It may be cold comfort, but local TV stations airing wall-to-wall news coverage of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks had one less thing to worry about Wednesday.
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) sent letters to TV station clients Wednesday, saying it was “waiving all make-goods arising from the preemption” of several of its syndicated programs Tuesday, according to station sources.
Usually when a syndicated show is preempted, stations are required to air the national advertising associated with the episode in a comparable daypart. This allows the distributor to uphold its commitment to advertisers, who buy time on the shows on a national basis.
Syndie and station insiders said they expect most syndicators likewise not to press stations to make up for their shows’ lost time due to coverage of the attacks.
Among WBDTD’s shows affected by the waiver is Gotham-based “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” the production of which halted this week. “Rosie” usually airs live in many markets at 10 a.m. ET. On Friday, a pre-taped show featuring Elizabeth Taylor will be made available to stations.
The cast of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” in Gotham this week for a promo tour supporting the show’s launch in broadcast syndication, was at “Rosie” to appear on the show Tuesday when news of the terrorist attacks broke. The “Raymond” promo tour in Gotham has been canceled.