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Syndie Insider

Weiser Heads Sony Distribution

John Weiser, executive VP of Sony Pictures Television, has been promoted to president, distribution. Weiser still reports to Steve Mosko, the company's president. With his new title, Weiser will continue to oversee all of SPT's domestic sales, including off-net sitcom Seinfeld and newest first-run launches Life & Style and Pat Croce: Moving In. He also oversees distribution of Sony's feature films; he sold Spider-Man 2 to Fox and FX before the film was released.

Weiser has been with Sony since 1990, joining as an account executive on the West Coast. Prior to that, he was senior VP for Guber-Peters Entertainment and head of sales for Chuck Barris Entertainment. He began his TV career at Tribune Broadcasting, where he oversaw the Northeast and Midwest sales offices. He is on the board of directors of the Television Bureau of Advertising and co-chairman of the National Association of Television Program Executives.

Wheel Slows But Stays Steady

King World's Wheel of Fortune skidded 14% to a 7.3 in the week ended Aug. 1. It was Wheel's
second-worst number of the season, but it was good enough to retake the top ratings spot among all syndicated shows for the first time in four weeks. Jeopardy!, paired with Wheel
in many major markets, had been the highest-rated show in syndication for the past month but slipped to third overall, behind Wheel and King World's off-net sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

Jeopardy!'s ratings went into a nose dive when the show went into summer repeats. Without super-contestant Ken Jennings, the show fell 38% week-to-week to a 6.0, its second-lowest weekly rating of the season and a dropoff of approximately 5.6 million viewers. Jennings, who has won more than $1.3 million in 38 straight games, is on deck to continue his winning streak when Jeopardy! returns in originals on Sept. 6.