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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 22, Issue 238, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning December 7th, 2005

TV News®

Reynolds: It's about content,
not "old" or "new" media

With CBS Corporation just weeks away from being separated from the other half of Viacom, CFO-to-be Fred Reynolds isn't buying the idea that he's signed on for a stint with an "old media" company whose time has past. "If you look at CBS across all of our assets, we're really about content first and then distribution second," Reynolds told the CSFB Global Media Week conference in New York. Citing a number of new technologies and distribution platforms, he said "our view is that it's more opportunity for us to get paid for our content." Reynolds notes that about half of all the money CBS spends is to create content. That content, such as network TV programming, is designed to pay for itself the first time it's delivered to the public. "We make money on everything we air. Now we get another play on it - - a replay. And users and listeners and viewers want more control over their day, so they want to see that content when they want to see it. Our goal is to be sure we get paid for it," he said.

TVBR observation: Just re-read what was written on what Reynolds stated on being paid for content - 'we're really about content first and then distribution second' and 'we make money on everything we air' - now go back to 12/01/05 TVBR #234 and re-read Hearst-Argyle renews CBS affiliations and Network comp to end to the tune of almost 1 million next year. Did you hear the other shoe drop on the words 'make money on what we air.' Do not be surprised in the future to see CBS ask for money if you want their programming almost like - a la carte.

Poltrack sees nets up 7% in 2006
CBS Executive VP of Planning and Research David Poltrack turned out to be a bit too optimistic about 2005. He'd predicted a year ago that ad revenues for the big four TV networks would be up 2.5%, but he told the UBS Media Week Conference in New York that he's now expecting the final tally to be up only 1.5%. But he's again bullish on 2006, forecasting that revenues will be up 7%. That's partly because of the Winter Olympics on NBC, of course. Taking out the cyclical impact of the Olympics, Poltrack says underlying growth for 2006 will be around 5%, compared to 5.3% this year. "I would describe the current advertising market as unsettled," Poltrack said. He said there have been quite a few new product launches, which is good for network TV, but also little or no growth in the biggest ad categories. Although he admits that the negotiating advantage in the recent upfront shifted from the sellers to the buyers. That's because leadership in the TV industry shifted from NBC to CBS and ABC. But because of that, he said the networks held back more inventory for the scatter market, rather than accept the rates being offered in the upfront. So, while CPM increases for the four major networks averaged only 3% in the upfront, he's forecasting a 7% revenue gain in 2006 not only because NBC will have its Olympic revenues, but because the networks will be selling scatter at higher rates than they got in the upfront. "The fourth quarter scatter market has been solid and has shown positive momentum going forward," Poltrack noted.

NBC Universal to sell shows on
Apple's online iTunes store

Adding to the deal with ABC in October, Apple Computer struck a deal with NBC Universal to sell television shows a la carte on its online iTunes store. More than 300 episodes from NBC-TV prime time, late-night, cable nets and classic TV shows are now available for 1.99 each. Programming spans from the 1950s to the present, including shows from "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Dragnet," USA Network's "Monk," the Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica," "Law & Order," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." NBC also recently signed a deal to begin selling replays of its most popular shows on an on-demand basis through DirecTV and last month announced a deal with Sprint Nextel to make Leno's monologues and sketches available on its mobile service.

TVBR observation: Think we just read this above as where CBS says they make their money selling what they air. ABC got their first but NBC just checked one up with more content. Do not be surprised what the consumer will pay for if they find the Apple under their tree this year. Why? Because it is there and they too want to be first to say they have the content to show their friends.

Liberty shareholders approve sale to Raycom
It was never really in doubt, but shareholders of Liberty Corporation yesterday gave approval to a 987 million buyout by Raycom Media (8/26/05 TVBR #168). When the transaction closes, Liberty shareholders will receive 47.35 for each share they own from privately-owned Raycom. The deal has already cleared antitrust approval, but is awaiting FCC approval. Raycom has announced plans to sell a dozen stations, including four that must be divested to bring the Liberty acquisition within the FCC's ownership limits (11/2/05 TVBR #215).

Will kid's food advertising
be blinded by science?

