Moonves: No Rush in Upfront Sales

NEW YORK CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said the upfront selling process will be slower to complete this year.

Two weeks after Upfront Week concluded amid the end of the strike-impacted 2007-08 TV season, there’s little sign of the headlong rush that characterized upfront selling of only several years ago. Moonves seemed to agree in an appearance Thursday afternoon at the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference. He said that CBS has “begun the dance” with advertisers and agencies but that no significant deals have been made yet.

“It’ll happen maybe June, maybe July it’ll all break,” Moonves said. “But we’re ready.”

Unlike the agencies and media magnates who say that the upfront marketplace will be flat to down, Moonves said he was thinking positive after having preliminary meetings with advertisers.

“I think the marketplace will be up, I’m confident of that. … How high up, it’s still a little early to tell,” he said.