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Syndicators adjust for war

Some syndicators plan to give TV stations a break, forgiving some ad make-goods owed due to pre-emptions of daytime shows for war coverage.

Typically, syndicators require stations to play any pre-empted national ads in a later show, giving them about one week to make up the time.

Universal Domestic Television and NBC Enterprises said they would not require such make-goods in the "initial phase of the war."

As with the rest of the country, neither syndicator knew how long that would be.

"We believe it is vital that we provide some relief to our broadcast partners in the initial stage of any wall-to-wall coverage of military action against Iraq," said Steve Rosenberg, president of Universal Domestic Television. "As stations' partners, we need to respond to the loss of advertising revenue and increased news-related expenses they will face as a result of covering these events."

A King World Productions spokeswoman said the syndicator "still is asking stations to give us barter time, with the possibility that they can give it to us outside of the normal seven-day window."

Warner Bros. Domestic Television wasn't ready to commit to a plan, saying stations needed to focus on covering the war.

Sony Pictures Television plans to conduct business as usual.

Twentieth Television, Buena Vista Television and Paramount Television had no comment.