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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 54, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning March 18th, 2008

TV News ®

Supreme Court to hear
Fox indecency case

The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the FCC has the authority to fine broadcasters for "fleeting expletives," taking up the Commission's appeal of a case in which its actions against the Fox stations for comments by Cher and Nicole Ritchie during two different broadcasts of the Billboard Music Awards were struck down by a federal appeals court. This will be only the second time that the Supreme Court has taken up an FCC indecency case - the first being the 1978 decision upholding a sanction against WBAI-FM New York for broadcasting George Carlin's seven "Filthy Words" comedy routine.

TVBR observation: Leave it to government to create a mess where there had been none.
| Read more here |

Dish bird a dud
A Proton rocket that was to have placed a new SES Americom AMC-14 satellite in orbit for Dish Network failed to achieve its proper orbit. Dish says the satellite itself appears to be functioning properly, but it is in the wrong place - a lower orbit than where it is supposed to be. The company says it may be able to get the satellite into its proper orbit, but even if that effort succeeds, it will use up fuel and shorten the useful life of the satellite. The problem will delay the roll-out of some high-definition channels by Dish, including some local TV HD channels. So, local TV stations who were slated to have their HD channels added to the Dish lineup in their market my be getting word soon that their HD deployment will be delayed.

TV Viewers poised to flock back to favorite shows
According to a new consumer survey from Carat, a majority of viewers are poised to flock back to their favorite shows in coming months. Many are also anticipating the range of upcoming special events programming, including the Summer Olympics, presidential election, American Idol finale and sports programming. To gain a better understanding of consumers' media habits and attitudes as a result of the strike coming to an end, Carat fielded a survey of 1,000 primetime TV viewers March 3-5.
| Read more here |

Telemundo in major deal
with Televisa

NBC Universal's Telemundo announced an agreement with Mexico media giant Televisa to have Televisa distribute Telemundo content in Mexico via free television, pay TV and new digital platforms. The move creates a new relationship between the two companies - who had previously fought over Telemundo getting a foothold in Mexican TV - as Televisa is battling in court to try to void its long-term deal to exclusively supply content for US television to Univision.
| Read more here |

Will money follow the eyeballs?
The news business is changing fast and television is among the industries trying to keep up with the changing demands of the American consumer. Because of that rapid change, the 5th Annual Report on the State of the New Media by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) has a lot to say about financing journalism as well as where the field is heading. Television appears to be doing better than some of the other "old media" in dealing with the evolving news marketplace. Network and local TV news audiences continued to decline in 2007. But thanks to the power of TV advertising and the ability to add or shift timeslots, the industry is still robust, according to the study. It also said that cable news had a better year in 2007 than 2006, but may face a more long-term challenge. For the second year, there were no significant audience spikes from major events, which may reflect a slower news year but could also reflect a structural change in where audiences go for breaking news. Instead, prime-time programming, built around cable personalities, is what viewers were tuning into more substantially.
| Read more here |

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Ad Business Report TM

CBS TV Stations pact
with local bloggers

CBS Television Stations announced the launch of the CBS Local Ad Network, a partnership with local bloggers and social media websites. CBS O&O stations are now syndicating local news widgets to a variety of blogs and hyper-local sites in the communities they serve. Each widget will feature top local headlines and images with links to the video and text stories on the CBS station's site. Included in the widget is a companion banner ad. The CBS stations will deliver real-time news feeds to the widget, allowing the content on the local partner sites to constantly change and update 24 hours a day. In exchange for publishing the CBS local news widgets, owners of the local sites will receive a portion of the ad revenue generated by the CBS stations, which will be responsible for selling the ad inside each widget.

The CBS Local Ad Network already has received support from AT&T (partnering with cbs2chicago.com and cbs2.com/kcal9.com), North Texas Honda Dealers (partnering with cbs11tv.com) and Liberty Mutual Insurance (partnering with wbztv.com in Boston). The network has been launched in Boston (wbztv.com), Dallas/Fort Worth (cbs11tv.com), San Francisco (cbs5.com), Denver (cbs4denver.com) and Chicago (cbs2chicago.com). The rollout will continue over the next several weeks and also include the CBS stations in New York (wcbstv.com), LA (cbs2.com and kcal9.com), Philadelphia (cbs3.com), Minneapolis-St. Paul (wcco.com), Miami (cbs4.com), Sacramento (cbs13.com), Pittsburgh (kdka.com) and Baltimore (wjz.com).

