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‘TRL’s’ Minnillo Joins ‘ET’

Apr 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Syndicated newsmagazine “Entertainment Tonight” has named MTV’s “Total Request Live” co-host Vanessa Minnillo its newest correspondent. Ms. Minnillo, who will be based in New York, will continue to co-host “TRL.”

“Bringing someone like Vanessa on board gives us another take on content,” said Terry Wood, president of creative affairs and development for King World Productions and Paramount Domestic Television. “She brings a fresh attitude and a new perspective.”

A former Miss Teen USA, Ms. Minnillo has since 2003 co-hosted “TRL.” The move allows viewers of the MTV weekday afternoon strip, which airs at 5 p.m. (ET), to watch Ms. Minnillo on “TRL” and then switch over to “ET,” which runs primarily in prime access.

“We would love to have people who watch her on ‘TRL’ watch ‘ET’ as well,” Ms. Wood said. “We are always looking for ways to broaden the show.”

Paramount’s “ET,” besides being the dominant newsmagazine in household ratings, leads the genre in young female viewers, a key audience for “TRL.” Season to date through April 3, “ET” has a 2.2 rating in women 18 to 34, according to Nielsen Media Research. That puts “ET” ahead of all the other syndicated newsmagazines.

Though Paramount and MTV are owned by the same corporate parent, Viacom, Ms. Wood said Ms. Minnillo’s hire was due to her ability on-camera, her relationships with MTV-friendly talent and the affinity she has with her “TRL” audience rather than a case of forced synergy.

“We’ve been watching her for a while, especially with our expansion in New York with ‘The Insider’ and the addition of our Times Square studio,” Ms. Wood said.

Ms. Wood said “ET” did have discussions with MTV about Ms. Minnillo’s schedule, which will get much busier.

“She will continue to appear on ‘TRL’ and basically walk across the street and do ‘Entertainment Tonight,'” she said.