The race to replace Oprah: "Anderson", "Ellen" benefit

Modern Family syndication sales reaches up to 50 percent of the U.S.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution seems to benefitting the most thus far when it comes to replacing The Oprah Winfrey Show when it leaves this September, with Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres’ talk shows snapping up time slots soon-to-be formerly held by the queen of talk.

Anderson has hit the 82 percent clearance mark thanks to a CBS O&O deal which put the show on CBS stations in Philadelphia (KYW), Minneapolis-St. Paul (WCCO), and Miami (WFOR). Two of those stations (WCCO and WFOR) are Oprah incumbents; Anderson’s new show may be line to take her time periods on those stations. Meanwhile, 22 other stations have come on board including ABC station KDNL in St. Louis; CBS affiliate WOIO in Cleveland; Fox affiliate WRSP in Springfield, IL; and CBS affiliate WSBT in South Bend, Ind. (WSBT is also an Oprah incumbent.) Anderson is taking over for Oprah at CBS affiliate KFMB-TV in San Diego, ABC affiliate WATE in Knoxville, and CBS affiliate WKYT in Lexington, Ky. ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington, D.C. announced last month it was replacing Oprah at 4 p.m. with Anderson this fall.

Just up the road from D.C. is Baltimore, where NBC affiliate WBAL-TV announced yesterday it was replacing Oprah with Ellen, also effective in September at 4 p.m. Ellen is also scheduled to replace Oprah in the same time slot in Boston on ABC affiliate WCVB.

Earlier, Fox-owned WFLD here in Chicago has purchased Anderson for this fall, presumably to air in an afternoon slot.

Looking into the far future, Twentieth Television announced it has cleared hot off-network sitcom Modern Family in 50 percent of the country, scoring a nine-station Tribune Broadcasting deal. Tribune markets clearing the show for a fall 2013 start include Philadelphia (WPHL), Seattle, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids, Mich. (WXMI). Other station groups clearing the series include Hearst and Sinclair, whose WSTR in Cincinnati was announced as one of the pickups.

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