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 NEW YORK, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- King World Productions, Inc. (NYSE: KWP), today reported record net income and earnings per share for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993. Results for the full year and fourth quarter are as follows:
 Fiscal Year
 Ended Aug. 31, 1993 1992 Change
 Revenue $474.3 million $503.2 million (6 pct.)
 Net income $101.9 million $94.9 million + 7 pct.
 Earnings per share $2.65 $2.43 + 9 pct.
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 38.4 million 39.0 million
 Fourth Quarter
 Ended Aug. 31, 1993 1992 Change
 Revenue $103.6 million $98.0 million + 6 pct.
 Net income $20.7 million $20.6 million + 1 pct.
 Earnings per share $0.55 $0.53 + 4 pct.
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 38.0 million 39.0 million
 "Fiscal 1993 represents our ninth consecutive year of record earnings," said Stephen W. Palley, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Our shows `Wheel of Fortune,' 'Jeopardy!,' `The Oprah Winfrey Show,' and `Inside Edition' have retained their dominant position as four of the top five rated strip shows in syndication. `Wheel of Fortune' has been the number one ranked show for 39 consecutive quarterly sweeps periods, and `Jeopardy!' has ranked number two for 32 consecutive quarterly sweep periods. `The Oprah Winfrey Show' has been the number one ranked talk show and the third ranked first run strip show for 27 consecutive quarterly sweep periods. `Inside Edition' has ranked among the top 10 first run strips for every sweeps period since the show's debut."
 King World premiered two new shows this fall, both produced by the company. "American Journal," an original newsmagazine strip, features popular breaking news stories, and is anchored by Emmy award-winning journalist Nancy Glass. "The Les Brown Show" is a unique one-hour talk show aimed at inspiring and teaching viewers methods and strategies for solving problems in their lives.
 "Our balance sheet has continued to strengthen during the year. At Aug. 31, 1993, King World's cash position was $384 million, an increase of $28 million from the $356 million we reported at fiscal 1992's year- end, after using $72 million of free cash to repurchase our common stock. We also purchased equity in Crystal Dynamics, a developer of interactive game software."
 King World's 6 percent decline reflects lower cash license fees from "Wheel of Fortune" and, to a lesser extent, "Jeopardy!" due to lower license fees per episode and fewer episodes produced in fiscal 1993 compared to last year. Revenue was also reduced due to the cancellation of "Candid Camera," which was not renewed for the 1992-1993 season. These decreases in revenue were partially offset by higher license fees per show from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Inside Edition." In addition, revenue from the sale of advertising time on all shows increased on a per show basis reflecting a general improvement in the market for advertising time.
 Net income increased 7 percent in fiscal 1993 over fiscal 1992, reflecting the absence of the results of the operations of WIVB-TV, Buffalo, N.Y., which was deconsolidated from the company's financial statements effective Aug. 4, 1992, as a result of a financial restructuring.
 Earnings per share was $2.65 for fiscal 1993, a 9 percent increase from fiscal 1992's $2.43, reflecting the net income improvement discussed above and a decreased number of weighted average shares outstanding.
 On the business development front, King World Direct, Inc. was formed in September with the appointment of Burl Hechtman, former vice president of Special Projects, as president of the new division. Among other things, King World Direct has partnered with Sears to produce 30 minute infomercials featuring Sears private label merchandise not currently available in stores. The first infomercial is scheduled to air in early 1994. King World will handle infomercial production, order fulfillment and media placement.
 In August, King World purchased a 10 percent equity stake in Crystal Dynamics, a developer and distributor of the advanced 32-bit computer game software. Crystal Dynamics' first title, "Crash 'N Burn," was packaged with the Panasonic Real 3DO Interactive Multiplayer System that arrived in stores this fall.
 King World is the leading distributor of first-run programming, including "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the three highest rated strips in syndication, and "Inside Edition," a first-run syndicated newsmagazine strip which is also produced by the company. King World is producing, on behalf of Greengrass Productions, Inc., a subsidiary of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., "Wild West C.O.W. - Boys of Moo Mesa," a cartoon series which broadcast on Saturday mornings on the ABC Television Network. The company also produces in first-run syndication "American Journal," a half-hour newsmagazine strip, and "The Les Brown Show," a one-hour talk show strip. King World distributes its own library of 68 feature films and 210 television programs, and through its barter subsidiary, Camelot Entertainment Sales, Inc., sells national advertising time in King World and other television programming. "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" are produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is produced by Harpo Productions, Inc.
 NOTE: Source: All data A.C. Nielsen.
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (Dollars in thousands except per share data)
 Year ended Aug. 31, 1993 1992
 Revenues $474,312 $503,174
 Producers fees,
 programming and other direct
 operating costs 265,357 291,976
 S,G&A expenses 58,005 58,717
 Total 323,362 350,693
 Income from operations 150,950 152,481
 Interest and div. income 11,642 12,244
 Inc. before provision for
 income taxes 162,592 164,725
 Provision for inc. taxes 60,656 62,178
 Net loss from
 deconsolidated operations -- (7,667)
 Net income $101,936 $ 94,880
 Primary earns per share $ 2.65 $ 2.43
 -0- 11/17/93
 /CONTACT: Allyson M. Kossow of King World Productions, 212-315-4000, Lisa J. La Magna, of Abernathy/MacGregor/Scanlon, 212-371-5999/

CO: King World Productions, Inc. ST: New York IN: ENT SU: ERN

TW -- NY071 -- 5563 11/17/93 14:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993

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