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Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Volume 1   |   Issue 30
 
Business is slow on Main Street...
Q3Radio’s Q3 report card from Kantar Media – local revenue still lags.
Local finished 1.3% lower than the third quarter of last year, says Kantar – which bases that figure on 33 Miller Kaplan markets. It makes an interesting comparison to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s own Q3 estimates, for the category the RAB now calls “spot.” The RAB reported last month here that spot was “flat” from a year ago. That’s using a broader range of local markets than Kantar. While local business is in neutral gear, the just-issued Kantar numbers find “national spot” booming, up 9.4%, compared to a year-to-date +1.3%. So national spot for July-August-September really saved the category, for “YTD.” No doubt the election cycle helped – a lot.
 
Patrick Communications
 

Kantar is able to report network radio revenues – up 26.3%.
That fills in a big hole, because the RAB’s comprehensive third quarter report carried a large caveat from Miller Kaplan, inside a special box – “Radio industry revenues do not include network radio data. Complete network information for the quarter is not available.” Miller Kaplan explained why – “To provide a meaningful report, there must be a voluntary cooperative representing a minimum of 90% of total market revenues…having not reached that threshold in the Radio Network space for 2012, Miller Kaplan is unable to issue Radio Network market revenue reports.” But Kantar Media does, apparently relying on a source other than Miller Kaplan. (It credits Miller, Kaplan & Arase for its local radio estimates, but not other categories.) The Kantar picture for network radio is pretty consistent through the entire year, showing 26.3% growth in Q3 and 23.1% improvement, year to date. Just for comparison purposes, Kantar says the overall Television Media category grew 15.3% in Q3, led by Network TV and Spanish Language TV. Spanish language magazines jumped nearly 21%, leading the otherwise dilatory “magazine media” category. “Newspaper Media” slipped 1.1%, with a whopping 17.2% decline in “national newspapers.” Outdoor grew nearly 5% in the quarter, while Internet display ads saw revenue drop – that’s right, drop – 4.3%. Study the Kantar Media research here.

Nielsen to measure TV shows by Twitter activity – can radio be far behind?
A new radio morning show could be “trending,” one of these days. AdAge says there will be a “Nielsen Twitter TV rating, that will measure the total audience for social TV activity on Twitter.” TV executives would see both the comments made on Twitter and what AdAge calls “the people who are exposed to their comments.” Twitter VP Media Chloe Sladden says “our TV partners have consistently asked for one common benchmark from which to measure the engagement of their programming.” And “engagement” is a strong buzzword with advertisers, going beyond the usual ratings and demos. Twitter recently hired TV pro Fred Graver as its head of television, and he mused about a Twitter rating at the AdAge conference two months ago.

X-Mas OrnamentsBig regional differences in Christmas music preferences, per Pandora.
Check the patterns – “80% of people in the South prefer classic holiday songs over new releases.” But “31% of people in the West prefer new holiday tracks over the classics.” Up in the Midwest, “listeners are the earliest adopters of holiday music on Pandora.” There are also gender differences, with twice as many men as women believing that “music will make or break a holiday party.” (And you thought guys would say “booze.”) Pandora also identifies its five most popular holiday stations – “Christmas radio,” followed by Mariah Carey holiday radio, Michael Buble holiday radio, Classical Christmas, and Country Christmas. Interestingly, Pandora did its survey more than two months ago, between October 3 and October 10, with a sample size of 1,000 people age 18+, using an email invitation and online survey. More here.

