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 NEW YORK, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking its official entry into the advertising sales business and another step in the company's expansion, Columbia Pictures Television Distribution (CPTD) has formed Columbia Television Advertiser Sales, a new media marketing company to service advertising sales for CPTD's growing pipeline of syndicated programming, it was announced today by Barry Thurston, president, CPTD.
 In addition to producing its own programming, CPTD syndicates first-run and off-network series from Columbia Pictures Television (CPT), TriStar Television and Merv Griffin Enterprises, as well as off-network product from Castle Rock Entertainment, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and HBO Independent Productions. The company also controls a deep library of 259 television series representing some 26,700 episodes of programming.
 The introduction of Columbia Television Advertiser Sales comes less than a year after CPTD opened its first-run syndication unit and launched its initial offering, the critically acclaimed children's program "Beakman's World."
 The new company will be charged with barter advertising sales for all future Columbia programming as well as developing value-added, integrated marketing campaigns supporting CPTD product. The first project will be "Ricki," Columbia's daily talk show hosted by film/television personality Ricki Lake, which is scheduled to premiere in Fall 1993. The series is being marketed on a cash-barter basis with Columbia retaining three minutes of advertising time and providing stations with 11 minutes.
 Headquartered in New York at 550 Madison Ave., Columbia Television Advertiser Sales will be overseen by Robert Cook, senior vice president, marketing, CPTD, and Chris Kager, vice president, advertising sales and marketing, CPTD. Cook and Kager are expected to announce staff appointments in the coming weeks.
 "The formation of Columbia Television Advertiser Sales represents a natural evolution in the growth of Columbia Pictures Television Distribution," said Thurston. "Our company is poised to receive a steady flow of programming and we are now equipped to sell our product in-house, which makes CPTD a vertically integrated company and uniquely positions us to expand our leadership role in the media marketing arena."
 "Columbia Television Advertiser Sales will be a unique operation, blending ad sales, value-added marketing and promotion," said Cook. "It will help us maximize revenue from our programming and strengthen our already-proven ability to deliver cutting-edge cross promotions that benefit the advertiser, our client stations and Columbia."
 CPTD recently distinguished itself as a pioneer in developing innovative integrated marketing campaigns with cross promotions that tied Monsanto Wear-dated Carpet and Centrum Vitamins to the syndication launch of "Designing Women." The campaigns, which featured massive point-of-purchase support and multimillion-dollar advertising schedules, delivered an additional $30 million in media weight to "Designing Women's" syndication broadcasts.
 CPTD's barter advertising inventory for the off-network broadcasts of "Married ... With Children" and "Designing Women" will continue to be sold by One World and Tribune Entertainment, respectively. Tribune will also continue to sell inventory for CPTD's barter movie networks while Group W will remain the barter agent for "Beakman's World" until the series moves to CBS in fall 1993.
 Columbia Pictures Television Distribution is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, theatrical exhibition, home video, operation of studio facilities and distribution of filmed entertainment worldwide.
 -0- 5/5/93
 /CONTACT: Chris Ender of Columbia Pictures Television Distribution, 213-460-7634/

CO: Columbia Pictures Television Distribution ST: New York IN: ENT ADV SU:

JB-EH -- LA026 -- 4954 05/05/93 14:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1993

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