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Nick Buys Kid Research

Nickelodeon has renewed its contract for Simmons Market Research Bureau's Kid BehaviorGraphics research reports for 2003. Simmons President Chris Wilson
said the deal "continues and expands our relationship with Nickelodeon."

According to Nick Vice President of Research Ron Geraci, the Simmons data enables the network to "leverage our viewers' behaviors, attitudes and lifestyle habits across several different business segments, including programming, on-channel and off-channel promotions and marketing."

Simmons said the research allows Nick to "analyze every facet of its programming and competition, as well as identify the attitudes and lifestyle
habits of its present and future audience segments."

Discovery Plans More Affiliate Tours

With the Animal Planet
Expo, which will have visited 14 markets by late summer, under its belt, Discovery Networks U.S.
is planning to add two more tours to its roster: the Discovery KidsEndurance
Tour and Discovery HealthBody Challenge Tour.

The Endurance
tour, linked to Discovery Kids'Endurance
and offering various interactive exhibits, is scheduled to visit four or five markets this summer. The Body Challenge
tour will start a second run in six markets in January, again with Slim Fast as national sponsor. The four-part Body Challenge
has just started production.

According to Discovery Networks Director of Local Ad Sales Mike Van Bergen, affiliates will be looking to generate local business to those events.


Tom Sassos, who founded rep firm Cable Networks Inc.
in 1980 and most recently was chairman of U.S. business operations at WPP Group's Mediaedge: cia, will now take a more active role in Cable Audit Associates
and its MediaAnalysisPlus
division. Sassos founded CAA in Denver 17 years ago and has been on its board of directors since its inception. The MAP division monitors media-account shifts in the advertising business on a monthly basis. Sassos also co-founded Vernon Sassos McGill Media Inc. in 1988, then sold that media-buying/planning firm to Tempus PLC, London, which merged it into its own CIA Media Network. That in turn was absorbed into WPP in 2001, when Tempus was acquired by WPP; CIA then was integrated into Y&R Advertising's MediaEdge. …

Western Union appears to be heading to Dallas-based Dieste Harmel & Partners
agency for its Hispanic account. The account, which had been at Zubi Advertising, Coral Gables, Fla., is estimated at $10 million.


Lifetime Television
has slated its first local sales promotion for the fledgling Lifetime Movie Network. Fifteen markets have signed on, some of which carry LMN on basic, others on digital, according to VP of Affiliate Ad Sales and Distribution Marketing Tracy Barrett. The "Go Hollywood" promo will run Aug. 11-24, with one national grand prize—a trip to a Hollywood film premiere—plus local instant "scratch-and-win" prizes (LMN-branded picture frames). LMN now has 10 million ad-insertable homes.

The History Channel
has signed Chrysler Group's Jeep as a major sponsor of Russia: Land of the Tsars, a special slated for Memorial Day at 9 p.m.


Adlink, the Los Angeles interconnect, late this month or early June will begin to aggressively promote its many cable-sports ad avails via a sports-only sales presentation to the ad community. Adlink Vice President Rick Oster
said the interconnect came to the realization that it had been "under-utilizing our sports."

CAB Confab Hits New High

The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau
reported that its tenth annual Cable Sales Management Conference in Chicago May 17-21 set a new attendance record. All told, 1,278 people attended the gathering, according to the CAB. That included 256 agency and client executives who turned out for Monday's "Chicago Cable Day," which featured a spot-cable sales pitch from National Cable Communications. Attendance by cable operators, interconnects, networks and vendors rose 35% from a year ago.