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There's good news from radio. A survivor of past media "revolutions," it's now reaping the benefits of the Internet revolution as dot-com ad budgets help fund this year's impressive upfront market for network radio time. More importantly, the high prices being paid for radio don't seem to be the product of its own revolution -- the consolidation concentrating ownership of the medium.

Bad news could have resulted from the wave of large mergers and acquisitions. It has been feared; it's being watched by ad agency media buyers -- and the U.S. Justice Department. But everyone contacted by Advertising Age seems to agree that what mergers and acquisitions have done -- so far, at least -- is put the medium on the front page, and the front burner.

"The upfront for this year is a culmination of everything you always hoped for in media growth," said a network general manager. Although dot-coms are coming in with new business, another executive said that as he looked down at the first-quarter [spot] business on the books, "It's automotive, entertainment, package goods, fast-food, soft drinks and telecom." That's broad-based growth, and great news and an encouraging sign for 2000 -- not only for radio, but for the U.S. economy. A robust ad marketplace is great fuel.

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