TW brass 'encouraged' by upfront trends

CFO says Conan's TBS show provides 'valuable inventory'

NEW YORK -- Time Warner's cable networks are in the midst of upfront advertising sales, and management feels "very encouraged" by upfront trends so far, CFO John Martin said here Wednesday.

Speaking at the RBC Capital Markets Technology, Media & Communications Conference, he didn't give any specific upfront forecasts. But he said he is optimistic and highlighted that the planned Conan O'Brien late-night show that starts on TBS in November provides "new and highly valuable (ad) inventory."

Asked about second-quarter scatter market ad trends, Martin said they have been good for TW.

"We are pacing at least as expected," he told the RBC crowd.

Cable scatter prices have continued to be up 20%-30% from the upfront in many instances, and Europe is trending "much better even than domestic," Martin said.
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