Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 21, Issue 248, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Wednesday Morning December 22nd, 2004
Happy Holidays
Television Business Report will return Monday 12/27 in observance of the Holiday weekend. We wish everybody a happy and safe one!

Publishers Perspective
In few days we will be into 2005, and operators in the radio and television business would do well to consider what I call the Five C's as they get set to face the year ahead: Challenge, Commitment, Content, Cross-marketing and - - most of all using - - Common sense. We need to re-establish each medium and get back to the pattern of steady growth that has characterized broadcasting throughout most of its history. At the same time, we must consider new challenges which could very well threaten the extinction of our business. To deal with these challenges, we recommend an extra heaping helping of The Biggest C - - Common sense. That's what it will take to win in 2005 - - along with passion and heart - miles and miles of heart. Naples, FL called to some in 2004. | More... |

Merry Christmas

Jim Carnegie
Publisher & Editor (Sometimes called Mr. Naples or CMFIC)
RBR, TVBR, Media Mix

TV News®

Susan Whiting:
Nielsen's PPM decision to be made by Q2
Nielsen Media Research announced it has until the end of Q2 '05 to decide whether to form a joint venture with Arbitron for a TV and radio audience measurement service based on Arbitron's passive PPM system, possibly breaking the in-house tether its current LPM measurement system requires. Nielsen CEO Susan Whiting detailed the announcement in a letter to Nielsen clients.

TVBR observation: Ms Whiting's letter which TVBR has obtained is a must read and print out as she makes no bones on her decisions made by Nielsen before going forward as Whiting states, "This letter outlines the key open questions and Nielsen's plan to address them before deciding whether to join Arbitron in the launch and accreditation of Houston as the first commercial market of the PPM." It is hard ball time folks. | More... |

DOJ to SCOTUS: Give me just a little more time
To appeal or not to appeal, that is the question - - whether it be nobler to accept the remand of the Third Circuit or to take up appeals and strike the remand down. The Acting Solicitor General has already received permission from the Supreme Court to extend its should we/should we not ruminations until 1/3/05. Now it wants the rest of the month to continue jaw-rubbing. "The Acting Solicitor General, on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission and the United States, respectfully requests an additional extension of time, to and including January 31, 2005, within which to file a petition of certiorari to review the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC."

TVBR observation: The ASG's statement pretty much tells you everything you need to know. The bottom line is that even if SCOTUS agrees to hear the case, it may simply agree with the Third Circuit's decision, thereby simply adding further delay to what was originally a biennial review, the infamous public revelation of which goes all the way back to the then already belated delivery day of 6/2/03. FCC Chairman Michael Powell recently went on record with the thought that the rules review is so tangled that it may take five to seven years to get it unraveled. The sitting FCC may be wise to do the Third Circuit's rewrite/rejustification project while it is safely in Republican hands, rather than risk further delay. Then again, private interests may challenge the Prometheus ruling regardless of what the government does. Stay tuned.

Washington Nationals beat: Stadium responds to CPR
To all appearances, Washington Mayor Anthony Williams and D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp have come to terms on a stadium for the Nationals nee-Expos which Major League Baseball will be able to live with. However, at this writing the Council vote has not taken place, leaving room for anything to happen.

TVBR observation: Those considering acquiring broadcast rights can go reconvene their back room huddles to figure out just how much they could be worth. | More... |

CBS wins six consecutive weeks
in coveted 18-49
CBS placed first in adults 18-49, marking the first time since people meters that the Network has won six consecutive weeks in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen ratings for the week ending 12/19, week 13 of the 2004-2005 season. It was also a Very Merry Jerry Week as five Jerry Bruckheimer-produced programs (CSI: Miami, CSI, Without a Trace, CSI: NY and Cold Case) all finished in the top 10. For the week in viewers, CBS (12.58m) topped NBC (9.82m), ABC (9.55m) and FOX (5.83m). Season-to-date, CBS (13.28m) is ahead of ABC (10.22m), NBC (10.19m) and FOX (8.94m). For the week in households, CBS (8.3/14) was +28% ahead of NBC (6.5/11), +34% over ABC (6.2/10) and +124% over FOX (3.7/06). Season-to-date, CBS (8.6/14), has a +28% advantage over NBC (6.7/11), +30% over ABC (6.6/11) and +51% over FOX (5.7/09).

