It wasn’t a big part of the press release about Katie Couric’s daytime show with Disney and new role at ABC News, but it was there nonetheless, toward the end of the announcement:
“[ABC] is set to return the last hour of its Daytime network block to affiliates no earlier than September 2012, but continues to support “General Hospital,” and the plans to launch “The Chew” in September of this year and “The Revolution” in January 2012.”
It made me curious what affiliates of ABC think of getting that last daytime hour back, so I reached out to Bill Hoffman, chairman of the ABC affiliates board, and soon to be executive v.p. at Cox.
Hoffman says via email:
“I think getting the hour back to the affiliates is good on a lot of different fronts. It gives stations great flexibility to program their afternoons. The response to this should be positive from the syndication world. More [developed shows] to consider. More experimentation.”
The eight ABC O&Os have cleared Couric’s show for 3 p.m.
But Hoffman said he at least likes the concept. “I like Katie as a talent. Fundamentally I like a news kind of show as a lead-in to News,” he says. “The Couric-Zucker team has done good things in the past.
“The parts of the deal we know will certainly strengthen ABC’s bench strength with talent,” Hoffman continued. “Kudos to Ben Sherwood for getting this deal done. We’ll find out how much of an opportunity the show is when we see the presentation and what the other options are.”