The Inside Story
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/22/2004 8:00:00 PM
Staying competitive is a hallmark of 15-year-old Inside Edition. So the King World show is sprucing up. It plans an aggressive promotion and marketing campaign, upgraded its technology and added on-air talent: CNN's Jim Moret in Los Angeles and IEalum Diane McInerney in New York.
It's building on success.
Inside Edition is coming off its best year since 1999, averaging 3.5 in households season-to-date. Helping it in at least 27 of the 56 metered markets is King World powerhouse Oprah. She's seeing her best ratings in five years. On those 27 stations, Oprah runs in close proximity to Inside Edition.
The steady rise is showing up in key demographics, with women 18-34 jumping to 1.4 this year, up from 1.1 in the 1999-2000 season. Likewise, Inside Edition has jumped from 1.5 to 1.8 in women 18-49 and from 1.7 to 2.1 in women 25-54 over the same five years.
Executive Producer Charles Lachman attributes the improvement to creating a faster-paced show. "Back in 1999, our stories tended to be longer," he says. "While they are still comprehensive and in-depth, which is what viewers want, they also are tighter."
In addition, Inside Edition clicked with stories more akin to Dateline and 20/20 than Access Hollywood and ET, giving it a niche in access.
But the face-lift is also attributable, in part, to Paramount launching another magazine show, The Insider, which debuts Sept. 13. Lachman may wonder if the country needs another entertainment magazine show, but The Insiderwill shake up the mix.
Even coming off a high-rated year, Inside Edition wants to ensure it stays on the radar with The Insider. IEhas created a marketing campaign, shot in high-definition, that will air on broadcast stations, cable networks and radio.
Moira Coffey, King World's executive vice president of research, says the addition of a new show to access will make the landscape more competitive for everyone.
"I have a concern that The Insider will dilute and diminish the ratings across the genre," Coffey says. "But we are probably in the best position to defend ourselves. We are firmly established as something different."
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