“It’s obvious that Pandora is glad to have the cume that Christmas programming brings, and will not be complaining about how it drops off.”
That’s broadcast radio consultant Dan Vallie, who’s been advising stations on the all-Christmas format for 15 years or more. Reacting to the Pandora press release, he tells this NOW newsletter that broadcast stations also shouldn’t be complaining about the post-holiday dropoff. He says “each station should be selling this cume on the programming of the station and the reasons to stay after Christmas is over…and remind them to join us again next year.” Also - Dan says it’s critical to “make Christmas better and better each year, so the station owns this, and the listener doesn’t go somewhere else” – like Pandora – “to get the Christmas music we know they want.” To Dan, there’s another dimension, an “intangible.” Which is, “The person programming this and putting it all together needs to love it. The Christmas programming that is genuine and touches the audience with the sincerity of the season will be the one that wins as the Christmas competition continues to increase.” He says “It’s also obvious that Pandora took the idea from the success they saw radio stations having. Most satellite and Internet radio operations take the basis of most of their ideas from radio stations. We need to recognize what we have, appreciate it, not take it for granted, and keep innovating new programming concepts.”

Albright & O'Malley & Brenner

Santa delivers new formats –
Alice 96.7• Fresno’s “Alice 96.7,” Clear Channel’s adult contemporary KALZ, is about to shelve the Adele and Justin Timberlake songs for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et. al. The Fresno Bee says “after years of being heard on [Peak Broadcasting-owned] KMJ/580, Rush Limbaugh, along with Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Andy Dean, Clyde Lewis and George Noory, will be part of the new ‘Power Talk 96.7.’” That roster will be simulcast on CC’s KRZR “Fox Sports Radio 1400” in Visalia. So this is two format changes. There will be one local daytime personality on “Power Talk,” and that’s Bill Manders, hosting 3-6pm. He did afternoons on KMJ from 2000 to 2003 before leaving for Reno’s KKOH (780). The Bee says “In October, Premiere Networks decided to pull Limbaugh and Hannity after a 25-year relationship.” At KMJ, Peak market manager Patty Hixson says “our 90-year heritage and commitment to Central California listeners and advertisers goes far beyond a few syndicated talk shows. Unlike other news and talk stations around the country, KMJ never cut back on local news and local talk shows.”

• In Billings, Montana, there’s a new “Twang,” with Kurt Anthony LMAing classic rock “105 The X” KYSX and going country. He tells the Billings Gazette about his wide playlist, his classic country “twang” approach, and having live and local jocks. Anthony says “I found a format that wasn’t being served. Nobody else is live…You can’t be a friend to a voice track.” Anthony’s using himself as part of the afternoon shift, after taking a midday break from co-hosting mornings on the first local station he LMA’d – variety hits “Mojo 92.5” KBXI. The local paper and website also reports that KYSX owner Pete Benedetti engaged Terry Strickland as his new GM at three other stations – and that “both Strickland [as Radio Billings] and Anthony signed contracts with options to eventually buy the broadcast licenses.” The Strickland-run trio is country “Wolf 98.5” KEHF, CHR “Hot 101.9” KRSQ and soft AC “Magic 107.5” KRPM – and no changes there.

• In Kansas City, a re-located FM translator helps out Bott Broadcasting’s KCCV (760). That’s not to be confused with full-power KCCV-FM at 92.3, also in the K.C. market and also doing a Christian format. The AM needs nighttime assistance because its 6,000 watt daytime signal shrinks to 200 watts when the stars twinkle. The manna from heaven comes from Community Broadcasting’s recently-moved translator at 101.1. It’s K209EC and as you can tell from the “209,” which is its FM channel number, it was originally at 89.7. It’s gained FCC permission to move to 101.5, running 250 watts (up from 205 watts at the original frequency).

Clear ChannelBain Capital’s Matt Freeman joins the board of Clear Channel.
Freeman comes with some highly useful connections – he’s the current Chairman of New York’s Advertising Week. He’s also served on the boards of the 4As and the Advertising Club of New York. Madison Avenue veteran Matt Freeman joined Boston-based Bain Capital earlier this year as an operating partner. For the previous two years, he’d been an executive at the advertising/marketing giant Interpublic Group of Companies, serving as CEO of its Mediabrands Ventures division, and Vice Chairman/Global Chief Innovation Officer at Interpublic’s McCann Erickson shop. There was a vacancy on the Clear Channel board because Steven Barnes resigned last week. Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners control 72% of the voting power and economic interest of Clear Channel, as a result of their taking it private in a mid-2008 deal with the Mays family. Seven of the 13 board members are associated with either Bain or THL Partners.

