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Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 24, Issue 70, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning April 10th, 2007

TV News ®

Gannett under pressure
Gannett, the biggest newspaper group of all, is the latest to come under pressure from big shareholders to improve returns. An article in Barron's suggests selling its TV group, as the New York Times is doing, would be a way to "create value." No doubt the information for the article was planted by big investors who are pushing the idea of selling the TV group and dramatically increasing Gannett's dividend to give them a big payback - particularly if they have been buying shares since the newspaper sector tanked. The article suggests that if Gannett cashed out of television it could more than triple its dividend to around four bucks a year.

TVBR observation: While a TV group sale would benefit the take-the-money-and-run short term investors, it would be incredibly stupid for Gannett long-term. Unlike the New York Times Company, where there was little or no interaction between the newspaper and TV operations, Gannett is aggressively working on cross-platform initiatives to transform the "old media" giant into a "new media" giant. Part of that, as Gannett Broadcasting President and CEO Roger Ogden told us in an interview a few months ago, is to have the TV side work with the newspapers to develop their video newsgathering capabilities - an issue of growing importance as the Internet component becomes increasingly the driver for the newspaper business. "It's part of our focus and our strategic plan that our divisions have to be working cooperatively on a whole variety of things and we have this marvelous new platform that transcends any one of the divisions and that's the broadband Internet. It makes possible all kinds of activities that simply weren't there five or six years ago. So that common platform becomes the basis for lots of common activities. And I think other platforms-whether it's mobile or whatever it happens to be-will likewise form the basis for some common opportunity," Ogden told us. We would note that he also has the title of Sr. VP of Design, Innovation and Strategy for all of Gannett, so this is not just talk about making the entire company work together as one.

Study says ad-skipping affects political
DVR owners tend to be "younger, married, high-income and tech-savvy voters." The key word in this sentence from MSHC Partners may be voters. DVR owners are a desirable demographic for politicians, since they tend to actually visit the polls on Election Day. But their DVR means they are probably missing more than a few political messages on television. MSHC's Hal Malchow notes that the cable era has already diffused the ability of television to reach a majority of the population, and ad-skipping via DVR is only intensifying that problem. "DVR owners are both tech savvy and news junkies," said Malchow. "To reach these voters, campaigns need to speak to them through multiple mediums such as direct mail and Internet advertising. This study shows that to reach the entire electorate in the 21st century, a memorable television ad is no longer enough to get noticed." The study, conducted by The Benenson Strategy Group, shows that DVR owners fly past about 60% of all time-shifted programming, including the political material. But they will read campaign literature on line or via snail mail.

MSNBC and CBS Radio suspend Imus
After more apologies yesterday from Don Imus for his racist comment last week, both CBS Radio, which syndicates his show originated at WFAN-AM New York, and MSNBC, which simulcasts it on cable, announced last night that they are suspending Imus for two weeks. The suspension, however, will begin next Monday, April 16, since WFAN has a charity fundraiser scheduled for this Thursday and Friday, the Imus radiothon in support of the Tomorrow's Children's Fund, the CJ Foundation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome research and the Imus Ranch, which will also be carried on MSNBC. After apologizing again on his own show yesterday morning for referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," Imus appeared yesterday afternoon on "The Al Sharpton Show" to take his lumps in person from the man who is still calling for Imus to be taken off the air permanently. ''Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far,'' the contrite but still occasionally combative Imus told Rev. Al Sharpton face to face. Insisting that he would not try to "weasel out of these remarks," Imus on his own show apologized again to the women of the basketball team, calling himself a "good person who said a bad thing," After a similar comment on Sharpton's radio show, Sharpton fired back: "This is not about whether you're a good man. What you said was racist." MSNBC's cameras followed Imus to Sharpton's studio and video is posted on the cable channel's website.
| View it here |

While NBC News President Steve Capus has thus far suspended Imus for only two weeks, his statement yesterday indicated that the future of "Imus in the Morning" on MSNBC will be contingent on Imus tweaking his programming content. Capus said Imus, who has been told " change the discourse on his program moving forward, has confirmed for us that this action is appropriate. Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word."

