The upfront guys

Cable executives assess ad sales in a soft economy

The snails have replaced the bulls. After last year's frenzied, $4.6 billion cable upfront, this year's advanced ad-sales market is soft and drawn out. Cable executives are trying to remain upbeat, waiting for the market to break. But the soft economy has advertisers wary, and, rather than commit in the upfront, they may test their luck in the scatter market.

We checked in with the top ad-sales executives from MTV Networks, Discovery, USA Networks, Turner and A&E to get their views on the upfront market, the slowing economy and how they made their way in the cable sales business.