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NBC Trims Field in Media Review

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NEW YORK NBC has cut the number of agencies in its ongoing media review from 18 to roughly a half-dozen, according to sources.

In addition to three incumbents—MDC Partners' Media Kitchen, Publicis Groupe's MediaVest and independent Horizon—both deutschMedia and Initiative (which are Interpublic Group shops) made the cut, as well as one or two undisclosed others, sources said.

NBC spent $140 million in measured media in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The network sent out letters on Monday notifying contenders of the cut.

The review covers all NBC-owned properties, including CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Sci-Fi, Bravo and Telemundo.

Sources said that an NBC Universal procurement officer, Philip Righter, is overseeing the process.

Neither Righter nor an NBC representative returned calls. Agencies involved either declined comment or did not return calls.

Sources said NBC would have credentials meetings with all of the remaining agencies early next week, and that a cut to two or three finalists would be made by Aug. 26.

Final pitches are scheduled for mid-September, with a decision expected by the end of the month. An account split is possible, sources said.