TVBR observation: Smart move to go on Sharpton's show. Imus is taking a lot of criticism for this blunder, and rightly so. Might as well face it head on. We and many others will be listening to hear what changes when Imus and his crew return from two weeks of suspension.

Stakes increase for the
Fifth of February

It's official. New York State is opening its primary polls on 2/5/08. Gov. Eliot Spitzer's move to the front part of the primary line will frontload the early going for both parties and should have a strong influence on how campaign dollars are spent both next year, and at the end of this one. According to political observers who spoke with Associated Press, one effect will be to strengthen the need for candidates to make good showings in the very early contests, which include caucuses in Iowa and Nevada, and primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The Iowa kick-off is 1/14/08. New York joins Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Utah on 2/5/08, and it's possible that other big states, including perhaps Texas and Florida, will migrate there as well.

TVBR observation: A candidate's warchest will be useless if they fail to pick up significant support in the early going, so look for liberal spending - especially from marginal contenders, who may not have much cash compared to the front-runners but will have absolutely no reason to hold back. And remember that the fact that a huge chunk of delegates will have been claimed so early does not mean that the race will be over. Sure, it's a possibility that one candidate will score a big enough sweep to become an inevitability, but it's also possible that the results will be inconclusive. That's very much a possibility given the wide variety of states, both politically and geographically, which will be in the mix. States that are patient may find that they are white-hot territory in a battle between strengthened 2/5/08 survivors.

Ad Business Report TM

Hillshire Farm launches new campaign for meat eaters
Hillshire Farm has launched an unconventional new campaign, entitled "GO MEAT!," ( that uses various cheers, rallying cries and chants to praise our predisposition for protein. "There is no escaping the fact that Americans have an unabashed love of meat, and the poll results just reinforce that fact," said Tim Roush, VP/Hillshire Farm. "We developed our 'GO MEAT!' campaign to celebrate and, in some instances, unleash the meat enthusiast in all of us, as well as remind consumers that Hillshire Farm offers meats that are fresh, versatile and easy-to-use. From traditional offerings such as our sausage links, lunchmeats and hams, to our newly launched Hillshire Farm Entree Salads, we have the meats consumers want to complete their meals. And frankly, we think that's something to cheer about," Roush continued. The new spots, via TBWA\CHIAT\DAY\Los Angeles, depict people enjoying various Hillshire Farm products while onlookers spontaneously begin chanting a rousing version of "GO MEAT!" The campaign will be long-term and incorporate the entire portfolio of Hillshire Farm products. The newest offering, Hillshire Farm Entree Salads, is showcased in a vignette that features two women enjoying lunch while appreciative chants accompany the addition of meat to the salad.

NAB Daytime Planner
The following will be attending the NAB.
Call or email to make your
appointment in advance.

Jacob J. Barker; Barker Capital Bellagio Hotel
(212) 332-4312 [email protected]

Peter H. Ottmar; Dover Capital Partners, LLC; office 401/723-1063 x103;
cell 401/639-4958; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]

Brian Eick/Dave Meier/John Weller; Gladstone Capital; Bellagio Hotel;
Brian cell 847-612-3002, Dave cell 847-650-1735, John cell 509-496-3254; [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Todd Fowler/David Reeder; American Media Services; Bellagio Hotel; 843-972-2200; [email protected], [email protected]

Brian Cobb/ Denis LeClair /Dan Graves/Jack Higgins; Cobb Corp; Bellagio Hotel; 212-812-5020; [email protected]

Andy McClure/Erick Steinberg, The Exline Company, Bellagio Hotel, office 415-479-3484, cell 415-497-3855, [email protected]. [email protected]

Frank Boyle; Frank Boyle & Co.;
Bellagio Hotel;
203-969-2020; cell 203-249-7818; [email protected]

John L. Pierce/ Jamie Rasnick; John Pierce & Company LLC; office 859-647-0101, John cell 859-512-3015; Jamie cell 513-252-1186, Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]; [email protected]
Gordon Rice; Gordon Rice Associates;
843-884-3590; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]

