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Five Questions for President Bob Cook

1/14/2001 07:00:00 PM Eastern

What's the next trend in syndication?
It's an interesting question. If I absolutely knew, I'd just be phoning it in from a South Sea island. But if you look across the landscape and see where the syndicators are and what things have worked, you would have to say ensemble talk has created a foothold. Not mega-runaway hits, but there is clearly some success to be found with what The View
has done and with what Politically Incorrect
has been able to do.

What show from a rival syndicator would you want to distribute?Wheel of Fortune
and Jeopardy
are still at the top, who wouldn't want them? Judge Judy
in the court genre, Seinfeld for the off-network and Entertainment Tonight
for the magazine show, and any show that's going to deliver a 10 rating.

How has consolidation affected your day-to-day business?
There is sort of a good news, bad news story to it. The good news is, you have fewer people you have to pitch to; the bad news is, you have fewer people to pitch to. The good news is, you have consolidated power; the bad news is, you've got consolidated power. Take your pick.

What talent or show have you passed on and would like back?
Personally, I haven't passed on anything that I regret. When I was at CBS/Eyemark, it was no secret that we wanted to take Hollywood Squares
out, and we thought we were going to be able to get that. But Columbia TriStar settled their deal with King World, and King World brought it out. And then when King World and Eyemark came together, we got it anyway.

Where will syndication be in 10 years?
The whole notion of localism has become something of a cliché, but, for this company, it is so true. That means to think globally and act locally, and I know that's something that we want to look down the road at here at Fox. And I think that will be true for most of the syndicators in the future.

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