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NYC DJ Wendy Williams to Try Her Hand at TV

Independent syndicator Debmar-Mercury will try its hand at a first-run talk show for the first time, creating a show for DJ Wendy Williams that will premiere exclusively in New York.

Williams hosts a syndicated afternoon drive-time program on New York hip-hop and rhythm-and-blues radio station WBLS called The Wendy Williams Experience. She also wrote two best-selling books -- Wendy’s Got the Heat and The Wendy Williams Experience -- and produced a CD of her songs.

The show is slated to premiere this spring, although on which station has yet to be determined. If the show performs in New York, Debmar-Mercury expects to take it nationwide.

The syndicator had great success rolling out Tyler Perry’s House of Payne -- one of the only sitcoms ever to be produced specifically for syndication -- in 10 markets before selling it to TBS and then to stations across the country. The company also distributes Comedy Central’s SouthPark to TV stations.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this new venture,” Williams said in a statement. “[Debmar-Mercury’s] history with Tyler Perry shows that they understand how to work with talent and their success with SouthParktells me that they know how to work with edgy material.”

“Wendy Williams is exactly the type of talent we want to be in business with,” said Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, in a statement. “She has developed a strong personal brand that connects with a broad-based audience and she knows how to extend that brand through different media.”

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.