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TOP 25 STATION GROUPS

Cancellations make show-floor deals likely 1/18/2004 07:00:00 PM Eastern

Last-minute cancellations and the late-breaking debut of new shows could have major broadcasters doing some last-minute shopping at NATPE this week.

Although the syndicated needs for most of the top 25 station groups have largely been met, some convention-floor deals are likely, especially if more shows follow The Wayne Brady Show into TV oblivion. At press time last week, broadcasters were waiting to learn the fate of The Sharon Osbourne Show, Ricki Lake and Living It Up! With Ali & Jack.

BROADCASTING & CABLE'S annual survey of station-group executives offers some insight into what TV groups are looking for as well as specific program purchases. This year, much of the industry appears hesitant to invest in new product unless it's associated with a well-known personality like Jane Pauley or Tony Danza or has a solid pedigree like The Insider, a spinoff of Entertainment Tonight.

"Of the new shows that have come out, Jane Pauley
is one we see the most promise in," says Allbritton President and COO Fred Ryan.

"She'll draw a good crowd," agrees Gary Stark, director of programming and research for Scripps Broadcasting.

Fox and Sinclair have high hopes for Twentieth Television's On Air With Ryan Seacrest, a new show that launched last week. Ryan Seacrest
is "certainly the biggest first-run priority in the group," says Fox Television Stations Vice President of Programming Frank Cicha.

The promise of new product at NATPE clearly has some broadcasters delaying decisions. "We are actually waiting for the convention to look at a lot of the new stuff and make some decisions out there," says Dave Ward, vice president of programming and marketing for Emmis Communications.

The groups are ranked based on 2002 revenue provided by BIA Financial Network. Contributing Editor Kim McAvoy compiled the listing.

01. Fox TV Stations (News Corp.)

2002 REVENUE:
$2,276,600,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
35
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
26
Stations compete in markets 1-162, with duopolies in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Phoenix, and Orlando, Fla. There are 25 Fox and nine UPN affiliates and one independent, KDFI-TV Dallas/Fort Worth. In the group's largest markets: WNYW(TV) and WWOR-TV New York, and KTTV(TV) and KCOP(TV) Los Angeles.
On Air With Ryan Seacrest
is a key element of Fox's strategy. It debuted primarily in early fringe in every market last week. Ryan Seacrest
is "certainly the biggest first-run priority in the group," says VP of Programming Frank Cicha.
Malcolm in the Middle
will be added this fall in most Fox markets. It will be a key player in access and late night, says Cicha.
In daytime, viewers will keep watching Good Day Live, Ambush Makeover
and Classmates
in every Fox market. Ambush Makeover
and Good Day Live
are working well for the group, says Cicha. "We're very happy with Ambush Makeover's
demographics." Fox is taking a wait-and-see approach with Classmates. "We're certainly going to take it through February."
Divorce Court
and Texas Justice
also were renewed for daytime. Ricki Lake
has not been renewed. "I haven't gotten an official cancellation notice, but we haven't done any deals on it," says Cicha.
"We're pleased with what we saw in our sitcom blocks in November," he says. Seinfeld, The Simpsons
and The King of Queens
are performing well in access for the group.
On UPN affils, That '70s Show
has been a solid performer. A double run of Everybody Loves Raymond
is working in Minneapolis.
That '70s Show
and King of the Hill
are making KUTP(TV) Phoenix a "real competitor," says Cicha.

02. Viacom TV Stations Group

2002 REVENUE:
$1,814,800,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
35
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
28
A majority of stations compete in markets 1-36, with duopolies in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Miami and Pittsburgh. There are 16 CBS and 18 UPN affiliates (three of the latter also air The WB programming). The group has one independent, KCAL(TV) Los Angeles. In Viacom's largest markets: WCBS-TV New York, KCBS-TV Los Angeles, and WBBM-TV Chicago.
The access lineup for nine of Viacom's CBS stations will change this fall. The group picked up The Insider
as a replacement for Hollywood Squares
and as a companion for Entertainment Tonight. However, the daytime and early-fringe schedules at most of the CBS stations remain intact, reports Tom Remiszewski, VP of programming and marketing for the Viacom Television Stations Group.
In daytime, last fall's addition of Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
has been a ratings disappointment. But, Remiszewski explains, "these things take a long time to develop. We knew it wasn't going to be easy with the competition in the time periods that we run the program." Most CBS stations air Ali & Jack
at 9 a.m. "We're sticking with the show for now."
Dr. Phil
remains a primary staple in early fringe for many CBS stations although some air The Oprah Winfrey Show
or Judge Judy.
For Viacom's UPN stations, last fall's launch of King of Queens
got off to a slow start, but "we've seen improvement,'' says Remiszewski. The UPN stations have also cleared some new product for this fall, including Life & Style
in five markets as either an early-fringe or a daytime show.
Malcolm in the Middle
is also slated for a fall debut. Ryan Seacrest
airs this
month
in early fringe in non-Fox markets.
"We've made some progress in the ratings for both the CBS and UPN stations," says Remiszewski. "We can't say we've dramatically improved, but at least the arrows are pointing up."

