Live blog from the Reuters Global Media Summit

Reuters reporters will be sending live updates from interviews with guests including Disney’s Anne Sweeney, IAC’s Barry Diller, WPP’s Martin Sorrell, Sirius XM’s Mel Karmazin and more.

2010 ad spending outlook brightens, no thanks to the U.S.

If you think the advertising market is bad in the United States right now, just wait until next year.

In a new report, GroupM, the media arm of ad holding company WPP, predicts that advertising expenditures in the United States will drop by 4.3 percent this year, then drop by 6.5 percent in 2010.

“We expect a bottoming out on local media spend in 2009 with more stability into 2010. However, we are expecting further contraction on national media, particularly television, as clients adjust budgets to reflect a continued pessimistic consumer spending forecast.” GroupM Chief Investment Officer Rino Scanzoni in New York said in a statement.

Advertising slump shows no signs of relenting

The news media may be preoccupied with Swine Flu and the Banking Crisis and the Auto Industry meltdown, but look beyond those hot topics and you will see a familiar story — you know, the advertising-business-is-getting-slammed story.

Advertising group WPP today said it would not meet its 2009 forecasts after quarterly sales fell 5.8 percent, as companies slashed marketing budgets. This comes after rival Omnicom on Monday reported that its first-quarter revenue fell 14 percent.

Interpublic needed a heap of cost-cutting moves — including job cuts — to help it post a loss that was smaller that Wall Street expected. Revenue fell nearly 11 percent — maybe that’s a case of it-could-have-been-worse for a company that counts General Motors as one of its single largest clients.

Good news for Madison Ave: WPP will only be slightly down

Slightly down is the new up.

At least judging from the reception that advertising giant WPP received today after it predicted like-for-like revenue would drop 2 percent this year.

Shares were up about 5 percent after the report from WPP, the last of the big three advertising holdings to post quarterly results. For all the worry about the advertising recession — and no doubt advertising is bad right now — WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic also showed some bright spots in their numbers.

WPP, in fact, said the in the ”long-term” the outlook for the advertising and marketing services business “appears favorable.” “Long-term” isn’t a particularly well-defined timeframe, but nonetheless those are pretty upbeat comments coming from an industry that has seen auto, retail and financial services spending drop like a stone.

How bad is local advertising? Ask Fox

We’re guessing Rupert Murdoch isn’t smiling quite so much right now. Not after News Corp reported a larger-than-expected drop in quarterly profit and cut its full year outlook.

The problem? In case you haven’t heard, advertising, particularly at the local level, is in terrible shape. Any company with local TV stations — and News Corp is one of them — is hurting right now.

Indeed,  Fox Television Stations’ first-quarter operating income fell 48 percent from the same period last year. Overall, News Corp profit fell 30 percent.

The (TV ratings) race for the White House

whitehouse.jpg As far as TV ratings go, last week’s presidential debate was a loser, drawing the one of the smaller audiences in modern history. It should be a different story for tonight’s vice-presidential debate.

For one thing, the presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, which drew just 52 million people, took place on a Friday night, never a great night for TV viewing. By contrast, the match-up between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden comes on a Thursday night, usually a big TV viewing night.

Besides, even though Katie Couric’s interviews with Palin only had a modest impact on CBS News ratings, as the New York Times points out, there is nonetheless a great deal of interest in the Republican vice presidential candidate.      

An unclear future for DISH?

charlieergen1999.jpgWall Street sell-side analysts seemed to be unsurprised by AT&T’s decision to pick DirecTV as its video marketing partner for its version of the ‘triple play’ package, in regions where it hasn’t built out its U-verse digital service.

The final decision had seemed obvious to analysts after DISH said earlier this month that AT&T would extend its five-year relationship by just one month to Jan 31.

But what does it mean for the independent DISH and its maverick founder/CEO Charlie Ergen (pictured), with the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV provider already struggling with customer losses in a tough economy?

For your video viewing pleasure…

buffy.jpgGood news for fans of guilty pleasure shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Felicity” or “Dawson’s Creek” - is about to be up and running. With those shows and others, the website hopes to bring in those 18-34 year-olds so loved by advertisers.

Thing is, the website exists even though the television network doesn’t. Recall the WB was folded into UPN a couple of years ago to create the CW.  (Warner Brothers, however, is still one of the major TV studios).

Given that, it’s sort of strange that Craig Erwich, EVP of Warner Horizon Television which oversees, tells Silicon Alley Insider in  an interview that the thing separating, from other websites it – well, the name.

‘Overpayers’ social network

sorrell2.jpgAre Microsoft and WPP gearing for an asset swap?

Advertising Age’s Abbey Klaassen is reporting that the two companies — criticized for overpaying for their respective digital advertising acquisitions — have rekindled six-month-old discussions to scratch each others itch.

Microsoft may possibly be seeking to shed its Avenue A/Razorfish, one of the units of aQuantive it purchased last year in a $5.9 billion deal. Avenue A accounted for about 60 percent of aQuantive’s revenue. But getting anywhere close to $3.5 billion would be far-fetched. The division’s market value is close to $800 million, Klaassen calculates.

Enter WPP’ s Martin Sorrell, who has also sought to unload Open AdStream, the ad-serving division of 24/7 Read Media, which WPP purchased for $649 million.

NBC winning big in the games

swim.jpg NBC is putting up big numbers so far in the Olympics.

Start with the opening ceremony. While some complained that the event couldn’t be seen live in the United States, the move to delay the broadcast and run it during prime-time paid dividends. Some 34 million viewers tuned in, up about 35 percent since the last summer games.

Indeed, helped by the splashy opening ceremony and the star power of swimmer Michael Phelps, NBC is setting the stage for what could be record Olympic viewership in America.  Over the first two days of its coverage, NBC has attracted a record 114 million total viewers – 4 million more than Atlanta in 1996 and nearly 20 million more than Athens in 2004.

Those numbers suggest that Web coverage hasn’t taken away from NBC’s TV audience.