Wednesday, January 31, 2007

KBRJ, Anchorage Gets The Kind Of Ink You Can't Buy


"63 miles every day, roughly 4,500 pieces of flat mail six days a week and 104.5 on the radio!"

Keith Urban Appears On Saturday Night Live On 2/10


I recall that the last country star to appear on SNL was Garth Brooks back in 1999, so this is very, very big.
Here's today's press release:
Grammy Award winner Keith Urban and Oscar Nominee/SAG Award Winner Forest Whitaker are set for Saturday Night Live, February 10th. Both will be celebrating their first appearances on the groundbreaking program.

Urban, who has amassed seven No. 1 singles and 12 Top 5's, is slated to perform two songs. His latest album, "Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart, giving him his second consecutive No.1 album. The first single from the album "Once In A Lifetime," set a record as the highest debuting song in the history of the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart and his latest, "Stupid Boy," recently entered the Top 10. It was not known at press-time whether he was to appear in an acting role.

One of the most accomplished actors/directors/producers working today, Forest Whitaker is having a banner year. For his work as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland," he has received practically every critic's award: a Golden Globe and SAG award as Best Actor and has been nominated for an Oscar for the role.

Whitaker, a veteran of numerous films since his debut at 21 in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," has appeared in such diverse studio and indie movies as "Panic Room," Clint Eastwood's "Bird," "The Crying Game,"
"Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," "Smoke," and "Good Morning, Vietnam." He's also directed the features "Waiting To Exhale" and "Hope Floats," and served as producer on countless other productions,
including the award-winning telefilm "Door To Door." In addition, he has delivered critically acclaimed turns on the Emmy-winning TV dramas "The Shield" and most recently NBC's "ER."

For more information:
Marc Liepis for SNL/NBC
Paul Freundlich for Keith Urban/PFA

$$$uper Bowl Hangover, But Save Some For Valentine's Day Too

It costs employers $162 million for every 10 minutes workers spend:
* chatting about the Super Bowl
* checking the Internet about the Super Bowl
* planning who is going to buy the beer for the Super Bowl.

..So reports outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The company also says 6% of workers nationwide take the day off after the Super Bowl.

PS: Countdown To Cupid: Valentine's Day Spending To Grow 20%
Sarah Mahoney reports the average consumer will shell out $119.67 this year to celebrate Valentine's Day. Marketers are ready with ideas for young and old. - Read the whole story...

KUPL's "Bowling With Bubba" Raises $10,000.. That's A Lot Of Pins




CBS RADIO/KUPL, Portland PD John Paul reports that they recently raised over $10,000 in their fifth annual BOWLING WITH BUBBA charity event for SHRINER's HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN, featuring BBR artist CRAIG MORGAN performed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

20 Years of Superbowls Yielded 1400 Commercials and 1.72 Billion Ad Dollars


According to TNS Media Intelligence, advertising during the Super Bowl game has accounted for 682 minutes, over 11 full hours, of commercial time throughout the past 20 years (1987-2006). Those 11 hours represent 221 different advertisers, more than 1,400 commercial announcements and translate into $1.72 billion of network advertising sales.

The top five Super Bowl advertisers of the past 20 years have spent $613.4 million on advertising during the game, accounting for 35 percent of total advertising dollars spent in the game.

Alyssa Lies Charts Top 10


Jason Michael Carroll tells Country Forever's Neil Haislop that every new success that song makes, makes him feel more vindicated that he held his ground when there was pressure for him to rewrite the song.
"They did. A couple people came to me and said, 'We wantyou to get with this writer, or that writer, and just try to fix it a littlebit.' And, it was exactly as it is today what everybody is listening to onthe radio." Jason Michael says he figures the reason for their concern was that the song was dark, without a happy ending. "So, finally I agreed to do it with one writer that I respected and I remember going into that session and five minutes before were to set down and start writing I said, 'Man I can't do this. This song is very important to me and it is what it is for a reason, I can't explain why but I don't think we need to touch it. I told him where I was coming from when I wrote it and he said, 'You know, I think you're right, we should just leave it alone."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Keith Urban Gets Award Down Under, EMI Rep Accepts It

Radio New Zealand reports New Zealand-born country music singer Keith Urban has won an award for outstanding achievement. He has been honoured at a ceremony in Tamworth, in New South Wales, by the Country Music Association of Australia.

Urban, who was born in Whangarei and raised in Australia, recently announced that he had completed an alcohol rehabilitation programme in the United States. He is planning a tour to promote his new album.
The award was collected last night by a representative of his record company, EMI.

Other Aussie country music awards are detailed by the Sydney Morning Herald today: "Kernaghan the king of country music ... and Beccy's the queen"

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Valuing Core Listeners' Core Values


Eric Corwin at Impact Target Marketing asked A&O to submit an article for his new "Radio Muse Letter" e-zine, showing that he gets the concept that our article was all about: what you do says more about your service than what you say you do.
Many thanks to Eric and Impact for providing us some of their space to express our viewpoint and be a part of his e-community!

Billboard's Ken Tucker Hits Reuters With Country/Hispanics CRS Study Preview



"That just isn't the way it works," Warner Bros. Nashville chief Bill Bennett says. "If you find someone with real quality music, you don't care what ethnic background they're from. We have Cowboy Troy and Rick Trevino, but not because they're ethnic. We have them because they make great songs."

WKIS, Miami PD Bob Barnett sees things differently.
"I think the degree of difficulty in marketing a black or Hispanic or Latin artist to country radio may initially be too unfamiliar and too overwhelming for most on Music Row. The labels are more likely to choose the path of least resistance, but there may be an opportunity for a renegade independent label to take that risk. The potential payoff could be huge, but obviously not without great challenge."

Friday, January 26, 2007

New Keith Urban Tour '07 Dates



The first leg of his "Love, Pain & the whole crazy World Tour," takes to North American soil on Friday, June 8th when the tour hits Phoenix, Arizona's US Airways Center. The 33-city, 36-performance arena tour promises Urban's trademark electrifying concerts combined with world-class production for a show that will feature the hits from his recent multi-platinum release, "Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing," as well as many of the #1's which have defined his career.

