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Media Monitors
Thursday, December 6, 2012 Volume 1   |   Issue 22
How much is Larry Wilson really paying for Triad?
Larry WilsonCould the $21 million deal for Triad Broadcasting get even cheaper?
As this newsletter has told you, the dealmaking community is consumed over the question of Larry Wilson's cash flow multiple. It may be in the 4-times range – or even a bit lower. The sale of more than 30 stations and FM translators to Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting has now been filed at the FCC and the asset purchase agreement of course doesn’t carry any data about multiples. (The FCC doesn't care about that stuff.) But there are other clauses and escape hatches that appear to favor the buyer, Wilson. For instance, there’s a $2.1 million (10%) “post-closing escrow.” That’s “to secure seller’s post-closing obligations.” So not all the $21 million will be immediately disbursed to Triad.
has acquired  KCKO-FM (CP) Rio Rico/Nogales, Arizona
The undersigned acted as broker in this transaction and assisted in this negotiations
Kalil & Co. Inc.
2960 N. Swan Road Suite 134 Tucson, Arizona 85712  | 520.795.1050

The Triad sale carries a “material adverse change” clause.
Buyer Larry Wilson will be tracking the stations’ performance prior to closing. If the closing drags on until next Summer – stations in South Carolina, Illinois and North Dakota are in various stages of license renewal – Larry could use that to his advantage. That’s if revenues at the five Triad clusters trail off. That could happen because of the economy, or because businesses in the middle of an ownership change can have a tougher time executing the day-to-day stuff and retaining key staffers. On other side of that argument, Triad has been unofficially for sale for five or six years. And Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting won’t have the debt service that David Benjamin-run Triad does, which should encourage the staff. Also - the contract speaks of the calculation of net working capital. If it’s less than $3.5 million, the purchase price will be decreased. Finally, we learn that two Bluefield-market stations will be divested because of local-market concentrations. (Triad’s ownership was grandfathered, but that status doesn’t transfer to a new owner.) Those are the Tazewell, VA combo of talk WTZE at 1470 and classic rock “Eagle” WKQY at 100.1. Both are currently in simulcasts with other stations.

Erica FarberAt radio, “Creative is a huge void.”
From Day 1 of the Arbitron 2012 Client Conference - RAB boss Erica Farber asks for a show of hands – “How many great commercials are you running on your radio stations?” She says “we’re hearing on the national level” from advertisers and agencies this message - “Help us.” What all too often happens is that the buy gets made, “we slam on this commercial in an hour, and it stinks.” Then it’s the old story – it’s not effective, and the client concludes that radio doesn’t work. Farber says “the days of selling 18 spots a week…are over.” Clients want great ideas and great execution. Farber says when they can get in to the offices of decision makers, they’re hungry to hear about great ideas and campaigns, which can be adapted for use elsewhere. For the buying community, it’s about return on investment, which brings Farber to this point – “Radio has been slow to adopt technology that shows your audience heard this spot, reacted to this spot, and bought” the product. The RAB head also asks for a show of hands about “how many programmers make regular sales calls?” She believes “nobody can tell your story better than you,” about the uniqueness of a particular station’s audience.

Rush LimbaughThe (unnamed) Rush Limbaugh advertiser problem has rippled into streaming.
The problem that this NOW newsletter has called “toxic” continues to affect ad buying even into 2013. RAB CEO Erica Farber is too diplomatic to mention Limbaugh by name or specifically reference the Sandra Fluke “slut/prostitute” controversy that’s been so painful to sellers. But she “heard last week from one of the largest radio buyers that stations were taking the commercials” off the air, as requested – but then putting (or keeping) the spots on their streams, “and not telling the advertisers.” That “caused another furor” from angry listeners. You can debate (and a lot of talk radio people do, vehemently) about whether the protests came from Limbaugh listeners, or outside groups who just don’t like conservative talk radio. But the incident put a big sledgehammer in their hands, and Farber says having spots continue to run in streams compounds the problem with agencies. Farber says “One of the largest agencies said, We won’t even touch streaming now, because we’re not trusting what radio’s doing on the stream.”

