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(Sept. 5, 2001) -- The first half of 2001 showed a sharp decrease in ad spending, but monthly totals also show that year-over-year comparisons have begun to ease for most major media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Total spending in June was down 5.7% from June 2000, while year-to-date spending for the first half was down 5.9%. By comparison, May spending was down 8.2%, and January to May spending was down 6.4% from the same period in 2000.

But print media improved during the month, with newspapers and magazines showing smaller year-over-year drops and Sunday magazines showing a 1.1% increase, compared to a 3.9% drop in May.

TV also showed improvement, particularly network TV, which showed a 6.8% increase, thanks to healthy comps among Spanish-language TV networks, which were up 11.6% in the first half. Cable and syndicated TV were both up 5.5%, and spot TV was down 10.7%, compared to a drop of 15.3% in May.

Radio remained difficult, with network radio down 9.8% and national spot radio down 18.4%. -- Mercedes Cardona

Copyright September 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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