Tickets for "Love, Pain & the whole crazy World Tour" are set to begin to go on-sale to the public on Saturday, February 3rd. Members of Keith's online community, Monkeyville will have first access to advance tickets through keithurban.net beginning on Monday, January 29th. Retail giant Target, in most tour markets, and country radio listener clubs in all markets, will offer advance ticket access as of Tuesday, January 30th. For more information on specific concert dates and on pre-sale offers go to www.keithurban.net.

"I'm looking forward to getting back on the road, to reconnecting with everyone and to doing what it is that I love to do," said Urban. "To finally be able to present the songs from "Love, Pain (& the whole crazy thing) live, is something that I've been looking forward to doing since recording the album."

Urban's "Love, Pain & the whole World Tour" will feature the songs that have made Keith one of the industry's most respected musicians. Sure to be included in the show, along with some surprises, will be the #1's: "Better Life," "Days Go By," "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me," "You'll Think of Me," as well as the record breaking songs "Somebody Like You" and "Once In A Lifetime." The music is sure to be what will highlight another in a line of critically acclaimed Urban concert experiences.

"Love, Pain & the whole crazy World Tour," will also mark Keith's first arena performances in his native Australia, as well as concerts in Germany, England and Canada. In what has been a relatively short period of time Urban has amassed 7 #1 singles, 12 Top 5's and has firmly established himself as an electrifying and prolific talent. He's received accolades and recognition from The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards (AMAs), The Billboard Music Awards and is the 2005 Country Music Association (CMA) Entertainer of the Year, as well as the CMA and Academy of Country Music (ACM) Male Vocalist of the Year.

I'm Still Here. How About You? Next Year?


Have you re-read What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles? Lately? I go through it and Bolles' great website JobHuntersBible.com at least once a year. I tell everyone I talk to about it because in these times it's key to do an ongoing skills inventory to be sure that the abilities which served you so well LAST year are still in demand next year.


Then, comes this press release today from outplacement tracking firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas:
The number of planned job cuts in the U.S. media sector surged 88% last year. .For all of 2006, the media industry announced 17,809 job cuts, up from the 9,453 cuts announced in 2005. The trend is expected to continue this year, according to John Challenger, CEO of the firm: "Already this year we have seen job cuts announced by Time Inc and the New York Times Company. These organizations will continue to make adjustments as their focus shifts from print to electronic." As readers spend more time on the Web, advertisers are not far behind in moving their marketing budgets online. While most companies in the industry are building up their Internet sites and distribution to capture the growth, that has yet to offset weakness at their mainstay print or broadcast businesses. For the first half of this month, there have been more than 2,000 planned job cuts already announced. Since the beginning of 2007, Time Inc. said it would cut 289 jobs and The New York Times announced plans to shed 125 jobs and close foreign bureaus for its Boston Globe newspaper. NBC Universal announced late last year a 750 million cost cutting move in its NBC2.0 overhaul, cutting nearly 700 jobs. "Until they can figure out a way to make as much money from their online services as they are losing from the print side, it is going to be an uphill battle," said Challenger.

You KNOW that the 'growth' part of the radio business is online, podcasts and in HD channels, yet you tell yourself that there's no time to develop compelling content-driven programming for the new media side of our business due to the time demands of your current responsibilities. I feel for you, because I feel the same way at times.


It's time to rethink your priorities! We're in a great business - the audio entertainment business (NOT the radio business!). The platforms you can perform on are multiplying. It's either a problem or an opportunity, depending on how you deal with it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

ARB's Syracuse Surprise


I suppose it would be wise not to comment on things I don't fully understand or have any knowledge beyond what has been publicly reported, especially since our A&O Clear Channel/Syracuse pals at WBBS have another great #1 book and a nice 12.2-11.7-11.2-12.4 12+ trend and their best book in a year to celebrate, but heck voicing my opinion based on news reports and gossip has never stopped me up to now, so why should I start being "fair and balanced" today??

In November, the meteoric and sometimes opinionated Ed Levine of Galaxy Communications reportedly resigned from the Arbitron Affiliates Advisory Council, charging that ARB had an arrogant attitude. Within just a few weeks, at the ARB Consultants' Fly-In, the company's CEO Steve Morris said he failed to understand why Levine would say such a thing.

Now, from Inside Radio's Tom Taylor comes this report:
"Is this Arbitron’s punishment in Syracuse? It’s a selective embargo for non-subscribers.“Selective embargo” is our term for Arbitron’s startling new policy — but some radio operators may have more colorful language when they see some stations missing. Galaxy CEO Ed Levine — who publicly deserted Arbitron for Eastlan in early December — tells Inside Radio “The merging of Arbitron’s business interest with their research data is troubling and potentially explosive, with far-reaching results.” He says the partial numbers are misleading to the public. And from what we can tell the set of numbers Arbitron released to the press doesn’t indicate that some stations have been deleted. Interestingly — Arbitron does list the Galaxy outlets in another market (Albany). But not the Galaxy-owned stations in Syracuse such as classic rock WTKW (a 6.9 share 12+in the Summer book), “K-Rock” WKRL (a 4.2) and “Classic Country” WSCP (a 1.8). Here’s what Arbitron tells us — “This is a new policy for the trade press. It applies to two other markets besides Syracuse — Lincoln, NE and Burlington-Plattsburgh, NY.” They’ll be released in a couple of days — but minus some of the usual call letters. “Only subscribers get to see the Arbitron numbers” in Syracuse and two other markets. Yep, that’s the new policy — and the company tells us “This was an Arbitron decision. We did not consult with the Advisory Council on this matter.” If it sticks — watch the next moves of Galaxy CEO Ed Levine. In less than two months he’s gone from being a subscriber and the holder of a seat on the Advisory Council to an ex-subscriber whose Syracuse ratings can only be seen by subscribers at the station and agency level. He tells Inside Radio“This should be a wakeup call to the entire radio industry. Arbitron is not primarily a research company, they are a sales organization.” As for the delisting — “Today it is a non-subscriber in Syracuse. Tomorrow it may be anon-encoder in New York. This industry needs an alternative.” Arbitron’s occasionally embargoed entire markets. But this is different. In addition to watching Levine you should stay tuned to the Radio Advisory Council. This isn’tjust about some numbers on a page — it’s dollars and billing."

