Monday, May 23, 2011

Article from "The Deal Magazine"

This is a well written story from "The Deal Magazine" about the "C" radio companies and what the future might hold for them. Click: HERE

Media Services Group

Friday, May 20, 2011

Erwin Krasnow: The First Amendment and the Fallacy of the Public's Airwaves

Erwin G. Krasnow recently penned a piece entitled The First Amendment and the Fallacy of the Public's Airwaves. It is worth reading. It also stirred up some great feedback, both pro and con:


Frank Kalil, Kalil & Co – “Every owner of TV and Radio should send $1000 to the Erwin Krasnow Thank You Fund.”

Mark Fowler, former FCC Chairman – “It’s heartening to see your solid advocacy in defense of our beloved First Amendment.”

Ken Robinson, former Chief of Staff to FCC Chairman Al Sikes – “You don’t seriously think any of our Commissioners have (a) heard of Sen. Dill, (b) thought what the statute might say, or (c) let the First Amendment insinuate itself into their logic. Aw, c’mon!” “Always remember what a former FCC Chairman said of some of his colleagues - - “what they don’t know would fill the Anaheim Coliseum.”

Nortex – “Good advocacy by a former lawyer of the National Association of Broadcasters. If adopted, it would eliminate archaic regulations enforced by the FCC. The ‘public ownership’ of the airwaves has been used through the years to justify control of content.”

Musichead1029 – “This eminently rational mission statement is unlikely to be considered, as it would require the government to take actions that would threaten its power base. The FCC is interested in control, not ‘public interest.’ The only time you hear about the ‘public interest’ in the context of government is when a possibly well-meaning but ultimately condescending politician like Newton Minnow or Michael Copps claims to know what the ‘public interest’ is, and how they can implement it if they are just given the power to do so.”

Brick Bats

Marcus Aurelius – “Just sounds like another corporate backed jerk who wants to take all rights away from citizens and have everything controlled by corporations.”

Onthesidelines – “Typical libertarian drivel.”

Len Hart – “KRASNOW’S reasoning is fallacious, a right-wing inspired rationalization, an ex post facto excuse to let huge corporations reap huge profits by lying to us, brainwashing us, and otherwise kissing up to the right wing of which they are a part!”

Bird – “Using his “logic” then no one can own any land because that has been here long before man as well, but then that wouldn’t fit into his randist, capitalist wet dream. What a shithead.”

Josh – “This is absurd.”

Jackass – “Spoken like a true Conservative rat Republican. Smaller government, more control for government taking citizens rights away."

Erwin is a partner in the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer in Washington, DC, and is a former general counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters and the co-author of The Politics of Braodcasting Regulation.

Media Services Group

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

David Oxenford: Getting Ready for License Renewal

A four year cycle of radio and television station license renewals begins on June 1 for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and DC. David Oxenford posted a good article with links to slides and other useful resources. Click HERE.

Media Services Group

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Digital Updates from the 3rd Annual Future of Radio Conference in Hilton Head, SC

Jim Hooker issued a release from his Future of Radio Online Conference with links to several interesting videos. Here is his post:

Today we posted three video presentations from our 3rd annual Future of Radio Conference. For the last two years we have devoted part of our time to having operators talk about the digital efforts they are making in their local markets. This year Tom Davis from Davis Media in Williamsburg/Yorktown, VA, J Chapman from Maverick Media in Rockford, IL and Jim Brewer Sr. from Brewer Media in Chattanooga, TN, told us about their unique digital efforts.

Tom Davis talked about the way they have integrated their digital newspaper with their radio stations. He described the effort this way: “We believe the winners will transform from broadcasters to local media companies, driving visitors to digital platforms using the power of radio and generating more revenues on both as a result. The process is called Local Convergence. The model is called the Hometown Driver, and it works with any well-targeted digital platform. The result is more time spent connected rather than just TSL.”

J Chapman explained how they fulfill their mission of being “our customer’s best marketing partner.” He talked about the digital opportunity as Maverick Media sees it, and detailed the technology they are using to serve their customer. He said that while they are doing 8% of their revenue in pure digital, not exchanged for radio dollars, they expect it to grow significantly in the future. The key is to keep focused on the customer’s needs to take advantage of the digital opportunities in their market.

Jim Brewer Sr. discussed how they have created many “dot coms” to exploit opportunities in Chattanooga. He outlined the full array of digital offerings focused on needs in the community., and are just two examples. Jim was quite candid about both the successes and the challenges they have faced with all of their varied digital assets.

You will find each presentation packed with street level evidence of success in broadening the radio business into the multi platform world of digital.

Go to Future of Radio Online then click on the name of the presenter to access their video. After you have viewed these presentations, please give us feedback on their usefulness.

Media Services Group

Friday, May 6, 2011

Atlantic City bankruptcy sale marks improved trading marketplace

As you may have seen reported in the trade press this morning, we just concluded the chapter 11 bankruptcy sale of Atlantic Broadcasting’s five radio stations in Atlantic City, NJ. This was a fascinating transaction from the standpoint of the speed to completion as well as the results. And I think that it speaks to the increasing health (and improving pricing) of the station trading marketplace.

After our engagement was approved by the bankruptcy court in mid-January, we opened our online data room in early February with instructions from our client to move the transaction along swiftly. Since this was a bankruptcy sale, it was publicily known (and widely followed in the trades). Over the ensuing weeks, we generated a lot of interest in the properties; ultimately we had around 40 signed non-disclosure agreements. Each of those parties received access to the data room.

A “stalking horse” buyer was selected by our client with a proposed purchase price of $3 million. If no competing bids had been received, the stalking horse would have purchased the properties for that amount. If they were over-bid (as happened), they proposed to receive a break-up fee (which the judge approved yesterday). Ultimately, our client qualified five bidders to participate in an auction. The auction took place on Wednesday.

Bidding at the auction was robust, and in the end, a local group prevailed (Longport Media, headed by attorney George Miller). The ultimate price was $4.2 million. Yesterday, the sale was approved by the bankruptcy court in Camden, NJ.

Bottom line: we were able to complete the sale from start to finish in roughly 90 days. Pricing was in line with our predictions and everyone involved in the process was pleased. The stations will go to new local ownership and should prosper. I do not think that these results could have been achieved a year ago; things have definitely improved in the marketplace.

The sale is subject to FCC approval. Congratulations to my partner Tom McKinley for a job well done.

Media Services Group