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Syndie Squabble Over Pauley Time Slots

Paramount Domestic Television and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution are disputing claims that NBC Enterprises has locked its new talker, The Jane Pauley Show, in early fringe time slots on NBC-owned stations in New York and Los Angeles for fall 2004, as reported in the July 14 edition of BROADCASTING & CABLE and elsewhere.

But Paramount and Warner Bros. claim NBC Enterprises has its facts wrong. John Nogawski, president of Paramount Domestic Television, says he has a contract with WNBC-TV New York that locks double runs of two Paramount shows, Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, into 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. through at least January 2005 and, because of a performance clause, likely through fall of that year.

Some rival syndicators fear NBC Enterprises is cherry-picking time slots for its own syndicated shows, regardless of previous deals those stations struck.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is set to air The Ellen DeGeneres Show at 3 p.m. on KNBC-TV Los Angeles starting this fall. Unlike Paramount, Warner Bros. does not have a contract that locks Ellen into its KNBC-TV time slot in 2004.

NBC Enterprises declined comment, while executives from WNBC-TV and KNBC-TV were unavailable.