Exclusive Video: The Recession Upfront?

May 6, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Economic storms are looming on the horizon, clouding the outlook for this year’s upfront advertising market.
At TVWeek’s Upfront Summit in New York last week, ABC senior VP for Prime Time Sales, Geri Wang said that while there’s no doubt the country is in a recession, different players in the TV industry will feel the effects differently during this year’s upfront, which starts next week.
David Lawenda, president of advertising at Univision, echoed Ms. Wang’s concerns about the economy, saying the business environment would put cost pressures across every advertising category during the upfront. The consolation for Univision, he said, is that in difficult business times marketers are willing to look at alternatives they otherwise might not consider.
On the buyers’ side, Kris Magel at Initiative said that usually when the economy is going to impact the upfront, the economic signs are clear. This year signals are mixed, he said. He pointed to healthy scatter pricing as one positive sign.
The Writers Guild of America strike has thrown an additional variable into the mix for this year’s upfront, said Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president/general manager for Turner Entertainment sales and marketing. The disruption in viewing patterns brought on by the strike prompted audiences to sample more, which helped Turner properties, she said.
For TVWeek’s full coverage of the annual TV advertising market, visit the Upfront Navigator page.

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