RAB recommends dropping the word “terrestrial.” (Besides, everything’s becoming “audio.”)
CEO Erica Farber says during a lunchtime Q&A with Arbitron’s Carol Hanley that “terrestrial radio” is “not a term that advertisers are using” today. She says “look at where it came from – this is when we got a competitor in satellite radio, and they positioned us as terrestrial radio. We adopted that term.” Her plea – “try to eliminate that word.” On the subject of terminology – Farber says at a confab last week, “four heads of the largest media buying companies in the world were all on one stage, and I thought it was stunning – they don’t even have ‘radio’ departments any more. They have ‘audio departments.’” She reports that it’s “a major shift,” with audio encompassing streaming and digital, plus broadcast radio. Farber, as a veteran radio operator and seller, both pumps up the room with pride (“we should be proud we’re in radio…we have nothing to apologize for”). And then says “We’re our own worst enemy” by somehow accepting a lesser position in the media universe. She remembers when “a radio station GM walked into a restaurant, everybody knew him.” She says “I’m not trying to be Polyanna…This is a great business, but it is not without challenges.” Nevertheless, “The way you touch people on an hourly, minute-by-minute basis” is unlike any other medium.

Social media and new platforms were the Day 1 themes of the 2012 Arbitron Client Conference.
Tripp Eldredge of dmr/Interactive preaches that building connections to listeners – and letting them connect among each other – is “the engine behind your success in social media.” Folks aren’t just reading your Facebook posting, they’re adding their own stories and talking about your station events (“from their perspective, not yours”). Eldredge talks about research that categorizes social media users as either joiners, sharers or advocates. He says stations should strive to build advocates, because they’re the small percentage of the population who are the multipliers of a message. (What he calls “amplified reach.”) When a station’s brand gets deepened online, it builds mindshare, and gives “dimensionality to your brand that isn’t just going to go away when a competitor plays less commercials.”

Radiate Media

Gary MeoThe buzz phrase – SoLoMo.
It’s “huge, especially with Millennials,” says Gary Meo of Scarborough, talking about heavy radio users. He says “the importance of social networking to Millennials cannot be overstated…it is their #1 activity online, by far.” He didn’t just make up the SoLoMo phrase to describe Social, Local and Mobile. But he marshalled plenty of PowerPoint slides about how each angle of SoLoMo works, especially with Millennials and Gen X’ers. (And to a surprising degree sometimes, with Baby Boomers. Many of them are “fascinated by technology.”) Those were the three demographic boxes Gary Meo put Americans aged 18-64 into, and he does it in the context of “radio’s heavy users.” There was non-social/mobile media stuff, but Meo (a self-described “newspaper guy”) kept coming back to online. Quoting a newspaper researcher, he got off one of the most memorable lines of the afternoon – “the four key content topics are family, financial, fun and sex – we call them ‘The 4 Fs.’” (Think about that, for a second – the audience did, laughter rolled around the room.) You can download a copy of Gary Meo’s “Inside the Minds of Radio’s Heavy Listeners” on the Scarborough site here. Scarborough Research is a joint venture between Nielsen and Arbitron.

Mark O'Neill“A tenth of a rating point can make a significant difference in a station’s revenue,” says Mark O’Neill.
And realigning spotsets in PPM markets can have a significant effect on those tenths of a point. The ROI Media Solutions principal shared individual-market examples at the Annapolis Westin of how a small increase in AQH persons pushes the rating point (not the AQH share, remember) from a 0.3 to a 0.4. You might think of a rating as an exact number, but O’Neill highlights the “rounding range.” “Things aren’t as precise as they look, sometimes. Mark’s got ideas about quickly searching out the opportunities for raising AQH persons. And here’s another acronym – PUMM. That’s Persons using Measured Media. The trick is to align the station stopsets with the rise and fall of PUMM. Slotting the spots in the right part of the hour, related to changes in PUMM, can nudge the rating to the next higher number – yielding, hopefully, higher revenue.

Herman Cain’s in Annapolis for the Arbitron meeting, as he prepares to take over the Neal Boortz show.
WSB, Atlanta-based Boortz is retiring, and Cain – a regular presence on the Boortz show for years – will take his timeslot on both the Cox radio station (at 750 and 95.5) and the Dial Global-distributed late-morning talkshow. Cain’s getting an early start on that by guest-hosting for Boortz starting next Monday, through December 19. Cox Media Group is syndicating the Herman Cain show, with ad sales and affiliate work by Dial Global. Expect Cain to light up the room with the keynote address at today’s Arbitron Client Conference. Also due today – “What a connected car means to you,” a featured hour-long presentation from Connected Vehicle Trade Association VP Valerie Shuman and Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media. Then Clear Channel President of Digital Brian Lakamp, with secrets from “inside iHeartRadio.” That’s followed by former MTV/Hollywood Records executive Abbey Konowitch with Warren Kurtzman of Coleman Insights, and a panel on “sports radio’s past, present and future.” After Herman Cain and lunch, there’s Arbitron’s “2012 year in review – not your average quarter hour,” with revelations about top-performing stations and Top 40’s continued growth, and finally “Building brand loyalty the Disney way,” with Mike McLean. It’s a good crowd here at the Westin, of PDs, group programmers, consultants, researchers and the occasional job hunter.

