CW Hands Kids' TV Duties To 4Kids

Looking to cut costs in its still-growing TV network, CW has sold off its decreasingly important kids' Saturday morning time slot--previously called Kids WB!--to 4Kids Entertainment.

A full-service kids' entertainment company, 4Kids Entertainment will program, market and sell the national ad time for the five-hour 7 p.m. to noontime block.

CW will share in the revenue made by 4Kids, applied against a guarantee to be paid by 4Kids to The CW. 4Kids has a similar agreement with Fox on Saturday morning, called 4KidsTV. It had been called FoxBox. So far, there is no name for the kids' programming network on CW.

However, the CW and 4Kids have a history. The company provided Kids WB!--which had existed on the WB Network and for the first two years of the CW--with some of its best-rated kids' TV shows: "Pokemon" and "Yu-Gi-Oh!"

With CW's advertising staff is working hard in prime time to handle many labor-intensive extras for marketers--such as its "content wraps" and "ciwickies" [pronounced "quickies"]--the network believed it would be better to outsource an important, but smaller, part of their business, that is still valuable to CW affiliates.



For stations, local kids' advertising revenue isn't as important as it used to be. Estimates were that in the late 1980s and early '90s, it could represent as much as 15% to 20% of a station's annual advertising take. Now, stations have different requirements with kids' programming, such as a FCC-mandated three hours of kids' educational programming a week.

"It's a much smaller part of what stations do, and there's the federal requirement," says Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming for national TV station sales rep, Katz Television Group. "With the combination of these two things, CW is looking at the most reasonable way of approaching it."

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