Dick Kozacko/George Kimble;
Kozacko Media Services; office 607-733-7138; cell 607-738-1219; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected], [email protected]

Media Services Group; Bellagio Hotel;

Elliot Evers/Greg Widroe/Brian Pryor/Patricia Carberry-Harris;
Media Venture Partners;
415-391-4877; Bellagio Hotel;
[email protected]

Brian Byrnes; Paramount Media
Advisors, Inc.; 312-396-4043;
cell 312-933-7559; Bellagio Hotel; [email protected]

Glenn Serafin; Serafin Bros., Inc.;
office 813-885-6060; cell 813-494-6875; Aladdin Hotel; [email protected]

Bill Schutz; Schutz & Company; Bellagio Hotel; 757-258-8740, cell 757-880-9251; [email protected]

Larry C. Wood; Wood & Company, Inc.; Alexis Park Hotel; Office: 513-528-7373; Cell: 513-225-5100; [email protected]

Gary Cavell, Richard Mertz, Michael Rhodes, Dan Ryson; Cavell, Mertz & Associates, Inc.; Main Office 703-392-9090; [email protected]

Media Business Report TM
GM Goodwrench, Sony, Boost Mobile sign with
Las Vegas Monorail's new ad program

GM Goodwrench, Sony Electronics and Boost Mobile are among the first to get on board the Las Vegas Monorail's new short-term advertising program. Developed in response to increased demand from convention and trade show exhibitors, the recently launched short-term ad program enables national brands and local advertisers to cost-effectively market to event attendees on their way to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center, utilizing the 134-foot-long, 11-foot-high trains and other Monorail venues. "Monorail advertisers have the potential to reach more than 38 million tourists who travel to the city annually," said Ingrid Reisman, VP/corporate communications for the Las Vegas Monorail Company. "We offer an opportunity to communicate with targeted customers in a captive marketing environment. Whether in the form of train wraps, in-train audio programming and commercials, or station domination, the Monorail offers one of the most visible advertising platforms in the city." In addition to annual programs similar to those currently being used by corporate giants Sprint Nextel, Monster Energy Drink, and Bank of Nevada, the Las Vegas Monorail's newest opportunities include weekly advertising rights to individual Monorail train wraps and interior imaging, Monorail station domination packages, on-ticket advertising and promotion, and/or audio commercial messaging.

Media Markets & Money TM
Moons reined in by Wyomedia
Marvin Gussman's Wyomedia Corporation owns and operates Fox KFNB-TV 20 in the Casper-Riverton WY market, and extends their range with a pair of satellites which it does not own. That's about to change when a deal just filed with the FCC comes to fruition. Gussman will be getting satellites KFNR-TV 11 Rawlings and KFNE-TV 10 Riverton from licensee First National Broadcasting Corporation in a cashless transaction that is valued at 30K, or 15K for each KFNB moon. Contracts describe the mode of compensation as forgiveness of debt. Rawlings is about 90 miles SSW of Casper, and Riverton is about 105 miles to the west.

Washington Media Business Report TM
Is Martin the anti-Powell?
The easy answer is no. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, like his predecessor Michael Powell, is a Republican who prefers believes that the complex relationships between communications businesses and consumers are modulated better by the free market than by enforced government regulation. Despite one or two noted disagreements between the two, for the most part Martin and Powell were on the same page when it came time for a vote during the latter's regime. However, it's been obvious almost from the beginning of the Martin regime that when it comes to style, the two Chairmen are very different. The Los Angeles Times has brought that fact to the public's notice in a weekend article. Powell knew what he wanted to accomplish and simply went about accomplishing it, and watched one of his signature efforts, the 6/2/03 media ownership rulemaking, take fire from the public, the Congress and the courts, and mostly go nowhere. Martin, on the other hand, has gained a reputation for skillful political maneuvering. In particular, the LA Times noted Martin's ability to walk through the newly-sown minefields of a Democratic Congress, and his willingness to go where Powell would not, before the public to discuss the ownership rules. It remains to be seen what will come of the remanded do-over of 6/2/03, but at the very least, Martin will be able to say that the public will have had a chance to sound off on the matter.

