21. Media General Broadcast Group
By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/21/2001 7:00:00 PM
25 stations/6.96% of U.S.
Media General is focusing on its daytime and weekend schedules. The group has acquired talkers Ananda and Iyanla as substitutes for Dr. Laura and Housecalls, according to Steve Gleason, vice president, programming and program development.
Since there have been no break-out hits among the newer shows, "we're trying to decide whether we should give the stuff we have on the air more time," he explains. The fate of Arrest & Trial, Judge Hatchett, and Curtis Court are up in the air, he adds.
Furthermore, it's hard to make an accurate assessment when the ratings were so obviously affected by the extended election coverage, says the Media General executive. "There's no question the election had an impact. Any program that's showed some signs of hope, I don't want to dump right now. I want to give them another shot."
CNN showed up in early fringe in the November ratings book for all Media General markets, he explains. "They've never showed up before. And there's CNN with a rating and share point and in many situations even demo points. You look at the history, and it shows no ratings. It had a profound effect. It's pretty phenomenal to have that kind of influence."
The group's weekend lineup is still being evaluated. A lot will depend on whether Cindy Margolis and Your Big Break come back, Gleason says.
"Generally speaking, we're in pretty good shape in access," he notes. Media General renewed Hollywood Squares in four markets. Stations with sitcoms also do well in access. The group is picking up Everybody LovesRaymond in the fall for three markets.
W JWB Jacksonville, Fla., has bought the Steve Harvey Show. WASV-TV Asheville/Greenville, N.C., picked up The Fifth Wheel.
And the group renewed Oprah for nine markets, carrying it in early fringe.
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