‘Phil,’ ‘Sally’ Blow To WBBM

CBS-owned WBBM in Chicago has picked up Multimedia’s “Phil Donahue” and “Sally Jessy Raphael” from NBC-owned WMAQ, which declined to renew the two talkers.

“NBC had an option for the 1995-96 season, and we don’t know why (WMAQ prez/general manager Pat) Wallace did not pick them up. Both shows are performing well,” said Multimedia exec VP Richard Coveny. “WBBM made an aggressive multiyear offer.”

While WMAQ passed on the two talkers, Coveny said NBC’s WNBC New York and KNBC Los Angeles have renewed the shows, as has NBC’s WTVJ Miami. NBC has yet to say if it will renew the shows for its Washington station, WRC.

The decision of NBC to renew the shows in the top two markets comes as a surprise, since execs there in the past have been critical of the shows’ performance. But NBC apparently could not find replacement product.

In Chicago, CBS’s WBBM is expected to run “Sally Jessy Raphael” at 3 p.m. and “Donahue” at either 9 p.m. or 2 p.m.

The 3 p.m. run for “Sally” may cause problems with CBS brass, since Group W and the Eye web want their owned stations to carry the hourlong newsmag “Day & Date” in the 3 p.m. time period.

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