by Eric Schmuckler
Consolidation is turning national TV buying into a battle between super-heavyweights
Upfront May Move This Week
Buyers waiting for a Big Four net, probably NBC, to get market in gear
Networks Get More Nostalgic Several new series hope to cash in on '60s, '80s
Bygone Eras, Be Gone
History Channel updating for young male target
Food Titles Stay Close to Home Epicurean books savor sentiments for nesting
National TV: Active
Upfront ad dollars were starting to trickle in last week, most notably to the WB. Business is not expected to begin in earnest until NBC makes some deals, possibly this week.
Net Cable: Warm
Agencies' focus last week was on planning broadcast upfront buys. Some cable networks have taken in early upfront dollars as part of multiplatform deals tied to broadcast nets.
Spot TV: Building
Rates are tripling in markets with hotly contested political contests, particularly the governor's race in Texas. Telecom, retail, entertainment and auto remain active.
Demand is accelerating for June and July, driven by categories including auto, summer recreation, entertainment, cellular and financial. Business is pacing ahead of last year in the high single-digits.
Financial and insurance segments are buying ads in news and business books for the third quarter. Pharmaceu-ticals, autos are strong.