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MIXED FOURTH-QUARTER MARKS FOR THE NETWORKS
Published January 10, 1995
Final '94 financial figures for the TV networks are expected to be mixed, "despite a buoyant advertising market." According to analysts, ABC and NBC will post "strong gains," while CBS and Fox will "show some weakness" for the fourth quarter. Sagging ratings for CBS and the cost of broadcasting NFL games for Fox are the main reasons for their expected weak showings. Still, Smith Barney media analyst John Reidy predicts that aggregate advertising revenue growth for the 4th and into 1995 will hit upper single digits, and Dillon Read analyst Edward Atorino sees broadcast revenue up 10% for the 4th quarter for Cap Cities/ABC, NBC and Fox. Robert Coen, senior VP and Dir of Forecasting at McCann-Erickson: "The advertising numbers are coming in strong, and I don't see any sign of it cooling off." According to industry analysts, the baseball strike had "less of an impact than expected on fourth-quarter earnings," although "depriving the networks of millions of dollars in advertising revenue." Coen: "In a weak advertising environment, the strike would have been a disaster. But strong advertising seems to have carried the networks through" (DOW JONES/ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/10).