Craving Cash, KATV Preempts Prime for Informericals

KATV-TV, Channel 7, General Manager Dale Nicholson continues to fight a battle on the financial front, which has resulted in interesting programming decisions.

Facing an ad revenue shortfall, Nicholson took advantage of the weeks between February and May sweeps to air infomercials during prime time.

On April 5, KATV preempted ABC’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” to air two half-hour infomercials at 7 and 7:30 p.m. Instead of Drew Carey’s improv-comedy show, viewers got a pitch for an album of country/Western classics and “Blue Ointment” cream.

Though some viewers were perturbed, Nicholson said the opportunity to use some of the affiliate’s allotment of pre-emptable half-hours to make money was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

His sales staff is investigating more infomercials, but Nicholson said he won’t run them in prime time until after May sweeps. It’s likely the station will air more during the third quarter, when networks run repeats and Nielsen has no ratings survey, he said.

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