Fully 80 stations will air the fourth season of syndicated show Better when it debuts Sept. 13, a giant bump from the 50 airing the Meredith program last fall. Among the newbies are Fox-owned WFLD Chicago, KRIV Houston and WOFL Orlando; Hearst TV's KQCA Sacramento and WBAL Baltimore; and Sinclair's WPGH Pittsburgh. Stations owned by LIN, CBS, Tribune and Cox, among others, have renewed the program.
The new season is the first that sees Meredith offer a full-barter model for partners. Better is hosted by Audra Lowe, and will feature more live musical performances than in years past. The bulk of Better is shot in Meredith's Manhattan facilities.
Better features fashion, fitness and food, among other topics, and allows partner stations to integrate local vendors into the program. "That's a big source of revenue for stations," says Meredith Video Studios Executive VP/General Manager Kieran Clarke. "It really adds value to the show."
The 2010-2011 season will offer 39 weeks of originals. Better's 80 station partners, which include KIRO Seattle and XETV San Diego, cover 52% of the U.S. "We've got a tremendous amount of momentum going into the fourth season," says Clarke.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.