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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 237, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning December 6th, 2005

TV News®

Duo to share ABC anchor chair
Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff have been named co-anchors of ABC's "World News Tonight" (WNT), effective January 3rd, jointly filling the post left vacant since the death of Peter Jennings. ABC also plans to add a live feed for the West Coast and to make more of the newscast's content available to viewers over the Internet. "Elizabeth and Bob together will be the anchors for this new broadcast and digital age of 'World News Tonight.' Their experience as journalists, their familiarity to our audiences, and their commitment to gathering and delivering the news anywhere, anytime and in every way make them the right team to take us forward for the next generation," said ABC News President David Westin. With the two anchor format, ABC is stepping up the workload for the team. Each day Vargas and Woodruff will be co-anchoring a webcast with a brief update of the day's top stories and a preview of what's going to be on the network newscast that evening. That webcast will air live on ABC News Now and ABCNews.com. The role of WNT on ABCNews.com will also be expanded, with more reporting from the network's correspondents and anchors, sometimes before the broadcast. There will also be interactive presentations, additional video and in-depth information specifically for the Internet. And unlike their colleagues at NBC and CBS, Vargas and Woodruff won't be finished after the East Coast broadcast if there's no breaking news to render a replay outdated for the western time zones. Rather, they'll anchor three feeds of WNT live every day: 6:30 pm ET, 8:30 pm ET (5:30 PT) and 9:30 pm ET (6:30 PT). "Now 'World News Tonight' will always be on," said Jon Banner, executive producer of WNT. "We are revolutionizing the way the evening news is delivered - - the broadcast will no longer be confined to the evening, no longer limited to television and now will be live to the West Coast."

TVBR observation: Will they close with "Good night Elizabeth" and "Good night Bob" as in the old days that we remember with the most successful network TV duo, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley at NBC? Other dual anchor attempts since David and Chet said good night to each other daily have mostly failed because of poor chemistry between the big egos in the shared anchor chair. Will this be different? Vargas will continue to co-anchor "20/20"and both she and Woodruff will have plenty to do to keep up with the new demands that ABC is making on its anchors. In addition to everything described above, both are also going to be expected to contribute to a daily blog for the newscast, along with other WNT producers and writers. It's a 24/7 world now for TV news.


Coen gloomy on ad outlook
After seeing ad spending trail GDP growth this year, Universal McCann guru Bob Coen expects more of the same in 2006, with total ad spending up 5.8%, vs. 4.6% this year. Other than the cyclical boost from political and Olympics advertising, he doesn't see anything coming in '06 to light a fire under radio and TV advertising. After so many decades of observing the behavior of advertisers, as Coen made his annual appearance at the UBS Media Week Conference in New York he seemed to be baffled by their behavior in 2005. He said major companies usually launch new products and market them when the economy is rebounding. "That didn't happen in 2005," he noted. So, while he expects the economy to be "reasonably healthy" in 2006, he doesn't see anything on the horizon to drive advertising demand, other than some upward pressure on TV rates created by political advertising pressuring inventories. Once again, the most robust growth is expected for Internet and cable TV, along with direct mail. Coen is looking for network TV to be up 6.5%, national spot 8.5% and local spot 4.5% next year - - decent growth, but not extraordinary for an Olympics/political year. In radio, he expects national business (network and spot combined) to be up 4% and local 4% as well.
| Here's his complete forecast by medium |

TVBR observation: Much as we'd like to see more growth in 2006, we can't disagree with Coen's basic projections. His outlook for television is only slightly more pessimistic than the TVB's forecast (9/9/05 TVBR #177), while being slightly more bullish on cable. On the radio side, his final projections for this year still look too high, given the industry's flat performance through October reported by RAB (12/1/05 RBR #234). That may explain why he appears, at this point, to have too high of a projection for 2006. Indeed, when a member of the audience at the UBS conference asked why he was so optimistic about a radio recovery next year, Coen insisted that he wasn't optimistic at all. "The radio situation is in turmoil right now. So much of that radio money, the primary source of it is local entrepreneurs, mainly retailers and restaurants, and many of them are being consolidated. Many of them are under great squeeze as far as their margins are concerned. So it's been a tough period for radio. I think it'll improve a bit, but I don't see it turning around sharply," Coen said.