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies lays a major portion of the blame for bad eating habits among the nation's youth on food and beverage marketing targeted to children ages 12 and under. It goes on to recommend that if those involved in such marketing do not clean up their act voluntarily, that Congress step in and force the issue. "Because dietary preferences and eating patterns form early in life and set the stage for an individual's long-term health prospects, significant changes are needed to reshape children's awareness of healthy dietary choices," the report says. "Manufacturers and restaurants should direct more of their resources to developing and marketing child- and youth-oriented foods, drinks, and meals that are higher in nutrients and lower in calories, fat, salt, and added sugars." And now for the kicker: "If voluntary efforts by industry fail to successfully shift the emphasis of television advertising during children's programming away from high-calorie, low-nutrient products to healthier fare, Congress should enact legislation to mandate this change on both broadcast and cable television." On the table is an estimated 10B chunk of the advertising pie. The study laid most of the blame on television's doorstep, but said this was partially because it has received the most attention from researchers. It noted growing use of the Internet, mobile phone ads and product placements in video games and elsewhere. The study was requested by Congress in general and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) in particular.

TVBR observation: Members of the TVBR Washington office moonlight as the parental units of six children. We would say that our influence over our children's diet easily overrides the influence of Madison Avenue types, so far. One key to doing this successfully is to occasionally give in to the little ones' desire for some hotly advertised product (and we'll say that when given a fast food option, the choice is often made on the basis of what the current toy giveaways are). However, we have no reason to believe that all parents are as vigilant as we are. Further, this study is based on 120 studies, so its conclusions are going to be difficult to challenge. And in Washington, whenever the magic word "children" is uttered, it's best to put on your legislative flak helmet and any legislative body armor you can muster.

Consumer watchdogs go national
with a la carte message

Consumer Federation of America's Mark Cooper and Consumer Union's Gene Kimmelman collaborated on the latest assault on cable pricing and channel bundling, taking to the pages of USA Today to make their points. They note the doubling of basic cable fees over the last 10 years, to 40 dollars, and the fact that although the number of channels provided has also increased, most consumers find themselves returning often to less than 20. Echoing the views of John McCain (R-AZ), they question why subscribers should be forced to purchase channels they don't want and, even more pointedly, find to be offensive? Echoing FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the wonder why cable gets to bundle their co-owned channels together while in a more traditionally open market, magazine conglomerates cannot even begin to contemplate such a move - - their example: Time Warner cannot make you buy Field and Stream against your will in order to get the Time subscription you want. They also argue that diversity may well be increased, as subscribers choose channels currently not carried frequently because they are produced by someone other than a big MSO.

TVBR observation: The CATV argument, echoed by many strange bedfellows, that going to a la carte would actually increase subscription fees while harming diversity does not seem to be gaining much traction. We get the point, but a lot of people do not. A big reason is probably that it is completely counter intuitive. What if a grocery store said that if you want to buy some apples, you also have to take some kiwis and artichokes, and then use a produce blocker to keep them from going into your mouth? Unless those opposed to a la carte do a better job of explaining their position, they may wind up having a la carte force-fed to them, just as they are now force-feeding MTV to people who despise its very existence.


Jaguar and Land Rover pull gay publication ads
Ford said its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands will no longer advertise in gay publications such as The Advocate, but a spokesperson denied the automaker made the decision under pressure from conservative Christian groups. "The decisions with regard to advertising was a business decision," Ford spokesman Mike Moran told The AP. He said Ford's Volvo brand would continue advertising in gay publications and that it hasn't advertised its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands in those publications. Moran said Jaguar and Land Rover, which are part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, have decided to cut back on their advertising because of difficult market conditions. It reported a pretax loss of 108 million in Q3. "They feel pressure on their marketing budgets, so they decided to streamline marketing across the board," Moran told the AP. "They're not supporting as many publications and events as before in 2006." The AP pointed out Ford's move came nearly a week after the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association canceled a boycott of Ford vehicles that began in May, when the group criticized Ford for being too gay-friendly. "We are ending the boycott of Ford," association Chairman Donald Wildmon said in a statement Wednesday. "While we still have a few differences with Ford, we feel that our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future." The American Family Association first announced the boycott against Ford and related brands on May 31. The group said Ford gave thousands of dollars to gay rights groups, offered benefits to same-sex couples and actively recruited gay employees.

