Syndie Insider

King World Has a Programming Exec

King World has hired its first development executive after letting its entire programming department go at the end of last year. Mike Stornello, who has been with the company since 1990 and was most recently senior vice president of sales, will relocate to Los Angeles from Chicago to become senior vice president of development. Stornello played a large role in the development and launch of King World's new morning talk show Living it Up! With Ali & Jack, which has been cleared in 87% of the country for a fall launch.

Hey, John Walsh, Look Out for Maury

Universal's Maury
did John Walsh proud on Friday, April 25 when the daytime talk show helped catch a criminal who had been on the lam for two years. On April 18, Maury
did a show about brutal attacks. The program featured Jamieka Cooper of Florence County, S.C., who had been shot in the face and blinded by her boyfriend, Reggie McNeil, after the couple had an argument on May 6, 2001. After the segment, in which the producers posted a number to call at the Florence County Sheriff's office, viewers began calling in. Realizing the police were on to him, McNeil turned himself in to police in Brooklyn, N.Y. In more good news for Maury, the program was the highest-rated daytime talk show in New York that Friday, unrelated to the capture, with a 5.7 rating/15 share, beating Oprah's 5.4/14.

Pie Town Divvies Up Pieces

Production company Pie Town Productions is giving a broader corporate role to three of its executives, all of whom work on Paramount's syndicated strip Life Moments,. Eric Black, formerly post-production producer on Life Moments, returns to Pie Town in the newly created post of creative director. Sean Fitzgibbons, line producer on Life Moments, becomes executive in charge of production at Pie Town. And Dana Besnoy will be director of post-production after working as post-production supervisor on the show. The three will help Pie Town expand its business to develop programming for network prime time, basic cable and syndication. Pie Town has 11 series on the air, including eight for HGTV, for which it plans to produce 500 episodes of reality TV over the next two years.