Replacing Levine on the AAAC is our longtime friend and trusted ally Michael Osterhout, the COO of Morris Radio Group. We could not have a better advocate. And, judging from ARB's reported stance in the above action and response, we absolutely need a great one a whole lot right now! If anyone has the courage to tell truth to power at ARB, I know that Osterhout is our guy.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

George Jones University



Billed as a no-nonsense, straight - ahead institution dedicated to teaching students the basics of how the music industry works and how aspiring applicants can deal with the challenge of breaking into the business, George Jones University will assemble its first 3-day instruction session in late March. The school will convene each quarter of the year thereafter and will have a 5th comprehensive reunion of students to celebrate and receive diplomas plus share music with each other.

For updated information as it develops, contact Tandy Rice - 615-329-4345 or Matthew Wilkes - 615-329-4347 .

Cruising With Kenny Chesney (Last Year) And, Now, Tim McGraw


Chesney capped a four-night cruise to the Bahamas last winter that included a private, beach-side performance by Chesney, Dierks Bentley and "Big Kenny" Alphin of Big & Rich).

This year, Tim McGraw (will board a cruise ship in Nassau where he'll perform two shows and do a Q&A with passengers).


"It's the ultimate VIP ticket. Anyone with a dedicated, loyal fan base is fair game for this." -- Ray Waddell, who covers the concert industry for Billboard magazine.

What's different now is that top-shelf acts are hopping aboard. Besides McGraw and Chesney, the Dave Matthews Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sammy Hagar and the Barenaked Ladies all have set sail recently. The artists get a guaranteed take, and a cruise to boot.

"It's a low-pressure gig. I'm used to doing a big production. To do some small intimate shows is appealing. "We'll talk back and forth, maybe throw a request out every now and then." -- Tim McGraw

While McGraw declined to divulge how much he will make from the cruise, he said it's comparable to what he'd make for an arena concert. He'll bring his band with him and try out some new songs. Industry experts say the trend is driven by concert promoters, who are attracted to a new niche market: hardcore fanswilling to shell out for a vacation package built around their favorite musical acts. For the
Country Cruise Getaway with McGraw, Live Nation, one of the country's largest promoters, chartered the 2,974-passenger Carnival Liberty. The three-night cruise departs Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 28, and also features Little Big Town, Cagle, Jamie O' Neil, the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Jypsi and the Nashville Hitmakers. Tickets start about $1,100 per person and top out at $2,100.

"It's still on a small scale because chartering a ship takes a lot of moxieand money. You have to have a big name to get top dollar for tickets and draw people." -- Jay Shapiro, owner of Five Star Travel in Fort Lauderdale and a member of the Cruise Line International Association

The cruises come at an unsteady time for the concert business. Attendance was up 14 percent last year, but that followed years of decline, including a 3.8 percent decrease in 2005. Billboard writer Waddell said concert cruises are yet another way promoters are tapping the discretionary income of hardcore fans.
"Fan club entry, special merchandise and ticket deals, all these things they do to capture the really hardcore,super-dedicated fan has increased a lot and these cruises are an extension of that."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Darryl Worley To Perform At AFC Championship Game


Worley will perform two of his hit songs during the “Salute to the Troops” halftime show at this Sunday’s AFC Championship game at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots. Kickoff is at 6:30 PM EST.

100 troops, representatives from each branch of the military, will join Worley on the field as he sings his current hit radio single, “I Just Came Back (from a War),” and “Have You Forgotten?” “I Just Came Back (from a War),” currently Top 15 and quickly climbing, is striking an emotional chord across the country and garnering national media attention with its message of compassion and understanding. The song was inspired by a Marine that Worley met who was having a difficult time adjusting to life back home after being at battle.

Greg Gillispie in FMQB: Great Advice For Turbulent Times


"There are so many ifs, ands, and buts. We are our own best competition is the best way to operate. Rather than focusing on what anyone else is doing, why not look inside and do the best you can do."

"Today society is consumed with complex technologies; yet desires simplicity. Robbie Blinkoff, managing partner of Context-Based Research Group has coined the term, “simplexity.”"

"Faith Popcorn says, “Personalized media technologies are spawning a ‘networked self,’ which will shape society at large.” The industry must know society is regaining control of its life. People know what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. Rather than being consumed with consuming properties, the industry needs to be consumed with its consumers."

"Approaching ownership from a small business perspective creates a stronger bond with and allows more free movement in serving the community. The hope is owners, be they new, revitalized, or existing, take this approach in many markets that have been neglected or operated as a small piece of a monstrous puzzle. The good news is smaller companies are widening the performance gap with bigger companies in small to mid-size markets. Analysts indicate increased Wall St. attention. The bad news is the cost of acquiring platforms in these markets could have the same effect as restructuring."

I worked with Greg back in the Burkhart-Douglas 1980's and at Jacor in the mid-1990's and then again at McVay Media in late 1990's, so when his byline shows up, I get to readin'. You should too. (click for some great intelligence and insight!)

CBS Radio's Winter Group Contest - Plasma TV


The Y108 website says the Pittsburgh station "has teamed up with CBS Radio stations across the country to give you a chance to win a 42" Panasonic Plasma HDTV 10 times a day! Just listen between 8am and 8pm for the cue to call and be the 110th nationwide caller at 1-866-EASY-WIN, 1-866-327-9946!"

Listeners Blame Both The Contestant And The Station

What to do in the wake of the terrible Jennifer Strange/Entercom-Sacramento tragedy?

For the majority of us - the bystanders and witnesses, fortunately the answer is of course to have sympathy for all involved and resolve now to learn from the incident.

* A Sacremento TV station's web poll show that only one in four people feel like the safety of promotions is the contestant's responsibility...
* A "MAC" forum's users wonder why the station didn't have medical attention for all contestants...

Sure, I've done stunts, and I am sure you have too, so there's more than a little bit of "there but for the Grace of God go I" in my mind as I read these accounts and reactions.

Let's add one more resolution to our list for '007: as we all plan and organize stunts it's mandatory to get legal advice in advance, liability insurance riders of course, but even more importantly think through all of the potential risks, understanding that the only good stunt is one which resonates with the values of the target listener. Safety and security is paramount.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Inside Radio's Mike Kinosian Scoops Me On Country's Hispanic Challenge

When I saw that A&O's longtime friends Charlie Cook, Programming VP of Cumulus, and Edison Research's Larry Rosin were undertaking a study of Hispanics and the country format to be presented at this year's CRS in Nashville, I noted it on this blog in a line or two and mentioned that I thought country's narrative storylines would probably prove to be a strong suit, but the format would need to enlarge its perspective beyond a few hundred miles around Music City and left it at that.

