Debmar Mercury to Distribute 'America Now'

NAPTE deal sees Debmar Mercury distribute daily strip from Raycom Media and ITV Studios America.

MIAMI -- America Now, a weekend lifestyle series that plays on a number of midmarket stations, is about to get the national strip treatment.

The Raycom-ITV Studios production will be expanding as a five-day-a week-show thanks to indie distributor Debmar-Mercury, which has just agreed to handle clearances in association with Bill Marcus' 30 Steps distribution company.

"We are fortunate that we have Debmar-Mercury as our distribution partner to secure top-flight clearances, which will make this a top new strip series for fall 2011," Raycom CEO Paul McTear said at NATPE Monday.

Hosted by Bill Rancic and produced by ITV Studios America, the lifestyle magazine utilizes the news resources of affiliates across the country.

Since its debut as a weekend series in October, America Now has dominated key time periods, grown from its lead in and matched the audience of early fringe viewers.

The show airs on 43 stations in all 36 Raycom markets repping 13 percent of the country.

"America Now has proven its worth on weekends and now, working closely with industry sales veteran Bill Marcus, we are able to roll it out as a weekday strip to stations hungry for a lifestyle series with strong local production elements," Debmar-Mercury co-president Ira Bernstein said.