Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 21, Issue 247, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning December 21st, 2004

TV News®

CBS signs long-term affiliate deals
with Gray TV
CBS and Gray Television announced today that they have signed new long-term affiliation agreements covering 16 Gray-owned CBS affiliates: WVLT Knoxville, Tenn.; WKYT Lexington, Ky.; WYMT Hazard, Ky.; KKTV Colorado Springs, Colo.; KBTX Bryan, Texas; KWTX Waco, Tex.; KOLN Lincoln, Neb.; KGIN Grand Island, Neb.; WCTV Tallahassee, Fla.; WRDW Augusta, Ga.; WSAW Wausau, Wis.; WIFR Rockford, Ill.; WIBW Topeka, Kan.; KXII Sherman, Tex.; WTVY Dothan, Ala.; and WCAV Charlottesville, Va. Peter Schruth, President, Affiliate Relations, CBS, said: "The deal we're announcing today is historic - the most CBS affiliates to ever renew their affiliations at one time. It's a rewaffirmation of the outstanding business relationship we have with Gray, one that will continue for many years to come. We're very pleased and proud to be their partners in these markets." Gray Television owns more CBS affiliates than any other station group, with the exception of the CBS stations in the Viacom Television Stations Group. The Gray Television CBS stations collectively reach more than 3.2 million U.S. TV households. The Gray-owned CBS affiliates' market ranks are: 59 (Knoxville, TN), 64 (Lexington and Hazard, KY), 92 (Colorado Springs, CO), 95 (Bryan and Waco, TX), 103 (Lincoln and Grand Island, NE), 109 (Tallahassee, FL), 115 (Augusta, GA), 133 (Wausau, WI), 134 (Rockford, IL), 137 (Topeka, KS), 161 (Sherman, TX), 172 (Dothan, AL) and 185 (Charlottesville, VA).

Local broadcast ad revenues Up 12.2% Q3, says TVB
Local broadcast television ad revenues jumped a healthy 12.2% in the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same period last year, according to Susan Cuccinello, SVP of research for the TVB, based on estimates supplied by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR in the top 100 markets. The biggest percentage increase among the top 25 advertising categories for the quarter was posted by Government & Organizations, which is mostly political spending. The category was up 165.7% over the same period in 2003.

TVBR observation: Praise politics as The Bush for President Committee made it onto the list of the top 25 individual local advertisers for the quarter at No. 19 (the Kerry campaign ranked No. 41). But what are you gonna do now in first quarter 2005? Local the Year to Muscle Up - Radio & Television Business Report -Jan. '05 issue will have solutions for you. | More... |

Broadcast companies cited by pro-minority watchdog
"America's Top Organizations for Providing Multicultural Business Opportunities" is an annual top 50 list of big companies this promote ethnic diversity, put out by DiversityBusiness.com. Four companies with extensive broadcast and/or cable interests made the list. Communications companies were not among the top ten. #1 honors went to Bank of America. Time Warner came in at #13, Walt Disney was at #29, Comcast made the list at #37 and General Electric took the #45 slot. FCC Chairman Michael Powell said, "I applaud the 50 companies recognized by DiversitBusiness.com...I am particularly proud to see that a number of communications companies are among those honored. These companies have realized that in order to grow and continue to provide services valued across our nation, they need to tap the strength and vibrancy that flows from the diversity of the American people. They have realized that diversity can be a commercial advantage that should be cultivated in order to prosper in the marketplace."

Radio revs post up in November
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, local revenue continued to hover around the break-even point, finishing November on the black side by 2%. National's second month in a row on the plus side of the mid-to-upper single digit range - - an uptick of 7% - - brought the monthly total to a positive 4%. But it may be too early to start popping champagne corks.