How'd the guru do this year?
A year ago, Universal McCann forecaster Bob Coen was bullish on the ad spending outlook for 2005 (12/7/04 TVBR #237). That enthusiasm had cooled by June, when the guru ratcheted down most of his projections. Even so, the actual case was so much softer that even those June numbers proved to be overly optimistic. Over the course of the past year, Coen lowered his projection for national spot TV from a decline of only 1% to a 7.5% drop. For local TV he went from expecting a 2.5% gain to a drop of 3%. In radio his national projection went from up 5.2% to 1.5% (and even that appears at this point to be pretty optimistic) and local from up 5% to up 2% (also a pretty ambitious number at this point).
| Here's the blow-by-blow for 2005 |


Indecency, a la carte tied together
As has often been the case of late, regulatory issues of significance to the media business have forged alliances you just wouldn't see anywhere else. The issue of broadcast ownership deregulation was one such issue - - to look at just one of the more extreme examples, that urge to protest further deregulation brought together the firearm promoters at the National Rifle Association with the peace activists at Code Pink. The emerging battle over a la carte programming is having the same effect. The goal is to give parents better control over the programming that comes into their home. One way being proposed is a la carte programming, which appeals to many in government on several different levels. Just as a market issue, some such as John McCain (R-AZ) have wondered why someone should have a channel they do not forced on them, and on top of that be forced to pay for it. Since cable channels are not subject to the same regulatory indecency guidelines as broadcasters, many - - including FCC Chairman Kevin Martin - - are arguing that allowing parents to pick and choose only those channels they want is a perfect way to give them control over what their children see, without getting into any messy First Amendment free speech issues. Cable companies, on the other hand, say that such a regime would actually be more expensive than simply making use of channel blocking technologies already in place. They also cite the fact that program diversity will suffer under a la carte - - channels which fail to make the menu in a significant number of households be end up being thrown overboard.

TVBR observation: And that is why free speech advocates, who think that MTV and Comedy Central should be able to do whatever the public will tolerate, are being joined by minority programmers such as Radio One/TV One, and religious groups like Trinity Broadcast Network, in lining up to oppose mandatory a la carte.

Local broadcaster
advises cautious CP bidding

An FM Auction No. 37 CP in Blue Lake CA resulted in an unclaimed stick, although not for a lack of bidders. According to The Eureka Reporter interview with local broadcaster Pattison Christensen, 33 companies signed up to bid on the Eureka-Arcata CA stick. But the dollars bid spiraled far beyond the level which the market could support, in Christensen's opinion. Christensen is CEO of Redwood Broadcasting, which has a pair of FMs in the northern California coastal market which gets TV ratings from Nielsen and radio ratings from Eastlan. Interested in adding the modestly-powered Blue Lake stick, Christensen said he performed engineering and legal due diligence and came up with a sustainable bidding value of 90K - - but knew the instant he saw the number of rival bidders that the price was doomed to go beyond reason. He said College Creek won with a 1.026M, but withdrew the offer, putting the station into the next auction cycle, FM Auction No. 62, scheduled for 1/12/06. Christensen expects similar bidding results, and bad results for whoever eventually overpays. "In an investment for a television station, radio station or newspaper, debt is not your friend," he told The Eureka Reporter, "especially in this economic environment. You need cash flow to service debt." Another area owner placed a rational bid for the Blue Lake stick in the 200K-300K range, and a third admitted to a 400K bid last time around.

TVBR observation: Smart tourists who stick around a favored resort long enough learn to eat where the locals eat. If the locals think that the carpetbagger bid for a stick is, at its most optimistic, three times too high, and perhaps as much as 11 times too high, we think we'd be paying attention.