I am asking myself now, "Why didn't I call Charlie? Why didn't I interview Larry?" And, the answer HAS to be: because I could not have done a better job of it - including a terrific analysis of country station share trends - than Mike just did.

Before you go to CRS in Nashville, click here and print his report out. It's simply terrific, worth thinking about in light of the CRS '07 research project to come.

..The ONLY thing I don't like about it is that I regret that I didn't do it! And, on top of that, if I had done it, it could not have been any more thorough and objective than Mike's is!

Props (!!!) to Inside Radio and Mike Kinosian.

Dierks Bentley's Amazing Use Of Video

Knowing that almost nine out of ten country album sales have historically been driven by radio airplay, I have always wondered why artists spend the big bucks it takes to produce country videos, given the still quite small penetration and average quarter hour audiences of the two country video channels, especially now that CMT is doing more longer-form shows.

Dierks Bentley just gave me a lesson in '007 media, with his highly anticipated video for current single "Long Trip Alone" which doesn't even world premiere on cable until TODAY, (January 18th) on CMT's Top 20 Countdown at 4:00pm ET. The video, which will take your breath away and is certain to win creative awards, was filmed in Mexico City at the end of December. Neil Haislop reports that it has already created unprecedented online buzz among fans, making me wonder what YOU are doing to use online video to drive hits to your website:
"When the video was posted online (click to watch it) exclusively for Bentley's fan club last week, the average number of daily hits to the site skyrocketed from 100,000 to over 990,000 in just 24 hours."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bridge's Dave Van Dyke: Interest In HDRadio Is "Lethargic"

"In June of 2006, Bridge Ratings conducted a study of radio consumers to gauge their awareness of, and interest in. HD Radio. At that time, 62% of the sample were aware of the term "HD Radio". In our just-released study, that number has increased to 72%! Good news, yes? Not when you look at other aspects of the study such as their interest to own an HD Radio.

"When you get a moment, visit our
website to view this latest study which suggests that while millions have been spent to market HD Radio, interest levels continue to be lethargic. Bridge Ratings has reduced our full year projections for the number of HD Radios sold this year and through 2010." -- Dave Van Dyke

I wonder when...

1. We really do set some under 25 year olds loose to build some truly innovative programming for the side channels that will interest the Millenials?

2. We get serious about branding these channels and make them something more than 94.1-2, 94.1.3, etc?

3. We'll realize that satellite is spending millions of real money in all media for product placement and brand advertising and just running space available ads on terrestial radio won't compete?

Or, will we ever do at least one or two of these things? If not, we're in for a long, slow build.

Kagan: 1,100 HD Radio Stations Today, 2,800 By 2011

The broadcast financial analyst's Radio Financial Data Package (Seventh Edition) is hot off the press and offers industry insiders and analysts "financial and deal perspective," as well as Kagan's 10-year trend forecasts for what they term "this transitioning sector" of the media business.

Key Findings Include:

National ad sales figures for 2005 fell 2% and local grew 1% for a total of $20.1 bil. Non-spot revenues were down 1% from last year to $1.38 bil. Kagan projects 1.4% growth in radio ad revenues for 2006.

Spanish language broadcasters saw their shares fall for a second consecutive year, down 13.6% in 2005 vs. a decline of 22.2% in 2004.

Between 2005 and 2010, Kagan expects radio station revenues in rated markets to grow at a compound annual rate of 3.3%, with total market revenues (rated and non-rated markets) growing at 3.2%.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sammy Kershaw And A Chick Flick

You have to take your hat off to Webster & Associates Public Relations' Kirt Webster ( 615-777-6995), who knows how to leverage a fun TV spot into ink with a quick press release:

SAMMY KERSHAW AND JOHN STONE TALK ABOUT CHICK’S

Women’s Entertainment Network’s “3 Men And A Chick Flick” will feature country music singer’s SAMMY KERSHAW and JOHN STONE offering commentary on the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on January 20th at 8 PM ET and again at 12 PM ET.

Both Kershaw and Stone had a few things to say during the breaks about the movie, women, and being in the music business.

“Watching Coal Miner’s Daughter is a reminder to me of what female artists must go through in order to make it in the business,” Kershaw commented during the show. “Especially before artists like Loretta Lynn paved the way.”

“It was a pleasure for me to be part of “3 Men And A Chick Flick,” says Stone. “If I have to watch a “chick flick,” what better one than Coal Miner’s Daughter? I do and always have loved Loretta Lynn, and so does my Mamma!”

Kershaw is familiar with offering commentary on chicks. His new video “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” is a perfect example of that.

Are you sending press releases out to local media on your events?

Football Is Still #1 In Popularity, But Drops Slightly

Professional football continues to be the most popular sport among U.S. adults who follow more than one sport, although its popularity has dropped slightly from 2005’s high. In 2006, twenty-nine percent of adults who follow more than one sport say pro football is their favorite, down four percentage points from 2005’s thirty-three percent. Baseball remains unchanged at 14 percent, with college football coming neck-in-neck again (13%, unchanged from 2005) and auto racing, which is down two points at nine percent. Professional basketball has increased by three percentage points, with seven percent of adults who follow more than one sport saying it is their favorite.

These are the results of a nationwide Harris Interactive® survey conducted online between December 12 and 18, 2006 among 2,309 U.S. adults, of whom 1,219 follow more than one sport.

Rodney Atkins Scores His 2nd Consecutive #1

NEIL HAISLOP'S NASHVILLE IQ © REPORTS..

Rodney Atkins' "Watching You," is a tribute to his 5-year-old son, Elijah.
"I couldn't be more proud to have this song I wrote about me and my son go Number one," said Atkins. " I'm blessed with an incredible family and with the success we're having, the support of country radio and the fans - these are the best days of my life."