Tecate unveils sew Spanish-language campaign
Cerveza Tecate has revealed its new integrated national campaign created to emotionally connect with Mexican adult consumers in the U.S. The Spanish-language ads are the first creative to reflect the brand's new tag "Con Carácter" or "With Character." The emotion-driven campaign consists of 18 vignettes featuring Mexican working men. The campaign's first :30 second TV spot broke during the 3/14 edition of "Solo Boxeo Tecate," a weekly Telefutura boxing program sponsored by the brand, and will later be seen on national and local affiliates of Spanish-language networks such as Univision, Azteca America, and Fox Sports en Español. Print ads will be included in Spanish-language newspapers such as Los Angeles' La Opinion. Radio and out-of-home ads will connect with consumers in 36 key Hispanic markets beginning mid-March. Creative was developed by Adrenalina, Tecate's NYC-based AOR, while the TV, print and radio ads will be placed by MediaVest.

www.vcisolutions.com

Media Business Report TM
Cox and Yellow Book team
to provide directories

Cox Communications and Yellow Book USA announced a co-marketing and distribution agreement where they will promote each other's products and services through a variety of sales and marketing channels. The agreement also provides for the publication of Yellow Book directories that will include Cox branding and product information in key Cox markets. The first four pages of the directories will highlight Cox products and local service capabilities. In addition to normal distribution channels, Yellow Book directories will be available at Cox retail locations. The first Yellow Book directories under the agreement were published in February in Providence, R.I., Pensacola, Fla., and Oklahoma City, Okla. The companies are also exploring the possibility of future co-branded directory distribution in other Cox markets.

New York Times Co. settles with dissidents
Rather than fight with the Harbinger hedge fund, officials of The New York Times Company decided to meet with the dissident shareholder and try to come to terms. Indeed, they have. An agreement has been reached which will terminate the proxy contest over board seats at NY Times Co. Under the deal that has been struck, the NY Times Co. has agreed to add two seats to its board and nominate two Harbinger representatives, Scott Galloway and James A. Kohlberg, to fill them. That will increase the NY Times Co. board of directors to 15 members. At least one of the Harbinger representatives is to be named to each of the Nominating & Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee.


Washington Business Report TM
High volume battle over
low-power resolved

Five non-commercial groups applied for a construction permit for a new low-power FM in Providence, RI, but only one frequency was available, 96.5 MHz. The FCC has now settled the battle over that spot on the dial. Three of the five applicants, whose names indicate that they intend to feature religious programming, agreed to a time-sharing arrangement. One of the other two applicants, Brown Student Radio (BSR), had challenged the qualifications of the three religious applicants, claiming that they did not meet the FCC's requirements for educational programming and/or local involvement. BSR also claimed that the president of one of the applicants had operated a pirate station. In the end, though, the Commission was not convinced that any of the applications had fatal flaws. Since BSR and the three religious groups were ranked equally on points, the time-sharing arrangement was the tie-breaker. The FCC has granted the trio of applications by Casa de Oracion Getsemani, Ephese French SDA Church and Zion Bible Institute.

www.nielsenmedia.com

Entertainment Business Report TM
Spitzer clears the way for ABC
For nearly two years ABC News has been sitting on a special report by Diane Sawyer, who had gone out and interviewed prostitutes - both illegal ones and the ones working at the only legal US brothels in Nevada. The report had never aired amid criticism that it was tawdry and just pandering for ratings. But now that Eliot Spitzer, a/k/a "Client No. 9," and his exploits with "Kristen" have become front page news, forcing Spitzer to resign as Governor of New York, prostitution is a hot, pertinent topic. Part one of Sawyer's "Prostitution in America: Working Girls Speak" will air Friday (3/21) on ABC's 20/20 at 9:00 pm ET.

NBCU Domestic TV sells House, Monk to local broadcast
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has sold hit series "House" and "Monk", pictured, to local broadcast stations in 99% of the U.S. for weekend syndication runs starting this fall, it was announced today by Sean O'Boyle, SVP/GSM. "House" has been sold to stations from Fox, CBS, Tribune, Sinclair, Clear Channel, Meredith, Media General, Cox and more. Top markets for "House" in syndication include WNYW-TV New York, KTTV-TV Los Angeles, WFLD-TV Chicago and KPIX-TV San Francisco. "Monk" has been sold to stations from NBC, CBS, Fox, Hearst-Argyle, Tribune, Fisher, Scripps, Raycom, Belo, Post-Newsweek and other leading station groups. Top markets for "Monk" include WNBC-TV New York, KNBC-TV Los Angeles and WFLD-TV Chicago, as well as WPHL-TV Philadelphia, WSBK-TV Boston, KNTV-TV San Francisco and WFAA-TV Dallas.

