Briefly Noted

Dec 2, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Third-quarter network TV ad spending was up 8 percent over the same quarter a year ago, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Overall advertising spending for all media was up 3.8 percent for the same period, with eight of 11 media reporting gains ranging from just over 2 percent (for both spot radio and national magazines) to almost 10 percent (for local newspapers). The ad media that saw third-quarter year-to-year declines were syndicated television (down almost 9 percent), national newspapers (down more than 9 percent) and the Internet (down 1 percent), according to Monitor-Plus. Year-to-date advertising spending for the top 10 parent companies (all of which were also 2001 top spenders) reached $9 billion through August 2002, up 7.4 percent from last year. Seven of the 10 companies experienced growth, with Procter & Gamble (up 25 percent) and Pfizer (up 21 percent) showing the greatest increases in ad expenditures, according to Monitor-Plus.
Ad spending decreased for two of the three automotive companies in the top 10-DaimlerChrysler (down 10 percent) and Ford (down 2 percent)-while the country’s largest advertiser, General Motors, increased spending almost 8 percent, primarily for the Cadillac, Chevrolet and Saturn brands, according to Monitor-Plus.
NBC News launches new unit
NBC News is establishing an investigative reporting unit and has named Lisa Myers chief investigative correspondent. Jim Popkin will be senior investigative producer. Producer Rich Gardella also will be assigned to the unit for which more staff will be recruited. The new unit will contribute to all NBC News programs and to MSNBC. Succeeding Ms. Myers as congressional correspondent will be Norah O’Donnell, who has covered politics, the White House and the Pentagon for NBC and MSNBC since 2000.
Travel Channel commits to a `Twisted Tour’
The Travel Channel is getting twisted, committing to 14 half-hour episodes of a documentary series that will follow the idiosyncratic performance artists of the Jim Rose Circus as they travel from city to city on the “Jim Rose Twisted Tour.” The weekly series, now in production, is set for the second quarter of 2003. Each week, Travel will air two half-hour episodes back to back right after running repeats of the previous week’s two episodes. Performers in the circus include Cappy the Yo-Yo Champ, the Rubber Boy, Bebe the Circus Queen, Mr. Lifto and Mr. Rose, the ringmaster, among others. The show is a Buccieri/Sparango production in association with Boxx Communications.