Dial Global gets more time from lenders.
Its original waiver period giving it a break on non-compliance with the terms of its credit facilities expired last Friday, December 14. Dial Global says everybody’s now agreed to extend the waiver period out to January 15. There’s also an extension of the agreement which limits Dial Global’s ability to take on any additional debt under its First Lien Credit Facility or its Second Lien Term Loan facility. Dial Global is in the process of voluntarily leaving the NASDAQ exchange. Its “DIAL” stock closed yesterday at 23 cents, up a penny. Back on December 5, Dial Global entered into a new $1.25 billion five-year senior secured “revolver” with a lender group led by JPMorgan Chase.

Fisher stock gains 2% on news of a stock buyback program.
As we know, board approval of a potential repurchase of “up to $15 million of its common stock in 2013” doesn’t mean the company will actually finish the whole $15 million. But the market often welcomes such news, and yesterday the “FSCI” stock gained 49 cents to close at $25.82. CEO Colleen Brown says Seattle-based Fisher Communications is doing this from a position of strength, so it can “return capital to our shareholders.” Here in 2012, Fisher estimates it returned more than $92 million to shareholders as either cash dividends or share repurchases. One wrinkle – Fisher will “conduct the program and retire the re-purchased shares in a method that minimizes the likelihood” that any one shareholder will end up with more than 30% of the stock. That’s to “ensure that all shareholders continue to have a voice in major company decisions.” One shareholder is on the brink of that mark, at 29%.

“Fiscal cliff” fears prompt another company to move up its dividend in December – Arbitron.
The regular 10 cent per share quarterly dividend from Arbitron will now be paid by December 31 – not January 2. That’s just in case federal tax rates on dividends really do rise in 2013. Arbitron’s not the first company to eye the calendar and make that decision. The “record date” of the dividend is the same – last Friday, December 14. Arbitron announced the payment date change after the market closed yesterday. Its “ARB” stock finished up about 1.5% at $38.04 – up 55 cents.

Trader Joe'sWatch out, Kroger – Trader Joe’s is gaining on you.
The latest weekly Spot Ten chart from Media Monitors of “Food and Beverage Retailers” has Kroger sitting at #1, as usual, with 8,681 spots detected. But the scrappy Trader Joe’s chain cracks the Spot Ten at #4, with 3,362 spots. You can tell it’s the holidays, when folks think about entertaining - The Honey Baked Ham Company jumps from #76 to #3, just ahead of Trader Joe’s and just behind #2 Safeway. The rest of the Spot Ten – Albertson’s is #5, then Save Mart, Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, Publix, Giant Eagle-GetGo and its sister Giant Eagle.

“Extension 720” host Milt Rosenberg to leave Chicago’s WGN after 39 years – one of several lineup changes.
Milt’s last weeknight show will be a retrospective of his 10pm to midnight “Extension 720,” though interim Tribune GM Jeff Hill says Milt “will continue to be a show contributor and have a presence at the station.” Late evenings will definitely sound different, with Turi Ryder taking over 10pm to 1am – one of two women added to the lineup. The other is former investment banker and Fox News/CNBC/WGN-TV contributor Carol Roth, who stars in the return of “The Noon Show.” Here’s the new schedule, starting with revised hours for Jonathon Brandmeier. He’s currently handling 5:30am to 9am, and will do 6-10am, as of January 2. Current 9am-noon host Mike McConnell will work a split shift, beginning with 10am-noon. He was an import from Cincinnati's WLW in the Randy Michaels era. Noon-1pm is Carol Roth, followed by another two hours of McConnell. Then there’s Garry Meier, unchanged in the 3-7pm slot, and WGN Sports Night, 7 to 10pm. (No doubt WGN/720 wants the NHL to get its act together, so ‘GN can broadcast the Blackhawks again.) Turi Ryder (SheBops Productions, host of "Exception to the Rule" for CBS Radio) follows, 10pm to 1am, handing off to overnighter Bill Leff, to be heard 1am to 6am instead of midnight to 5am.

