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Chi’s WPWR Renews ‘Ricki’

WPWR Chicago outlasted rival bidders and inked a renewal deal for Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “Ricki Lake.”

The renewal is the latest cash increase for the show, which may end up earning more than $500,000 weekly in license fees when all the new deals are inked.

The indie station, affiliated with the United Paramount Network, was facing stiff competition for the hot talker from the CBS and ABC stations, which both made unsolicited bids for “Ricki.”

Sources said the pricetag for the show in Chicago also skyrocketed to between $35,000 and $40,000 per week. WPWR was believed to have paid less than $20,000 per week for the show last year.

The station also has acquired “Tempestt,” the new talker from Col TriStar starring Tempestt Bledsoe. The weekly rate for that show is said to be $7,500-$10,000.

Col TriStar also inked a deal for “Tempestt” on KGO San Francisco, the CapCities/ABC-owned station, for a price believed to be north of $10,000 per week. KGO also snagged “Ricki” away from NBC affil KRON for $45,000 per week.

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