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NBC SEEKS OLYMPICS GOLD
19.9 prime-time rating projected; stations still waiting for ad windfall

HITMAN
For USA Doug Herzog scored with South Park,
but can he craft an image for USA Network and
return it to No. 1?

REGULATION
Pax's UHF Plan Creates Static
Shift of analog to digital could degrade signals

TV STATIONS
NBC, Young Expand Talks
L.A.'s KCAL may play part in a deal for KRON

NETWORK TV
ABC News Gains on NBC
Ratings gap narrows in morning and evening

MARKET INDICATORS

national tv: Sold
Networks are 95 percent sold for fourth-quarter prime, with scatter time on top-tier shows sold out. On NBC, the only 4th-Q avails left are for shows such as Weakest Link and Fear Factor.

Net Cable: Warm
Little negotiating took place last week in advance of the holiday. Fourth-quarter dollars are still trickling in to entertainment and news nets. Retail, studios, telecom are spending.

Spot TV: Improving
Stations are reporting better-than-expected sales, with autos, movies and telecom leading the way. Retail is still a question mark.

Radio: Down
National sales are seeing some pickup after months of double-digit declines. Overall, radio is pacing 10 percent down from last year. Holiday retail spending is picking up slowly.

Magazines: Building
Publishers are expecting an uptick of ads for home furnishing and decorating goods in the first half of 2002, as uncertain times have consumers focusing more on the comforts of home.