Adbiz©

ZenithOptimedia lowers global ad outook; Online up
ZenithOptimedia has lowered its projections for ad spend in 2006, predicting U.S. spending will grow only 2.9%, compared with a 3.6% gain it predicted in October. Worldwide ad spend is now expected to grow only 4.8%, compared with its previous forecast of 5.2% growth. However, it upped its online ad spend prediction for 2005: up to 4.6% from 4.3%. It also predicted that by 2008 online will account for 6.4% of global ad spend, and from 2005-2008 inclusive, 15.8 billion new ad dollars will be created, or 17% of total global ad growth. ZenithOptimedia noted 2005's mediocre growth is related to tough comps with last year's summer Olympics, European soccer tournaments and the Presidential election here in the states. ZenithOptimedia also revised its 2006 outlook. U.S. ad spend is now projected to rise 5.1% vs. the previous 5.7%, while worldwide ad spend is set to raise 5.9% vs. the 6.2% the agency projected in October.

Activision and Nielsen Entertainment release
study on in-game ads

Activision and Nielsen Entertainment released the results of a study on the effectiveness of in-game advertising that incorporates different levels of product integration. The research is the fourth component of an ongoing joint initiative between the two companies. The study confirms earlier findings that product integration helps to drive awareness and recall, but also uncovers a new variable, pervasiveness, which contributes to driving brand awareness as well. Most important, the research shows that the combination of product integration and pervasiveness results in a high degree of persuasion -- the willingness of consumers to change their opinions of a brand and/or recommend it to others -- and establishes that video games drive persuasion.
| Read More... |


Media Business Report
Belo newspapers sign distribution deal
with Yahoo! Hot Jobs

Belo has signed a distribution agreement with Yahoo! HotJobs, a leader in online recruiting. Beginning in early 2006, employers who advertise in The Dallas Morning News and The Providence Journal or on their respective Web sites (www.dallasnews.com, www.projo.com) can automatically have those jobs posted on Yahoo! HotJobs ( www.hotjobs.com). Belo will be Yahoo! HotJobs' exclusive newspaper partner in both markets.


Media Markets & MoneyTM
Arbitron chief downplays VNU buyout
Speaking to the UBS conference yesterday, Arbitron CEO Steve Morris noted that while lots of people have suggested that his company is a buyout prospect for Nielsen owner VNU, he doesn't see it happening. Given its current internal turmoil, he doesn't see VNU acquiring anything. Morris noted that having Nielsen do a Portable People Meter (PPM) joint venture with Arbitron would be a lot more efficient way to get access to the PPM technology than trying to buy Arbitron. "We would give them the thing that they most want, in exchange for something that we want, and they don't have to spend a billion and a half to get us," Morris noted. He also noted that Arbitron and Nielsen are already 50/50 owners of Scarborough and called a joint venture a "logical business model" for PPM.

Close encounter in the X-ownership zone
That's x-ownership as in cross-ownership. The closure of the 235M sale of three television stations from Emmis to Journal creates two new radio/TV combos, bringing its total of such clusters to four. It takes over Foxs WFTX-TV Channel 36 in Fort Myers-Naples (which will be a standalone), and ABC KGUN-TV Tucson Channel 9, which will tie-in with a one AM-three FM radio cluster. Journal has alson kicked off an LMA with CBS KMTV-TV Channel 3 in Omaha - - of which it says it has "...acquired certain assets..." - - that station also links up with a radio cluster, which may require some spin-offs before Journal can take over the license for the television station. Journal's other cross-ownership platforms are in Milwaukee and Boise.

