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 CHICAGO, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Tribune Entertainment, QVC, and Regal Communications have announced an agreement to form an historic partnership with Emmy-Award-winning comedienne and television personality Joan Rivers to produce a new syndicated daily one-hour television program that will combine selling merchandise to consumers via the broadcast marketplace with entertainment.
 "CAN WE SHOP?!," scheduled for a January 1994 premiere, will feature a unique and integrated approach combining elements of home shopping with entertainment and interviews. Guests will include everyone from well-known celebrities, personalities, performers, experts, authors, and professionals to everyday people, all of whom will appear on the program to support the sale of products directly to viewers via toll-free operators.
 In making the announcement, Tribune Entertainment's President and CEO Don Hacker stressed the "incredibly unique opportunity and strong partnership represented by teaming up these three broadcasting, cable, and merchandise giants with one of the world's most beloved comediennes, successful and enduring television personalities, and proven home shopping figures, Joan Rivers." Hacker continued, "The timing is just right for this move of home shopping to reach an even bigger audience via the larger universe of broadcast syndication. It was the success of Tribune station tests we conducted in late 1992 and early 1993 that convinced us that this type of program holds great promise and could set a new standard of how some television programming can be successfully marketed." Hacker added that "This is a breakthrough program concept that will be marketed to television stations in a unique way, creating a new source of revenue that stations will share in at a time when most television stations, like our own, are searching for new ways to compete in the '90s."
 Doug Briggs, QVC's executive vice president of electronic retailing, added that "Joan Rivers' involvement with QVC began just three years ago and has evolved into a terrific partnership. In fact, QVC sales of her exclusive `Classic Collection' of fashion jewelry are now approaching the $50 million mark. QVC viewers love Joan and we are confident that this new broadcast audience of home shopping viewers will respond just as warmly to her personality, wit, and shopping know-how."
 Joan Rivers, in assessing her latest step in the daytime television program arena, stated, "After the success of my early appearances on cable with QVC, I began discussions with my friends and colleagues at Tribune. They were immediately as excited as I was about taking this to the next step. I am so excited that we're the first ones to take this out as a truly entertaining daily shopping show. It's the wave of the future, and we're on it in a big way!"
 James Dowdle, president and CEO of Tribune Broadcasting, commented that "This particular project is an outgrowth of almost two years of experimentation and planning in broadcast home shopping between Tribune and QVC, and it is part of a broader-reaching plan our two companies have discussed."
 Regal Communications' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Arthur L. Toll said, "`Can We Shop?!' has tremendous potential to extend both the scope of home shopping and the activities of our Joan Rivers Products subsidiary. We have the 'Babe Ruth' of home shopping with Joan Rivers; During one recent weekend alone she sold over $5 million of jewelry items from our `Joan Rivers Classic Collection' on QVC."
 Regal Communications is the industry's leading producer and distributor of program length advertisements, with 1992 sales of over $125 million. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Regal Group, Joan Rivers Products, and Regal Shop International, it is also a fully integrated marketing and merchandising company. Joan Rivers serves as the executive vice president of Regal Communications.
 QVC Network is the leading television shopping operation in the world, with over a billion in annual sales. The network currently reaches more than 47 million homes in the United States via cable and satellite. This fall, the company will expand its operation into the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico, and South America. In addition to handling the order entry and fulfillment for "Can We Shop?!," QVC will also have a hand in the production and creative aspects of the new program. Miss Rivers first appeared on QVC with her successful "Classic Collection" of jewelry in 1990.
 Tribune Entertainment syndicates "THE JOAN RIVERS SHOW," a daytime talk show that is seen on almost 100 stations across the U.S. and television outlets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Greece, and Asia. The program begins its fifth season on Sept. 13. Since its launch in 1989, the program has been nominated for 15 daytime Emmy awards, including winning the award for Best Daytime Talk Show Host in its premiere season and garnering six additional nominations each of the past two years.
 Tribune Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Tribune Broadcasting Company, develops and distributes programming for television. Current production offerings include "The Joan Rivers Show," Joan Rivers' "Gossip, Gossip, Gossip" in partnership with USA Cable Networks, "Geraldo" and the Geraldo prime time specials, "Soul Train," "The Soul Train Music Awards," and "The Soul Train Comedy Awards," The Tribune Premiere Network mini-series, "The Apollo Comedy Hour," "Energy Express," "The U.S. Farm Report," a two-hour movie, "The Vernon Johns Story," starring James Earl Jones, and The Chicago Cubs Baseball Network.
 Tribune Broadcasting owns and operates six major market radio stations, ChicagoLand, a 24-hour local news cable channel, and seven independent television stations including WPIX-TV, New York; WGN-TV, Chicago; KTLA-TV, Los Angeles; WPHL-TV, Philadelphia; KWGN-TV, Denver; WGNX-TV, Atlanta; and WGNO-TV, New Orleans. Tribune Broadcasting is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tribune Company, a leading information and entertainment company which also publishes six newspapers, owns Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, and has an interest in one of Canada's largest newsprint manufacturers.
 -0- 8/25/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Corboy, vice president creative services of Tribune Entertainment Company, 312-222-3952; or Sheila Feren of Nichols/Feren & Associates, 212-983-9600 for "The Joan Rivers Show" and "Can We Shop?!"/

CO: Tribune Entertainment; QVC; Regal Communications ST: Illinois IN: ENT SU:

SM -- NY032 -- 0390 08/25/93 13:40 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1993

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