Hollywood Notes

May 6, 2002  •  Post A Comment

DiSalvo to direct sales for King World
Joe DiSalvo has been named president of domestic television sales at King World Productions, where he will oversee day-to-day domestic syndication and cable sales operations of all King World regional offices, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. Mr. DiSalvo previously served as senior VP and general sales manager of domestic syndication and cable sales at the company. Mr. DiSalvo succeeds former domestic sales President Stu Stringfellow, who retired earlier this year.
Vin Di Bona pilot blends reality, comedy
Vin Di Bona Productions said last week that it has completed production on “Meet the Marks,” a pilot for Fox that blends situation comedy with reality TV. The series’ stars are a fictional family who are actually a troupe of improvisational actors. They “live” in a real house rigged with hidden cameras in a real neighborhood. Their weekly “guest stars” are real people with no idea they are on a TV show. Gerry Cohen (“The Drew Carey Show,” “Married With Children”) directed the pilot, and Jeff Eastin (“True Lies 2””Shasta McNasty”) is head writer. Vin Di Bona is executive producer, and Mr. Eastin, Terry Moore, Michael Forman and Darren Maddern are co-executive producers.
CAA, Kmart on marketing programs
Creative Artists Agency, one of the leading Hollywood talent agencies, has signed a deal with retail giant Kmart Corp. to provide entertainment-related marketing strategies and brand-building programs to the 103-year-old retailer. Kmart joins Coca-Cola, Motorola and Boeing, which look to CAA for entertainment-related marketing strategies and programs. CAA said Kmart will look to the talent agency to “identify and capitalize on entertainment-based initiatives in film, television, music and video games as they relate to Kmart’s existing marketing efforts and exclusive core brands.” Kmart recently launched a comprehensive new brand-positioning campaign, including commercials directed by Academy Award nominee Spike Lee. The commercials, featuring the tagline “Kmart. The Stuff of Life,” focus on how Kmart’s brands, convenience and value “meet the needs and wants of American families every day of their lives.”
Cooperstein to leave Universal
Matt Cooperstein, senior VP of domestic television syndication at Universal Worldwide Television, departed the distributor last week following the Studios USA/Universal reshuffle that saw Studios USA exec Steve Rosenberg take the helm of the newly joined operation. Mr. Cooperstein oversaw sales and distribution for the company in the U.S. market, including domestic syndication, cable, network, pay television and pay-per-view, and managed the research and program development for the company’s activities in domestic syndication and cable television. Mr. Cooperstein launched the successful “Blind Date” for the company in 1999, prompting a slew of imitators.
Kager heads MGM/NBC Media Sales
Former Columbia TriStar honcho Chris Kager has joined MGM/NBC Media Sales Group as president. Mr. Kager will oversee advertising sales for MGM and NBC Enterprises off-network series and first-run syndication programming. He will also direct the development of marketing sponsorships and identify new opportunities for advertiser partnerships. Mr. Kager joins MGM/NBC Media Sales Group from Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp., where he was president of national advertising sales.
Short takes
HBO renewed “Six Feet Under” for a third 13-episode season. The critically acclaimed series was created by Alan Ball (“American Beauty”) and is produced in association with the Greenblatt Janollari Studios. …“Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville has signed on for three more years as anchor of King World Productions’ long-running syndicated newsmagazine. Ms. Norville joined “Inside Edition” as anchor in 1995.