Radio & Television News Association

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

BIA's Fratrik: Radio Needs To Invest In Localism

From Radio & Records:

The key to radio’s continued success is reinvesting in local news, weather, entertainment and community service, believes Mark Fratrik, VP of BIA Financial Network, a Northern Virginia financial and strategic advisory service.

In his "State of the Industry Report, A Look At the First Three Quarters of 2006," released Tuesday (Nov. 21), Fratrik notes that “despite competitive forces from iPods, Internet streaming, satellite radio and concern about ad clutter… the radio industry is still reaching over 90% of the American public. That’s an exceptional percentage.” But he believes to recapture its position in the ever-changing media landscape, the industry “must demonstrate a renewed vitality and a commitment to accountability. Radio needs to invest in what made it successful in the past,” Fratrik stresses.

He writes that without making that commitment, “the radio industry will wallow in the low single digits of advertising revenue growth below the inflation rate with the possibility of years of negative growth.”

(Read the rest of the story here)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Clear Channel Agrees to $19 Billion Lee, Bain Buyout

From Bloomberg News.
By Don Jeffrey and Dana Cimilluca

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest U.S. radio broadcaster, agreed to a leveraged buyout by Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital Partners LLC that values the company at about $19 billion.

The firms will pay $37.60 a share, about 10 percent more than yesterday's close, the San Antonio-based company said today in a statement. The company also plans to sell 448 of its 1,150 radio stations and all of its 42 television stations.

Clear Channel put itself up for sale last month after asset sales and share buybacks failed to boost the stock price. The company lost more than 60 percent of its market value since 2000, as radio advertising sales stagnated and listeners migrated to the Internet, satellite radio and iPods. The buyers are betting they can slice costs and stem the slide.

Read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

News Writers to Vote on CBS's Contract Proposal


WGA East and West members will get to vote on the latest
contract proposal from CBS. The union's negotiating committee has
called the offer unacceptable, but is putting it to the rank
and file anyway saying it wants to demonstrate that members
won't accept the offer either.

From Broadcasting & Cable: According to the guild, the latest
CBS offer is:

"A 65-month contract (4/l/05 through 8/30/10) with no retroactive

"A two-tier wage package: television and network radio members
in one tier and local radio members in another.

"Wage increases for the television and radio tier averaging 2.2%
per year over the duration of the 65-month contract, that would
total 12% over the next 45 months (no retroactive increase).

"Wage increases for the local radio members tier averaging 1.48%
per year over the duration of the 65-month contract, that would
total 8% over the next 45 months (no retroactive increase).

"The right to assign non-Guild KFWB-Radio employees to write
and edit at KNX-Radio. The ability to merge or combine Guild shops
with non-Guild units, and in doing so potentially force the Guild
out of those shops."