03. NBC TV Stations (GE)

2002 REVENUE:
$1,744,050,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
14
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
14
Stations compete in markets 1-48. They are all NBC affiliates. In NBC's largest markets: WNBC(TV) New York, KNBC(TV) Los Angeles and WMAQ-TV Chicago. NBC also owns 15 stations through its purchase of Spanish-language network Telemundo.
When it comes to syndication, the NBC station group couldn't be happier. The Ellen DeGeneres Show, airing in all its markets, is attracting viewers, and this fall's expected debut of The Jane Pauley Show
on most of its stations has NBC even more optimistic about the future.
"We're in the best of all worlds for the first time in a long time," says Steve Schwaid, senior VP of news and programming for the NBC television stations division. "We have Ellen
coming back. It's been a tremendous success for us. We only see it growing. And we are very happy about Jane Pauley." The combination of Ellen
and Pauley
spells "a real success story for us." It gives the group "some real power and punch during daytime and fringe."
Therefore, the NBC stations won't be looking for significant product at NATPE. "This will be one of the first NATPEs in a while that we are walking in saying, 'We're in a good position,'" says Schwaid.
Furthermore, NBC stations continue to explore the possibility of adding more local programming to their daytime schedules. Such an undertaking is already working at WCAU(TV) Philadelphia, which airs a daily magazine show called 10!.
Stations are finding the economics of local programming appealing, says Schwaid. "It provides them with total local revenue and sales, and they are able to maximize their staffs without paying syndication costs. I know more and more of our stations are looking for opportunities to control their own destiny."
Currently, Ellen
airs in either daytime or early fringe. Other daytime shows carried on NBC stations include Starting Over, The John Walsh Show
(which has been canceled), Live With Regis and Kelly
and Celebrity Justice.
Judge Judy, Oprah, Judge Joe Brown, Dr. Phil, People's Court
and Montel
are among some of the group's early-fringe offerings. Schwaid says access remains strong for the NBC stations with Extra!
and Access Hollywood.

04. Tribune Broadcasting

2002 REVENUE:
$1,194,350,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
26
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
22
Stations compete in markets 1-55, with duopolies in New Orleans, Indianapolis, Hartford/ New Haven, Conn., and Seattle. There is one ABC, 19 WB, and six Fox affiliates. In Tribune's largest markets: WPIX(TV) New York, KTLA(TV) Los Angeles, and WGN-TV Chicago.
Tribune will offer viewers something new in daytime this fall, but details of the proposed show are under wraps. It's a joint venture of Universal Domestic Television and Tribune Entertainment and was expected to be unveiled just prior to NATPE.
"It's a project that will fit into our daytime lineup of court shows, Maury
and Jerry Springer
on our stations," says VP of Programming Marc Schacher. "We're looking at some variation that will appeal to those same viewers."
It is still unclear whether Sharon Osbourne
will remain an essential part of the Tribune daytime schedule. "That's obviously a decision that has to be made by Warner Bros. and us," says Schacher, "and we're still in the midst of that discussion."
At this point, stations will have some individual renewals to conclude, but no other major group deals are expected for 2004 other than the Universal and Tribune project, he adds.
2005, however, will be a big year for Tribune stations with the launch of Sex and the City
and My Wife & Kids. Most of Tribune's WB affiliates will air My Wife & Kids
primarily between 5 and 7 p.m. Sex and the City
will run in all Tribune markets as a late-fringe offering.
This fall, Malcolm in the Middle
will join the sitcom lineup in a few markets. Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond
and Will & Grace
are the predominant offerings in access or late fringe on all the Tribune stations. Dharma & Greg, Frasier, The Simpsons
and Seinfeld
also air in some markets.

05. ABC (Disney)

2002 REVENUE:
$1,164,250,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
10
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
10
Stations compete in markets 1-69. There are no duopolies. All of the ABC stations are ABC affiliates. In ABC's largest markets: WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles and WLS-TV Chicago.
Most of the ABC owned stations have signed off on The Tony Danza Show, which will run on eight of the group's 10 stations in September. WLS-TV Chicago and KABC-TV Los Angeles aren't clearing the show. It is expected to replace The Wayne Brady Show, which was just canceled.
At WABC-TV New York, Wayne Brady
airs at 10 a.m. and has actually been winning the time period for the station, says VP Art Moore. "I guess in other markets the story was different."
The schedule at WLS-TV Chicago is not slated for any changes this fall. Oprah, Inside Edition, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune
and The West Wing
are expected to stay on the air.

