Warner Bros. Domestic Television is giving stations one 30-second spot per day in each of its 13 syndicated shows to help them recoup losses created by war coverage. Since the war began, viewers have fled daytime network television in favor of cable war coverage. Warner Bros.' aid program starts today and continues for six weeks. It applies to The Caroline Rhea Show, Change of Heart, ElimiDate, Extra, Friends, Jenny Jones, Judge Mathis, Street Smarts, Suddenly Susan, The Drew Carey Show, The People's Court and Will & Grace.
As reported previously, NBC Enterprises started the giveback by providing stations an extra 30-second spot on Access Hollywood.
Mark Wurtzel, Andrew Deutscher and Howard Nelson have been promoted at Sony Pictures Television. Wurtzel becomes senior vice president for the western region, heading Sony's Los Angeles sales office based in Culver City. Deutscher becomes vice president of sales for the northeast region, relocating to New York City from Chicago. Nelson was named executive director of integrated promotion and will be creating national promotions and marketing partnerships for Sony's first-run and off-net series.
Daytime shows continued to take a one-two punch in the week ended March 30. The "left uppercut" was that, for the first time, syndicated shows had to compete against war coverage for an entire week, with the number of households viewing major cable news nets in daytime up dramatically compared with the week prior to the war. CNN was up 220%, MSNBC 236% and leader Fox News Channel 138%.
The "right cross" was that, although some shows were preempted, the preemptions were not high enough in many cases for Nielsen to discount the show from the weekly average. (Coverage has to drop by 10 percentage points—say, from 95% coverage of the U.S. to 85%—for a show's performance to be discounted.) As a result, only two of 14 syndicated talkers were up for the week: Warner Bros.'Jenny Jones, up 21% to a 1.7, and Universal's Crossing Over With John Edward, up 10% to a 1.1.