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The Next Phil Donahue?
Rob Nelson is one of several new talk-show hosts being pitched at NATPE as a throwback to the good old days of syndication. Will anyone buy the line?
By Marc Berman

Nets Seek Non-Olympic Gold
NBC’s rivals eye deals with advertisers locked out of Games next month

Tina’s Talk Goes Silent
Hearst, Miramax blame economy for red ink

TV Stations
Avoiding the Olympics
Outlets won’t compete much with NBC affiliates

XM Satellite to Survey Subs
Arbitron will poll 1,000 listeners to radio service

Market Indicators

National TV: Moving
CBS and NBC have written about $190 million in first-quarter scatter business combined, but ABC, due to audience underdelivery, is bogged down with makegoods. Pharmaceuticals are the most active category across all dayparts.

Net Cable: Holding
First-quarter scatter is slightly slowed by top sales execs changing jobs. Money is coming in very close to commercial airdates, making it hard to gauge the overall health of the quarter. Auto and movies are hot.

Spot TV: Building
Stations in the top 20 markets report better-than-expected sales. Auto continues to hold up, with GM’s Overdrive the big spender.

Radio: Mixed
Rates are mostly negotiable. Chicago is pacing slightly behind last year, L.A. is just ahead and Boston is tightening. Some retailers are pushing closeouts. March looks stronger than Jan. and Feb.

Magazines: Steady
Packaged-goods spending in shelter and women’s service titles, largely unaffected by the lagging economy and 9/11, remains strong through March.