Elijah is also featured with Rodney in the video for the song, which currently also sits at No. 1 on the CMT Top 20 Countdown.
Meanwhile, the album,which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country albums chart and No. 3 on the all-genre Top 200, continues its strong sales, remaining in Billboard'stop 5.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Soul 2 Soul II is now ranked by Pollstar as the number 12 Top Grossing Tour of All Time in North America. The only acts to beat them out are the Rolling Stones, US, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney and Barbara Streisand.
"This is unbelievable," said McGraw, fresh off completion of his new studio album 'Let It Go.'" "It's not why we tour, but it's a compliment to each and everyone who helped make this show work night after night."

The tour now ranks in front of such acts as Prince, 'Nsync, Madonna, Tina Turner and the Eagles.

With scans of over 1.5 million units in 2006, Josh Turner's YOUR MAN has earned him a spot on the Top 5 Best-Selling Country Albums Of The Year list in Billboard. Turner joins a group of country superstars in the Top 5 including Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, the Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw. Turner outsold two of his personal heroes, icon Johnny Cash and living legend Alan Jackson, along with country giants Toby Keith and Keith Urban who rounded out the Top 10.

Dierks Bentley will put the brakes on his arena tour, shedding 3 semi trucks, 2 buses, lighting rig and dozens of extra crew, to meet up with buddies Cross Canadian Ragweed for their third annual HIGH TIMES AND HANGOVERS tour in February. The nine city run throughout the Midwest and Southeast will stop in small bars and clubs with capacities ranging from 500 to 900.
"My business manager is referring to this tour as the 'how much fun can we have and how much money can we lose tour!'" joked Bentley. "Its definitely all about the music and good times. Our set will be stacked with mostly old country cover songs and a few of our hits. Staying true to the tour's name, I'm sure we'll be playing old Cash and Waylon songs well into the early morning."

Upcoming stops on the HIGH TIMES AND HANGOVERS tour include:
2/1 - Chicago, IL - Joe's Sports Bar
2/2 - South Bend, IN - Legends at Notre Dame
2/3 - Carbondale, IL - Copper Dragon
2/5 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
2/6 - Auburn AL - War Eagle Supper Club
2/7 - Albany, GA - State Theatre
2/8 - Milledgeville - Capitol City
2/9 - Statesboro, GA - Legends

Monday, January 15, 2007

Is 2007 Going To Be The Final Year Radio Outbills The Internet?


According to the full-year forecast released today by TNS Media Intelligence, total U.S. advertising spending is expected to increase 2.6 percent in 2007 to $153.7 billion. This anticipated gain is the smallest since the media economy emerged from its 2001 recession and follows estimated advertising spending growth of 3.8 percent in 2006. Advertising expenditures are forecast to increase by just 2.1 percent in the first half of 2007, continues the report, followed by a gain of 3.2 percent in the second half, paralleling an expected late year uptick in overall economic activity.
Radio will get 7.4% of the 2007 ad spend, if these estimates are correct, while internet display advertising will grab 6.5% of the pie.

WIL, St. Louis "Matches Your Paycheck"



Cornbread's Match Your Paycheck Contest, just in time for Holiday bills:

NASCAR, Country Stars Raise Money


(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) NASCAR driver Kyle Petty signs autographs at the Sound & Speed in Music City event in Nashville, Tenn., last Friday (Jan. 12, 2007). The event features two days of auctions, autographs, race cars and concerts with drivers and singers to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
NASCAR + Country Music = HAPPY NEWS. (click for the entire story)

When I See Willie Nelson On PBS, I Expect It To Be On Austin City Limits, NOT "NOW"


Can America grow its way out of its dependence on foreign oil? Country music legend Willie Nelson thinks so, and has a new twist on a 100 year-old idea that just may get us there. (click to watch the video, which also features our old friend and Texas trucking radio legend Bill Mack as well).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Blu-Ray Players Are HOT, Rosie And The Donald Are NOT


Executive Briefing: Perhaps all the good little boys and girls didn’t get that big-ticket item for Christmas that they were hoping for…while purchase intentions for most high-dollar durables declined from December, they improved from January ’06 for autos, computers, furniture, home appliances, jewelry/watch, major home improvements, stereos, TVs, digital cameras, and vacation travel…housing down slightly, DVD/VCR flat.

Many may have to wait until the prices come down, but Blu-Ray players and DVDs are what’s hot this month…consumers are also eating up Verizon’s LG Chocolate Phone (particularly the under 35 set) and are eager to see Dreamgirls (especially those 35+), while women are getting a kick out of knee-high boots.

What’s Not? It’s the battle of the biggest loser, as Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump tank this month. Perhaps both will hear “you’re fired” very soon…

Buckaroo Doyle Holly Enters Hospice; Stonewall Sues Opry

DOYLE HOLLY (69), who picked bass with the BUCK OWENS Buckaroos during its big years has checked into a Nashville hospice with what is termed as end-stage prostate cancer. DOYLE's wife of 37 years, GINNY, said, Looks like it's got him this time. GINNY mentioned that DOYLE was hospitalized on December 17, 2006 and was admitted to the hospice on January 9, 2007.

Born in Oklahoma, HOLLY spent his adult years working in the oil fields of OK, KS and CA. DOYLE joined BUCK's band in 1963 and remained until 1971. The Buckaroos scored more than 30 singles in the Country Top 40 charts with half of them at #1. Remember the tunes: Act Naturally (covered by the BEATLES), Cryin' Time (covered by RAY CHARLES) and I've Got A Tiger By the Tail? Just too many hits to mention here.

WILLIE CANTU, former Buckaroo drummer, who also lives in the Nashville area, said he last saw DOYLE in December when HOLLY walked into the Nashville club where CANTU was playing. WILLIE said that DOYLE came to the club with his brother, He stayed for one song and left. I guess he was just looking things over one last time.

DON RICH, who had the fantastic guitar sound which helped made BUCK OWENS so famous, died in a motorcycle accident in 1974. TOM BRUMLEY now lives in MO. BUCK, who had his first hit in 1959, died in March 2006 at 76.

Some of HOLLY's friends had DOYLE HOLLY Day with live music at Trout's on Sunday. Organizers accepted donations to help the HOLLY family deal with the overwhelming medical expenses. Our hearts, minds and prayers go out to DOYLE HOLLY, his wife GINNY and the HOLLY family in this time of travail.

