Syndie preemptions spawn ad issues


Syndicated shows are still getting pre-empted by breaking news, which could prompt fears that studios will eventually demand make-goods for lost ad revenue on programs that never aired.

But the word is that stations feel syndicators are putting aside financial concerns out of respect for the terrorist attack tragedy. Warner Bros.' domestic syndication division has already notified stations that it won't be seeking make goods for pre-empted programming.

In turn, it's unlikely advertisers will be out to gouge syndicators for any loss of money in the short term. "Everyone is more interested in working together than trying to put the squeeze on people," says Iniative Media's Stacy Lynn Koerner, doubts advertisers "aren't going to make a big issue" over pre-emptions either.

But it's tough to think how the pre-emptions won't effect everyone economically over time. Admittedly, "there will be some economic repercussions that will affect the distribution and broadcast community," says Tribune CEO Dick Askin "But the reality is that there is a much larger national concern and this is just a smaller piece.

Advertisers will have to sit back and be aware of the changed marketplace at least in the short run."
The TV arena will get a few months to return to some sense of normalcy before any make good requests are made, typically done in January after the fall season.
- Susanne Ault