Syndie show ends; Rivera back to FNC

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Geraldo Rivera has signed a new multiyear deal with Fox News Channel that will see "At Large With Geraldo Rivera" return to the network and signals the end of his syndicated newsmagazine "Geraldo at Large."

Production on "Geraldo at Large," which is distributed by Twentieth Television, will shut down this month, continuing to air through Jan. 26. The staff was informed of the decision Thursday.

The Fox Television Stations group said it will explore "new syndicated fare," which is expected to include additional runs of off-network sitcoms, to fill "Geraldo's" time slots. Looking to the fall, there's a strong possibility that the Fox stations will be eyeing Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution's newsmagazine based on the entertainment news site TMZ.com, a joint venture between Telepictures Prods. and AOL.

"Geraldo at Large," which airs mostly in late-night slots, is averaging a 1.6 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. The show launched in fall 2005 with a slow rollout before entering national syndication in September.

Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and chairman of Fox Television Stations, said several factors led to the cancellation.

"His ratings were climbing in several markets, including New York," Ailes said. "However, with the soft ad marketplace, the lack of an early news lead-in for his show in several cities and the timeline for financial success, I've asked him to come back to Fox News Channel."

"At Large With Geraldo Rivera" will air on Saturday and Sunday nights, with the show's premiere date and time slot to be determined. Rivera also will continue to make guest appearances on FNC's "The O'Reilly Factor" and serve as a correspondent at large during major breaking-news events.

"I'm proud to work for Roger, and I'm a team player," Rivera said. "Fox News Channel is the best outfit in the business, and the new deal allows me to cover breaking news and work with one of the most talented group of reporters in the world. Roger and I go back decades, and I want to thank him for another great opportunity."

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy praised Rivera and the "Geraldo at Large" staff.

"We want to thank Geraldo for always bringing viewers compelling news stories through the syndicated program," he said. "His strong in-depth reporting and that of his correspondents was well-received in top 10 markets such as Dallas, Atlanta and Detroit, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire 'Geraldo at Large' staff."

Rivera joined FNC in 2001 as a war correspondent.
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