STONEWALL JACKSON SUES GRAND OLD OPRY

Opry General Manager, PETE FISHER, and the Opry's owner, Gaylord Entertainment, have been sued for $10 million by STONEWALL JACKSON who's been a Grand Ole Opry member for 50 years. On Thursday, January, 11, 2007, 74 year old STONEWALL filed papers to sue the Opry for age discrimination, breach of contract and retaliation because the number of his appearances on the show declined significantly after PETE was hired in 1998.

The lawsuit says that FISHER wants to feature younger artists on the Opry and that PETE told STONEWALL that he was too old and too Country. STEVE BUCHANAN, VP of media and entertainment at the Opry, told the Tennessean, Nashville's daily newspaper, The allegations of age discrimination are without merit, as evidenced by our lineups in each and every show. The Opry strives to appeal to all generations of fans.

STONEWALL JACKSON became an Opry member in 1956 and later had several Top 10 hits, which include two #1 singles, Waterloo (1959) and B.J. the D.J. (1963). Guitarist JIMMY SPIDER WILSON (71), a 53-year veteran of the Opry's house band, resigned from the show in November 2006 after being excluded from televised segments of the Grand Ole Opry.


-- JIM ROSE

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"The Wind Beneath Your Golf Cart"


I love Lee Ann Womack's personal blog. She's a great storyteller, as this (her latest post) proves..

Se Habla? Verstehen Sie? Est-ce que vous comprenez ce que je veux dire?

When it comes to country music, the answer is often "NO." While it's nice to see the dialog begin on why country music has to be so narrow, as if we all lived within 250 miles of Nashville, I see it this way: it's a tribute to the open attitudes of the rest of the world and the quality and talent of the writers, singers, musicians and producers in Music City that it does as well as it does internationally. In order to do what it would take to do even better outside the red states, will country change so much that today's core won't like it as much due to their provincialism? It's always been a sad statement to me that Paul Brandt can record a great song about "Small Towns, Big Dreams" in Alberta and it gets no attention outside Canada. Why? In order for Canadians like Terri Clark, Emerson Drive and Carolyn Dawn Johnson to be successful in America's heartland, they have had to adopt southern-sounding accents and sing about driving across Georgia, rather than Manitoba. Hopefully the Edison/CRB research project at this year's CRS will find a way to communicate to the very conservative base while broadening it .. for the future good of all of us!

Nashville's Tennessean documents it in today's paper:
"The United States wasn't the only place where Rascal Flatts sold lots of albums in 2006. The trio also made a respectable showing in Japan after simultaneously releasing four albums there last year, throwing some sales competition into a region whose fledgling country music tastes have long favored bluegrass.In China meanwhile, a growing pocket of country music fans tend to prefer Alison Krauss over Alan Jackson, according to the host of a country music TV show in Shanghai. Elsewhere in the country, some audiences enjoy the Nashville sound simply because it gives them an excuse to throw on a pair of chaps and a cowboy hat — like characters in Brokeback Mountain, which became a hit film in many parts of China. Unfortunately for Music Row, these kinds of anecdotes appear to be just that, and they don't necessarily point to a larger sales trend. While country music captured nearly 13 percent of the U.S. market in 2006 — the largest share of total domestic album sales the category has seen in nearly a decade — that success has failed to translate in foreign markets."
-- Reporter Ryan Underwood

Do You Want To Set Aside Time To Play "Independent" Music?

The Hollywood Reporter claims in today's editions that the FCC is considering just such a thing as they prepare to issue guidelines following their "payola" investigation. (click to read the story)

If this goes through it will be a tribute to politics over good sense and a reminder of how passive most broadcasters are when it comes to giving reasoned arguments to our regulators.

Cox Is Pro-Radio And Explains WHY


Click to read:
Cox Radio is the largest pure-play radio company in the country, and that's a position the company plans on keeping, and advancing.


Because we don't have to worry about other media – cable, newspapers, etc., – our operations have one strategic philosophy: provide a good environment for radio advertisers to reach involved, loyal radio listeners. Across all our stations we are true to providing an excellent, consistent product that reflects our commitment to 1) limit the number of advertisements in a given time period and 2) provide a first-rate product on a technical basis. Cox advertisers are guaranteed that same product at every one of our stations. - Dick FergusonExecutive Vice President

Some today might call that philosophy quaint and old fashioned, but of course Cox Communications is in many other media businesses, so I'd say you have to admire the fact that their radio group heads are focused on their knitting, first and foremost.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Stagecoach Fest I: George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Sugarland and Willie Nelson


The lineup is set for the inaugural Stagecoach festival, which will be held May 5-6 at Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif., the site of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival the prior weekend.

The new event will sport four performance stages: the main stage, an alt-country stage, a bluegrass stage and a "storytelling" area, the latter of which will feature appearances by "Prairie Home Companion" creator Garrison Keillor and Texas poet laureate Red Steagall. Tickets go on sale Jan. 20.

Want 18-24? Let Them Help Create Your Content, Make Them Feel Rich And Famous


"When you open a celebrity magazine, it's all about the money and being rich and famous," says 22-year-old Cameron Johnson of Blacksburg, Va. "The TV shows we watch — anything from The Apprentice where the intro to the show is the 'money song' — to Us Weekly magazine where you see all the celebrities and their $6 million homes. We see reality TV shows with Jessica and Nick living the life. We see Britney and Paris.
The people we relate to outside our friends are those people."

Eighty-one percent of 18- to 25-year-olds surveyed in a Pew Research Center poll released today said getting rich is their generation's most important or second-most-important life goal; 51% said the same about being famous.
A new generation has come of age, shaped by an unprecedented revolution in technology and dramatic events both at home and abroad. They are Generation Next, the cohort of young adults who have grown up with personal computers, cell phones and the internet and are now taking their place in a world where the only constant is rapid change. In reassuring ways, the generation that came of age in the shadow of Sept. 11 shares the characteristics of other generations of young adults. They are generally happy with their lives and optimistic about their futures. Moreover, Gen Nexters feel that educational and job opportunities are better for them today than for the previous generation. At the same time, many of their attitudes and priorities reflect a limited set of life experiences. Marriage, children and an established career remain in the future for most of those in Generation Next. More than two-thirds see their generation as unique and distinct, yet not all self-evaluations are positive. A majority says that "getting rich" is the main goal of most people in their age group, and large majorities believe that casual sex, binge drinking, illegal drug use and violence are more prevalent among young people today than was the case 20 years ago. In their political outlook, they are the most tolerant of any generation on social issues such as immigration, race and homosexuality. They are also much more likely to identify with the Democratic Party than was the preceding generation of young people, which could reshape politics in the years ahead. Yet the evidence is mixed as to whether the current generation of young Americans will be any more engaged in the nation's civic life than were young people in the past, potentially blunting their political
impact.

