Spot radio ads up 10% in April

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Spot advertising revenue for radio was up 10% in April vs. a year ago, according to a Radio Advertising Bureau revenue index of more than 100 markets. National spot was up 14% and local revenue gained 9%. Year-to-date revenues through April are up 13% over a year ago, RAB said.

AT&T and Checkfree Corp., which provides electronic bill payment services, announced plans to jointly offer Checkfree's patented any bank/any bill electronic payment service via AT&T distribution channels. The offer will be marketed under the co-brand AT&T CheckFree Services. Consumers initially will access the service via a modem-equipped PC. By late summer they will be able to access AT&T CheckFree Services via the AT&T HomeCenter System, which brings telephone answering and a variety of information services to the home TV screen for interactive use.

The AT&T HomeCenter System will debut in late July at AT&T Phone Center stores and selected retail outlets in New England and in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Nevada and Utah. It will be available in most states later this year. It will sell for $349.99, or a lease of $13.95 per month. Ads promoting the service made their debut Tuesday night.

Cathay Pacific Airways Tuesday starts a 10-month-long sweepstakes encouraging Web surfers to register with its Web site. The top prize--1 million frequent flyer miles--is equivalent to 25 round trips to Europe. Cathay Pacific says more than 10,000 people have already registered on its site.

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