2004 DTV sales top 6 Million units through November
DTV sales continue to flourish as demonstrated by the latest factory-to-dealer sales released today by the Consumer Electronics Association. According to CEA, 6.3 million units have been shipped so far this year, bringing the total dollar sales of DTV for the year to more than 1.17 billion. Unit sales for November totaled 843,784 units and dollar sales topped 600 million. "With holiday sales still going strong, we expect 2004 will finish on a high note for DTV," said CEA Director of Market Research Sean Wargo. "Sales have gone through the roof this year and the trend will only continue in the coming years, particularly as consumers become acquainted with products like Digital Cable Ready that make the transition to HDTV seamless." CEA Market Research projects that 6.97 million DTV units will be sold in 2004, 10.77 million in 2005, 16.77 million in 2006, 23.25 million in 2007 and 27.05 in 2008.

Holiday shopping 2005
gets the two-minute warning
According to a BIGresearch survey done at the behest of the National Retail Federation, 81.9% of the consumer legwork for the 2005 holiday shopping season is complete, and 72.9% of the money allocated by consumes has been spent. That still leaves a considerable chunk of change on the table. BIGresearch says that for the most part, the 190 dollars still in the budget is sitting there waiting for last minute bargains. "Consumers are waiting for bargains and the retailers who offer them will get the greatest share of unspent budgets," said BIGresearch's Phil Rist.

TVBR observation: And the retailers with the best bargains who do the best job of letting people know about them will get the greatest share of the bargain-offerer share. The best quickie spots could offer immediate ROI.


Shareholder sues Grey Global Group to stop takeover
Just as things were getting back on track after the snag at the EU, a shareholder sued the Grey Global Group, asking a judge to halt the planned 1.52 billion takeover by WPP Group that would give more than 50 million to Grey CEO, Edward Meyer. David Shaev, said in a lawsuit filed in Delaware Chancery Court that the sale was unfair because Meyer would get 86.9 million if the company was sold this year, and 54.5 million if the sale closed in 2005, reducing the amount shareholders would receive.

Astrata Group launches CNBC effort
Astrata Group, an international provider of location- based IT services and solutions, announced the launch of an ad campaign in North America to promote the introduction of its new product, the Astrata GeoLocation Platform (the "Astrata GLP"). This is the first GPS location and GSM/CDMA wireless communications device that includes an onboard computer operating system using MC Linux and can be programmed for custom applications over the air. The GLP combines a GPS receiver, a GSM cell phone, and a full computer operating system integrated into a single package approximately 50% the size of a cigarette pack. The built-in wireless communication options include quad-band GSM/CDMA, GPRS, SMS, circuit switched data (CSD), Bluetooth, and wireless LAN. The GLP is used to monitor and control fleets of virtually any equipment, vehicles, assets, shipping containers, or even individuals using real-time information and Astrata's GEO-IT system. Customers include government users for homeland security purposes and owners of large fleets of vehicles. The 30-second spots will initially appear on CNBC's "Squawk Box," from 8:00-10:00AM on the net's morning business program, and "Closing Bell," from 3:00-4:30PM. They are scheduled to run today and tomorrow and on December 27-30. Both these CNBC programs boast high ratings among business leaders of U.S. companies that own fleets of vehicles and remote assets that are ideal customers for the GLP.

Media Markets & MoneyTM
Is Liberty looking to give Murdoch an heir cut?
Wall Street watchers are noting a move by John Malone's Liberty Media Corporation. It's trading non-voting shares in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a move which it was not expected to make until perhaps next spring, according to the New York Times. Malone's voting share presently stands at about 9%, a figure which he may be trying to take up to 17%. At risk for Murdoch may be an opportunity to turn the company over to his sons, Lachlan and James. Speculators have offered numerous theories as to what the ultimate plans are on both sides, but it remains just that - - speculation. Neither side is talking.

