16 stations/11.34% of U.S.
Shopping for syndicated product will be a mixed bag this year for Young Broadcasting. Some stations will fix their daytime schedule, other markets are making adjustments to early fringe, and some are looking at access and late night, explains Executive Vice President Deb McDermott.
"The holes vary from station to station," she says. She expects that acquisitions from syndicators will likely be a conglomeration of different items, maybe a daytime purchase for one broadcaster or an early fringe show for another operation.
"We have never gone out and bought one show for every market. I truly believe every market is individual," she explains. "The likes and dislikes of a market can vary, the strength of stations vary. Some shows work in some markets, but it doesn't mean they work in all the markets.
"A couple of our stations picked up Dr. Laura. It's not performed well, so we have some holes there," she adds. "I bought Dr. Laura..I thought it would be successful. I guess the key is not to put all your eggs in one basket when you're buying new product." McDermott thinks one reason the program has not attracted significant ratings is that it was produced as a radio show for television. "They should have taken the strengths of the radio show and made it work on television."
With syndicators rolling out their product later than usual, McDermott says, the group is "just in the midst of doing some deals." Young has strong interest in dating shows, such as Rendez-View, The Fifth Wheel
McDermott says the programs have potential for late-night at some affiliated stations and for independent KCAL(TV) Los Angeles.
As for the talk-show realm, McDermott is impressed with Ananda. "I think Ananda
is an asset as a talk-show host and could do a good job." Young has picked the show up for WRIC-TV Richmond, Va. Caroline
is another talker McDermott says the group may consider. Young's daytime offering includes Rosie O'Donnell,Oprah, Jenny Jones, Maury
Few changes are expected in access, says McDermott. Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy
and Entertainment Tonight
are working well at many of the group's stations. "We are always looking in Los Angeles to see how we can boost access," she says. To Tell the Truth
currently airs in access on KCAL .