Overall ad spending was down .6% for the first three quarters of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, according to Nielsen. That was despite the influx of political advertising and Olympics.
But TV paced the gainers, with four of the top five categories.
A 6% drop in the first six months was salvaged by the Olympic boost in the summer, said the ratings company.
TV claimed the top two categories in terms of percent increases, with cable TV up 8.4% and syndication up 2.5%. Hispanic cable was up 1.1%, network TV was up .9% and Spot TV in the top 100 markets was up .7%.
On the downside, spot TV in the smaller markets was down .2%, Hispanic broadcast TV was down 2% and Internet display advertising was down 5.6%.
The four categories with the biggest drops were all print, with Sunday supplements at the bottom with a 9.9% drop.
Ad spending by the top 10 companies totaled $12.2 billion, down 4% from the same period in 2007.
GM, Ford and Toyota were down a collected $462 million.