TVBR observation: Black ink is black ink, but there are a couple of factors graying November's positive if lackluster results. One is the fact that it reconfirms the notion that radio was largely bypassed by both national and local political campaigns. The other is the warning from analyst Jim Boyle that the modest November bump is but a prelude to a flattish December. In other words, it does not appear to be the start of a steady climb, merely another small rise before another drop on the revenue roller coaster. | More... |

Worm turning for sluggish economy?
The Conference Board says its Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators has returned the black after five months of setbacks. The 0.2% increase in LEI follow drops of 0.4% in October and 0.2% in September. The Conference Board sees a continuation of economic expansion, even if the expansion moves at a very slow pace. CB economist Ken Goldstein both downplayed the declines and tempered immediate expectations for a turnaround. "After five straight declines, the LEI turned around in November. Although the LEI has declined for nearly half the year, the declines were relatively modest...In terms of bvoth duration and degreem the indicators suggest an economy losing forward momentum. But even if economic performance in early 2005 proves sluggish, conditions could brighten by spring." CB's coincident index, a measure of current economic activity rose 0.1% in November, after an 0.4% gain in October and flat results for September. CB says that overall, indicators are not consistent with those associated with a recession, but that they point to growth at less than has been the long-term trend.

Online etailing taking off
The comfort factor of brick and mortar for retail purchases is starting to lose serious ground to the ease of shopping from the PC site in a consumer's own residence, a fact being amply proven by the 2004 holiday shopping season. According to a report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings, online holiday spending for the first six weeks of the shopping in 2004 totals 16.7B dollars, up 28% from the 13B spent in the same period in 2003. Fast growing categories include music (32.9%), video/DVD (32.2%), jewelry (32.2%), books (27.1%) and toys/video games (22.3%). "As the online buying population matures, there is increased confidence and comfort in purchasing non-commoditized good online, "said Nielsen's Heather Dougherty, "which has provided retailers with the opportunity to sell a wide variety of product categories and price points."

TVBR observation: Retail has been a critical revenue artery for broadcasters since the beginning. It will be critical going forward to make sure that etailers sign on for the same ride. If anything, broadcasting will do a better job of driving business for etailers - - if you're in your car, it's a lot easier to remember brandname.com than a phone number. During the bursting of the dot.com bubble, e-companies flooded the airwaves in a desperate attempt to survive. Now that the survivors are known, its up to broadcasters to make sure they use radio and TV to live long and prosper.


Leo Burnett names Ford's
Rich Stoddart US President
Ford confirmed to RBR/TVBR that Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett has named Ford Marketing Communications Manager Rich Stoddart its new President/US. From Ford: "Rich Stoddart, Ford Division Marketing Communications Manager, has elected to leave the company to pursue other business interests. In his four years with Ford, Rich has made tremendous contributions to our organization and we wish him well in all his future endeavors. His successor will be the subject of a future announcement." Stoddart, who began his marketing career at Burnett, will start there in mid-January, reporting to US CEO and President/Worldwide Tom Bernardin. We just did a series of interviews with Stoddart. The impending move to Leo Burnett was not mentioned ;-)
(11/24 RBR #230) (11/30 RBR #232)

All but radio has to adjust for the pain
...that has no pill to cure as first Vioxx and now Pfizer's Celebrex is under the microscope. Not in medical terms as in all the news bites focus on, but in ad dollars. Medicines & Proprietary Remedies are one of the top ten national ad dollars in the television business and Pfizer alone was estimated spending 88 million dollars last year on Celebrex and now it is gone. Poof. Now where will the cure be if this was budgeted into the New Year ad guru's forecasts? Radio doesn't get much relative Rx dollars even though it is always talked about inside the beltway of trying to ease the disclaimers. But the big loser in 2005 with these announcements is TV especially network. Wonder if this will affect stations' affiliation comps?

NBC also pulls SABMiller ads
NBC will pull five SABMiller ads off the air that make unsubstantiated claims about taste preference, it advised Anheuser-Busch. The decision came on the same day Anheuser-Busch announced that CBS also will pull three SABMiller ads because taste-test claims in the spots, which indicate a taste preference, are unsubstantiated (12/20 RBR #246). NBC will pull the same ads that CBS also found to be unsubstantiated. In its decision, NBC also stated, "The 'Penalty on the King' commercial unfairly disparaged A-B by claiming that the Bud delivery man is 'hiding something.'"

