Syndication-sales increases for 2003 continue to outpace 2002's tough market, and third-quarter sales are expected to be up a solid 14%. Some expect the fourth quarter to show similar gains. Recent tracking reports predict 2003 syndication sales will be up 8%-9% for the entire year.
"We're seeing a pretty strong third quarter for all dayparts," says Andrew Ladas, supervisor/broadcast networks, Carat. "Daytime is selling out, including the court shows."
Bob Cesa, Twentieth Television EVP of ad sales and cable programming, also notes syndication's brighter outlook. "We're certainly much better sold than last year," he says. "Syndication was among the media hardest hit because of the economy."
Sources tracking end-of-year pacing see healthy spending by package goods, especially personal care and pharmaceuticals, as well as retail and restaurants.
According to Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution EVP of Media Sales Michael Teicher, escalating dollars require additional personnel. So his company created a new position of director of Western Region media sales, to be filled by Marisusan Trout. "We believe for many years the planning community and a lot of clients [on the West Coast] have been under-served by the syndication community," Teicher says.
SNTA President Gene DeWitt lauds WBDTD's West Coast expansion. "As an aggressive sales organization, it's only natural they'd want to be there," he says. "Certainly, others might follow."