Madison Avenue man rains on Hollywood's parade
A relatively tame and mildly upbeat industry luncheon discussion about the television industry's future came to a grinding halt when a senior advertising executive threw cold water on everyone's optimism about where the business is headed.
"There is not more money coming into national advertising" declared Tim Spengler, president of the big media buying firm Initiative. "The business will have to figure out where new money is coming from because advertising is flattening out."
Spengler made his remarks at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society's Newsmaker luncheon held Wednesday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Although there have been lots of stories this month about how advertisers returned in force to buy time on television for the 2010-11 season, Spengler noted that while the volume of dollars spent in this year's so-called upfront market was up dramatically from 2009, it is still off from a few a years ago.
Spengler's take on the upfront market jibes with what Company Town has been reporting. Yes more money was spent this year than last year in the upfront. However, the networks sold 15% more inventory compared to a year ago.
Another highlight of the event was provided by Kevin Reilly, entertainment president for Fox Broadcasting. Reilly noted that the industry's early desire to put its content out on as many platforms as possible may not have been such a hot idea even if consumers like it.
"I'd like to go into Barney's and help myself to a new suit, but it just doesn't work that way," he cracked.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Lions Gate TV and HRTS President Kevin Beggs (L) with Initiative Media's Tim Spengler. Credit: Angela Weiss/Getty Images.