06. Gannett Broadcasting

2002 REVENUE:
$879,800,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
21
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
19
Gannett has 22 stations in 19 markets. A majority of stations compete in markets 8-74, including a duopoly in Jacksonville, Fla. There are six CBS, three ABC, and 12 NBC affiliates. In Gannett's largest markets: WUSA(TV) Washington, WXIA(TV) Atlanta and KARE-TV Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Gannett's WXIA-TV is counting on Jane Pauley
to bolster its afternoon schedule this fall. The show is slated for 3 p.m. Pauley
is expected to enhance the station's already successful lineup, which includes Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
and Jeopardy
from 4 to 5 p.m., followed by Dr. Phil
from 5 to 6 p.m. Dr. Phil, which had been on at 3 p.m., replaced a 5 p.m. local newscast.
WXIA-TV began revising its offerings last April, adding a 7 p.m. local news broadcast. Wheel of Fortune
runs at 7:30 p.m.
Apparently, the changes are working. "The audience for the 7 p.m. news is 35% higher than our 5 p.m. news," says Bob Walker, president and general manager of WXIA-TV. Dr. Phil's ratings also climbed by 25% when the show switched time periods, he adds.
"Our goal was to make our news easier to view for people who didn't have any local news choices and to make Dr. Phil
more accessible for people who are not yet home or tied up at 3 p.m. In both cases," says Walker, "we were pleased to see it worked out well."
Morning shows include Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
and Starting Over.

07. Hearst-Argyle Television

2002 REVENUE:
$782,600,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
27
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
24
A majority of the stations compete in markets 6-73, including duopolies in Boston and Sacramento, Calif. There is one UPN, one WB, two CBS, 10 NBC, and 12 ABC affiliates. The group has one independent. In Hearst-Argyle Television's largest markets: WCVB(TV) Boston, WMOR(TV) Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., and KCRA-TV Sacramento, Calif.
The syndication game plan at Hearst-Argyle includes major acquisitions for the early-fringe time period. The group has cleared The Jane Pauley Show
in about 10 markets for fall.
"We're very excited about the prospects for the show," says Emerson Coleman, VP of programming at Hearst-Argyle Television. "We think she'll deliver."
Despite that deal, Hearst-Argyle plans to be "pretty active'' at NATPE, says Coleman. The group will be shopping for new product to fill some key time periods in major markets and for weekend programming. He says UPN affiliate KCWE-TV Kansas City, Mo., and WB affiliate KQCA(TV) Sacramento also have substantial syndication needs. "We'll probably have a larger contingent than we did last year."
The group continues to have high hopes for Starting Over
despite its less than stellar ratings. The show airs on about 10 stations, mostly in the morning. Coleman thinks it has potential. "That's a show, we knew would take a long time to grow. But generally, the response has been pretty good. It looks as if there is a good demographic story for young women viewers."
As for other possible acquisitions, Coleman says there's a strong likelihood the group will clear Life & Style
in several markets for mornings and the Tony Danza Show
may be picked up by some stations.
Meanwhile, Live With Regis and Kelly, Dr. Phil
and Oprah
remain the mainstays of the group's syndicated offerings. The Ellen DeGeneres Show, carried in about five markets, "has gotten off to a nice start." Coleman expects Hearst-Argyle's interest in Ellen
to extend to other markets.

08. Sinclair Broadcast Group

2002 REVENUE:
$756,250,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
62
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
39
A majority of stations compete in markets 13-79. Sinclair's "multi-station markets": Pittsburgh; Baltimore; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Milwaukee; Columbus, Ohio; Greenville, S.C./Asheville, N.C.; San Antonio; Birmingham/Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Greensboro, N.C.; Oklahoma City; Buffalo, N.Y.; Las Vegas; Dayton, Ohio; Charleston, W.Va.; Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla.; Paducah, Ky./Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Champaign/Decatur, Ill.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Charleston, S.C.; and Tallahassee, Fla. There are eight ABC, three CBS, 20 Fox, four NBC, 19 WB and six UPN affiliates. The group has two independents. In Sinclair's largest markets: WTTA(TV) Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., KMWB-TV Minneapolis/St. Paul, and KOVR(TV) Sacramento, Calif.
Sinclair is serious about On Air With Ryan Seacrest, which launched in 23 Sinclair markets in early fringe last week.
If Seacrest
works, it could lead to development of more first-run comedy/entertainment product for Fox, WB and UPN affiliates, says Bill Butler, VP, group programming and promotion. "I have been agitating for first-run entertainment for a very long time."
Other than Seacrest, Sinclair's interest in new product has been limited. The group acquired Insider
for this fall in about eight markets, says Butler, adding that it has cleared Tony Danza
for a few stations. Malcolm in the Middle
will join the access lineup at Sinclair stations with sitcom formats. And the group is committed to My Wife & Kids
for fall 2005.
Much of Sinclair's focus has been on renewals of Jerry Springer, Maury, People's Court, Divorce Court, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, Judge Judy
and Judge Joe Brown.
Down the road, the group will work on renewals for Everybody Loves Raymond. "That conversation is probably going to take longer than some people want."
Overall, Sinclair is in "very good shape," Butler says. There are some holes in daytime, but "they're not very big holes."