TuneIn to offer 24 post-season college football contests.
It’s got the live streams of 24 games from ESPN Radio, including the BCS National Championship. TuneIn’s bowl season started last Saturday with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Thursday night is the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (BYU versus San Diego State). The Discover BCS National Championship Game is January 7 – Alabama Crimson Tide against Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a Monday night game.

 
On The Block

Down in Alamogordo, New Mexico, “K-Love” parent Educational Media Foundation pays $100,000 to enter the market. No need to convert KUPR to non-commercial operation – This Class C2 at 91.7 is already non-com, as is everything below 92.1 MHz. It’s been owned for over a decade by Bob Flotte-run Southern New Mexico Radio Foundation. (Flotte also does the “Up, Up and Awake” morning show). There may be some loss of local service with the changeover, though. KUPR says its Christian music format also features “exclusive coverage in the Alamogordo area via remotes, including the Shiloh indoor and outdoor concerts, Otero County Fair and Radio, Alamogordo Tiger Homecoming, Labor Day Festival, the Cottonwood Festival, White Sands Balloon Invitational, Holloman Air Force Base Air Show, and much more.” Presumably, buyer EMF of Rocklin, California will install its contemporary Christian K-Love network feed on KUPR - though EMF is capable of doing local customization. Seller Southern NM Radio Foundation retains mostly-simulcast KHII, Cloudcroft at 88.9.

KKRVMorris buys a fill-in translator for Wenatchee’s “Country 104.7” KKRV. The FM translator will switch from simulcasting Resort Radio’s oldies “Sunny” KCSY, Twisp, Washington at 106.3 to Morris Radio’s KKRV. Morris has good reason to add a translator – Wenatchee’s in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, and this translator at 94.3 will help in the hilly terrain. The translator is K232ED, Sunnyslope, and the seller is Bellevue, Washington-based Butterfield Broadcasting. Butterfield had previously reduced power to 10 watts while it was simulcasting “Sunny” – but that’s not a problem. You see, K232ED operates from 1,352 feet above average terrain - way up there.

 
Worth Reading

Bruce WolfBruce Wolf and Dan Proft are officially the morning team at Chicago’s talk WLS (890), and if you’ve ever been through Chicago or savor some snappy Q&A, don’t miss Robert Feder’s TimeOut Chicago piece with Wolf. Samples – Q: “Who are your role models?” A: “William F. Buckley, Magic Johnson and Chevy Chase.” And this – Q: “Would you vote for [onetime Republican gubernatorial candidate and now co-host] Dan Proft?” A: “If the 2010 GOP primary ever rolls around again, I promise that this time, I’m his.” Wolf and Proft take over mornings at Cumulus-owned WLS from the retiring Don Wade and Roma.

Was radio really “the original social media"? Consultant Fred Jacobs says "whenever I hear that catch phrase, I shake my head...radio wasn't ever really social, save for the people who always called the control room asking for a song." But Jacobs says "How about this one: radio was the original portable broadcast medium." He says "the iPod ended that, but the smartphone brought it back." He's got the new comScore rankings of digital brands, and says it's clear that "Radio needs to re-establish its status as the portable broadcast medium." His blog is here.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith chats about broadband, the FCC spectrum incentive auction and regulation of broadcasting, in a weekend sitdown for C-SPAN. Smith’s Q&A with Telecommunications Reports’ Ted Gotsch is here.

 
Soapbox

Jay Meyers“How many stations have a plan” for something like the Sandy Hook tragedy? Jay Meyers, CEO of both Adelante Media and Broadcast Media Technology, says “As the tragic situation unfolded in Connecticut, I thought back to my days as a young programmer working at Greater Media. Under the leadership of the late Julian Breen, every station in the chain had a 'disaster and tragedy plan' which consisted of procedures and ten inch reels of 'appropriate music,' depending on the level of the event. I specifically remember the reel of classical music to be played if the president was ever killed. Morbid, yes. But appropriate, absolutely, because we had a plan developed in calmer moments to handle these kinds of things. I wonder how many stations or companies today have a plan of what to do and how to truly act in the public interest in those kinds of moments.” Got your own "Soapbox" opinion, about this or another topic? Email Tom@RTK-Media.com.

