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Washington Leaps Over Atlanta in Nielsen Market Rankings

Washington, D.C., has leapfrogged Atlanta in Nielsen's new 2011-2012 "Local Market Universe Estimates," moving from DMA No. 9 to No. 8, while Seattle has done the same to Phoenix to take over market spot No. 12.

Also gaining a slot in Nielsen's yearly market size rankings are Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham and Indianapolis, while Baltimore, Charlotte and Salt Lake City are among those that dropped a spot.

Charlotte, in fact, slipped two places, as did Cincinnati, while Buckeye State-mate Columbus jumped ahead two to DMA No. 32.

Sliding down three spots were Austin (to No. 47) and Tucson (70), among others, while Toledo lost four spots to end up No. 74 this year.

The big growth markets include Fort Myers-Naples (three spots up from last year to 62), Savannah (four spots up to 92), and El Paso (up a whopping six places to No. 91).

Big changes among the smaller markets include Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson gaining five positions and Jackson, Tennessee gaining six, with Bend, Ore., dropping four pegs in the rankings.