News Articles

21. Media General Broadcast Group

1/21/2001 07:00:00 PM Eastern

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.

March