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(May 11, 2001) -- Media spending in February showed a third monthly decrease, according to newly released totals from Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Spending on the 10 major TV, radio and print media was down 8.5% to $6.4 billion, from $6.99 billion in February 2000. The preliminary totals did not include outdoor advertising.

This is the first time in years the totals have shown a third straight monthly decline; December showed a drop of 0.2% in ad spending, followed by a drop of 8.8% for January, to $6.53 billion from $7.15 billion from the same month a year ago.

Cable and syndicated TV were the bright spots again, with increases of 0.7% and 3.2%, respectively. Spot television and national newspapers were hardest hit, 22.9% and 21.4%, respectively, while national spot radio dropped 18.7%. -- Mercedes Cardona

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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