09. Belo Television Group

2002 REVENUE:
$699,775,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
19
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
15
Stations compete in markets 7-123, with duopolies in Seattle, Phoenix, Tucson, Ariz., and Spokane, Wash., and an LMA in San Antonio. The group has five CBS, four NBC, four ABC, two UPN, one Fox, and two WB affiliates. There are two independent stations. In Belo's largest markets: WFAA-TV Dallas/Ft. Worth, KHOU-TV Houston, and KING-TV Seattle.
For the most part, Belo is sticking with the status quo. The group has spent 18 months completing long-term renewals for shows that are doing well: Dr. Phil, Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Inside Edition.
"Where we have programs that are working well," says Dennis Williamson, senior corporate VP/ CFO, "we wanted to lock those up and then concentrate on where we have an opening here or there. We're not inclined to make wholesale changes if it's working."
Indeed, the group is especially pleased with The Ellen DeGeneres Show's fall debut in four markets. Williamson says it has been renewed in two of them.
There have been some new acquisitions. The Tony Danza Show
will run this fall on KGW-TV Portland, Ore., and WCNC-TV Charlotte, N.C. WCNC-TV also picked up The Jane Pauley Show
for early fringe. The group's UPN and WB affiliates and independents KTVK(TV) Phoenix and KONG-TV Seattle always need syndicated product, says Williamson. King of Queens
has been cleared for The WB affiliate KASW(TV) Phoenix, which currently airs The Simpsons, Everybody Loves Raymond
and Frasier
among others.
While the group's syndicated needs are minimal, Williamson still finds NATPE a valuable experience. "It's a great place for people to look at new product. You never know when you're going to find the next Oprah
or Dr. Phil."

10. Cox TV Stations

2002 REVENUE:
$633,050,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
15
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
11
The stations compete in markets 5-151, with duopolies in San Francisco; Charlotte, N.C.; and Orlando, Fla., and an LMA in Reno, Nev. There are three NBC, three ABC, three Fox, one UPN, and two CBS affiliates and three independents. In Cox's largest markets: KTVU(TV) San Francisco, WSB-TV Atlanta and KIRO-TV Seattle.
"Our biggest issue is looking for early-fringe product for KTVU San Francisco [a Fox affiliate]," says Executive VP Bruce Baker. Otherwise, the group is in "pretty good shape. We don't have any big holes to fill."
The group has made some individual acquisitions, including The Tony Danza Show
for WFTV(TV) Orlando and The Jane Pauley Show
for WPXI(TV) Pittsburgh. Baker says both clearances are for morning time periods this fall. KRXI(TV) Reno is airing On Air With Ryan Seacrest. Independent WRDQ(TV) Orlando will add My Wife & Kids
to its sitcom lineup.
Overall, Cox's ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates have less need for new product and will continue to rely on their current offerings, which include Live With Regis and Kelly, Dr. Phil, Oprah
and Judge Judy. Access for those stations is also working, with a mix of Entertainment Tonight, Wheel ofFortune, Jeopardy
and Inside Edition.
Currently, the daytime and early-fringe lineups for Cox's Fox affiliates include Ricki Lake, Montel, Judge Mathis, Texas Justice, Celebrity Justice, Judge Hatchett
and The Sharon Osbourne Show. Friends, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, That '70s Show
and Will & Grace
also air in access on the Fox affiliates.

11. Univision

2002 REVENUE:
$599,100,000
Spanish-language network Univision generally does not buy U.S. syndicated programming.

12. Raycom Media

2002 REVENUE:
$430,750,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
37
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
30
A majority of stations compete in markets 15-113, with duopolies in Honolulu; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Paducah, Ky./Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Cleveland. There are seven CBS, 10 NBC, three ABC, nine Fox, one WB, and five UPN affiliates. The group has two independents. In Raycom's largest markets: WOIO(TV) Cleveland, WXIX-TV Cincinnati and WMC(TV) Memphis.
Raycom is taking a wait-and-see approach before closing any major programming deals. Not only is the group closely evaluating the November books, but it wants to hear from syndicators concerning cancellations. "We're waiting to get final word on what is definitely coming back," says VP of Programming Mary Carole McDonnell.
Furthermore, like other groups, Raycom is eager to see any last-minute shows that syndicators plan to develop. "I hear rumbling about additional product coming out," says McDonnell. "But I am not sure they'll bring out the product they're hinting around about."
There have been some acquisitions, including Life & Style
for one Raycom station, and deals were closed for Insider
more than a year ago. The group also needs to replace The John Walsh Show
in some of its markets.
On Air With Ryan Seacrest
is being added this month to the lineup at Raycom's Fox stations. And the group will be looking at renewals for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"Access for most of our stations is in pretty good shape," says McDonnell. "We'll be looking at Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
and its performance to figure out if we're going to renew." Raycom has long-term deals for Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune
and Entertainment Tonight.
Daytime is another story. "We're always trying to find a combination in daytime that will work. It's very challenging. Nothing seems to generate the numbers we would like," says McDonnell."
Of course, Dr. Phil
has been a boost for our business, and Oprah
continues to be strong. But, overall, we just haven't got a daytime schedule that will work very effectively."