Entertainment Media Business Report TM
Survivor: New York?
The finale of "Survivor: Figi" will be broadcast Sunday, May 13 (8:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). Rather than Figi, the final word will come from a less remote location. CBS says the finale will culminate in the live reveal of the winner from The Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. After the reveal, Jeff Probst will host a live reunion show featuring the 19 castaways who will come together for the first time since being in Fiji.

Endemol USA and
strike programming partnership, an online entertainment channel for men, and Endemol USA, the producer of the hit TV franchises "Deal or No Deal", "1 vs 100", "Big Brother", and "Fear Factor", announced a programming partnership to produce original content for's audience of 16 million. This marks the first time that Endemol streams more than 12 million videos daily to its audience of 15 - 35 year old men, while Endemol is the world's largest independent production company. Slated to premiere this summer, "Record Breakers" is Endemol's first original series to be commissioned. The show features both original and user generated elements. In every episode, a host sets a new unique comedic record and challenges two contestants to break that record for a cash prize. At the end of each show, viewers are encouraged to attempt the challenge themselves and submit the resulting videos to

Internet Media Business Report TM
AOL launches search marketplace
AOL announced the launch of the AOL Search Marketplace, available to select AOL advertisers giving them the chance to buy sponsored links specifically targeting the AOL search audience ( ) on and within the AOL client applications. The service, built on Google AdWords technology, extends the suite of advertising solutions AOL can offer to marketers. AOL Search Marketplace uses a white-label version of Google AdWords, providing advertisers the ability initially to buy search advertising that solely targets the AOL Search audience on the AOL client applications and This service uses the same best-of-breed functionality, features and reporting that advertisers have come to expect from Google AdWords. Until now, advertisers did not have the ability to segment and optimize traffic coming from AOL. The new service is a result of the expanded five year strategic relationship AOL and Google entered into in December 2005. AOL test marketed AOL Search Marketplace with about 30 advertisers over the previous five months.

Engineering Business Report TM
NAB launches "NAB Fastroad"
The NAB announced the formation of a long term technology advocacy program. The mission will be to seek and facilitate development and commercialization of new technologies that can be exploited by broadcasters using radio and television broadcast spectrum. The multi-year, multi-million dollar program will be named NAB FASTROAD (Flexible Advanced Services for Television and Radio On All Devices). The effort is a product of the efforts of NAB's Technology Advocacy Committee in accordance with the sustained priority placed on technology by NAB Joint Board Chairman Bruce Reese and NAB CEO David Rehr. Consisting of NAB Board members, the NAB Technology Advocacy Committee held its first meeting in March 2006 and subsequently conducted a year-long deliberative decision-making investigation, including briefings by outside consultants, economic and technical analysis of technology developments, and technical review of potential projects through a technology discovery group process. Based on this work, the NAB Board of Directors decided unanimously in January to launch the program and NAB's Executive Committee approved organizational details in late March.

Stock Talk
Pretty much a flat day
Wall Street traders had to wait until Monday to react to the employment report that the Labor Department released on Good Friday. But because the report had both good and bad news, the stock market was pretty flat. A drop in the unemployment rate is good news for economic growth, but also makes it less likely that the Fed will lower rates. The Dow Industrials ended the day up nine points at 12,569.

TV stocks were mixed. Gannett rose 2.6% on a Barron's report of investors calling for its TV group to be sold off. ACME had the worst day, down 1.9%.


Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change




















Media General











Clear Channel




News Corp.
















NY Times








Ion Media








Saga Commun.












Gen. Electric
























Gray, C1. A




Time Warner












Journal Comm.




Wash. Post




Lincoln Natl.









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Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
Hillshire Farm launches
New campaign for meat eaters entitled "GO MEAT!,"...

Media Business Report
First to get on board
Las Vegas Monorail's new short term advertising program and the list is a long one...

Media Markets & Money
Moons reined in by Wyomedia
Owns & operates Fox KFNB-TV 20 extends range with a pair of satellites...

Entertainment Media
Business Report
Survivor: New York?
Finale will culminate in the live reveal of the winner from The Ed Sullivan Theater...

