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CBS Television Merges King World Productions, Eyemark Entertainment and CBS Broadcast International to Create New Worldwide Distribution Organization.

- Roger King Named Chairman and CEO, Ed Wilson Named President and COO -

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- CBS Television has created a new organizational structure for its worldwide distribution operations that unites King World Productions, Inc., EYEMARK Entertainment and CBS Broadcast International, it was announced today by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Television.

The new organization will retain the established name of CBS Enterprises -- which will encompass King World Productions as its domestic syndication arm and CBS Broadcast International as the international distribution unit. CBS Enterprises will be headed by Roger King, who has been appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Ed Wilson, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer. Steve LoCascio will serve as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Michael King, who is currently Vice Chairman and Co-CEO, King World, will serve as a consultant for CBS Enterprises.

"What we have created today is a distribution group that makes the most of these organizations' great, complementary assets in management, programming and sales," said Moonves. "With Roger and Ed at the helm, we have assembled a strong, talented team and an equally solid business foundation that promises to lead CBS to new heights in this growing business."

The new organization will be responsible for all domestic syndication, international distribution and production, media sales and video services. King will oversee all CBS Enterprises operations and domestic sales and report to Moonves. Wilson will manage programming, creative services, international distribution, two media sales units and video services, reporting to King.

The new Division consists of:

-- King World Productions, Inc., the combined domestic syndication unit

selling to local stations, cable and inflight. Its slate includes

top-rated current first-run and off-network series as well as a variety

of programming to premiere in Fall 2000. Stuart Stringfellow has been

named President, Domestic Sales, King World Productions. All program

development and production will be managed by Andy Friendly, named

President, Programming and Production.

-- CBS Broadcast International (CBI), which will handle all program sales,

format sales and local production in more than 120 countries and be

overseen by Armando Nunez Jr., President, CBS Broadcast International.

King World International Productions becomes a part of this unit and

will be run by Fred Cohen, who will remain President, King World

International Productions, and also assume the title of Executive Vice

President, CBI. He reports to Nunez.

-- CBS Enterprises will retain two national barter sales units: EYEMARK

Media Sales and King World Media Sales. Their Presidents remain,

respectively, Dan Cosgrove and Steven Hirsch.

"The invitation to bring together such talented resources, familiar and new, is a terrific, special challenge for me," said Roger King. "With this union, we're taking the reins of a unique combination of great programming, successful leadership and vision. I look forward to leading this phenomenal team into many exciting, innovative opportunities that will both strengthen CBS and invigorate the business."

"In addition to the growth this organization brings us domestically, it now enables us to make a giant leap in the international arena," said Wilson. "By uniting CBS's longtime leadership among U.S. suppliers of network primetime series with King World's success in local production, we offer clients around the world one-stop shopping for quality programming."

"The combination of these successful companies is moving more quickly and smoothly than anyone could have anticipated," said Michael King. "With Roger and this new team in place, I feel the future of the company is bright and its potential is unlimited. I look forward to providing counsel to this great new organization."

The slate for King World Productions, Inc. continues to feature such series as "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Its other current first-run strips are the new "Hollywood Squares," the #1 lifestyle series "Martha Stewart Living," the news magazine "Inside Edition" and the talk shows "Dr. Joy Browne," "The Martin Short Show" and "The Roseanne Show." In addition to the weekend late night series, "The Howard Stern Radio Show," and its weekly first-run dramas "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" and "Peter Benchley's Amazon," it sells such weekend half-hours as "The George Michael Sports Machine" and "Bob Vila's Home Again." Its new first-run series for Fall 2000 are the court strip "Curtis Court," the weekend late-night series "The Cindy Margolis Show" and the financial news magazine "CBS MarketWatch Weekend." Among the unit's off-network titles are "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Early Edition," "Caroline in the City," "Kids Say the Darndest Things" and "Touched By An Angel." In addition, it distributes a library of feature films, television films and classic series, as well as the Mr. Food local news and programming informational insert.

CBS Broadcast International is currently selling a record number of top-rated network primetime series, including "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Judging Amy," "Touched By An Angel," "The King of Queens," "Late Show with David Letterman," "60 Minutes," "48 Hours," "City of Angels" and the upcoming "Grapevine." CBI's extensive 1999-2000 slate also includes eight television films and the Network mini-series "Shake, Rattle & Roll," such specials as the "Miss Universe" Pageants, and 10 new documentaries from CBS News Productions.

King World International Productions is active in both format sales and local production of numerous successful game shows, including "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!," "Hollywood Squares" and the Merrill Heatter game show catalogue. Currently, 30 locally produced versions of these series are airing worldwide.

Both EYEMARK Media Sales and King World Media Sales are recognized as leaders in national advertising sales for domestic syndication. EYEMARK currently represents 17 series in diverse genres. King World sells barter time in its top-rated series, along with programming for other companies.

CBS Corporation merged with King World on Nov. 15, 1999.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 19, 2000
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