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Wood Carves Spot at Viacom

Promotion marks focus on syndication development 1/23/2005 07:00:00 PM Eastern

The Paramount executive credited with turning Dr. Phil into syndication's No. 2 daily talk show has been promoted at Viacom. Terry Wood, 45, Paramount's executive VP of programming, has been named to the newly created post of president of creative affairs and development for King World Productions and Paramount Domestic Television.

The move integrates program development at Viacom's two major syndication arms. It should be a boost for King World, which has struggled to duplicate the massive success of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the No. 1 talk show.

“Terry is the top creative mind in syndication,” says Viacom Co-President Les Moonves. During her six years at Paramount, Wood supervised development of The Insider and worked on established shows, including Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight.

Her input on Dr. Phil secured her reputation as a hit-maker. Paramount credits Wood with taking the lead in developing a Harpo Productions' concept into one of syndication's rare breakout hits.

King World CEO Roger King believes Wood can work the same magic for his corner of the Viacom empire. “Terry brings a dynamic approach, a creative mind and great production experience,” he says. “All are invaluable.”

King admits he has made missteps when it comes to development. Talk shows hosted by Roseanne Barr, Ananda Lewis, Martin Short and Jack Ford and Alexandra Wentworth's Living It Up With Jack and Ali failed to stick. Rather than comment on King World's track record, Wood says she wants to focus on what's next.

“I need to get King World to step up to the plate in a very big way in terms of developing a show that is a home run,” she says. “That's my plan for day one.”

Wood will report to executives at both Viacom divisions: King, Paramount President Joel Berman and Paramount Programming President Greg Meidel. Prior to joining Paramount in 1998, Wood was executive director of development for Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Entertainment. She began her broadcasting career as a local-news producer, then spent eight years with CBS News.

Additional reporting by Paige Albinia

 

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