Scripps Television is standing by its decision to drop syndicated ratings powerhouses “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” from its stations, according to TVNewsCheck.
“There was no scenario where we thought we would immediately replace Wheel and Jeopardy’s ratings,” says Bob Sullivan, vice president of content at Scripps TV station group. “We have to rebuild the time periods. But we’re almost to goal in terms of what we thought we’d be doing — about 88% to estimate and we’re only six weeks into our first year.”
Scripps cut the cord to the two syndicated game shows in seven markets this September and replaced them with two of their own shows, “Let’s Ask America” and “The List.” But the move may not work for other station groups since Scripps produces both shows.
Sullivan concedes that the time slot ratings are two-thirds from where they were when Wheel and Jeopardy filled them. But it’s not just about ratings, it’s about making money, he says. “We have all the inventory. So, we have more ads to sell. And the audience we are attracting is a more targeted audience for advertisers.”
The shows may be shopped to non-Scripps stations if they continue to do well. Scripps and Warner Brothers’ Telepictures are partners on “Let’s Ask America,” though TVNewsCheck said Warner Brothers hasn’t announced any plans for distribution of the show.
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