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Norville to Stay On the ‘Inside’ Track

Deborah Norville is heading into her 20th season on Inside Edition and she isn’t going anywhere. The host recently extended her contract for two more years, which will take her through 2015-16, the show’s 28th season.

“I really believe in the power of television to make a difference and I still think that as great as Inside Edition is, we can always do it even better,” says Norville, who makes it a practice of studying the show’s performance in various markets across the country, and personally knows most station group owners and general managers. She’ll be meeting new ones when the show switches stations and adds improved slots come fall.

This sense of always looking for improvements is part of the charter for Inside Edition, which airs mostly in late afternoon and access time slots and has been on the air since Jan. 9, 1989.

Norville sees the show’s identity as a provider of news you can use, rather than celebrity gossip. “We are very much attuned to what the national sensibility is,” she says. “Six years ago, when the markets went south, we did a real pivot and started reporting stories about making your money go further. We’re not known as a financial reporting institution, but we are a window on America. That’s what America cared about right then and that’s what we talked about.”

This fall, Inside Edition will replace Disney-ABC’s departing Katie on several stations, including ABCowned WLS Chicago at 3 p.m., which is where Inside Edition aired prior to Katie’s arrival in 2012. On ABC-owned KTRK Houston, the show is moving to 3:30 p.m., where it will lead into local news.

Inside Edition also is moving stations in several markets. It’s jumping to Gannett’s ABC affiliate WFAA Dallas, where it will air at 2 p.m., and it’s headed to Hubbard’s ABC affiliate KSTP Minneapolis, where it will take the important 4 p.m. time slot. Currently, the show airs on CBS’ KTVT Dallas and on Sinclair’s CW affiliate KUCW.

In Las Vegas, Inside Edition is moving to Journal’s ABC affiliate KTNV at 7 p.m. In Tucson, Ariz., the show will air at 6:30 p.m. on Cordillera’s NBC affiliate KVOA. In La Crosse, Wis., it’s switching to 6:30 p.m. on Quincy’s ABC affiliate WXOW and in Syracuse, N.Y., it is moving to 4:30 p.m. on Nexstar’s ABC affiliate WSYR.

To help the transitions, Norville will travel to Houston and Dallas in mid-September to help promote the show. She will anchor Inside Edition from those markets, as well as work with local news teams on promotions, meet with key local advertisers and attend several events.

“Very few hosts are as connected as Deborah is to the local broadcast community,” says Joe DiSalvo, CBS Television Distribution president of sales.

The upcoming time changes speak well for what DiSalvo calls one of syndication’s longest- running and most stable shows.

“If you compare this season’s line-up to next season’s, it’s almost identical,” he says. “Nearly all of the incumbent stations that owned Inside Edition renewed the show. That gives viewers consistency and keeps the ratings steady.”

Season-to-date, as Inside Edition closes out its 26th season, the show is averaging a 2.9 national household rating, even compared to last season. In the key daytime demographic of women 25-54, the show’s season-to-date average is a 1.4, down 6% from last year.