Coen: Cable Up, Broadcast Down

Veteran ad-spending guru Robert J. Coen, senior vice president of
McCann-Erickson WorldGroup's Universal McCann media-buying operation, offered
his latest forecast for 2001 ad spending during a Thursday breakfast press
briefing at the University Club in Manhattan.

Network-cable ad spending should rise 8 percent to $11.8 billion by year's
end, he said, whereas the 'Big Four' broadcast-television networks should dip
2.5 percent to nearly $15.5 billion.

Last December, Coen had forecast that cable programmers would jump 12.5
percent while broadcasters would rise 1 percent.

Overall, Coen estimated that national advertisers would increase spending by
just 2.1 percent to almost $151.3 billion across various national media -- from
network and spot TV and network cable to radio, print, direct mail and the
Internet. Local ad spending, meanwhile, should grow by 3.1 percent, he

Last December, he had expected total national ad spending to rise by 6.3
percent, with local up 5 percent. In sharp contrast, overall national ad
spending rose 12 percent in 2000 -- due largely to the Summer Olympic Games and
political campaigning -- and local spending grew 6 percent, he noted.

But Coen would not venture a guess as to how the upcoming TV and cable
upfront marketplaces might finish. 'I've always had difficulty figuring out
what's going on in the upfront,' he said. A year ago, the upfronts supposedly
were 'gangbusters, with hefty price increases,' yet the year-end 2000
ad-spending figures did not seem to bear that out, he added.

Neither would Coen offer a preliminary projection on how 2002 will shape up
for the broadcast and cable networks. He would only estimate that total U.S. ad
spending would grow 5 percent next year, versus 5.8 percent this year and 9.6
percent in 2000.