Stations pick up Pauley

Channels in top 10 markets commit to talkshow

NEW YORK — NBC Enterprises’ goal to harvest $1 million a week in license fees for “The Jane Pauley Show” is closer to success with the sale of the show in 75% of the country for its fall 2004 premiere.

TV stations in the top 10 markets, and in 41 of the top 50, have committed to the talkshow, Pauley’s first foray into TV syndication.

NBC Enterprises’ objective of $52 million in the first year may be dependent on the strategy of its sister NBC-owned TV stations, most of which have bought Pauley but which also carry Warner Bros. Domestic’s “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which is the best performing rookie series in the major markets.

If DeGeneres continues to perform well in the November-sweep-rating books, many of the NBC stations will be faced with a dilemma. Do they hobble the proven DeGeneres show by keeping it in the morning, thus rewarding the untried Pauley with much more desirable 3 or 4 p.m. timeslots?

That decision could make the difference in the Pauley show’s annual gross: TV stations pay smaller license fees for a 10 p.m. show than for a 3 p.m. show because more viewers are plunked down in front of their TV sets during the later time period. Too many 10 a.m. Pauley time periods could shrink the show’s revenue potential.

In addition to license fees, NBC Enterprises will also pocket tens of millions more from the 3½ minutes of commercial time that it will carve out of each hourlong run. (The stations get the rest of the time — 10½ minutes — for sale to local advertisers.)

Stations on board include NBC O&Os in New York, L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia and San Diego. Other call letters include WCVB Boston, WXYZ Detroit, WJLA Washington, WXIA Atlanta and KOMO Seattle.

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