Nogawski Ready to Take King World Into Future

Mar 30, 2008  •  Post A Comment

For new CBS Television Distribution President John Nogawski, inheriting the mantle of the legendary Roger King at the country’s top syndication company is a heady circumstance.
Not only does he take over a distributor that boasts eight of the industry’s top 10 shows and is the sibling of a powerful station group, he assumes the reins of an industry leader poised for change.
“I’m inheriting a kingdom in an industry I’ve been involved with for 25 years,” said Mr. Nogawski, who was named to the post late last week. “I can’t be more pleased with the place I’m in, and now I have the chance to play air traffic controller as we take the division into the future and explore the full potential of the division.”
The merger of syndication powerhouses Paramount and King World about 10 years ago created a powerful lineup of series that brought the likes of “Oprah,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” from Mr. King’s once-small operation together with CBS’ own roster of high-powered syndicated hits, including “Entertainment Tonight” and “Judge Judy.”
In 2006, the companies were officially put under one banner. When Mr. Nogawski was named co-president/chief operating officer in September 2006, he was quickly dubbed the “heir apparent” who one day would gain the keys to that kingdom after Mr. King relinquished them.
That day came much sooner than expected when Mr. King suddenly passed away in December from a stroke.
Now, while CBS has fared better than most distributors, the syndication business is facing audience erosion due to the exponential growth of content outlets online and on cable, cell phones and elsewhere. In addition, the industry had made little progress in addressing the digital conversion stations face next year, which will splinter broadcast channel viewership even more.
However, Mr. Nogawski noted that while there is a challenge ahead, there also is opportunity.
“What I love about our division is that I can focus on allowing the people already in their positions to continue to do what they do best,” he said. “Now I can take the time to look everywhere else for new places for us to make money, whether that’s in integrated marketing or utilizing resources for cell phone content. Those mediums hold tremendous opportunities for our massive library. In the end, the business of content will remain the same—only the focus changes.”
Mr. Nogawski, who reports to CBS Corp. President and CEO Les Moonves in his new position, will oversee all creative, business and administrative operations for the media company’s domestic syndication operation. Joining him will be most of the key members of the division, including President of Sales Joe DiSalvo and Terry Wood, who is president of creative affairs and development, who will remain in their current roles.
“I couldn’t do my job if it wasn’t for those key executives, who illustrate true leadership for this company,” Mr. Nogawski said.
However, changing focus will be former co-president and COO Robert Madden, who shifts to the newly created position of senior executive VP for CBS Television Distribution, reporting to Mr. Nogawski.
Mr. Madden will be responsible for overseeing the company’s programming partnerships with Sony Pictures Television for “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” and with Harpo Productions for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” among other duties.
“Less than two years ago, King World and Paramount combined under Roger King’s great stewardship to form the preeminent distribution company in the business,” Mr. Moonves said in announcing Mr. Nogawski’s appointment. “We miss Roger every day, but we’re fortunate to have first-class executives such as John and Bob to carry on that great tradition of leadership and success.
“John has a resume of success across all areas of syndication—first-run and off-network programming as well as both station and media sales,” added Mr. Moonves. “He has been instrumental in nurturing a path to syndication for our owned programming, and coming up with new, innovative, revenue-generating opportunities through our program library, integrated marketing efforts and in the digital space.”

One Comment

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