Laugh track a fast track for Frog flack

Marder to focus on Nielsen numbers, corporate publicity

The WB has upped croaksman/jokesman Keith Marder to director of network communications.

Marder will continue to focus on spinning the Frog’s Nielsen numbers and handle its corporate publicity. He’s also the show publicist for new WB acquistion “Ripley’s Believe it Or Not.”

In addition, Marder has become the WB’s unofficial in-house wit. He opens the net’s weekly Tuesday meetings with several minutes of industry jokes and performs an extended comedy routine in January and July at the Frog’s portion of the semiannual TV Critics Assn. press tours.

Promotion was announced by WB senior VP Paul McGuire, to whom Marder reports.

“Keith is not only a walking punchline, but a smart guy who has great relationships with the media and an exhaustive knowledge of all things television,” McGuire said. “He’s been a tremendous asset to the WB publicity department.”

Marder joined the Frog in March 1999. The native of Long Island, NY –the same place CBS chief Leslie Moonves grew up — previously worked as a TV critic, writing for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Albany Times-Union.

A former sportswriter, Marder’s “Encyclopedia of Notre Dame Football” will be published this fall.

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