13. Scripps Howard Broadcasting

2002 REVENUE:
$385,200,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
10
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
9
The stations compete in markets 10-60, with a duopoly in Kansas City, Mo. There are six ABC and three NBC affiliates. The group has one independent, KMCI(TV) Kansas City, Mo. In Scripps's largest markets: WXYZ-TV Detroit, WFTS(TV) Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., and KNXV-TV Phoenix.
Scripps Howard is revising its daytime and early-fringe lineups, adding The Jane Pauley Show
and The Insider
this fall. Pauley
will air mornings or in early fringe in Baltimore; Cleveland; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Phoenix; and Tampa, Fla. Insider
is primarily slated for early fringe in Baltimore, Kansas City, Phoenix, and Tulsa. WFTS(TV) Tampa will run the show in access.
The group believes Jane Pauley
will attract more viewers. "I think she'll draw a good crowd," says Gary Stark, director of programming and research. "Certainly she'll get the sampling. She's certainly got the name, and she's a television veteran."
Furthermore, he adds, the show is positioned well at WEWS(TV) Cleveland, where it will be sandwiched between Live With Regis and Kelly
and The View. "If that doesn't work, you can't blame the lead-in or the lead-out."
Scripps Howard also is fine-tuning some of its access offerings. Wheel of Fortune
and Jeopardy
will air on KNXV-TV Phoenix and KSHB-TV Kansas City, Mo., this fall. Viewers at WPTV(TV) West Palm Beach Fla., will get Entertainment Tonight
in access. Currently, some stations already carry Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Entertainment Tonight
or Access Hollywood
in access.
At independent KMCI(TV) Kansas City, Mo., Malcolm in the Middle
is slated for a fall debut.
As for other acquisitions, Scripps will need some replacements now that The Wayne Brady Show
has been canceled, says Stark. "Tony Danza
looks interesting," he says. The group also is waiting to see what happens to Living It Up! With Ali & Jack.
Last year, Scripps Howard closed its programming deals prior to NATPE. This year, though, programming decisions are likely to be made during or after the show. "We haven't had any break-out shows," says Stark. "Two years ago, we had Dr. Phil. I wouldn't say anything has failed miserably, but there is also nothing that's rocked anybody's ratings. That's why it's been more difficult to program for next fall, when you've got a lot of these borderline shows."

14. LIN Television

2002 REVENUE:
$364, 850,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
23
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
14
A majority of stations compete in markets 25-106, with duopolies in Hartford/New Haven, Conn.; Norfolk, Va.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and San Juan, P.R. The group has two LMAs: Austin, Texas, and Providence, R.I. There are four ABC, five NBC, five CBS, three UPN, one WB and three Fox affiliates. LIN has two independent stations and six LPTV operations. It its largest markets: WISH-TV Indianapolis, WTNH-TV New Haven/Hartford, Conn., and WAPA-TV San Juan, P.R.
Most of LIN Television's syndication needs have been met although there are daytime openings. "We will have some work to do between now and NATPE, but nothing overwhelming," says VP Paul Karpowicz.
The acquisition of The Jane Pauley Show
in five markets for early fringe is among the deals already completed. "We think it will be an excellent new addition to our lineup," he says. " I think Dr. Phil
showed everybody, if you put on a good show, it will do well."
LIN picked up Life & Style
for a few stations as either a morning or afternoon show, and the group is looking at renewals for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, carried in six markets. "It seems to be doing OK," Karpowicz says. Long-term renewals for Oprah, Wheel of Fortune
and Jeopardy
are complete.
The group's traditional affiliates offer a daytime mix of The John Walsh Show, Living It Up! With Ali & Jack, Pyramid, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, Montel
and Maury
among others. "We know John Walsh
is not coming back; we had that in a few markets," says Karpowicz. "I don't know whether Living It Up!
is coming back."
LIN's UPN and WB affiliates will be looking for early-fringe and daytime product. On Air With Ryan Seacrest
has been cleared for some of the Fox, WB and UPN affiliates, says Karpowicz. Access is in good shape for the WB and Fox stations, with Seinfeld, King ofQueens, Becker, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons.

15. Post-Newsweek Stations

2002 REVENUE:
$343,000,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
6
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
6
The stations compete in markets 10-52. There are two NBC, one CBS and two ABC affiliates. WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Fla., is an independent. In the group's largest markets: WDIV(TV) Detroit, KPRC-TV Houston and WPLG(TV) Miami.
Like other broadcasters, Post-Newsweek wants to give The Ellen DeGeneres Show
a try. "Ellen's gotten off to a terrific start. We feel good about it," says President Alan Frank, who is working to bring the show to at least 2 of the group's stations. The group also may clear The Jane Pauley Show
in several markets.
The cancellation of The John Walsh Show
has produced some programming challenges for the group. "We'll need to find replacements for it," says Frank. And he thinks Living It Up! With Ali & Jack, which airs on
most Post-Newsweek stations might not return, creating even greater need for new product. "They did a poor job producing it," he says.
Overall, Post-Newsweek has programming that's working, including Dr. Phil, Oprah, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy
and Inside Edition
. The group is also pleased with off-net sitcoms King of Queens
and Becker, airing on independent WJXT(TV) Jacksonville, Fla.

