Pauley Fate Hinges on February

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NBC Universal Television Distribution executive vice president Frederick Huntsberry said it's too early to say whether the syndicated The Jane Pauley Show talk show will be back. He plans to make a decision after he has a chance to review ratings books from the February sweep.

The Jane Pauley Show is now cleared to run through the spring of 2006 in 99% of the country, but it has been moved out of key early fringe time periods by a number of stations.

Huntsberry says that he might let stations out of that two-year contract in a bid to build goodwill with his customers. "It's about a long-term relationship," he said. "It's not about a single show. It's about a portfolio that we offer to the marketplace."

In its first four months on the air the Jane Pauley pulled an average national household rating of 1.5. That ranked it 80th among all syndicated programs.

Huntsberry made the comments on the show's future while working the NBC Universal booth at the annual NATPE convention in Las Vegas. One of his top priorities is selling The Martha Stewart Show, which has already been cleared in more than 60% of the country.

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