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Nets touting tight '04 marketplace

At the American Association of Advertising Agencies' management conference
Friday, Viacom Inc. chief operating officer Mel Karmazin fired off the first of many likely salvos
pertaining to ad sales in 2004.

He was bullish on the upcoming upfront selling season now that the war in
Iraq seems to be winding down, and he talked up 2004 by warning agency executives that
next year's TV and cable inventory will be tightened considerably by the
quadrennial confluence of the Olympic Games and the presidential campaign.

Like other network executives, Karmazin also believes it augurs well for the
upfront that scatter avails remain tight in the current quarter and for the
third quarter, as well.