Cable expects short ad hit from war

The cable industry is not expecting a long-term ad hit from the war in Iraq. At least, nothing like the costly aftermath of the World Trade Center attack Sept. 11. That was the consensus of cable programming executives at a recent pre-war luncheon for the Hollywood Radio and Television Society in Los Angeles, Calif.

Predictions were that the broadcast networks would begin with intense, wall-to-wall war coverage, canceling most scheduled commercials. This means, predicted Billy Campbell, president of Discovery Networks, that advertisers will turn to more routine programming that will play uninterrupted on cable.

Because of the nature of this planned war, Turner Broadcasting programming executive Garth Ancier predicted that there will be a quick return to normalcy. He said this conflict differs from Sept. 11, which was an attack on American soil. "Advertising is not quite as much of an issue this time," Ancier said.

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