16. Clear Channel Television

2002 REVENUE:
$322,200,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
40
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
27
A majority of stations compete in markets 32-130, with duopolies in Memphis, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Little Rock, Ark.; Tulsa, Okla.; Mobile, Ala.; Wichita, Kan.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Monterey, Calif.; Binghamton, N.Y.; and Harrisburg, Pa. There are seven NBC, seven ABC, seven CBS, seven Fox and seven UPN, two WB and one Pax affiliate and two independents. In Clear Channel's largest markets: WKRC-TV Cincinnati, KTVX(TV), Salt Lake City and WOAI-TV San Antonio.
So far, Clear Channel is not taking too many chances and instead is keeping investments in new shows to a minimum. "Generally, I like to renew product as opposed to constantly buying new product," says VP of Programming Dan Stein. And, while the group is focusing on renewing shows like Montel, Millionaire, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
and People's Court, some deals have been closed.
The Insider
was cleared in five Clear Channel markets primarily for early fringe or access, although it might even wind up in a daytime spot this fall. And the group has picked up The Jane Pauley Show
for WPMI(TV) Mobile, Ala., and WBGH(TV) Binghamton, N.Y.
Malcolm in the Middle
will air in five Clear Channel markets this fall, and Girlfriends
will run on KASN(TV) Little Rock and possibly on KTFO(TV) Tulsa.
Demand for product is usually in Clear Channel's duopoly markets, says Stein. "If there are holes that need to be filled, they might be filled with new product or by picking up an already established show, we could even use a double run."
Certainly, the group will have to deal with the cancellation of The John Walsh Show
on three of its stations. But Stein's not worried: "We won't necessarily pick up something midseason. We'll just fill with product that we currently air then look at either new or existing product to replace them in the fall."
Access remains stable for the group's traditional affiliates, with mostly a mix of Wheel ofFortune, Jeopardy, Millionaire, Entertainment Tonight
and Access Hollywood. Sitcoms usually dominate the access lineup for the Fox and UPN affiliates, notably Seinfeld, That '70s Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, The Parkers
and The Simpsons, among others.

17. Media General

2002 REVENUE:
$309,050,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
26
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
21
Concentrated in the Southeast, a majority of stations compete in markets 13-114, with a duopoly in Spartanburg, S.C. There is one WB, one UPN, five NBC, three ABC, and 16 CBS affiliates. In Media General's largest markets: WFLA-TV Tampa/St. Petersburg; WSPA-TV Greenville, S.C./Asheville, N.C.; and WIAT(TV) Birmingham, Ala.
Media General's syndicated shopping list could grow if Living It Up! With Ali & Jack

doesn't return for another season. Otherwise, the group won't be scrambling for new product.
"Our biggest concern is whether Living It Up!
is going to return," says VP of Programming Steve Gleason. "It's on in a number of our markets. I am going to wait and see; there's not a lot I can do."
Basically, the group's in good shape and is sticking with its current syndicated fare. Montel, Live With Regis and Kelly, Judge Joe Brown
and Pyramid
are among the daytime shows carried by Media General. In early fringe, Dr. Phil, Oprah
and Judge Judy
can be found on some stations. Access is another area the group isn't likely to alter, according to Gleason. Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
are among the access offerings.
In evaluating the November books, Gleason says, the group is eager to see how Martha Stewart Living

fared. Although the show is returning for another season, there are some concerns about whether the negative publicity over the domestic diva's legal battle has affected the show's on-air performance. "I am less concerned about what happens nationally. I am more concerned about what happens in my local markets."
The group has picked up weekend product. Several markets will add CSI
and The Twilight Zone
this fall, he says.

18. Meredith

2002 REVENUE:
$305,700,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
12
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
11
The stations compete in markets 9-199, with a duopoly in Portland, Ore. There are six CBS, one UPN, one NBC, and four Fox affiliates. In Meredith's largest markets: WGCL(TV) Atlanta, KPHO-TV Phoenix and KPDX(TV) Portland.
Most of Meredith's syndication deals have been completed, but there is still some business to do at NATPE. "We're looking for some daytime product, but that's about it," says President Kevin O'Brien.
"We're pretty much done. We've renewed Ellen. We have Malcolm in the Middle
coming in the fall. We're in good shape," he adds. "We're good planners." Roughly half the group's stations have The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Going into NATPE, however, O'Brien has some serious concerns about syndicators' efforts to add more barter to their programs. "These are our television stations and our inventory. We must resist any further grabs of inventory." He's specifically unhappy about Twentieth Television's proposed 5/2 barter split for Yes, Dear
and Ambush Makeover. "Those programs will not clear on our television stations," he says. "Inventory is becoming too precious. It's a question of survival."
In some markets, Meredith's daytime lineup includes People's Court, Starting Over, Montel, Judge Mathis, Judge Hatchett
and Dr. Phil.
In early fringe, certain stations air Maury, The Sharon Osbourne Show
and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Off-net product—such as Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, The Simpsons
and Friends—makes up the access schedule in various markets.

