Studios USA Domestic Television's Sally Jessy Raphael has snagged two new head producers, Laurence R. Ferber (The Joan Rivers Show) and April Benimowitz (Queen Latifah).
The two replace Maurice Tunick, who after seven years as Sally's executive producer wants to pursue different projects. Breathing in a double dose of fresh air on Sally makes sense, considering the strip's most recent ratings performance - a 2.5 household score for the week ending Feb. 4, 31% below its showing the same time last year, according to Nielsen Media Research. Sally posted her worst ever marks in at least a dozen years (2.3) twice in October and November. Now in its 18th season, Sally is the longest-running daytime talk show.
Ferber, former executive producer for The Joan Rivers Show from 1990-94 and most recently producer of Web-based programming, will executive produce Sally with Benimowitz reporting to him as co-executive producer. Previously, Benimowitz worked as co-executive producer of King World's pilot for Ananda. Other credits for her include co-executive producing Telepictures' Queen Latifah and Twentieth Television's Forgive or Forget.
In a related Studios USA development, Mark Lipinski, once linked as executive producer to its Kathy Levine talk project (the studio is now exploring cable opportunities for it) is now the distributor's programming executive assigned to Sally. - Susanne Ault