Editorial: Thinning the Herd

Upfront presentations on the decline
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Upfronts week has arrived with its usual degree of intrigue about the state of the marketplace and the medium. Refreshingly, though, one aspect of the Madison Avenue mad dash has gotten simpler as the rest of the picture grows more complex: the sheer number of upfront presentations.

The trend toward more targeted messages has seen previously razzle-dazzle big spenders like Discovery, A+E and others opt for more low-key presentations to clients and select press as opposed to giant fetes. Accordingly, this week’s schedule is noticeably lighter.

NBCUniversal brought once-separate events by its cable networks and Telemundo under the same tent as NBC. Turner, whose pitch is still a major attraction, shifted its posh lunch to a talent parade down the red carpet. And while the Hispanic marketplace remains vibrant, only Univision has a stand-alone presentation in a week that used to feature a handful.

We view all of this as a healthy readjustment. In this space three years ago, we argued for a right-sizing of the portfolio. It’s good to see the industry do some spring cleaning. Now, on with the shows.

Upfronts week has arrived with its usual degree of intrigue about the state of the marketplace and the medium. Refreshingly, though, one aspect of the Madison Avenue mad dash has gotten simpler as the rest of the picture grows more complex: the sheer number of upfront presentations.

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