Scripps lowers Q4 expectations
Even hot growth at Scripps Networks can't completely counteract soft ad sales for broadcast TV and the impact of Hurricane Wilma on the company's Florida stations and newspapers. Scripps told investors at two New York conferences yesterday that Q4 earnings per share will be only 48-50 cents, down from the previous forecast of 52-56. "Operating results at Scripps Networks and Shopzilla are exceeding our expectations in the fourth quarter," said CFO Joseph NeCastro. However, he noted that Shop At Home is lagging. In a first look at 2006, Scripps is telling investors that broadcast TV revenues should be up 10-12%, including political revenues of at least 25 million bucks and some eight million from the Super Bowl on ABC and Winter Olympics on NBC. Scripps Networks revenues are expected to be up 18-20% and newspaper revenues are expected to grown 4-6%.


Washington Beat
Barton reiterates support for hard DTV date
Responding to a new 9-11 Public Discourse Project Report, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) touted the hard date for the DTV transition as the key to giving first responders communications system interoperability. "Four years after Sept. 11 and we still have a problem with interoperability," he said. "The benefits of adopting a hard date for the digital television transition are numerous and significant. For years, our first responders have had to make do with antiquated radio equipment while waiting for the airwaves they were promised. Our digital television transition bill will make it easier for these public servants to catch criminals, fight fires and save lives." The House has set 12/31/08 as the final day of analog broadcast. That will have to be reconciled with the Senate's 4/7/09 date.

FCC, Commerce Committee let scant sunshine in
The main interest for broadcasters at the Friday 12/9/05 FCC Open Meeting for December will be saying good-bye to exiting Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy. There will certainly be little to attract broadcaster attention otherwise. The Commission will be looking at wireline universal service and junk fax items (zzzzzz). The following week, the Senate Commerce Committee will take up the nomination of Republican Debi Tate and the renomination of Democrat Michael Copps - - and there has been no hint whatsoever that either will face any major hurdles. That will bring the party balance back to even. A proposal for a third Republican is expected to be left to committee chair Ted Stevens (R-AK). It should also be noted that Stevens had mentioned the possibility of holding a follow-up session on indecency on 12/12/05. An announcement concerning that date did in fact come from the committee late yesterday, but it concerned a subcommittee on an unrelated matter. We'll keep you posted if anything changes.


Programming
ABC sets mid-season lineup
ABC had already announced that summer hit "Dancing with the Stars" would be back for a new run in January (10/3/05 TVBR #213). Now the Alphabet net has filled out the rest of its mid-season schedule, including, as expected, a "Dancing with the Stars Results Show" on Friday's following the competition each Thursday. A new comedy series, "Crumbs," starring Fred Savage and Jane Curtin, has gotten what looks to be a primo slot, airing each Thursday after the dancing competition.
| Here's ABC's January premiere schedule: |

King World clears Rachel Ray
in Top 25 Markets

King World promised there would be an announcement this week - - after we reported she cleared NYC and Philly (11/30 TVBR #233): King World has given a "firm go" to the new, daily, one-hour series featuring Food Network personality and best-selling author Rachael Ray. The syndicator has already sold the series to stations representing more than 70% of the country, it was announced today by Roger King, CEO, CBS Enterprises and King World. The series, which has been cleared in all Top 25 markets and 46 of the Top 50, has been sold to ABC O&O, Viacom O&O, Fox O&O, Gannett, Post-Newsweek, Media General, Cox, Meredith, Hearst-Argyle, Belo, Scripps Howard and LIN stations, among others. The clearances in the Top 25 markets are WABC (New York), KCBS (Los Angeles), WBBM (Chicago), WPVI (Philadelphia), WBZ (Boston), KPIX (San Francisco), KTVT (Dallas/Ft. Worth), WTTG (Washington, D.C.), WXIA (Atlanta), KPRC (Houston), WDIV (Detroit), WFLA (Tampa), KIRO (Seattle), KPHO (Phoenix), KARE (Minneapolis), WKYC (Cleveland), WFOR (Miami), KCNC (Denver), KCRA (Sacramento), WKMG (Orlando), KTVI (St. Louis), WTAE (Pittsburgh), KGW (Portland), WMAR (Baltimore) and WISH (Indianapolis). The new series, to be based in New York City and launching in Fall 2006, will be produced and distributed by King World, in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment.

