‘ET,’ Hart won’t part

Anchor began 25th year on show last month

NEW YORK — “Entertainment Tonight” has signed Mary Hart to a new multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract, making her the longest-running anchor of a national daily news or magazine show.

Hart began her 25th year as co-anchor of “ET” last month. She took over the “ET” gig around the same time Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings began their lengthy anchor stints. But while new faces now anchor the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, Hart remains.

Hart was named co-host on Aug. 9, 1982, less than two months after joining the newsmag as a correspondent. Her new deal is the first major announcement out of CBS TV Distribution since parent CBS merged its Par and King World domestic syndie units.

“At this point, ‘ET’ and Mary Hart are synonymous,” said CBS TV Distribution Group CEO Roger King.

“ET” exec producer Linda Bell Blue said Hart remains an active contributor to the show.

Led by Hart, “ET” has ranked No. 1 among entertainment newsmags for almost 1,300 consecutive weeks.

Succeeding Marjorie Wallace in 1982, Hart has outlasted several male co-anchors on the half-hour “ET” strip, starting with Ron Hendren (1981-84) and continuing with Robb Weller (1984-86), John Tesh (1986-96), Bob Goen (1996-2004) and now, Mark Steines.

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