 
Transitions

Jim Arnold has the requisite background to run a radio-TV cluster for Tucson – he spent seven years managing radio stations (and he was a jock at Tucson’s country KCUB). Arnold also ran TV stations in Rockford, Amarillo and Madison, and from 2000 to 2010 managed Tucson’s CBS affiliate, KOLD-TV. Now he’s The Man at the Journal Broadcast Group cluster of ABC television network affiliate KGUN and CW affiliate KWBA, plus four radio stations. Those include AC “Mix 94.9” KMXZ.

Doug MeehanDoug Meehan leaves Greater Media’s talk-for-now WTKK, Boston (96.9), and says he’s returning to television. The 10am-noon host has been sandwiched in between Jim & Margery and Michael Smerconish – though the Boston Board of RadioDiscussions.com still predicts a flip to a music format. Onetime Cape Cod middle school teacher Meehan did radio, then flew for seven years as Fox 25’s morning news helicopter reporter. He’s done TV reporting and anchor work in Dallas, Tampa, Austin, Hartford and Providence.


28-year Arkansas radio pro Neal Gladner reveals his new job – VP of sales and marketing at the Louisiana Radio Network in Baton Rouge. (He said he’d be leaving Arkansas.) The current VP/GM and talkhost at Crain’s “Fresh Talk 93.3” KKSP in Little Rock starts January 2 at the state network based in the capital of Louisiana, says ArkansasBusiness.com.

Frank Pastore didn't make it, unfortunately. Four weeks following an after-work motorcycle accident, the KKLA, Los Angeles (99.5) afternoon drive host succumbed to his injuries. On his November 19 show, Frank dropped a foreboding remark, and three hours later, he was thrown from his motorcycle onto the 210 Freeway. On the air, he'd said "At any moment, I could be spread all over the 210." He spent a month in a coma and died yesterday afternoon of cardiac arrest. Pastore’s first career was baseball. He pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 1979 to 1985 and the Minnesota Twins in 1986, then worked at Salem’s Christian teaching KKLA radio for nine years. Radio Division President Dave Santrella calls him “a Salem ambassador to the Christian community in Southern California.” Pastore was 55.

 
You Can't Make This Up

Lee GarenNature calls - Lee Garen, retired CNN Radio Network anchor/editor and now "author/columnist/journalist," says "When I first started in radio I was the only person running WYRL in Melbourne, Florida. I was on the air 14 hours a day in an effort to get it going, back when FM was classical or show tunes. Being on for so many hours, I often joked with the engineer that they had put the studio a little too far from the men's room. He was the engineer-type who was hard to get a smile out of, always serious and very protective of 'his' equipment. One day I ran into him in the hallway and asked him if he had seen the addition I had made in the FM studio. In what seemed leaps rather than steps, he was down the hall like Superman taking off. I was right behind him, as I wanted to see the look on his face when he saw the fake plastic urinal I had pasted on the wall. First time I saw him really laugh in the eight months I had been there."

The news about radio, in one place. Thanks for telling a friend or colleague about this new daily management newsletter for radio, from RTK Media. That's how we keep growing. Reminder - If you’re reading this as a pass-along from a friend, feel free to sign up for your own subscription, at no charge. Signup is here.

 
Cluster Sales Manager - Midwest

Wonderful Midwest market private ownership group is looking for an exceptional cluster sales manager. The right candidate will have 3-5 years in media management, plus a college degree. You'll work with one of the nation's leading broadcasters and inspire our sales effort for growth in the New Year. We need one of the best sales managers in the business - Period! Applicants must be able to hold themselves and their staff accountable, communicate effectively and manage a team as individuals. They must possess unquestionable character, professionalism and integrity. The ideal candidate will view obstacles as opportunities and consistently strive to win. Apply at opportunity2013@aol.com

 
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