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Syndie Insider

Universal TV Ad Sales Ups Strabel

Mary Strabel was promoted to vice president of advertiser sales for Universal Domestic Television. In the wake of that promotion, Anthony Graziano jumped from account executive to director of advertiser sales, and Christina Buckley became an account executive. Strabel joined Universal in November 1998 as an account executive. Previously, she had been a sales assistant and manager of stewardships and inventory at Twentieth Television and a sales planner at CBS. Graziano came to Universal from SFM Media Planning in January 2001. Buckley had been a supervisor of network negotiations for Media Planning Group.

Bad Week for Syndie

Average broadcast viewing fell to its second-worst level of the season in the week ended Aug. 24, dragging syndication ratings down with it. Compared with the prior, blackout-shortened week, average viewing was down 122,000 households and off approximately 939,000 households since the end of July. The top three dating shows were hit especially hard with many younger viewers returning to school. Warner Bros.' elimiDate skidded 16% to a 1.6 rating and dropped 11% from last year at this time. Universal's Blind Date was down 11% to 1.6, tying elimiDate but also falling 11% year-to-year. And Universal's Fifth Wheel slipped 14% to 1.2, which put it down 8% from last year.

None of the top five daytime talk shows were up. King World's Oprah matched its season low of 4.9, tumbling 11%. The show also was down 9% from last year. The syndicator's Dr. Phil also dipped 2% to 4.0. Universal's Maury was flat at 3.0 and regained third place; the show was up 3% vs. last year. Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly, in repeats, dropped 17% to 2.9, equaling its season low and down 6% from last year. Universal's The Jerry Springer Show rounded out the top five, unchanged at 2.6 but down 7% year-to-year.

In court action, Paramount's Judge Judy fell 6% to 4.5 and was down 10% from last year. Paramount's Judge Joe Brown at 3.4 was flat both week-to-week and year-to-year. Twentieth's Divorce Court gained 4% to 2.6 and was even with last year, while Twentieth's Texas Justice was down 8% to 2.2 but up 5% from last year.