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The FCC’s Secret Weapon
Ken Ferree, low-profile chief of the FCC’s media bureau, holds the fate of deregulation in his hands
By Todd Shields

Show Costs Squeeze Nets
Execs say product placement, repurposing have not boosted bottom lines

The Marketplace
Can Synergy Work Now?
Buyers believe AOL TW’s new guard can succeed

Radio
Clear Channel’s Nod to D.C.
Michaels exits to assuage Capitol Hill concerns

TV Programming
Grubbs Leaves Bad Taste
Dysfunctional new Fox sitcom being toned down

Market Indicators
NATIONAL TV: SLOW
With avails sold out for third quarter, buyers are busy getting next season’s deals approved by clients before they are submitted to the networks in advance of the fourth quarter.

NET CABLE: WARM
After a relatively healthy upfront, summer-related products are driving third-quarter scatter. Auto, telecom and movie advertisers are making inquiries about fourth-quarter avails.

SPOT TV: TIGHT
Strong auto, entertainment and political ad activity is tightening August inventory. Retail is spotty. Largest markets are tight as pacing hits double-digits.

RADIO: ACTIVE
Driven by auto, telecom, retail and entertainment, August is pacing ahead of last year. National and network is up by more than 10 percent, with buyers placing campaigns through September.

MAGAZINES: STEADY
Shelter titles are seeing growth through fourth quarter from the home furnishings and supplies category, as Wall Street-wary consumers invest in their homes.