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Stations get in the mix for `Harvey,’ `Shoot Me’

Mar 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Although this year’s Promax promotion and marketing confab is still months away, Columbia TriStar Television Distribution executives prepared for the upcoming syndication launches of “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Just Shoot Me” at their annual advisory board meetings with stations last week. Company pillars Bob Oswaks, executive vice president of marketing, and Alan Daniels, senior vice president of marketing, met with 13 stations in an effort to ascertain their needs as promotional plans solidify for the new season.
Attending the event were promotion directors from a broad range of U.S. markets, including Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Orlando, Fla.; Cincinnati; New Orleans; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Dayton, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; and even the No. 74 market, Rochester, N.Y.
“Stations from the top markets can have significantly different needs from the smaller ones,” Mr. Oswaks said. “That’s why it’s vital to sit down with stations across the country, East Coast, West Coast, North, Midwest, etc., and figure out what kinds of challenges they are facing.”
The attendees met with the research, marketing, media and talent relations departments, among others, as the distributor planned how to keep the shows in the limelight both heading into and during the fall season.
“Our goal is to get loyal `Just Shoot Me’ viewers to tune in to the off-net runs of the series while adding new audiences through sampling,” he said. “Stations, in turn, want well-thought-out campaigns. By meeting with our producers and discussing what makes the shows work, we’ll be able to better create materials that show how good these shows truly are.”
Station representatives met with “Just Shoot Me” Executive Producer Steve Levitan and “Steve Harvey” Executive Producers Stan Lathan and Winifred Hervey in a group meeting to talk about off-net preparations.
“Stations don’t want slick packages-what they want are simple clips that show what’s funny about the show,” Mr. Oswaks said.
Additionally, the company is boosting its new promotional Web site containing spots and other materials that can be downloaded at the station’s convenience.
“Our full-blown Internet sites for our shows will help provide stations with the most up-to-date promotional materials,” Mr. Daniels said. “Because we don’t have the help of a station group in our pocket, these meeting ensure that we stay in touch with our [affiliates] and ensure them that they won’t be forgotten now that they’ve bought the show.”