‘Pauley’ Cracks Nation’s Two Largest TV Markets

Jul 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

It didn’t take long for stations to see value in “Jane Pauley.”
A month after NBC Enterprises announced a talk show featuring the former “Dateline NBC” star, the distributor has already cleared the nation’s two largest markets, and then some, for fall 2004.
The future strip will air on WNBC-TV in New York and KNBC-TV in Los Angeles as Ed Wilson, president of NBC Enterprises, scours the country to solidify time slots a year before the show even debuts. The series will air in early fringe on WNBC, while a 3 p.m. time slot has been reserved on KNBC, where the show will air just before “Dr. Phil.”
“We’re trying to find the best time periods and promotion that we can get,” Mr. Wilson said. “We’ve had a number of station groups trying to close deals with us. But this time we are going market by market, so we could sell it to a non-NBC owned-and-operated station. [We] have yet to hear anything negative from stations.”
NBC Enterprises also has wrapped up San Diego’s KNSD-TV, where “Pauley” will air in early fringe. The company is negotiating with stations in Chicago, Washington and Dallas. Mr. Wilson said the company will go wide next week with sales.
“The key thing with Jane is that she’s very trusted and well liked by all of America,” Mr. Wilson said. “She is someone who has never embarrassed herself and can sit down with anyone from Cher to the pope to a mother dying of AIDS and pull off those interviews with skill.”
The early sale of “Jane Pauley” continues a recent trend among syndicators of clearing shows during the summer, or earlier, rather than after the season has started. Paramount cleared “Entertainment Tonight” spinoff “The Insider” in January for a fall 2004 launch. King World last year sold key markets on “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack” in August. And in 2001 both King World and Buena Vista sold “Dr. Phil” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” during early summer.
Ms. Pauley began her 27-year tenure with NBC as co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” at the age of 25, and most recently served 11 years as co-anchor of “Dateline NBC.”