New York—Media mergers and acquisitions activity picked up in the third quarter, according to a report by media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips. There were 29 M&A deals in the quarter, up from 28 in the third quarter of 2003. The total value of the transactions more than doubled to $792 million, from $392 million. For the first three quarters of this year, the value of deals increased 64% from $920 million (excluding the $1.5 billion recapitalization of American Media) to $1.507 billion. "There is a very nice view in the rear-view mirror, but we like the view ahead even better," the report said. "The climate for M&A has dramatically improved and we expect to see a number of high-profile deals consummated in the last quarter [of 2004]," the report said.