Response to Natalie Swed Stone comments on LIM
In response to Natalie Swed Stone's comments on Less is More (12/17 RBR #245). "Ms. Stone makes good, valid points, particularly regarding radio searching for revitalization and assuming responsibility for it's own health. Radio indeed needs a shot in the arm, maybe more than one. One positive step is to find rationale to get the buying community to engage in discussions about the value of GRPs vs. attentiveness. For too many years, buyers, under pressure from media supervisors, crunch numbers but often pay no attention to the other, perhaps more significant factors of listener attention spans. We all know that a CPP or GRP never purchased anything! Listeners and viewers do. I agree too that the pod issue should concern both broadcasters and advertisers. When pods get to be 4 minutes long, listenership must wane. The rates for last position do not however. So, less IS more! New formats, many of which may be hollow attempts to find a nametag for simply reworked older formats hurt rather than help the industry. Broadcasters need to listen to the public AND their CFO's to strike a balance. More work needs to be done in these areas to complete the revitalization of radio."

Stan Elgart
Lenfest Media Group

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Political continued to push Belo above
November television revenues at Belo Corporation were up 7.8% over the same month in 2003, pushed by an 8.9% jump in spot revenue. Political revenues were also a driving factor, as to be expected when comparing a presidential election year to an off-election year. Those revenues went fronm 1.5M 11/03 to 2.9M 11/04. TV is doing much better than print. Comps over at Belo's newspaper side were a little lop-sided due to the fact that there was one less weekend in November this year. The resulting 8.9% decline can be significantly eased by making certain adjustments, which still are not enough to cause a change in ink, with a result of minus 0.8%.

Washington Beat
Beef on the 2005 SCOTUS menu
"Beef - - It's what's for dinner." "Got milk?" Lower courts have dealt with the following case over and over, with mixed results. The general outline is this: An agricultural promotional organization collects money from all farmers of a particular product and uses it to run advertising campaigns which are supposed to help all of the farmers. Except a significant bloc of the farmers object to the ad. They do not want their money funding it. Are they required to pay the dues which are used for the flight? Two cases have been argued before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) which will look at the free speech issues involved. Veneman v. Livestock Marketing Association (03-1164) and Nebraska Cattlemen v. Livestock Marketing Association (03-1165) were argued 12/8/04 and should result in an FCC opinion some time next year.

"Red Carpet Confidential" to air on CBS
Red Carpet Confidential, the new primetime special from "Entertainment Tonight" that features movie and television stars sharing their secret beauty and style tips, will be broadcast 1/4 (8:00 - 9:00PM, ET/PT) on CBS. Hosted by ET's Steven Cojocaru and Lara Spencer from "The Insider," the one-hour primetime special features Oprah Winfrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Debra Messing, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, the Victoria's Secret Angels, Beyoncé Knowles, Paris Hilton, Tom Hanks, Denise Richards and Halle Berry. Highlights include: | More... |

Stock Talk

A mixed bag with all gains and losses below $ .75. Losers beat winners with Media General down .73. The biggest increase was GE, up $ .36.


Here's how stocks fared on Monday

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








Viacom, Cl. B




Journal Comm.




Wash. Post




Liberty Corp












- - - - -

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Urgent Request

Now many that know Cathy and me personally, know we go the distance. This request for your assistance is from two people who have a vehicle of RBR & TVBR and are trying to help and bring a Merry Christmas to 40 lonely soldiers in a far away place and seeing the worst of war. Will you help us to help the medics & soldiers during this Holiday Season?

