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Barter Programming Utilized By Independent TV-Syndicator

J.C. Whitted is an independent television syndicator with a pair of 30-minute home-improvement TV programs, �Your New House� and �Your House and Home,� which he busily markets to stations across the country from his rustic home outside Corvallis, Oregon.

He has a high-speed Internet connection to monitor the Nielsen ratings, allowing him to see how his shows stalk up against the competition, as well as software to keep track of his conversations with station managers and program directors. Yet the most important tool of Whitted�s is his telephone, which he uses to interact personally with his contacts at the TV stations.

There are two important considerations in the syndicating of his programming: Coverage, national advertisers insist on having 70% of the country covered by the show (so it�s crucial to be on the air in major markets), and station count (of the 211 television markets in the U.S., Whitted is in 140 of them).

The stations don�t pay to carry his home-improvement shows. . .they�re handled on a barter arrangement wherein the station and Whitted each get half of a program�s seven minutes of commercial time. The stations sell their time to local advertisers, while Whitted packages the aggregate time from his 140 markets and sells it to national advertisers.

Editor�s note: Whitted also sells 10-second promo spots at the end of the program, and is always on the lookout for a host sponsor wanting its name to appear on every episode of the show.


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