“Wendy is family to us, and post-AM news, her program jumpstarts the day in our markets. Plus, she’s got enough wigs to make sure the show never gets stale,” said Frank Cicha, executive VP of programming, Fox Television Stations, in a statement.
“I want to tell Fox and all of our stations today how much their support and confidence means to me,” said Williams, also in a statement. “They should know we will never stop working very hard to bring our dedicated Wendy Watchers and audience ‘co-hosts’ the freshest national daytime television! I love you for watching!”
On Monday, Wendy returned for its 11th season with the same mix of live Hot Topics at the top of the show and celebrity interviews that have propelled it to success this far. In the past year, Wendy averaged more than 1.6 million viewers per day, including 440,000 in daytime’s key women 25-54 demographic, according to Debmar-Mercury. Wendy also added 6% among that demo in the May 2019 sweeps compared to the prior year.
“Wendy’s enduring demo strength is matched only by its unwavering support among our valued station partners,” said Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus. “Fox, which has been there from the start, remains a big believer in the power of Wendy to deliver the goods and keep its important morning news block viewers from going anywhere.”
Wendy Williams herself is coming off of a challenging year that saw her take a lengthy hiatus from her show while she dealt with the dissolution of her marriage to Kevin Hunter, who also served as her business manager and as an executive producer on her show. She also faced health issues, relapsed into alcohol addiction and checked into a sober house for a few weeks in the spring. Above, she addresses some of these issues in a Sept. 5 appearance on ABC's The View.
This summer, a three-week test-run of Jerry O, starring Jerry O’Connell and produced by Debmar-Mercury and Funny or Die ran in Wendy Williams time slots across the Fox Television Stations.
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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