Does Moonves’ Silence About the Upfronts Mean Anything?

Apr 15, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Industry insiders are keeping an eye on CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves in the runup to the broadcast networks’ upfront presentations to media buyers and advertisers.

Advertising Age reports that Moonves has been silent this year about predictions for the upfront, unusual for a man known for "chest-thumping over price increases.” That’s leading to questions about "whether his quiet is cause for concern," the piece reports.

"How could his silence not signal anything?" said Marc Morse, senior vice president, national buying at RJ Palmer. "That’s the problem — when you boast and then you don’t, the silence is louder. It implies something is wrong."

Moonves declined to make predictions at an investor conference last month, noting, "My sales guys killed me for the last two years when … I guaranteed double-digit CPM growth. Two years ago, we were up 13 to 15%, I did OK, and last year we were only up 9%, so I was a little bit of a liar. But they made me swear I’m not going to give out any numbers [until] we get closer to it."

But with a month left until the upfronts, Moonves still hasn’t spoken, the piece notes.

Most are expecting a "tepid" upfront, with Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente predicting broadcast-upfront revenue will increase by less than 1% to $9.2 billion, while cable will wrap with dollar volume up 2% to $9.99 billion, the story reports.

Please click here to read Ad Age’s full report.

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