CW goes for horror/reality
How do you wrap the horror genre into a reality show format? We'll find out this summer when The CW debuts "13" (working title), an 8-episode series. "This series is the first to take the horror movie into the reality world. The action takes contestants on a journey with challenges and games designed to frighten them along the way. Similar to horror films, the challenges will play into our deepest fears and anxieties and will reveal things the contestants never knew about themselves," said Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment, The CW. The show's executive producers are Jay Bienstock and Ghost House Pictures' Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert. Ghost House Pictures' Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will produce. "13" is produced by Magic Molehill Productions in association with Jay Bienstock Productions and Ghost House Pictures.

www.bcfm.com


Internet Business Report TM
CBS Interactive signs Saturn
CBS Interactive announced that MOBLOGIC, a recently launched daily webshow that puts the News Of The Day into perspective through witty and insightful "People On The Street" interviews, has secured a sponsorship deal with Saturn. The sponsorship includes the placement of the Saturn logo on the MOBLOGIC homepage, billboard-style Saturn visuals during the show, and five second pre-roll and 30-second post-roll ads. MOBLOGIC debuted 3/7.

Univision.com and CNET announce partnership
CNET and Univision Online announced a new Spanish-language technology mini-site available at Univision.com. The new partnership provides users with hundreds of product reviews, breaking news about technology, and original videos that help Spanish-speakers navigate and learn about today's digital world. CNET and Univision.com will offer product reviews in five popular categories including cell phones, MP3 players, televisions, computers, and digital cameras. Exclusive Spanish-language videos include First Look, expert reviews on the latest gadgets, and Product Spotlight, an in-depth look at the most popular products. In addition, two of CNET's help and how-to shows, Insider Secrets and Quick Tips, will offer advice on how to get the most out of the latest technology products.


Stock Talk
Bear grips the market again
The weekend sale of Bear Stearns at a bargain basement price shocked Wall Street and sent most stocks lower on Monday. One notable exception was JP Morgan Chase, which cut the deal to buy Bear for two bucks a share. It rose more than 10% -- and, since it is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it sent the Dow up 21 points to 11,972. Other major indices were lower.

TV stocks had a mixed day. The TVBR Television Index edged up 0.527, or 0.6%, to 82.386. That was largely due to an unexplained 19.1% jump by ACME. Of the pure-play TV stocks, Young had the worst day, down 5.1%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme*

ACME

2.49

+0.40

Journal Comm.

JRN

6.71

-0.07

Belo*

BLC

10.20

-0.33

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

46.59

-1.08

CBS CI. B* CBS

21.90

+0.33

LIN TV*

TVL

9.32

+0.14

CBS CI. A CBSa

21.85

+0.28

McGraw-Hill

MHP

35.20

-0.40

Clear Channel

CCU

32.30

-2.26

Media General

MEG

14.77

+0.01

Disney

DIS

30.46

-0.32

Meredith

MDP

38.85

-0.06

Emmis

EMMS

2.75

-0.13

News Corp.

NWS

18.29

-0.10

Entravision*

EVC

6.10

-0.03

Nexstar*

NXST

5.96

-0.18

Equity Media* EMDA 2.80 +0.06

Saga Commun.

SGA

5.58

+0.16

Fisher*

FSCI

28.97

-0.47

SBS

SBSA

1.54

-0.10

Gannett

GCI

29.24

+0.81

Scripps

SSP

41.30

-0.44

Gen. Electric

GE

34.33

+0.51

Sinclair*

SBGI

8.73

-0.32

Google GOOG

419.87

-18.05

Time Warner

TWX

13.91

-0.12

Gray*

GTN

5.11

+0.09

Wash. Post

WPO

647.00

-13.95

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

6.05

-0.21

Young*

YBTVA

0.75

-0.04

Hearst-Argyle*

HTV

20.80

-0.36

-

-

-

-

-

*Component of the TVBR Television Index

Bounceback

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Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
CBS TV Stations pact
with local bloggers
Owners of the local sites will receive a portion of revenue...

Entertainment Business Report
Spitzer clears the way for ABC
For nearly two years ABC News has been sitting on a special report...

NBCU Domestic TV
Sells House, Monk to local broadcast...

CW goes for horror/reality
How do you wrap the horror genre into a reality show format?...