Washington Beat
Cheyenne 49ers err to air
Echonet Corporation has pulled off an amazing feat: It has been operating a TV translator since 1998 without an FCC license. The paperwork legitimizing K49AY Cheyenne expired 10/1/98. The station, however, continued to offer public interest, Spanish language programming and other fare not otherwise provided to viewers in the market. The illegal operation was finally uncovered by an FCC agent 10/22/02. Like its pirate radio brethren, TV pirates are subject to a base fine of 10K. However, the FCC agreed with Echonet that the failure to renew K49AY's license was more an act of clerical incompetence than one of piracy, and gave Echonet a 5K reduction on those grounds. Another 1K was knocked off for prior good behavior, resulting in a final fine of 4K.

Job Fit or Mis-Fit?
Jay Werth, First Sun Consulting

"I'm sorry, but this just isn't working, I think it's best that we part company." Have you ever been on the giving or receiving side of that statement? Do you recall the sense of regret, and no doubt the foreshadowing that led to those words? This scene plays itself practically every day at a radio station somewhere, particularly within the sales department. | More... |

AFI picks top ten TV shows for 2004
A panel of anonymous (until recently) experts has come up the selections for the American Film Institute's 2004 list of top ten television shows. The 13-member panel met in secrecy and debated the selections over the course of two days, and while the overall criteria for making the list appears to be nebulous, excellence figures into the mix. Pay cable provided four of the selections, all from HBO. Broadcast had three (ABC two, Fox one) and basic cable another three (FX two, Comedy Central one). The shows were not ranked one-to-ten; rather, they are presented as ten ostensibly equal selections. Here the are, in alphabetical order: Arrested Development (Fox); Curb Your Entusiasm (HBO); Deadwood (HBO); Desperate Housewives (ABC); Lost (ABC); Nip/Tuck (FX); The Shield (FX); Something the Lord Made (HBO); The Sopranos (HBO); and South Park (Comedy Central).

TVBR observation: It probably goes without saying that the Parents Television Council will essentially despise this list.

TVBR Ratings
CBS wins again
It's redundant, but so far CBS is running away with this TV season. For the most recent week, the Eye net scored an average rating of 8.3 and a 14 share in primetime, well ahead of NBC at 6.5/11, ABC 6.2/10, Fox 3.7/6, UPN 2.4/4, WB 2.0/3 and Pax 0.4/1. CBS also won the 18-49 demo. Here are the top 20 primetime programs for the week of 12/13-19.
| More... |

Season to date program rankings report
Courtesy of ABC-TV:
| More... |

Stock Talk
Almost all boats float on buoyant Street
Wall Street was a happy place for broadcasters on Tuesday, for the most part, anyway. The black to red ratio was not nearly balanced enough to produce a decent checkerboard, with black ink clearly the dominant color of the day. Failing to go along for the ride, however, was Hispanic radio/TV giant Univision, which lost over a buck and a quarter by the end of trading.


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








Viacom, Cl. B




Journal Comm.




Wash. Post




Liberty Corp












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

Local TV broadcast ad revenues
Up 12.2% Q3
TVB notes Local broadcast television ad revenues jumped a healthy 12.2% in the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same period last year. 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. 12/21/04 TVBR #247

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? 12/21/04 TVBR #247

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."
TVBR observation: MLB has a lot to learn, especially the owners, that their marketing strategy is not hitting anything out of the park. The local city name is always before the teams. Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees. Not Sirius Pirates or Yankees. The key if local broadcasters that really want MLB to be apart of their local programming content, which is always king, then best remind these owners and MLB of the facts of local radio and local TV does local promotions, local news, and local on air talent in radio and TV are the cheer leaders to put the local fans in the stands.
12/17/04 TVBR #245

Natalie Swed Stone
comments on Less is More
I would like to comment on the hoopla surrounding the Less Is More Initiative
1) It is an initiative in a medium that sorely needs revitalizing 2) Clear Channel is responding to widespread press and criticism about the rampant clutter on terrestrial radio 3) Clear Channel is attempting to prepare for the future - - both as it relates to minute by minute ratings and PPM as well as the threat from commercial free music on satellite radio and others 4) Clear Channel has the right to program its stations for maximum audience and attentiveness 5) Advertisers have the right to buy or not buy and negotiate price and position 6) Why is Clear Channel the target of all of this scrutiny while others and their policies, clutter and positioning go left unchallenged? 12/17/04 TVBR #245

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