Tribune Watch: ‘Feud’ switches syndicators

The continuing saga of the Tribune Co. continues to unravel: Fremantle Media, the producer of Family Feud, is dropping Tribune Entertainment as syndicator and is replacing it with Debmar-Mercury, a unit of independent film studio Lionsgate, Inc. effective immediately.

It seems this program has been through more syndicators than hosts — John O’Hurley is currently the captain of this ship, replacing Richard Karn, who hosted the show since 2002.

For now, Tribune continues to syndicate American Idol Rewind for Fremantle, which launched this October for weekend play. This move leaves Tribune without a daily strip (five days a week) on the air, and the future of the syndicator uncertain.

For you trivia buffs, Family Feud premired on ABC in 1976 and in syndication a year later, both lasting until 1985. It returned again in 1988 on CBS and syndication — with the network version ending in 1993 and the syndicated version ending two years later. The current version has been on since 1999. Family Feud was also the #1 game show in syndication from 1978-84, until a certain show with a Wheel knocked it off.

Hosts: Richard Dawson (1976-85; 1994-95), Ray Combs (1988-94), Louie Anderson (1999-2002), Richard Karn (2002-06), John O’Hurley (2006- )

Syndicators: Viacom (1977-85), LBS Communications (1988-92), All American Television (1992-95) Pearson Television (1999-2002), Tribune Entertainment (2002-06), Debmar-Mercury (2006- ).

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