NBC brews talk/news

Post-'Today' timeslot getting new series

NEW YORK — NBC News and NBC Entertainment are working together to develop an ayem talk/info series for the web’s post-“Today” show timeslot at 9 a.m.

Peacock West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer and NBC News topper Andy Lack are spearheading the project, which is expected to be ready for launch by the first quarter of 1999. There’s no word yet on hosts or producers, though NBC News talent could be involved in an on-air capacity.

The format of the new show is also a work in progress, but the aim is to design a strip which can take full advantage of the huge rating lead-out provided by NBC News’ “Today” juggernaut. Many Peacock stations now lose a huge chunk of the “Today” audience once 9 a.m. rolls around, with viewers defecting to Buena Vista’s “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee,” which airs on ABC-owned stations in many markets.

NBC’s station group had been developing a morning talker with King World, but that project is now dead, industry insiders confirm. There’s a chance King World could still produce another talker for the Peacock’s stations.

What’s unclear is how the NBC News/NBC Entertainment show will impact the rest of NBC’s daytime lineup, particularly “Leeza,” which has had modest ratings success, but has yet to emerge as a hit. The veteran talker is being relaunched this fall.

An NBC spokeswoman declined to comment.

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