VNR usage finally returns to normal

NEW YORK: Mid-sized electronic publicity houses report that VNR

use, after dipping to zero just after September 11 and then experiencing

tough holiday competition, has returned to pre-terrorist-attack

levels.



Douglas Simon, president and CEO of New York-based D S Simon

Productions, said a recent project promoting Ernst & Young's sponsorship

of a touring National Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit, has netted the firm

its best raw numbers post-September 11.



"There's less competition after the holidays, and stations are getting

back to their normal work schedule," said Simon.



Sally Jewett, president of Los Angeles-based On the Scene Productions,

agreed with Simon on VNRs, but said booking satellite media tours (SMTs)

was more difficult.



"They're taking a little longer to book," said Jewett. "I think stations

are a little leery of locking something in two weeks ahead of time.

There's a sense of wanting to leave things open."



Don Kobos, assistant news director at KTRK in Houston, said his station

is back to normal VNR usage. Used mainly for health and medical news, he

said KTRK did more local news following September 11, but is now back to

its feature schedule.



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