'Katie' Clears the 60% Mark

Katie, Katie Couric's new talk show for 2012, is now cleared in more than 60% of the country, according to Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution. While the show was a go as soon as ABC's eight owned stations agreed to launch it, this announcement secures stations and time slots for the new talker.

Stations signing on for Katie include WFAA Dallas, WCVB Boston, WJLA Washington, WSB Atlanta, WXYZ Detroit, KING Seattle, KNXV Phoenix, and KMGH Denver.

"To have garnered such exceptional clearances in this short period of time is attributable to the enduring strength of the Katie Couric brand and her wide-ranging appeal as one of the brightest, most talented and most dynamic personalities in the business," said Janice Marinelli, president of ABC Domestic Television Distribution. "We are enormously pleased to partner with such a stellar group of stations across the country."

Disney-ABC has asked as much as $50,000 per week in cash license fees for the show in top ten markets, such as Dallas and Atlanta, that do not have ABC owned stations, but licenses fees have ended up being closer to $10,000 to $15,000 per week in those markets, according to several syndication and station sources. Those sources expect the show to reap about $250,000 per week outside of the ABC owned stations.

Meanwhile, the ABC owned stations are collectively paying as much as $400,000 per week for the show, according to several estimates. Katie should bring in another $20 to $25 million per week in barter advertising fees, bringing the show's total first-year revenues to nearly $60 million. Katie is expected to cost $80 million to produce and distribute.Most first-run syndicated shows lose money in their first year of operation, but in success become profitable in subsequent years.

Disney-ABC declined to comment on any financial information.

Katie and NBCUniversal's Steve Harvey are now sure things for next fall, with NBCU's Trisha Goddard also likely to go forward, assuming NBCU can secure major-market clearances for the new conflict talker. Still awaiting clearances are CBS Television Distribution's Jeff Probst, Warner Bros.' Bethenny Frankel and Twentieth's Ricki Lake.

This story was edited to correct financial information at 11:28 am PT.

Paige Albiniak

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.