King World cuts

A full six months after the merger of King World and CBS' syndication division, Eyemark Entertainment, the company cut 4 of the 11 marketing people who had come over from the Eyemark side, out of a total of 30 in the department.

Following the unveiling of the merged CBS/King World last January, a number of sales and other executives exited the two companies, most visibly King World Promotion and Advertising President Don Prijatel.

In the interim, the most high-profile departure was that of Ed Wilson (former Eyemark chief turned King World/CBS Enterprises president), who left last month after his contract expired. At press time, Wilson was all but signed to head NBC's in-house syndication division. Bob Cook, executive VP of marketing, could be another departure if word of his candidacy for Twentieth's top syndication post is on the mark.

Despite suggestions from competitors that the ax had leveled Eyemark's entire marketing division, King World insisted only four people were cut, including the department's vice president of marketing services, Mary Beth McAdaragh. King World's senior vice president of communications, Andi Sporkin, declines to name the other three, but says they were working under McAdaragh as assistants or as mid-level managers. She later confirms that one of those was Pamela Littky, who worked in the graphics department at Eyemark.

Sporkin calls it "unfortunate that the restructuring had to eliminate a handful of jobs, but it was done in a smart way." She adds that this was not a "purging" of the division.

Sporkin says there is no dust left to settle in the wake of January's merger.

"This was the only department that wasn't addressed since the merger," she says, explaining that King World wanted to wait and see how many programs would get renewed this season and how many would debut, before making any cuts to its marketing department. Shows pulled from the company's slate include Roseanne and The Martin Short Show. New efforts include the recently premiered The Cindy Margolis Show and Curtis Court, which debuts Sept. 11.