WHILE newspapers, magazines, radio and local television are all losing advertisers in the recessionary economy, the broadcast networks continue to be an anomaly, with advertisers putting their marketing dollars into national television at levels reminiscent of prosperous economic times.
"The shoe hasn't dropped yet," said Kris Magel, senior vice president and director for national broadcast at Initiative, a media buying agency. The troubled economy "hasn't hit national television yet," he said.
It's not because the four major broadcast networks are delivering more prime-time viewers to advertisers than they did last season; they are not. Cumulatively, they are down 10 percent in actual live viewers, with ABC, NBC and Fox all drawing around a million viewers less each night than they did last season. CBS is the one network that has improved from last season; the network is up 1 percent in viewership.
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