07/13/2009 08:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

2009/2010 Upfront Finally Breaks in Last Gasp for Traditional Business Models

With Barry Diller and John Malone absurdly offering opinions on Twitter's business viability at Herb Allen's annual Sun Valley media retreat, the most relevant comment was from American Express CEO Ken Chenault, who suggested he saw no "green shoots" in the nation's economy. The same can be said for the media economy. Although several industry executives and investment analysts believe the media economy will experience positive signs for renewed growth this year, the reverse in the unfortunate reality.

Jack Myers Media Business Report is, unfortunately, continuing to forecast 12.6% declines in total ad spending in 2009 and 5.0% declines in 2010. Other forecasters, all of whom were more optimistic when I first issued my conservative forecasts last summer, have been progressively coming to the same negative conclusions about the ad economy. Broadcast network declines are optimistically projected to decline 6.0% in calendar year 2009 and 5.0% in 2010. The stagnating Upfront market reinforces the argument that there are few, if any, positive signs of growth in the ad business today. In this report, (available in full to subscribers only), I share insights on the media economy, why the Upfront will finally break this week and follow relatively traditional patterns, and why that is not necessarily good news for the networks.

Jack Myers is a media economist and consults with media companies, agencies and marketers. He can be reached at

To communicate with or to be contacted by the executives and/or companies mentioned in this column, link to the JackMyers Connection Hotline.


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