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Stations Get Their Phil

Viacom-owned King World has renewed Dr. Phil through 2008-09 on stations covering 80% of the country, the syndicator said Wednesday.

All top-20 markets have been renewed, but, as earlier reported,  in several of the top markets, the series will switch to Viacom stations starting in fall 2006. 

They include Los Angeles, where the series will move from NBC-owend KNBC to KCBS; Chicago, from NBC-owned WMAQ to WBBM; Detroit, from NBC-owned WDIV to WWJ; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale; Pittsburgh, from Hearst-Argyle's WTAE to KDKA; and Baltimore, from Hearst-Argyle's WBAL to WJZ. 
In one big market, the show is actually moving off the Viacom station, WFOR Miami-Fort Lauderdale, to Post-Newsweek's WPLG. WFOR Station President and GM Michael Colleran said that Phil had performed well, but that "the price was too high." Besides, since he already has Oprah as the lead-in to his 5 O'clock news, he says WPLG's plans to "blow out" an hour of news to put Phil at 5 would be "one less news competitor," for what he says is the market's fastest-growing newscast.WPLG will drop its 5 and 5:30 newscast for Phil, which will be sandwiched between Dr. Judy at 4 and its 6 p.m. news.
Dr. Phil, produced by Paramount Domestic Television (which is also owned by Viacom) and created by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, is in its third season. It is seen on 207 stations covering more than 99% of the country.