Local TV ad revenue up 21% in Q4

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NEW YORK -- Local TV ad revenue jumped 21% in the fourth quarter, boosting 2006's money up 11% compared with 2005, according to data released by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR and analyzed by the Television Bureau of Advertising.

After a lean 2005, local TV sprang back to life with not only increases in political advertising but also jumps in each of the 10 ad categories tracked by TVB and TNS/CMR. Local TV tallied $5.7 billion in fourth-quarter 2006 compared with $4.7 billion in 2005. Full-year revenue was $18.7 billion in 2006 compared with $16.7 billion in 2005.

The top advertising category remained automotive, up 13% in the quarter to $1.3 billion. In second place was government/organizations -- which would include political -- that totaled $710 million compared with $193.3 million in fourth-quarter 2005, an election off year. Restaurants (up 16% to $395.1 million), telecommunications (up 35% to $391.8 million) and car/truck dealers (up 9% to $251.3 million) rounded out the top five.

Only a handful of categories were down in the top 25, including food/food products, discount department stores and department stores, toiletries/cosmetics and home electronics/video stores.

The top advertiser was the General Motors Corp. Dealer Assn., which increased spending 16% to $158.1 million in the fourth quarter with DaimlerChrysler AG Dealers Assn. cutting spending 14% to $131.7 million. The Ford Motor Corp. Dealer Assn., the Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and the Toyota Motor Corp. Dealer Assn. rounded out the top five with increases. Toyota Motor Corp. and AT&T Inc. jumped spending by triple digits to land in the top 10. Only DaimlerChrysler AG Dealers Assn. was down in the top 10; General Motors Corp. cut spending 27% to $61.5 million in the quarter, however. Verizon Communications and General Mills Inc. also cut spending among the top 25 and Target Corp. was mostly flat.

Meanwhile, TNS/CMR said network TV was down 6.1% in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2005 but up 2% for the full year and syndicated TV down 8% in the quarter and flat for the full year.
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