19. Gray Television

2002 REVENUE:
$265,825,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
29
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
25
A majority of stations compete in markets 63-187. There are 15 CBS, seven ABC and seven NBC affiliates. In Gray's largest markets: WVLT-TV Knoxville, Tenn.; WKYT-TV Lexington, Ky.; and KAKE-TV Wichita/ Hutchinson, Kan.
Gray Television is cutting a deal to put The Ellen DeGeneres Show
on the air in its 100+ markets. And several Gray stations are slated to carry The Jane Pauley Show
this fall, according to Barbara Carden, program director at WKYT-TV Lexington, Ky.
The group has renewed longtime performers Oprah, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy
and Inside Edition. Live With Regis and Kelly, Pyramid
and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
have also been renewed.
In daytime, certain Gray markets offer viewers Living It Up! With Ali
& Jack, Starting Over, Family Feud
and Hollywood Squares. The mix in early fringe at some stations includes Judge Mathis, Montel, Maury
and Oprah. Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Hollywood Squares
and Seinfeld
are among the programs in access.

20. Young Broadcasting

2002 REVENUE:
$264,650,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
11
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
11
The stations compete in markets 5-133. There are six ABC, one NBC and three CBS affiliates and one independent. In the group's largest markets: independent KRON-TV San Francisco, WKRN-TV Nashville, Tenn., and WTEN(TV) Albany, N.Y.
Finding daytime product is a priority for Young Broadcasting although the group has only a few programming holes to plug, one of which opened up with the cancellation of The Wayne Brady Show.
"There's not a whole lot to do at NATPE," Executive VP Deb McDermott. "It's been an unusual year because we've done multiple deals. We don't have as many slots open." Moreover, she thinks there are fewer shows to pick from: "I haven't seen a lot of stuff presented."
The group has cleared The Insider
in five markets for mostly early fringe and late night this fall. Insider, however, will run in access on independent KRON-TV right before Entertainment Tonight. Young also picked up The Jane Pauley Show
for WKRN-TV. Some stations will carry Sex and the City
in 2005.
McDermott says the group's early-fringe and access time periods are "very firm. We do have an early-fringe hole in Akron." There is also less demand for new product because Young has long-term deals for established shows, such as Judge Judy
and Oprah. Dr. Phil
continues to do well for the group.
As for likely replacements, Young is thinking about "possibly The Tony DanzaShow
in some places." And "Life & Style
might be interesting," says McDermott.

21. Emmis Communications

2002 REVENUE:
$239,300,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
16
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
14
Stations compete in markets 20-148, with duopolies in Honolulu and Mobile, Ala. There are two WB, one ABC, five Fox, five CBS and three NBC affiliates. In Emmis's largest markets: WKCF(TV) Orlando, Fla.; KOIN(TV) Portland, Ore.; and WVUE(TV) New Orleans.
"A large part of our syndication deals are done," says Dave Ward, VP of programming and marketing. "A majority of our time periods are full, but we still have some significant programming needs."
Duopoly KGMB(TV)/KHON-TV Honolulu has slots to fill. And, with The Wayne Brady Show
canceled—it runs in at least three markets—the group will be making more acquisitions. The Tony Danza Show
has been picked up by WLUK-TV Green Bay, Wis.
At WFTX(TV) Fort Myers, Fla., On Air With Ryan Seacrest
will replace The John Walsh Show. Both WFTX and WKCF will have Malcolm in the Middle
this fall, says Ward. Sex and the City
will come to Mobile, Ala., Ft. Myers and Orlando in 2005.
Generally, the group has concentrated on renewing proven product. Long-term deals for Live With Regis and Kelly, Dr. Phil, Oprah, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune
and Jerry Springer
were closed.
Another addition for WB affiliates WKCF and WBPG(TV) Mobile is The Daily Buzz. A joint venture of Acme Communications and Emmis, it debuted last month and is headed for syndication.
Currently, in daytime, some Emmis stations offer a mix of court shows, Wayne Brady

and Live With Regis and Kelly.
The group also relies on off-net product, such as Seinfeld, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Will & Grace
and Frasier.

22. Sunbeam Television Corp.

2002 REVENUE:
$222,400,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
2
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
2
The stations are Fox affiliate WSVN(TV) Miami Beach, Fla., and NBC affiliate WHDH(TV) Boston.
Don't expect any shakeups in the syndicated lineup at Sunbeam's two stations. The group has long-term deals for the majority of its programming. "We're very fortunate in that everything we have is working," says Executive VP Bob Leider.
Even if Sunbeam isn't in the market for new product, Leider will be at NATPE. "We think it's important to go out there and see the different heads of the studios and talk to them about what's going on in the industry. I am a big proponent of NATPE. I am disappointed that a lot of broadcasters don't go because it's a great way to network with them."
WSVN's viewers watch Live With Regis and Kelly, Family Feud
and Montel
in the mornings. In the afternoon, In the Heat of the Night, Matlock, Divorce Court
and Judge Judy
air. During the access time period, the station runs Inside Edition
and Deco Drive, a locally produced entertainment show that has been on the station for eight years. "It competes quite nicely with Extra
and Entertainment Tonight
in our market," says Leider. "We do primarily the same thing as Entertainment Tonight
does, but we do it with a little bit of attitude."
The syndicated offerings at WHDH include Live With Regis and Kelly

at 9 a.m. and The Ellen DeGeneres Show
at 11 a.m. "Ellen
is one show that's a success in the 2003 season. We're very pleased with it," says Leider. At 3-4 p.m., the station double-runs Family Feud Access. Hollywood
and Extra
air in access.

