Economic Crunch Puts ‘Jakes’ on Hold

Jan 13, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Stage 29 Productions and CBS Television Distribution’s talk show starring Bishop T.D. Jakes has been postponed to a 2010 launch, as the shaky economy forces the hand of another syndication distributor.
Despite receiving a station commitment from Tribune, many industry insiders were concerned that “T.D. Jakes” wasn’t going to receive the license fees it was looking for, as cash-strapped stations are desperately looking for ways to cut costs.
“We have never seen such a positive reaction to a show as we have to ‘T.D. Jakes,’” said John Nogawski, president of CBS Television Distribution. “But with the current economic climate that stations and advertisers are facing, we don’t think 2009 is the right time to produce a top-quality series in the manner we and our stations expect.
“We passionately believe in the viability of ‘T.D. Jakes’ and will work toward a 2010 launch,” he said.
“T.D. Jakes is a powerful leader in our community, and I am just as convinced as ever that he will impact millions through daytime television,” said Jay McGraw, president of Stage 29 Productions. “We have already started working on making sure 2010 is a successful launch year for ‘T.D. Jakes.’”
“We completely understand and respect CTD’s decision due to the economic environment,” said Ed Wilson, Tribune’s chief revenue officer. “We certainly hope to be in business with T.D. Jakes when the timing is right. He is a phenomenal talent who we are sure that our audience will respond to.”
Bill Carroll, Katz Television Group’s vice president and director of programming, said the postponement is not a surprise, as “Jakes” would have been a pricey show to produce.
“Everyone is better off waiting for an [economic] environment that will support the show,” he said.
Syndicators are battening down the hatches as they ride into the economic storm of the 2009-10 season. The economy can be faulted to some extent for the recent cancellation of Twentieth Television’s “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet,” as well as the shift of “The Tyra Banks Show” from syndication to The CW.
Mr. Carroll said the cancellations and postponements probably will continue, but this isn’t much different than in years past.
“There’s probably a little bit more of a magnifying glass now. Something that may have inched by in the past now has people saying, ‘Let’s be realistic and move on,’” he said.

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