Couric Syndication Exploratory Team Includes Syndie Vet Ed Wilson; Separately Ricki Lake Talking to a Number of Syndicators About a Return to the Daytime Talk Show Wars

Mar 14, 2011  •  Post A Comment

It surfaced today that well-respected syndication veteran Ed Wilson is part of the team that’s helping Katie Couric decide whether to do a syndication talk show in 2012.

Separately, it was also reported today, Monday, March 14, 2011, that Twentieth, CBS and NBC are all talking to Ricki Lake about her possible return to a syndicated daytime talk show also in 2012.

Both developments were reported by our friend Paige Albiniak at B&C.

In the story about Couric she writes, "Among Couric’s advisors is Ed Wilson — the founder and former president of NBC Domestic Television Distribution. Wilson, an old friend of Couric’s, is working with Couric and former boss Jeff Zucker on the vagaries of launching a syndicated talk show and associated production company. Wilson did not return calls for comment."

The story adds, "The most likely candidates for a Couric talker are the anchor’s current home, CBS, and her former home,  NBC.Several sources say that new NBC CEO Steve Burke is interested in bringing Couric back to the network, where she could have a talk show on the NBC owned stations as well as appear on NBC’s news networks. The NBC stations are probably the best home for a talk show featuring Couric. Even though she’s been at CBS since 2006, her brand is still associated with NBC, and NBC’s stations are in need of strong new daytime fare."

The article also says "NBC will only pick up a talk show starring Couric if the company can maintain exclusive production and distribution rights, say sources, although some involved believe that the struggling NBC stations need Couric enough that NBC could be convinced to take the show even if it ends up being distributed by another company."

In Albiniak’s story about Ricki Lake she writes, "One factor that could be delaying a decision by NBC and CBS on Lake is whether or not Katie Couric is going to shop a talk show for 2012, with neither syndicator wanting to tie up resources before knowing what Couric’s decision will be and with whom she will sign….The competition for daytime slots is expected to heat up in 2012, when Oprah will have been off the air for one year. That makes it good timing for Lake, who could work on either traditional affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC) or on non-traditional stations (Tribune, Fox) depending on her approach and subject matter."


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