Byron Allen Has Big Plans

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With nine shows on the air and another three premiering next fall, Byron Allen's small-sized CF Entertainment is expanding its sales force to meet increasing demand and to begin focusing on other markets, including cable and international.

For starters, CF Entertainment this winter brought Darren Galatt aboard to open a media sales office in New York and to take over advertising sales for the company's broadcast TV programs and its Internet unit, EntertaimentStudios.com. Galatt came to CF Entertainment from media services company Carat USA and from advertising agency Universal McCann.

Galatt's hire allowed Allen to promote CF veteran Ernest Cartwright to executive vice president, expanding his purview from domestic TV sales to international, basic cable, airlines and domestic radio sales. CF Entertainment also hired Peter Preis to be vice president of marketing and sales for the western region of the U.S. Preis had been with Universal Worldwide Television.

Expanding the sales force "allows us to focus more on working closely with advertisers, clients and advertising agencies," said Allen, chairman and CEO of CF Entertainment.

CF Entertainment is one of the few first-run syndicators in the business still getting by nicely with weekly half-hours and hours, although the company also offers some strips: It has weekly hour Beautiful Homes and Great Estates, half-hour strip Recipe TV
and AutomotiveVision.TV
for next season.

Because the shows often run early and late in the day, CF's programs typically pull modest ratings. In Los Angeles, KABC-TV, an ABC-owned station, runs three of CF's shows and plans to add Beautiful Homes
next fall. The shows aren't scheduled where they have much chance to perform, said station President and General Manager Arnold Kleiner. "But Byron puts out some pretty good products and we like him. It's more fun to do business with people you like than people you don't like."

"Because we are vertically integrated we are able to keep our costs down," said Allen. "The more you spend on a show the higher your rating has to be. A lot of the studios are not equipped to produce programming that produces a one or two rating and keep that show in business."

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