Is 2012 Upfront Money, Um, Scattering?

Was last year’s robust upfront an aberration? Driven in part by an uncertain economy, is the pendulum swinging back in the other direction -- and, in the process, threatening to slit a few marketers’ throats? Pretty much, according to Kris Magel, EVP and Director of National Broadcast at Initiative.

On a morning panel at Media Magazine’s Outfront conference, Magel said he is expecting TV growth be about half of what it was last year. “We’re looking at a much more moderate TV Upfront,” Magel said.

Not so, according to Donna Speciale, President, Turner Entertainment & Young Adult Ad Sales.

“The marketplace isn’t any different,” said says. “There’s a lot more scatter money that went into the upfront … We are in a really, really good place.”

No so much so, reasoned Mike Rosen, President of Activation at Starcom USA. “As you look back, we paid a little to much -- a few points to much,” he said.

Yet, “In general, we always over-price,” noted Mel Berning, EVP of Ad Sales at A & E Television Networks. That said, “I wouldn’t expect it to be as weak as some people,” Berning added, leaning in the direction of Initiative’s Magel.

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