Who's Who Among TV's Top Wheeler-Dealers
WHY WE'RE WATCHING: As the lead network in reaching viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, Fox often has the chance to set the tone of the upfront market. Mr. Byrne is the new guy on the block, having replaced wily Fox veteran Jon Nesvig, and is the man who has not only "American Idol" but "X Factor" to sell. Will he emulate Mr. Nesvig's move last year and accept smaller price hikes in exchange for driving dollar volume? Or will he hang tough and push advertisers for the absolute best price he can get in an up market?
WHY WE'RE WATCHING: Every year, Ms. Ross must go to advertisers with the outsize expectations of her boss, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, ringing in their ears: big hikes in the cost of reaching viewers. Armed with TV's most- reliable stable of programming, it's Ms. Ross's job to navigate the divide between what Mr. Moonves wants and what advertisers are willing to give -- and to do it before Fox or other broadcast rivals snare too much volume.
WHY WE'RE WATCHING: Time Warner 's Turner unit has aggressively built up its sports and entertainment offerings over the past year, welcoming Conan O' Brien and NCAA basketball from broadcast. Now look for executives to turn to advertisers to help fund the popular content. Insiders suggest Turner will look for price hikes similar to those won by broadcast outlets and could be willing to sacrifice volume for price integrity. After all, getting such prices now establishes a level upon which to build as the company continues to add more original programming to TBS, TNT and even Tru.
WHY WE'RE WATCHING: Can Ms. Wang convince advertisers to plunk down more dollars on a network whose mainstay programs are getting a little old and whose new programs this season largely failed to impress? Or can she use the power of "Modern Family," "Grey 's Anatomy" and "Dancing with the Stars" to rope in ad commitments?
WHY WE'RE WATCHING: With cable carrying most of the weight of NBCU's business operations, Mr. Cassaro will be under pressure to drive ad-sales volume that broadcast sibling NBC, currently in a weaker state, may not be able to muster.
WHY WE'RE WATCHING: New corporate owner Comcast has said turning NBC around will take time. Nonetheless, Ms. Gambelli, an NBC veteran, will likely be looking to make sure her network keeps pace with others seeking steep price hikes this year. Will she have the programs in her arsenal to help her do so?