* Read the full report at people-press.org
* Gen Y's attitudes differ from parents'

CMT Moves Into Mobile Space With 'Miss America'

In another sign that networks plan to spend 2007 moving aggressively into the mobile space, CMT is making the famed "Miss America" refrain available for download as a ringtone. The country music network is looking to establish itself as a programming trendsetter on the so-called "third screen." - Read the whole story...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

People's Choice Awards (Tonight On TV, Online Community Building Now)

Check this out:

The 33rd ANNUAL PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS, to be broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 9 (9:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, is expanding beyond the annual show and creating a year-round online forum called the People's Choice Community.

The People's Choice Community (http://www.pcavote.com/) is a free online, social community that brings fans closer to the entertainment world by allowing them to interact with other fans, celebrities and entertainment professionals. The site, which will launch the night of the People Choice Awards, will include a variety of features such as online voting, blogging and chatting.

When will there be online voting, blogging and chatting during YOUR show? Could you expand your audience and make more money if you organized it? The learning curve starts tonight during the telecast online for me. How about you? Watching Proctor & Gamble engage their customers is always a productive thing to do.

Is Your Morning Show Starting EARLY Enough?



...NOT if you have Eduardo Sotelo (aka "PiolĂ­n") against you. He's on the air at 4:00 am in Los Angeles, now New York and 20 other markets anchored at Univision's Radio La Nueva 101.9.

What time does your average listener's clock radio buzz? What time does he/she start the drive to work? What time do they turn on their at work radio?

EARLY. (very early!)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Country Music Remains Steady in 2006


Each year
since 2001, the Country Music Association has released a white paper on the current state of the country music business and the 2006 edition is about to be released.

Country Music remained steady in 2006 with a modest 0.5% drop in album sales from 2005, according to figures released Jan. 4, 2007, by Nielsen SoundScan. Total all-genre album sales (CD, CS, LP, Digital Albums) for the entire music industry were down 4.9% from 2005.

"2006 was a year that really showcased the depth of Country Music's diversity across all areas of our business, from record sales to tours, movies to books and outstanding media coverage," said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Operating Officer.

Highlight stats from the CMA press release:

Overall the number of Country albums sold in 2006 was 74.9 million down slightly from 75.3 million in 2005. The total number of all-genre albums sold in 2006 was 588.2 million, down from 618.9 million in 2005.

Country Music placed five artists in the Top Ten Selling Artists of the year, regardless of genre: Rascal Flatts (No. 1); Johnny Cash (No. 2); Carrie Underwood (No. 4); Tim McGraw (No. 6); and Keith Urban (No. 9). Three Country artists placed albums in the Top Ten Selling Albums of the year, regardless of genre: Rascal Flatts -- Me and My Gang (No. 2); Carrie Underwood -- Some Hearts (No. 3); and the Dixie Chicks -- Taking the Long Way (No. 9).

As the top selling artist of the year, Rascal Flatts sold more than 4.9 million albums in 2006. Their fourth album, Me and My Gang, sold 3,479,994 copies, placing second only to the High School Musical Soundtrack album as the top selling album of the year and the No. 10 top selling digital album of the year. Rascal Flatts was also the top selling digital artist of the year, based on digital track sales.

Dixie Chicks: Win Grammy Nominations, Lose Country Radio Airplay


Fort Myers "Media Matters" columnist Chris Wadsworth asked a few South Florida programmers a question he says he already knew the answer to and was not surprised by the answers:

They're not on our playlist at all. They're just deadly right now," said Randy Marsh, who oversees programming for U.S. 98.5. "I think you'll find that at nearly every country station in the country. Fans are just turned off by the Dixie Chicks and their political commentary."

We don't really have an official policy," said Mark Wilson, program director at Cat Country 100. "We basically play the songs that test well and unfortunately, their songs just don't test
well."


"We didn't really ban them per se, but like most of the other country stations, the hate scores on the music they put out has come out so high that it makes it impossible to play them," said Mark Phillips, programming head at Gator Country 101.9. "They had a bunch of great songs that tested power gold — that's our top oldies category — and when you take out all those songs at once, it leaves a giant vacuum in your music library."

I do know whether to pity or admire their steadfastness and can't help but wonder how long the group can stay together in the midst of this intense scrutiny and pressure, while literally gro$$ing about half what they once did.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Jo Dee Messina Entertains The Troops



.. and
Stars & Stripes reporter Kent Harris is with her, picking up the entertaining and heart-warming details.

Messina, left, poses for a photo with Kathleen Ramirez and her 19-month old daughter, Sofia, during an autograph session Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
“I can only speak for myself,” she said Saturday before an autograph session with fans. “It’s my way to show support.”

Friday, January 05, 2007

Clear Channel vs ARB: Don't Believe Everything You Read


Is there REALLY "a long-running feud between Clear Channel Radio and Arbitron"?

Before concluding that the answer is "YES," I recommend you read all the way down to the very end of reporter Erik Sass' article on the topic:
"Industry insiders have speculated that the conflict between Arbitron and Clear Channel may simply be a cover for fierce price negotiations for ratings from the new measurement system--implying that an eventual adoption of PPM is likely. "

(duh!)

"Jeff Haley, the incoming president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), cited price negotiations as a likely cause of delay, but predicted industry-wide electronic measurement by the end of 2007."

Huh?

Industry-wide? Hardly. Maybe some stations in two or three markets, yes, but industry-wide? I'd bet against THAT unless and until ARB gets realistic about their demands for 60% rate increases to get there.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The BIGresearch Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey Of Over 8,000 Consumers Surveyed From 12/5 to 12/13:

* 18.9% of consumers continue to worry about political and national security issues, down slightly from 20.2% last month.
* 40.8% of consumers declare they've become more practical in the last 6 months, down about a point from last month (41.6%) and almost full 5 points from last year (45.5%).
* And 50.2% of consumers still say they focus more on needs over wants in purchases, but fewer are doing so compared to last month (51.3%) and last year (55.2%)
* 32.7% of consumers contend they'll decrease overall spending in the next 3 months, a rise from 31.4% in November, but still less conservative compared to last year (35.2%). Pay down debt still the top financial plan at 36.7%, flat with last month. Increase savings (29.3%) and pay with cash more (22.6%) also level with November
* While the number of drivers impacted by fluctuating gas prices remains relatively stable from last month and last year at 70.6%, the rising average price at the pump is breeding a pessimistic outlook on future prices.


