Pay Up or Lose Out, Says Karmazin

NEW YORK-Viacom COO Mel Karmazin has a warning for media buyers regarding the May upfront buying period for the 2001-02 TV season. Pay the prices CBS asks for, he says, or the network will hold back as much as 45 percent of its ad inventory to sell later in the scattermarket.

And the buyers have a response for Mel: That strategy could be a very dangerous one.

Karmazin, who made his remarks during a phone call last week with analysts and the media to discuss Viacom’s 2000 results, said he would like CBS to sell the same 80 percent of...

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