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Some of the newer companies in syndication are facing an embarrassment of riches in disentangling local and regional sales.
UA, for example, notes that it has had to turn down alternate week regionals wanted by an oil and a food advertiser because it had already closed local full sponsorship deals in certain markets on The Vikings.
Negotiations to bring the regionals in broke down in both cases when existing full advertisers wouldn't give up a half share to accommodate the multi-market buyer.
The fear several months ago that time period shortages would create a syndication film surplus led a number of companies to trim sail on new production.
This situation has created what some stations call a film shortage, with not enough new product around to fill needs in certain markets.
The explanation of how film surpluses and shortages can exist side by side lies in the differing film pattern of one market and another.
An irreconcilable syndication paradox here is that it must plan and produce according to nationwide needs, and then sell according to local demands.
Westinghouse Broadcasting is demonstrating that programers can get good ratings with shows made below regular cost levels, if they are unusual enough.
Their own American Civil War series produced from Matthew Brady photographs earned these two ARB ratings:
Cleveland (KYW-TV, 7:30 p.m., Thurs.) 17.4
Boston (WBZ-TV, 7:30 p.m., Thurs.) 15.6
Syndication of the series to non-Westinghouse stations is slated for January.
An overall reappraisal of video tape and its usefulness for tv commercials is now taking place in agency and advertiser circles.
As one insider put it: "The tape honeymoon is over."
A crisis in tape budgeting seems imminent over the question of contradictory network policies: The networks must cut their tape handling charges or else their own units will likely lose commercials production business.
Film producers who took a watch-and-wait attitude this past year are now waking up to the fact that their silence may have been taken as a tacit recognition of tape dominance and supremacy.
Agency reaction to tape experience is mixed: Some swear by it while others expected too much and are now disappointed.
In 1960, look for a new co-existence between tape and film, with clients continuing to change sides in both directions to find the medium they need.
Commercials producers who are labeled as specialists in particular products are breaking away from a role which they themselves may have created.
In a general trend toward diversification in all phases of the industry in recent months, producers such as Van Praag, once regarded as an automotive house, are now making important inroads on other types of products.
Stations with tape facilities are doing a big business in commercials with local clients on medium-sized budgets.
For John A. Sallay's views on getting into tape, see p. 46, this issue. He's Cleveland radio/tv production manager for Fuller & Smith & Ross.
12 DECEMBER 1959