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the Hot List on...

TV Media Moves

New CFO
LBI Media Holdings and its Liberman Broadcasting subsidiary have named Wisdom Lu as CFO, effective March 24th. She had previously worked for Health Net, a major managed health care company. With Lu onboard, Lenard Liberman will relinquish the CFO post he had held temporarily in addition to his continuing posts as Executive Vice President and Secretary of LBI and its subsidiaries.


More News Headlines

SBS into the movie biz
Spanish Broadcasting System announced the incorporation of its wholly-owned film subsidiary, Megafilms. SBS says the new unit will produce Spanish-language filmed content including full-length features, miniseries, telenovelas, documentaries and other forms of filmed entertainment for domestic and international distribution, including theatrical release, broadcast syndication and DVD commercialization. Emmy award-winning director and screenwriter Agustin has been named as Managing Director for Megafilms, which will be announcing its first original production during second quarter 2008.

Granite making candidates heard
Granite Broadcasting announced that each of its stations will continue the company's tradition of providing free air time to qualified, major candidates running for public office during the 2008 general election. Granite has been doing so since 1998. The company's TV stations serving New York, California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will select the Federal, State and/or Local political races to be featured in the program series. Every week during the six weeks preceding the general election, major candidates will have two minutes to respond to specific questions regarding issues of local and national significance. In addition to on-air exposure, candidate responses will also be available for viewing on station Web sites through November 4, 2008. The production, promotion and airing of the statements will all be provided free-of-charge as a public service to the local communities.


TVBR Radar 2008
Television News you won't read any where else. TVBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

Dorgan measure
seconded in the House
Jay Inslee (D-WA) has introduced a House of Representatives companion measure to go along the Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Resolution of Disapproval, which would prevent the FCC from enforcing its 12/18/07 decision to loosen cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 DMAs.

TVBR observation: The last time Dorgan attempted this maneuver it received bipartisan approval in the Senate but was indeed blocked in the House... see History repeating itself
03/17/08 TVBR #53

And we'll have funds, funds, funds
under Boucher voucher plan
There has been considerable debate as to whether or not the 1.5B allocated to the digital-to-analog converter box coupon program in enough. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) is among those concerned about the possibility of a shortfall, and is eying the nearly 19.6B pledged at auction for TV's old 700 MHz spectrum as a source for more cash. Nobody knows how many analog television sets will still be in use after the 2/17/09 DTV deadline passes, but...

TVBR observation: The end of analog TV is now exactly 11 months away. Although many are confident that the current coupon allocation is sufficient, and they may well be correct. But wouldn't it be a lot smarter to have Boucher's cash cache sitting there in reserve, rather than find ourselves scrambling around at the last minute...Read more here
03/17/08 TVBR #53

Carnegie's observation
Bring in the oxygen tanks
I wonder if radio was fixed what some of these bloggers would write about. When there is time I scan a number of blogs just to read the latest rant and raves. Some are interesting. Some want you to dial 911 to report code blue - heart attack in progress. Some are down right comical. Jim Cramer's Mad Cap Recap: Dead Air: Why Radio Stocks Should Not Be Touched. Read - Bring in the oxygen tanks
03/17/08 RBR #53

Is this the week for a
private Clear Channel
There have been rumblings from Wall Street recently that closing on the entire 26.7 billion bucks cash and debt deal by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Mays Family to take Clear Channel private could come the day after the bond tender closes, which could be this Friday, March 21st, if all of the lending is in place and all of the stars are in alignment. That's by no means certain, but there could be an end in sight.

RBR observation: Closing the TV sale was not a pre-condition for closing the overall Clear Channel buyout, but cash from that sale will help to pay down the heavy debt load being taken on in the deal to take Clear Channel private. It looks more and more like this buyout is actually going to get to the closing table. Watch for Clear Channel's stock price to keep edging closer to the $39.20 buyout price as the likely closing draws nearer.
03/17/08 RBR #53

Gray focused on local
Asked about prospects for reversing the slump in national advertising for TV, Gray Television President Bob Prather replied, "I'm not sure it can be fixed." His company is focused on growing local, which is already 73% of Gray's revenue mix, and he'd like to see that grown to 80%

TVBR observation: Local, local, local. Bob Prather gets it. Control your own destiny and make money. Put feet on the street and bring in business. Gray just can't get enough of local content to sell. Prather says the company will increasingly use its digital multicast channels to put local high school and college sports on the air. Been saying this for 25 years... Content Is King.
03/14/08 TVBR #52


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