Twentieth Television moving forward
with "Christina's Court"

Twentieth Television announced a firm go for its new court strip "Cristina's Court," hosted by Cristina Perez, former host of Telemundo's "La Corte de Familia" ("Family Court"). The new strip, scheduled for a fall 2006 launch in first-run, has been sold to the Fox Television Stations group, as well as multiple major market Sinclair Broadcast Group stations, representing 55% of the U.S. Stations cleared include WNYW-WWOR/New York, KTTV-KCOP/Los Angeles, WFLD-WPWR/Chicago, WTXF/Philadelphia, WFXT/Boston, KDFW-KDFI/Dallas, WTTG-WDCA/Washington, DC, WAGA/Atlanta, WJBK/Detroit, KRIV-KTXH/Houston, WTVT/Tampa, WPGH-WCWB/Pittsburgh, WLFL-WRDC/ Raleigh-Durham, WZTV-WUXP/Nashville, WDAF/Kansas City, WSYX-WTTE/Columbus, WITI/Milwaukee, KABB-KRRT/San Antonio, WRGT-WKEF/Dayton, WSYT-WNYS/ Syracuse and KOKH-KOCB/Oklahoma, among others. The program has also been cleared on Raycom Media's WXIX/Cincinnati and Lockwood Broadcasting's WUPV/Richmond. "Cristina's Court" will be executive produced by court veteran Peter Brennan, who launched "Judge Judy" and "Judge Joe Brown."

O'Reilly interviewing Stern
Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly will sit down with Howard Stern for a two-part interview to be presented on "The O'Reilly Factor" (8-9 PM/ET) Wednesday, 12/7 and Thursday, 12/8. As he signs off from the terrestrial airwaves and approaches his debut on Sirius Satellite radio, Stern will face off with O'Reilly in a cable exclusive interview where no topics are off limits. This will mark the first time the king of cable news goes one-on-one with the provocative broadcaster in what is expected to be a fiery showdown between the two very outspoken personalities.


Ratings & Research
SNTA: Syndication delivers more "Live" and "Live"+ 1 Day DVR subs than Network Prime
A new analysis of Nielsen TiVo data, completed by the SNTA, shows that 80% of syndication's viewership is "live," significantly higher than network prime's 48%. In addition, the findings reveal that 93% of DVR subscribers watch syndicated programming "live" or within 1 day of airing, versus 78% for network prime. "With DVR subscriptions projected to triple to nearly 21 million by 2007, syndication's power to deliver a live and engaged audience continues to make all genres of syndicated programming an appealing buy for advertisers," said Mitch Burg, SNTA president. "These timely findings build upon syndication's already substantial ROI advantage that includes higher commercial recall, superior audience retention, greater reach and more GRPs."
| Additional details of the study |


Stock Talk
Inflation and oil...again
You've heard this before. Worries about inflation and higher oil prices sent stock prices lower on Monday. The Dow Industrials were off 43 points, or 0.4%, to 10,835.

TV stocks joined the retreat. Emmis had the worst day, falling 3.3% on worries about its CFO's resignation.

In their first official day of trading on a "when issued" basis on the NYSE, CBS Corporation closed at 34.48 and New Viacom at 42.85. Add together and divide by two to get 38.67, which is a premium to the price for "old" Viacom.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme

ACME

3.82

+0.01

Media General

MEG

49.88

-1.05

Belo

BLC

21.52

-0.16

Meredith

MDP

50.73

-0.29

Clear Channel

CCU

33.08

+0.06

News Corp.

NWS

15.79

-0.07

Disney

DIS

25.01

+0.13

Nexstar

NXST

4.29

unch

Emmis

EMMS

20.30

-0.69

NY Times

NYT

26.84

-0.23

Entravision

EVC

7.25

-0.05

Paxson

PAX

0.97

+0.02

Fisher

FSCI

45.15

-0.29

Saga Commun.

