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NBC is focusing on more than prime time after the Summer Olympics. It plans to launch The Jane Pauley Show
on August 30—backed by the biggest ad budget in NBC Enterprises' three-year history, say NBC Agency Co-Presidents John Miller and Vince Manze.

And expectations are high.

With executive producer Michael Weiser at the helm, the show's senior staff is coming together. Colleen Halpin, a longtime Dateline
producer who already has a relationship with Pauley, will be the show's No. 2. Meredith Paige, who won eight Emmys producing the "up close and personal" segments at the Atlanta, Sydney, and Salt Lake City Olympics, is the show's senior field producer. Segments illustrating each day's featured topic will play a big part in the program, says NBC Enterprises Senior Vice President Linda Finnell.

"We don't want to see the same old talk shows rehashed, rehashed, rehashed," warns Mark Barash, director of programming for Cox Broadcasting's NBC stations. "We hope they don't take for granted that, because they have a great talent, they have a great show. But I think they understand."

The show's senior producers include Laurie Weiss, who comes from local television in Detroit, and Marlene Selip, who was a top producer on Donahue, as well as on NBC Enterprises'The John Walsh Show. Andy Barsh, also from Walsh, will direct. Last week, NBC executives selected a set designer, although the deal was not sealed by press time.

Pauley
is cleared in 98% of the country and 189 markets. Although that's a respectable launch number, NBC Enterprises plans to keep pushing until it is in all 211 markets, says Executive Vice President Barry Wallach.

Of those clearances, some 70% are in early fringe, and 30% are in daytime. The show will serve as a lead-in for the evening news in nearly half the country, Wallach says. Pauley
is cleared mostly at 10 a.m., although schedules for many TV stations have not yet been set.

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.