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Who’s The Star?
Product placement on network TV is growing, but will producers, writers and actors go along? By T. L. Stanley

WB To Take On Must-See TV
Family Affair remake hopes to steal viewers from NBC’s Friends page 6

Network TV
Fox Will Start Its Fall in Sept.
Premieres will air before World Series next season

Cable TV
Scatter Tight On Niche Nets Economic rebound and makegoods fill up avails

NCTA Report
VOD Is Cable’s New Battle Cry
Industry hopes to stave off digital churn and DBS

Market Indicators

National TV: Quiet
Media buyers are in New York this week for the unveiling of next season’s schedules, so very little scatter buying will take place. Brand wars continue in the soft drink, auto and fast-food categories.

Net Cable: Heating
Makegoods are putting the squeeze on second-qtr scatter inventory desired by youth-chasing advertisers. Beer, movies, soda and auto are driving the activity.

Spot TV: Active
Advertising recovery is under way. Many stations are full up for May, driven by auto, politicals, movies and telecom. June and July inventory is working in states with high-profile political races.

Radio: Building
Radio ad rates are firming up as inventory tightens in May across most markets. Inventory for June and July is moving apace, driven by auto, telecom, food and retail categories.

Magazines: Slow
Publishers are hopeful about ad pages picking up soon, but realistically they do not expect a rebound until fourth quarter at the earliest.