SGA

11.91

-0.20

Gannett

GCI

59.88

-1.01

SBS

SBSA

4.42

-0.13

Gen. Electric

GE

35.77

+0.27

Scripps

SSP

46.20

-0.81

Granite

GBTVK

0.24

+0.05

Sinclair

SBGI

9.99

+0.16

Gray

GTN

9.30

+0.09

Time Warner

TWX

18.23

-0.04

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

8.96

+0.08

Tribune

TRB

30.86

-0.53

Hearst-Argyle

HTV

24.10

-0.02

Univision

UVN

30.29

-0.13

Jeff-Pilot

JP

55.85

-0.30

Viacom, Cl. A

VIA

34.45

-0.05

Journal Comm.

JRN

13.64

-0.01

Viacom, Cl. B

VIAb

34.48

+0.01

Liberty Corp

LC

46.88

-0.08

Wash. Post

WPO

735.60

+3.10

LIN TV

TVL

13.20

-0.05

Young

YBTVA

2.43

+0.27

McGraw-Hill

MHP

53.09

-0.39

-

-

-

-

-


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Below the Fold

Ad Biz
ZenithOptimedia lowers
global ad outook
Spending will grow only 2.9%, compared with a 3.6% gain it predicted in October...

Programming
ABC sets mid-season lineup
Hit "Dancing with the Stars" would be back...

Media Markets & Money
Arbitron chief downplays
VNU buyout
Doesn't see it happening given VNU's current internal turmoil...

Scripps lowers Q4 expectations
Can't completely counteract soft ad sales for broadcast TV...

Ratings & Research
Syndication delivers more "Live"
Analysis of Nielsen TiVo data shows that 80% of syndication's viewership is "live,"...


December '05 RBR/TVBR Solutions Magazine


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More News Headlines

Broadcasters' Foundation assisting Katrina victims
The Broadcasters' Foundation says by the end of this month it will have distributed aide to more than 250 broadcasters whose families suffered from the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. Foundation Chair Phil Lombardo says each family received an initial one thousand bucks emergency grant. "Situations that warrant continuing assistance will be reviewed," he said. The people who have been helped run the gamut of radio and TV staffers, including anchors, news directors, engineers, salespeople, DJs and office staffers.

VNU names
head of Marketing Information Group

VNU announced that Steven Schmidt has been appointed president and chief executive officer of its Marketing Information (MI) group, effective 1/1. In his new role, Schmidt will be responsible for the entire MI organization, which includes such leading brands as ACNielsen, BASES, Spectra, Claritas and ACNielsen HCI. Previously, Schmidt was president and CEO of ACNielsen and executive vice president of the MI group. He will continue to be accountable for the global ACNielsen business, in addition to leading the MI group.


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

Analyst sees TV down and Radio flat
For spot TV, a big impact from the two-year cycle of elections and Olympics, with '05 down 7%, then up 9% with next year's political/Olympic spending. For all of television (network, spot and syndication combined), ad revenues could be up 8.5% next year. - Radio - RAB's reported 7% October drop in radio revenues has made it impossible to have a positive number for Q4, Harris Nesbitt analyst Lee Westerfield is projecting that radio revenues will be flat for 2005 and then rise 3% in '06. TVBR observation: Bottom line - if you do not have your, ah, stuff together now you are in deep.
12/05/05 TVBR #236

Internet advertising:
A place for convergence?
eMarketer says advertising using video on the Internet will rake in 225M this year, and will nearly triple - - to 640M - - by the end of 2007, on its way to 1.5M annually by the end of the decade. TVBR observation: This advice applies to radio broadcasting just as much as it does to television, in our opinion. Broadcasters - - like everyone else in America - - are obviously taking the world wide web into account. It's a rare station or company which is operating without a website. The fact is, many companies, not the least of which is the one whose primary product you are now reading, have had their core business model utterly transformed by the Internet. (Paper? Ink? Printing press? Big Postage? What are those?). The key piece of advice here is to stay on top of developments daily, and make sure the Internet is your partner, not the 800-pound gorilla that has you for lunch.
12/05/05 TVBR #236