SiriusXM scores a bigger “revolver” than it planned.
CFO David Frear says the satellite radio company’s “credit quality has rapidly improved, and we are pleased that the bank market has recognized that fact by oversubscribing the deal.” The new credit facility is pegged at $1.25 billion – just as it’s about to hand over control to Liberty Media. Debt has been a real consideration for outgoing CEO Mel Karmazin. Some folks think that after Mel won regulatory approvals to merge rivals Sirius and XM in mid-2008, he jumped too quickly into an expensive lending facility that hampered growth on the bottom line. (Some folks also theorize that the NAB’s opposition to the merger might’ve played a role, with the perception that broadcasters might continue to try blocking the combination in court.) SiriusXM’s good news didn’t move the market – “SIRI” stock gained a penny to close at $2.77, up less than 1%. Its 52-week range is $1.70 to $2.97.

Fallen TowerBad break for a California FM, when a delivery truck snags a guy wire.
That’s reportedly what happened Tuesday at the transmitter site of Momentum Broadcasting’s “99.7 Classic Rock” KIOO, licensed to Porterville. The accident occurred up on the side of Lewis Hill, above the city of Porterville – and yes, that’s why everybody should carry the appropriate business insurance, for cases like this.


Two Aussie DJs are deeply sorry (not really) about disturbing Princess Kate’s medical team.
One U.S. programmer tells NOW “I’d love to have had my guys do that.” And you can gauge the ridiculousness of the whole story by this headline from CNN - “Radio DJ’s pretend to be the queen.” That’s two male DJs, from Sydney’s 2Day FM. One of them apparently has quite a falsetto voice. Of course the station “sincerely apologizes” and wishes the newest member of British royalty a happy pregnancy and childbirth. But before the apology, 2Day FM took to Twitter, calling the 15-minute bit “a hilarious prank.” Mel Greig and Michael Christian talked their way through the ranks at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles (the father-in-law of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge). No harm was done, though CNN says “the nurse, sounding nervous, divulged general details” about Kate’s rather severe case of morning sickness.

Ryan Seacrest buys the marketing company behind NBC’s Education Nation and the CNN Grill.
Yes, Ryan’s at the business stage where he can buy, outright, an existing 12-year-old company, when he thinks it can catalyze some of his other businesses. He’s acquired a majority interest in the New York-based Civic Entertainment Group, whose co-founders Stuart Ruderfer and David Cohn will stay on. As the New York Times says, “Seacrest could theoretically line up some of the celebrities he interviews on the radio, or some of the reality stars whose shows he produces for the E! channel, for an event put together by Civic.” The firm’s recent projects include assembling the “Southwest Porch” lounge (for Southwest Airlines) in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. Seacrest plans “many” more acquisitions along the same lines as Civic Entertainment Group. No price announced on the deal.

Dave Brubeck"So long to Dave Brubeck, the nicest man in music, who loved what radio had done for his career."
Lindsay Wood Davis of Broadcast Management Strategies is saddened by the death of 91-year-old jazz giant Dave Brubeck - "I saw him in every decade from the 50's onward. Our father, Thomas L. Davis, ran WAAF in Chicago (long before Worcester, MA grabbed the calls). This was Chicago's jazz station, with Marty Faye, Daddy-O Daylie, Dick Buckley, Mike Rapchak, Studs Turkel, Lon Dyson, Meridee and many others. The Davis kids grew up at that station, and because we did, we had a chance to meet people who were, or who became, the lions of Jazz. I first met Brubeck in 1956, and I had the chance to see him perform in big auditoriums and the proverbial smoky clubs. Most recently, it was here in Madison's spectacular Overture Center. His performances (and those of his accompanists, often including his sons) were always the most wonderfully sophisticated, and hot. In every market, you'd hear him first being interviewed on local radio, usually telling the story that, as a child, his mother wouldn't let him listen to the radio, because he should be spending that time making music instead of just listening to it. But he loved what radio had done for his career and always made it a point to be a great guest." Lindsay's windup - "Radio folks, please take out that 'Take Five' album you surely have sitting around and listen to the entire album, hearing the amazing Dave Brubeck Quartet, some of the true Kings of Jazz. You won't regret it."

On The Block

EMF$8,788,500 is the price EMF pays for Amaturo’s three Los Angeles FMs. They’re the onetime “Jill FM” stations that became the “Playlist 92.7” simulcast of KLST, Fountain Valley, KLSI, Thousand Oaks and KLSN, Adelanto. We knew the deal that changes them to non-commercial operation and which has already precipitated a format flip to EMF’s Christian rock Air 1 network service. But we hadn’t learned not the price or the terms. The formula looks like standard EMF - $2,138,500 in cash, the rest in a 10-year seller note.

