt with, but it has already been worked out.

TVBR observation: Lowry Mays and other folks have dealt with this issue before, so they know how to solve FCC attribution problems. As the headline stated the deal required creativity and to view the shrewd details see
11/20/06 TVBR #226

Still no accreditation for PPM
Wednesday's meeting, 11/15/06, of the super-secretive Media Ratings Council (MRC) still left Arbitron's Portable People Meter without MRC accreditation. Arbitron says PPM still has to answer MRC concerns in two areas, but doesn't say what they are.

RBR note: The entire statement by Arbitron and what you need to know is in this issue in our Ad Business Report section.
11/17/06 RBR #225


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