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Leno's move could risk NBC advertising

Television host Jay Leno

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Sam Eaton: In New York, today marks the beginning of the annual ritual known as the upfront. This year's when TV networks unveil their Fall schedules to advertisers, who buy time in advance on the shows they think are going to be hits. Here's Marketplace's Sam Eaton.


Sam Eaton: Somber is the word most analysts are using to describe this year's upfront season. With the recession cutting into marketing budgets, the competition for advertising dollars is fierce. And many networks are hoping to pull business away from NBC. That's because its decision to put Jay Leno on weeknights at 10 p.m. could drive away younger viewers -- and the advertisers who want to reach them.

Porter Bibb is with Media Tech Capital Partners:

Porter Bibb: We live now in a universe of YouTube and Twitter and all of the available variety acts that are out there in the blogosphere and the cosmos. It's going to be very, very tough for Jay Leno to hold a prime time audience.

But NBC's loss may be mostly cable's gain. A report out last week predicted Leno could lose half a million viewers. And many of them could end up watching dramas on cable, not the big networks.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.

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