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TECH AD SPENDING HITS $2.5 BIL IN '96

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Tech ad spending in U.S. computer and business publications grew 13.6% in 1996 to a record $2.5 billion, according to Adscope.

CMP Media registered the fastest growth among the Big 3 tech publishers, with nine titles growing nearly 9% in pages and 18.5% in ad revenues to an estimated $369 million, the tracking service said.

At No. 1 Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., pages in 14 titles edged up 1.6% and estimated ad revenues rose nearly 5% to about $645 million.

Fourteen titles at International Data Group also increased ad revenues by nearly 5% to $405 million on a slight decline in pages.

IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. were the top three print spenders, Adscope reported. IBM spent $102 million, down 16.9%. Microsoft print spending dipped 3.9% to $66.4 million. Compaq ramped up print spending 55.9% to

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