For more complete details in this report, please go to BIG here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Busy Summer For Neil Haislop

Our old buddy, who Blair Garner branded many years ago "The Nashville Answer Man," for his encyclopedic knowledge of country facts, people and trivia after having researched and written for Bob Kingsley for the many years ACC originated from Los Angeles has been producing holiday specials for Dick Clark's company for the last few years.

He just sent us this update for '007:
United Stations and I are changing things up next year offering a sizzling summer of 15 two-hour Country Giants shows, one every weekend between Memorial Day thru Labor Day. The "Future Giants" will cover all star acts like Carrie, Dierks, Gretchen,Sugarland, Trace Adkins, etc. (all folks that have scored multiple hits including #1s.) We will end the year with our annual Heroes and Winners specials, of course. The final list and weekend airing will depend on certain album release dates - such as McGraw's new one, Carrie's, Rascals, Reba's duets album, if Shania springs a new release, etc. she'd be in.

Country Giants 2007 (tentative)
Dates Artist
May 26-27 Alan Jackson (Memorial Day)
June 2-3 Martina McBride
June 9-10 Brad Paisley
June 16-17 Tim McGraw
June 23-24 Reba
June 30-July 1 Toby Keith (July 4th)
July 7-8 George Strait
July 14-15 Kenny Chesney
July 22-23 Future Giants Part 1
*July 29-30 Future Giants Part 2
*Aug 4-5 Garth Brooks
Aug 11-12 Keith Urban
Aug 18-19 Rascal Flatts
Aug 25-26 Faith Hill
Sept 1-2 Brooks & Dunn (Labor Day)

Prediction: watch for Neil at CRS, holded up in a Renaissance Hotel room, interviewing artists non-stop for this impressive series of summer events for your station.

Sara Evans Hits The Road This Friday


Balancing career and motherhood requires
working weekends, two-three dates a week for the next 90 days, but she'll start touring in Charlotte this week.

Evans will appear during the Dancing With the Stars tour during its Nashville stop on Jan. 21. She competed on the show in 2006 but dropped out after filing for divorce from husband Craig Schelske.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

65 Days In Front Of The TV, 41 Days Listening To Radio

You probably saw those stats on Americans' annual total media usage from the new U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States in the radio industry trade publications just before Christmas.

Those tantalizing fast facts are just the start of fascinating tidbits about how we live our media-entwined lives today. More examples of information contained in the new Statistical Abstract:

* As 2007 begins, adults and teens will spend a combined nearly five months (3,518 hours) of their time multi-tasking in the next year watching television, listening to radio, surfing the Internet, reading daily newspapers and listening to personal music devices.

* Consumer spending for media is forecasted to be $936.75 per person.
* Among adults, 97 million Internet users sought news online in 2005, 92 million purchased a product and 91 million made a travel reservation. About 16 million used a social or professional networking site and 13 million created a blog
* U.S. consumers are projected to spend $55.5 billion to purchase 3.17 billion books in 2007
* Nearly half (47 percent) of college freshmen enrolled in 2005 had earned an average grade of A in high school, compared to 20 percent in 1970.
* 79 percent of freshmen in 1970 had an important personal objective of "developing a meaningful philosophy of life." By 2005, 75 percent of freshmen said their primary objective was "being very well off financially."
* There were 3.5 million U.S. millionaires in 2001, more than a half million of them in California and about 3,000 in Vermont.
* 50.3 percent of U.S. households (nearly 57 million) owned stocks and mutual funds in 2005, representing 91 million individual investors. Equity owners had a median age of 51, a median household income of $65,000 and $125,000 in median household financial assets.
* There were 278 million debit cards in U.S. hands in 2004, with 22.2 billion transactions amounting to more than $1 trillion.
* In 2004, people made more than 1.1 billion trips (ambulatory care visits) to physicians' offices, hospital outpatient departments and emergency rooms.
* And, among U.S. Government employees, active-duty strength for the U.S. armed forces in 2005 included:
- 493,000 in the Army
- 354,000 in the Air Force
- 363,000 in the Navy
- 180,000 Marines
* The U.S. Postal Service
- Employed 803,000 persons in 2005, down from 901,000 in 2000
- Handled 211.7 billion pieces of mail in 2005, nearly double the 106.3 billion carried in 1980
* Americans drank 23.2 gallons of bottled water per capita in 2004. Consumption was only 2.7 gallons of bottled water in 1980, while the retail price of a gallon of milk jumped from $2.79 in 2000 to $3.24 in 2005, and a pound of creamy peanut butter dropped from $1.96 to $1.70
* And, in 2005, homeowners spent $159.5 billion on home improvements and repairs, with $133.7 billion going to contractors
* Finally, U.S. airports screened 738.6 million passengers in 2005, confiscating 9.4 million lighters, which could have been put to good use in China, which produced nearly 1.8 trillion cigarettes in 2004, finds the report.


There is also state and local data available as well. For more info, contact Mike Bergman in the Census Bureau's Public Information Office ((301 763-3030).

Monday, January 01, 2007

Need A Fast Song Parody? "Step" Right Here

For example: SADDAM HUSSEIN'S legal problems come to an end. He didn't want to answer the many other charges against him. Now, he won't have to: (click) "Still Crazy After All These Years"

With this 'fine print" caveat, of course: "Site created and produced by Moose Hill Bitworks. Recordings and lyrics Copyright © by Strauss, Newport and Eaton. Album artwork by R.J. Matson. This work includes parodies of the original songs. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. These audio files are provided for individual listening only. Do not redistribute."

..But, at least, you can check them out, see what they consider worth parodying as well as what rhymes with today's top story!

PS: that "Strauss" whose name is listed first among the writers is our friend, author William Strauss, who spoke at Country Radio Seminar several years ago about the Millenial generation.