Bloomburg drops 77M on the Big Apple
Re-elected billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered the rarified air of presidential candidates this past November, in terms of campaign spending. According to the Associated Press, the 77M spent on his latest campaign, most of it out of his own pocket, amounted to over 100 dollars per vote, and eclipses most campaign budgets for any office short of the one they call Oval. Was it overkill? The pockets of his opponent, Fernando Ferrer, were not nearly so deep - - forced to raise most of his cash, Ferrer failed to get into double digits, ending up just topping the 9M mark. Bloomberg crushed Ferrer by 20 points, 753K to 503K. Bloomberg spent a good deal of his money on broadcast advertising. The wide disparity between the candidate's warchests prompted the local chapter of Common Cause to sound alarm bells about the pernicious role of cash in the electoral process.

Euro RSCG makes changes in Latin America
David Jones, Global CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide announced that Javier Vale, CEO of Euro RSCG Latin America will become Chairman of Euro RSCG Latin America. Ricardo Monteiro, CEO of Euro RSCG Lisbon will become CEO of Latin America; he will split his duties between Portugal and the Latin American region. Monteiro will also be a member of the Euro RSCG Worldwide Executive Committee and will report to Jones.

Media Business Report
Continued softness
seen for newspapers

If it's any comfort for radio and TV executives, the advertising market isn't any stronger for newspapers - - and they won't get nearly the political boost of their broadcasting peers next year. Classified advertising has been the print sector this year. James Conaghan, VP of business Analysis & Research for the Newspaper Association of America, told the UBS Media Week Conference in New York that he expects classified to be up 5% this year, with retail up only 2% and national advertising down 2%. That's an overall advertising gain of 2.4%. He's expecting about the same for retail and classified next year, with national turning positive for an overall 3.1% gain in print advertising - - 4% if you also add in newspapers' Internet sites. But while newspapers are making money on the Internet, they're also challenged by new competitors for the lucrative classified business. "I'm very concerned with the advent of Craig's List and Google," said Miles Groves, President of MG Strategic Research. He thinks that newspapers who are aggressive in moving online will be able to adapt, but that some of the technological laggards may suffer as Internet sites move aggressively to establish local businesses competing directly with newspaper classifieds. For his part, Groves is looking for newspaper ad revenues to be up only 3.4% in 2006.

Washington Beat
Commerce to put FCC under microscope
Apparently 14 communications hearings will not be enough to get 2006 in gear for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Co-chair Dan Inouye (D-HI) have added a 15th, on the 15th in fact, of February. That's a Wednesday. The 10:00AM session has a tantalizingly wide open title: "FCC Activities and Policy." Given the breadth and width of the FCC's areas of purview, plus the likely addition of two new Republican commissioners by then, this session could be about almost anything. Big broadcast issues figure to be front and center, including indecency - - with cable purchasing options as a major side show, the DTV transition - - with multicast must-carry as a major side show, and the FCC's attempt to rework the 6/2/03 media ownership rulemaking package. Which is to say nothing about telephones, broadband, public safety issues......
| Here's the Committee's updated 2006 sked |

UPN debuting "South Beach" January 11
The two-hour series premiere of UPN's new drama "South Beach" debuts Wednesday, 1/11 (8:00-10:00PM, ET/PT). In "I'm Not Your Baby," best friends from Brooklyn Matt (Marcus Coloma) and Vincent (Chris Johnson) head to Miami for adventure, hoping to find Matt's old flame, up-and-coming fashion model Arielle (Odette Yustman). Diving into the glamorous local scene at the Hotel Soleil's hip club Nocturnal, the buddies surprise Arielle and her rich new boyfriend, suave club manager Alex Bauer (Lee Thompson Young), who's ready to douse any more sparks between his girlfriend and her ex. Tony Krantz ("24"), Jennifer Lopez ("Monster-in-Law"), Simon Fields ("Shall We Dance?") and Philip Levens ("Smallville") are Executive Producers. South Beach is a production of Flame Television and Nuyorican Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television.

