Syndicators pump up SNTA


Coming off an upfront season during which syndicators lost an estimated $1
billion in advertising revenue and in the wake of a disjointed National
Association of Television Programming Executives' convention, eight major
distributors -- including Warner Bros. Domestic TV, King World Productions and
Twentieth Television -- have opted to put their muscle and money behind a newly
revived Syndicated Network Television Association.

But Columbia TriStar Domestic Television is going to try to make an
impression with advertisers on its own, and it has already started a widespread
campaign aimed at media buyers.

Insiders said each of the eight major syndication studios has agreed to
increase its annual fee to $300,000 to raise the profile of the SNTA, and last
week, the studios hired former Optimedia International chairman and CEO Gene
DeWitt as the association's new president.

Sources said DeWitt will be paid $500,000 annually to get syndicators a
stronger voice with advertisers, where they are now competing for dollars in a
500-channel universe.