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Majority of Affiliates Agree to Fourth Hour of ‘Today’

Apr 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

NBC affiliates representing more than 60 percent of the country have agreed to carry the fourth hour of “Today” in pattern, at 10 a.m. in their time zone. Affiliates in another 20 percent of the country have agreed to carry it at 11 p.m. in their markets.

“We’re in good shape,” John Damiano, NBC’s affiliate relations executive VP, said Wednesday after network executives met with members of the NBC affiliates group in New York.

Talent assigned to the hour won’t be announced until closer to the network’s fall upfront presentation to advertisers in mid-May, according to Jay Ireland, president of NBC Universal Television Stations and network operations.

NBCU and Fox recently announced they are collaborating on a new company that will distribute their entertainment TV content on high-traffic Web sites such as MySpace, Yahoo and AOL.

“The network has made a commitment to us to consider opportunities for the affiliates in that venture, and we’re anxious to hear those ideas,” said Marci Burdick, NBC affiliates board chairman.

The network has agreed to make a new-media player available to affiliate Web sites so that local viewers can play long-form network content without leaving their local stations’ Web site.

“We announced the concept, and then we’ll advance the details in the next week or so, with date of launch looking at August of this year,” said Ms. Burdick, who’s the senior VP of Schurz Communications. “We just made this commitment in the last couple of days and are intrigued by the prospect.

“NBC has indicated to the affiliate body that they will look at a model that is economically attractive to us,” Ms. Burdick said.

“This will be designed so it will not have negative impact or change for affiliates’ Web sites,” Mr. Ireland said. “It will be incorporated into what they do on their home page. It’ll be click-through, so it shouldn’t be any real change for what they do in their local markets with their local Web sites.”

(Editor: Horowitz)