Knoxville’s daytimer at 1040 is sold by Journal Broadcast Group. It’s currently sporting the WKTI calls that Journal employed for many years on its Milwaukee hot AC. Now the call letters are on an AM licensed to Powell, Tennessee – which was just sold to Christian broadcaster WMCH Radio Inc. New calls are WWAM for the station that runs 10,000 watts most of the daytime hours, but which drops to 3,000 watts in the “critical hours” for AM transmission, just after sunrise and before sunset. Kenneth C. Hill is the leader of WMCH Radio Inc., and he has interests in stations in Virginia and Tennessee. Price - $65,000.

Worth Reading

“Full-power broadcasters will be interested in the complaint process that will apply to new Low Power FM stations that cause interference.” Attorney David Oxenford pinpoints some questions about the FCC’s decision at last Friday’s meeting related to the long-stalled 2003 translator window (with 6,000 applications held in abeyance) and next October’s window for LPFMs. Read his first take here.

WBBM, Chicago (780/105.9) reporter and news anchor David Berner releases a work of fiction online, titled “Knowing What To Steal.” Chicagoland Radio & Media adds that Berner’s also an associate professor at Columbia College in Chicago. “Knowing What To Steal” is about a journalist who veers into crime, and it’s available on Kindle $1.99.

How Edison Research handled election-day polling, just after Hurricane Sandy. The Edison offices are in Somerville, NJ and its EVP Joe Lenski jokes to the Wall Street Journal that “the saddest sound of the universe is the sound of your Aerobed inflating next to your desk, for eight straight hours.” Nobody moved far from the central Jersey office, as they hustled to deliver freshly-printed questionnaires to the legion of exit poll workers strategically placed around the U.S. in time for the November 6 election. Edison president Larry Rosin says they started thinking harder about disaster planning after Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast in 2005. Radio station clients of Edison may not realize that it has the quadrennial job of running exit polls for a consortium of five TV networks and the Associated Press.


Ken CharlesKen Charles relocates from South Florida to Sacramento, to the Clear Channel cluster where nine-year KFBK/KSTE programmer Alan Eisenson is leaving (November 27 NOW newsletter). With the transcontinental move, Ken Charles continues as Clear Channel’s National Brand Coordinator for News, Talk and Sports, and is elevated to VP of Programming. Ken will have wider scope in Sacramento, overseeing programming at all six CC stations. (Eisenson had news/talk KFBK-AM/FM at 1530/92.3 and “Talk 650” KSTE, plus responsibilities for San Francisco’s KNEW/960 and “Newstalk 910” KKSF.) Ken Charles began in Syracuse at WSYR/WHEN in 1995, then served in Atlanta, Houston, and for the last five years, Miami, at talk WIOD (610) and sports WINZ (940).

Radio’s late-night/early morning friend Jim Bohannon is renewed by Dial Global. More than 500 stations carry The Jim Bohannon Show and/or America in the Morning. Dial Global Executive VP of News and Talk Programming Bart Tessler calls Jim “the hardest working man in radio” – and it’s hard to disagree.

Cleveland’s Kathryn “Kit” Jensen is the new board chair of National Public Radio. She was part of the search committee that identified and hired former Sesame Workshop executive Gary Knell as NPR’s President, last Fall. Now the COO of Cleveland’s “ideastream” radio/TV operation takes the top job on the NPR board. The downtown Cleveland-based ideastream includes the operation of classical WCLV (104.9), which is joining the movement among classical stations to switch from commercial to non-commercial status.

You Can't Make This Up

Brush with greatness - Syndicated morning talkhost Stan Major says "I moved to a nice apartment complex near the lake in New Orleans, while doing a late-night talk show on WGSO in 1973. After the show, I made use of the pool table, and encountered a guy who challenged with me. He seemed to know all about me and the show. But it took a few days (and pool games) to discover that my opponent was none other than Peter Starr. He was the brother of William F. Buckley and the President of Starr Broadcasting. Seems he and Bill had a big boat in the lake just across the road. We stayed in touch for years. But he never took me out on the boat." Share your own true story about radio with the industry (after all, you really can't make this stuff up). Email Tom@RTK-Media.com.

The news, in one place, in the NOW newsletter. First thing every morning. If you’re reading this as a pass-along from a friend, feel free to sign up for your own subscription, at no charge. Look for the confirmation email (check your spam filter if that doesn’t appear). Signup is here. Back tomorrow with Day 2 of the annual Arbitron Client Conference. Tom

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