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In Search Of Ad Dollars
By Alec Foege
The broadcast networks are anxious to avoid last year’s upfront declines, but marketplace riches may be hard to find

Nets: Buyers Are Blinking
Sales execs claim early-deal discussions could yield upfront CPM hikes

The Marketplace
ESPN/ABC Tries New Game Plan
Erhardt to offer 3 cross-sport ad sales packages

TV Programming
Nets Follow Procedure
Self-contained dramas increasing in prime time

Network TV
Early Show to Seek Sibling Aid
New exec producer will reach out to MTV Nets

Market Indicators

National TV: Busy
Nearly sold-out second-quarter inventory in all dayparts has some networks mandating that advertisers first buy time in sports events before getting deals for what is left in prime.

Net Cable: Moving
A handful of networks claim to be close to wrapping all of their second-quarter deals. Third-quarter scatter is tightening, with auto and movies among the most active categories.

Spot TV: Building
Political dollars are building in states including Florida and Massachusetts. Banking and financial services; auto; and retail chains like Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Target are tightening demand in many markets.

Radio: Active
Core stations in top markets are sold out through May. Strong categories include auto, TV and cable tune-ins, retail, telecom, financial services and home improvement.

Magazines: Mixed
The limping transportation, hotels and travel category is starting to come back, helping news and business titles fill the void left by weak spending from the financial and technology categories.