Clear Channel sets CCE spinoff
December 21st Clear Channel Communications will be out of its unhappy venture into the concert business. The spin-off of Clear Channel Entertainment will be completed by distributing stock of CCE Spinco to existing Clear Channel shareholders. TVBR observation: Get your calculators ready. Come December 22nd we'll have a Wall Street valuation of what the Entertainment unit is worth - - and how much of Clear Channel's 4.4 billion investment has simply vanished into thin air.
12/05/05 TVBR #236

If you pay them, will they come?
After falling out of favor with Wall Street as growth stocks, public radio and TV companies have been trying to reposition themselves as a value proposition - - delivering big rewards to investors by using their cash flow for dividends and stock buybacks. Is it working? Not so far.
TVBR observation: It's almost unbelievable that you can buy Citadel stock for around 13.70 and get 72 cents a year in dividends - - and Wall Street isn't biting. A yield of 1.6-2% for CBS, depending on how post-split trading goes, isn't nearly as enticing. It will be interesting to see whether Sumner Redstone's gamble pays off. He could be left with a New Viacom that doesn't get valued any higher than the old Viacom - - and a CBS that drops even lower.
12/02/05 TVBR #235

Hearst-Argyle renews CBS affiliations; Network comp to end
Renewed the affiliation agreements for its two CBS affiliates but the comp is gone. Now figure out how to replace that extra 1 million yearly. TVBR observation: Glad this is on the record as next phase could be reverse compensation - like the affiliates paying the networks for their content. Do not be surprised at this statement as Content is King. TV is going through pains as radio has over the past few years and this pain will not end in the near future.
12/01/05 TVBR #234

Think only TV is a problem;
October no treat for radio
Crystal ball gazers had been predicting that October would be a tough month for radio and Bingo - they were correct. RBR observation: Can this really all be blamed on the political category? The other big factor, of course, is Clear Channel's Less is More initiative, which has the industry giant lagging the rest of radio as it works to get its house back in order. In other words - So Goes Clear Channel so goes the business. Start to think independently and stop following a so-called leader. If not it will not be any better next year.
12/01/05 RBR #234

"Idol" price tag growing for Fox
What's a hit franchise worth? Fox has signed up for up to six more years of "American Idol" in a deal with Simon Fuller's FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, now owned by Bob Sillermans's CKX Inc. - - but it won't come cheap. The license fee for Idol 5, which should begin airing in January 2006, will cost 18 million bucks. TVBR observation: Can you imagine what it's like to sit across the negotiating table from Bob Sillerman and Simon Cowell? We wonder if the folks at Fox are now trying to come up with a competitor to NBC's "The Apprentice" so Sillerman can show Donald Trump how business deals are really done.
11/30/05 TVBR #233

Senate decency bill
literally put on hold
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) said some think it goes too far, others not far enough. Given that concern was coming from two opposite directions, Stevens did not think he had the 60 votes necessary to force action. TVBR observation: We call it Beltway BS.
11/30/05 TVBR #233

Reese makes the case
for broadcasters
Bruce Reese took exception to the apparently widespread belief that broadcasters are filling the airwaves with filth. "To begin," he said, "it may be useful to remember that the vast majority of broadcasters have never had the FCC take any action against them on the indecency issue." Read Reese's full testimony here
11/30/05 TVBR #233

Wide open "Open Forum
on Decency"
A lot of ideas were put forth at the special session of the Seante Commerce Committee put together by Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK). While it can probably be said that all in attendance believe that it is important to protect children from objectionable material that is pretty much where the consensus ended. Comments on decency read here
11/30/05 TVBR #233

TiVo unveils ad search
product for television
Plans to offer the first television-based ad search solution in the Spring. Leveraging TiVo's search capabilities, the new product will deliver relevant, targeted advertising to subscribers that want to view particular advertising categories.
11/29/05 TVBR #232


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