Quotes from Stern-O'Reilly interview
Here are the actual quotes from the Howard Stern interview airing tonight and Thursday night on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor." Stern tells O'Reilly that he's a "lock" to succeed on satellite radio, but may retire from the medium in five years.
| Stern commented on the following: |

Ratings & Research
ABC back in command of 18-49
CBS' string is intact - - 11 weeks of the new TV season and 11 wins in Household ratings. But ABC had another strong week in the prized 18-49 demo and moved back ahead for the season-to-date from what had been a dead heat. For the HH crown, CBS posted an 8.3 rating and 13 share, with ABC at 7.8/12, NBC 6.7/10, Fox 4.4/7, UPN 2.4/4, WB 2.0/3 and i 0.3/1. "Desperate Housewives" moved back into the #1 spot and ABC claimed #2 as well, with "Monday Night Football."
| View the Chart |

TVBR Stats
Nielsen Outdoor: data shows males 35-54
have most exposure to outdoor

Nielsen Outdoor announced the results of its outdoor ratings service in Chicago. The results are the culmination of a three-year joint effort with the industry to develop a dependable, people-based audience measurement system for outdoor advertising that provides ratings data comparable to other measured media.
| Read More... |

Stock Talk
What have ya done for me in the last hour?
A government report showing the biggest surge in productivity in two years gave stock prices a boost early in the session, but those gains had pretty much evaporated by the closing bell. The Dow Industrials rose 22 points to 10,857.

TV stocks were lower. Saga was hit hard, although there was no news about the company. It fell 7%. Leading the other way was Gray, with its common up 3% and Class A 4.9%.


Here's how stocks fared on Tuesday

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

Williams upped at NBC
NBC Entertainment has promoted Scott Williams to Vice President, Program Research. He had been Director of Program Research.

Addition in Philly
Jade McCarthy has joined NBC O&O WCAU-TV (Ch. 10) Philadelphia to report on sports-related news stories. She had been with WAFF-TV (Ch. 48, NBC) Huntsville, AL.

Two join Amity
Amity Entertainment announced that Debbie Mundy has joined the company from Gaylord Entertainment as VP/Controller. Also, Jason Elsky, who had been marketing Amity's "The Big Comfy Couch" at Trebing Design Group, has joined the company as Director of Marketing.

Below the Fold

Ad Biz
Jaguar and Land Rover
Pull gay publication ads denied the decision under pressure...

Media Business Report
Continued softness
seen for newspapers
Won't get nearly the political boost of their broadcasting peers next year...

Washington Beat
Commerce to put FCC under microscope
14 communications hearings will not be enough...

TVBR Stats
Males 35-54 exposure to outdoor
Nielsen Outdoor uses portable GPS devices to track the travel patterns...

Ratings & Research
ABC back in command
Of 18-49 but CBS' string is intact...

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

Gloomy on ad outlook 2006
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. While expecting the economy to be "reasonably healthy" in 06, 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.
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 while being slightly more bullish on cable.
12/06/05 TVBR #237

Arbitron chief
downplays VNU buyout
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 (VNU) current internal turmoil, he doesn't see VNU acquiring anything. 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. TVBR observation: Upbeat Morris or trying to put a smile on the face as many had hoped for and still do that Nielsen would acquire Arbitron. People inside Arbitron would make a few dollars and forward motion into the balance of this decade would move at a quicker pace. Now both ratings firms are treading water: VNU/Nielsen in limbo for months as this company is in play and Arbitron wishing to Santa to get bags of support from radio on PPM. Not happening except one thing - both ratings companies will have to continue to spend money on research and forward motion with little light at the end of the tunnel into next year of grand participation from broadcasters.
12/06/05 TVBR #237

ZenithOptimedia lowers
global ad Outlook
Online up - 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. TVBR observation: In other words if you are not fully engaged into the new media world that the consumers are participating in you are out and we me out. Media executives had three years to improve and grow with the technology but many have just been sitting on their thumbs going into a new year. Too late and it will be shown next year TVBR was right - Technology waits for no one.
12/06/05 TVBR #237

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

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