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Local affiliate stations from around the country are giving the thumbs-up to a syndicated talk show with CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper.
In the past 10 days, some 40 stations have inked for Anderson for their schedules this fall, making the Warner Bros. strip a firm go for the upcoming season. They come on the heels of launch clearances with Tribune’s WPIX in New York and Fox outlets in L.A., Chicago and Boston.
Altogether, as the TV biz gears up for the NATPE trade show in Miami (Jan. 24-26), Anderson will come to town with at least 80 stations cleared, repping 70% of the country.
The show is being pitched as stylistically like the smart, provocative talk once provided by Phil Donahue but emotionally more like what Oprah Winfrey delivers. (Winfrey exits syndication after the current season to launch her cable channel, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.)
The latest clearances were unveiled Sunday by Ken Werner, president, and Rick Meril, executive vp/general sales manager, of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
Key stations that have inked in the cash/barter deals include KTVU (San Francisco), WXIA (Atlanta), WDIV (Detroit), KPHO (Phoenix), WFTS (Tampa, Fla.), KTVD/KUSA (Denver), WOIO (Cleveland), KDNL (St. Louis) and WPXI (Pittsburgh).
“The momentum for this show is robust,” said Meril, given how “quickly and aggressively” outlets have signed on. “Stations are recognizing ‘Anderson’ for both its instant wide-ranging appeal as well as its long-term franchise potential.”
In all, stations repping the Allbritton, Capital, Citadel, Cordillera, Cox, Fisher, Fox, Freedom, Gannett, Hearst, Hubbard, LIN, Local TV, Media General, Meredith, Midwest, Morgan Murphy New Vision, Newport, Northwest, Raycom, Sarkes Tarzian, Schurz, Scripps, Sinclair, Smith Media, Titan and Tribune groups have bought the strip.
Like gabbers Winfrey and before her Donahue, Anderson will target women looking to be informed and entertained, gain perspective and stay connected to the world around them.
Cooper previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the show would not track hard news as he does on CNN but rather would focus on water-cooler topics — the big celebrity interview one day, the personal story behind the headlines the next. There also will be undercover investigations and hidden-camera experiments. Cooper also said interactivity would be emphasized in order to involve viewers at home as well as those in the studio audience.
The five-day-a-week series will be based in New York and produced by Telepictures in association with StrongChild Prods.; Cooper will serve as an executive producer.
The only other talk show with significant clearances for next season is Debmar-Mercury’s Jeremy Kyle, which has been cleared in 70% of the country, mostly on indie stations.
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