Ship (via US mail only) to:
SFC Melick.
325th Field Hospital
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Thank you and Merry Christmas
Jim & Cathy Carnegie

Many thanks for helping on this holiday request and you still have time:

325th Honor Roll
TM Century
Dave Graupner
George Pine and crew
Pat Liguori
ABC Radio Networks /EXPN Radio Walter "W" Price
Library of American
Broadcasting Foundation,
Lucille Luongo


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RBR - Radio News

RADAR 83 results out; ABCRN on top again
Arbitron released its December RADAR radio network audience reports (RADAR 83), with ABC's Daytime Direction topping the list again. The sample was at 77.5K, the highest ever, with 80K coming in RADAR 84. There were a total of 46 networks--down only by one network, even with reconfigurations, a new network, and one network dropping out. | More... |

TVBR Radar 2004
Television News you won't read any where else. TVBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

TVBR Exclusive--Spinning into '05
Joel Hollander In - John Sykes Out
It was just a question of when and according to various record industry sources this past weekend as Infinity CEO John Sykes will be leaving to pursue other opportunities sometime after the first of the year which also comes with a generous golden parachute. Intelligence gathered over the weekend with the assumption the announcement will be coming within a few weeks by Viacom Co-COO Les Moonves. Look for - Infinity President/COO Joel Hollander to be then anointed to CEO adding to his day-to-day ops man responsibilities at Infinity. TVBR observation: Sykes, a TV guy tapped from VH1, will likely end up back in that arena. Hollander is part of the next new young generation and by young we mean not an AARP card holding member but young with experience and the passion needed to bring radio back into the new competitive media arena. Hollander speaking at UBS Media Week conference spoke from the heart of a CEO outlining the vital issues that need of fixing inside the radio group. Many radio CEOs these days can't claim similar radio experience--Hollander rose up the ranks at the Infinity/CBS/Viacom chain first as WFAN-AM NY GM, where he took it to #1 in billing; then at Westwood One as CEO, where he ran it up to its highest stock price and now his current position.
12/20/04 TVBR #246

PPM costs could lead to
two-tiered ratings
Radio group heads are choking on the 40-65% price hike that Arbitron is telling them will be needed to move to Portable People Meters (PPM). But with advertisers and ad buyers demanding more accountability, there's pressure from the people who write the checks to move to PPM measurement. At Mindshare, Kathy Crawford, President of Local Broadcast, tells RBR that the radio industry has to make a decision. "Here's the thing, radio is at a very interesting crossroads in its life as a business. And it has to decide as an industry what it wants to be when it grows up. Or is it what it wants to be when it grows up? Is this it? I mean is this where radio is? Because they could do ! that too, and not invest in the PPM and not move ahead and just be a sleepy little media on the map there." Editor's Note: PPM and LPM are the key investigative focus in Radio & Television Business Report - February issue. Order today call Aril 703 492-8191.
12/20/04 TVBR #246

News Years Media Resolution
We all in this media business must teach, help, push and encourage those of the new generation with the willingness to learn and who demonstrate with the passion for our broadcast medium the opportunities for self growth. We who must teach must also have patience and 55+ this is not easy but the will is there for tomorrow. In few days we will be in 2005 and the radio and television business are facing the new 5C's - Challenge yourself, Commitment, Content, Cross marketing and plat forming, and most of all using Common sense to re-establish each medium that has seen and is about to see its fare share of issues next year that are improved or like various species of animals become extinct. The key C that must be use in 2005 - (The Big C) - Common sense. 12/17/04 TVBR #245

Broadcast rights owners
ready to play hard ball
RBR/TVBR has heard and confirmed that broadcast station owners have gathered to form their own major league team to fight back and not let MLB just take its bats and balls over to XM. One broadcast rights owner told RBR/TVBR "Look for us to fight back early next year as MLB is in for a very big surprise."
12/17/04 TVBR #245

Visit MediaHeadHunters.com
VP/Programming for The Dr. Laura Show
Take On The Day, Inc., by Geoff Rich and Dr. Laura Schlessinger looking for an experienced PD to manage and market The Dr. Laura Show. Experience in talk radio programming, marketing and media relations. Based in L.A. Confidentiality respected. EOE

Major Market
Affiliate Director
Take On The Day, Inc. newly formed radio network producing and distribution of The Dr. Laura Show beginning 01/ 1/05. Candidate must have major market affiliate sales experience with Talk format. Cover letter, resume and salary requirements - Confidentiality respected. EOE

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