23. Allbritton Communications Co.

2002 REVENUE:
$208,225,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
7
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
7
The stations compete in markets 8-104. All are ABC affiliates. In Allbritton's largest markets: WJLA-TV Washington, WBMA(TV) Birmingham, Ala., and WHTM-TV Harrisburg, Pa.
"Jane Pauley
is one we see the most promise in," says President/COO Fred Ryan. The Jane Pauley Show
will air this fall in early fringe at WCIV(TV) Charleston, S.C., and WHTM-TV Harrisburg, Pa., he says.
Pauley is "known and credible," notes Ryan. "She has a following, and she's very bright. We think it will be an interesting show. Most of the other new programs have not really excited us much."
Ryan also says news expansion is always an option. "If it gets to the point that the programming we like is not available or becomes cost-prohibitive, we see local news as a great alternative."
Most of Allbritton's activity has focused on renewals. "We've stuck to what we found consistently works," he says. "We've renewed Oprah, Wheel of Fortune
and Jeopardy
long-term. We like those products."
Live With Regis and Kelly
is a mainstay in daytime for the group. WJLA-TV also carries Hollywood Squares
and Pyramid
in daytime.
Allbritton, like other broadcasters, is investing more in local programming, which eliminates some of the need for syndicated programming. At KATV(TV) Little Rock, Ark., Good Day Arkansas, a half-hour daily news/talk show was added following ABC's cancellation of Port Charles. The station already has a successful local franchise with morning show Good Morning Arkansas.

24. Liberty Corp.

2002 REVENUE:
$190,200,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
15
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
14
Stations compete in markets 50-179. There are eight NBC, two CBS and five ABC affiliates. In Liberty's largest markets: WAVE(TV) Louisville, Ky., WTOL-TV Toledo, Ohio, and WIS(TV) Columbia, S.C.
Liberty's appetite for new product will be fairly modest this year. "We're not going to be a hot group for anybody," says VP of Operations Guy Hempel.
The only area that might see some revision is mornings on stations carrying Martha Stewart Living. The show airs on WIS; WSFA(TV) Montgomery, Ala.; WFIE-TV Evansville, Ind.; WAVE; and KCBD-TV Lubbock, Texas. "The Martha
time periods are going to be open," says Hempel. "We have to figure out where we're going there."
While Live With Regis and Kelly
remains a strong morning show for the group, Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
is struggling to capture an audience. Nonetheless, Liberty is honoring the two-year contract on the show. "I hear there are some changes coming," says Hempel. "I think they have an uphill battle with it. We'll keep talking to King World about making it a better show." Living It Up!
runs on WLBT(TV) Jackson, Miss., KPLC-TV Lake Charles, La., and KGBT-TV Harlingen, Texas.
Early fringe is solid with Oprah, Dr. Phil
and Millionaire, among others. In access, Liberty is in good shape with Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Inside Edition
or Entertainment Tonight.
"We have a lot of ET," Hempel says. "We like that show."
When it comes to off-net product, Liberty got out of the sitcom business a long time ago, he says. "If it doesn't work in an access time period, there's no place to put it."

25. Nexstar Broadcasting

2002 REVENUE:
$185,925,000
NUMBER OF STATIONS:
42
NUMBER OF MARKETS:
26
Stations compete in markets 53-201, with duopolies in Springfield, Mo.; Joplin-Pittsburgh, Kan.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Champaign, Ill.; Wilkes-Barre–Scranton, Pa.; Utica, N.Y.; Erie, Pa.; Billings, Mont.; Wichita Falls, Texas; Amarillo, Lubbock and Abilene, Texas; and Peoria-Bloomington, Ind. There are 13 NBC, seven CBS, seven ABC, 11 Fox and three UPN affiliates and one independent. In its largest markets: WBRE-TV Wilkes-Barre–Scranton; KRAK-TV Little Rock, Ark.; WROC-TV Rochester, N.Y. (Nexstar owns 28 stations and has a shared services agreement with Mission Broadcasting's 14 stations.)
Nexstar Broadcasting is keeping syndicators busy at this week. Says Senior VP/Regional Manager Tim Busch, "We're going to have active discussions with appropriate vendors as to how we can partner for the benefit of our stations' growth."
The group has invested heavily in The Jane Pauley Show, which has been cleared in four Nexstar markets and could air on a half dozen more stations. "We believe the show has a great deal of promise for future growth in our company," he says.
"We're looking to renew and expand Ellen," he adds. On AirWith Ryan Seacrest
is a possibility for several markets. Also on the group's agenda: renewal discussions for Pyramid
and Family Feud. They usually air in mornings as an hour game block.
However, Montel's future with Nexstar is not clear. The show airs in either morning or early fringe. "We'll have to have some serious discussions as to how to precede."
Busch is concerned that The Tony Danza Show
will be like "Caroline Rhea
and Howie Mandel
or any of those shows that don't survive more than one season."

September
October