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At AOL, Time to
Shape Up
The biggest player on the Internet is struggling to adapt its ad sales strategy and upgrade its technology to stay on top
By Catharine P. Taylor

Battles Ahead for Big Radio
Top station groups facing heightened scrutiny by lawmakers, regulators

TV Programming
Originals Keep Cable Nets Hot
USA, TNT, Comedy attract large summer audiences

Network TV
Reality Genre Is Hanging On
NBC’s Dog Eat Dog, Spy TV, Fox’s Idol pull ratings

Arbitron Draws Queries on PPM
Radio owners may balk at cost of portable meter

Market Indicators

National TV: CALM
Third-quarter scatter inventory is tightening, and many network sales execs are heading off to the golf course and resting up before fourth-quarter cancellation options come due in August.

Net Cable: MOVING
Some networks were completing more upfront deals than others last week, at varying prices. Advertiser budgets for young-skewing cable channels are up.

Tight conditions continue in markets including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston. General Motors and Ford are leading solid auto spending. Political, retail and entertainment are also up.

July inventory is moving quickly at top stations. Auto, retail, beverages, entertainment and promotions pushing July 4 weekend events are kicking in.

Magazines: QUIET
Audit and consulting firms have put the brakes on third-quarter spending in magazines as a result of fallout from the Enron fiasco.