Debmar-Mercury Puts Radio Star Williams on TV

Nov 29, 2007  •  Post A Comment

New York radio star Wendy Williams and Debmar-Mercury, the distributor of Tyler Perry’s hit “House of Payne,” are developing a weekday talk show hosted by the larger-than-life Ms. Williams.
In addition to her hit afternoon drive show originating from New York’s WBLS-FM, Ms. Williams has to her credit two best-selling books, “The Wendy Williams Experience” and “Wendy’s Got the Heat.” She also regularly appears on VH1.
The plan is to focus on New York for the launch of the show—which would be an hourlong mix of celebrity interviews, entertainment news and personal advice—and then to roll out the strip nationally. No time frame was announced.
“House of Payne,” which set ratings records when it debuted in June on TNT, will begin a concurrent four-year run on Fox-owned stations in September 2008.
Debmar-Mercury’s domestic syndication rights holdings also include “South Park.”
“Wendy Williams is exactly the type of talent we want to be in business with,” Debmar-Mercury Co-President Mort Marcus said in announcing the partnership Thursday. “She has developed a strong personal brand that connects with a broad-based audience, and she knows how to extend that brand through different media.”
“She has a voice that is unique and unduplicated in television. We believe Wendy Williams will come to dominate television in the same way she has ruled the radio airwaves in New York,” Debmar-Mercury Co-President Ira Bernstein said.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this new venture and feel that Mort and Ira are the ideal partners to help make my vision a reality,” said Ms. Williams. “Their history with Tyler Perry shows they understand how to work with talent, and their success with ‘South Park’ tells me they know how to work with edgy material.”

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