Internet Media Business Report
AOL launches search marketplace
Available to select AOL advertisers...

Stations for Sale

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TV Media Moves

IT guru for Nexstar
Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that Parviz Marzban has been named Director of Information Services and Technology, a new position at the company, reporting to Rajiv Lulla, Nexstar's Senior Vice-President of New Media. Marzban was recently the Chief Technology Officer at Innovix Inc.

Return engagement
Communications Equity Associates (CEA) announced that Evan Blum has rejoined the investment banking and corporate finance team as a Managing Director. Blum will be based in the firm's New York City office and will focus on mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance transactions involving the communications and media industries.

More News Headlines

CEOs see level, if not smooth sailing ahead
When CEOs are perfectly split on the issue of the future of the economy, they post a Conference Board score of 50, and that's where they stood as a group at the end of Q4 2006. However, the executive suite prognosticators seem to see a parting of the clouds, and the resulting optimism has resulted in an increased confidence level of 53. But it's not because there are more optimists, says Conference Board's Lynn Franco, who said, "The improvement in CEO confidence this quarter is due primarily to a decline in the number of pessimists, not an increase in the number of optimists. The good news, therefore, is that business leaders do not expect conditions to worsen. But by the same token, they do not expect conditions to improve." In fact, the number looking for positive economic change dropped from 29% to 27%. However, the number of those expecting negative movement shrunk drastically, from 27% to only 15%. 24% say current conditions have improved overall, a number that rises to 37% when applied to their own business sector.

TVBR observation: They always say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Is it also human nature to see more strife over there as well? Or is it human nature to whistle a happy tune regardless of what your internal research is showing you because those Wall Street touts are ready to pounce on the first sign of negativity? The glass half full view would be that the 37% is the more believable number, since it applies to the body of data that particular CEO is most familiar with. We go with the pessimists, since the 24% is less tinged with wishful thinking. And besides, we think that it was Benjamin Franklin who pointed out that optimists are never pleasantly surprised, and we remember a Murphy's Law that says optimists think this is the best of all possible worlds while pessimists fear that we do, and finally, because we love in when our mechanic quotes us a repair estimate and then brings the job home for less.

TVBR Radar 2007
Television News you won't read any where else. TVBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

CAB members back out of eBay trials; what about radio?
Senior media buyer: "I don't think a lot of the buyers, and obviously the networks, believe that we really needed this.

TVBR observation: The debate and discussion move on and again we encourage broadcasters to do research on all on line services. Do not wait for someone else to lead you forward. There is more of what media buyers think in this issue of TVBR.
04/09/07 TVBR #69

Zell may crack down on Google
In his new role at Tribune Company, Sam Zell may lead the charge against allowing Google free access to aggregate news and other content. "If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be? Not very,"
04/09/07 TVBR #69

Trouble for the Times
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) - the same firm that has recommended that shareholders vote down the private equity buyout of Clear Channel has now issued a recommendation for an anti-management vote at the New York Times Company.

TVBR observation: Again, we wonder what this will, or even could, accomplish. More details in TVBR issue
04/09/07 TVBR #69

How'd the other guys do?
We reported in TVBR on how television stocks outperformed a lackluster stock market in Q1, moving up on new revenues from retransmission agreements with cable MSOs. There was no similar event in radio to excite Wall Street traders. Here are the full numbers in this special prepared report in TVBR
04/09/07 TVBR #69

CAB members
back out of eBay trials
The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB) announced its members won't participate in further trials of eBay's Online Media Exchange, the beta online marketplace for buying ad time. CAB communicated the decision to the participating agencies and parties directly.

TVBR observation: Likely the same reservations made by folks looking at Google's system. You can't commoditize prime inventory. Advertisers want their media agency partners to strategically get the best bang for the buck. That skill goes way beyond ordinary pricing strategies. eBay would likely be great for remnant and spot inventory, but as far as prime broadcast and cable network inventory-that should be left to the experts. Now, the transactional capabilities offered may or may not have been desirable, sans any auction functionality. We'd like to know how that may have stacked up against TVB's new ePort system in that respect.
04/06/07 TVBR #68


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