Gibbons, Trifecta Aim To Grow ‘America Now’

The Raycom-created newsmagazine hosted and executive produced by Leeza Gibbons is in its third season and has enlisted Trifecta to help it expand its roster of stations. "Our goal is get wider national distribution. We’ve almost been doing this in a vacuum. The great thing about Trifecta is that they have a lot of established relationships.”

Leeza Gibbons, executive producer of Raycom-created newsmagazine America Now, says she has had enough time to work out the show’s kinks without a whole lot of scrutiny. She co-hosts the show with Bill Rancic. Now in its third season, America Now airs in 45 markets in mostly small to midsize Raycom markets.

Last month, syndicator Trifecta joined the show’s multi-company team — the show is produced by ITV Studios. Trifecta’s mission is to land big-market clearances.

“As an executive producer on the show I’m keenly interested in how we’re being distributed and the deals being made and the marketability of the show to stations,” Gibbons says. “Our goal is get wider national distribution. Trifecta has been charged with energizing the effort. They are putting information into the pipeline so people know about the show. We’ve almost been doing this in a vacuum. The great thing about Trifecta is that they have a lot of established relationships.”

America Now is an informational newsmagazine that’s less like the entertainment newsmagazines Gibbons has co-hosted over the years — CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros.’ Extra — and more like a blend of morning news and informational talk show like Today’s fourth hour. Some of the content is culled from Raycom’s stations. “That gives the stations an aspect of ownership in the show,” Gibbons says. “We’re on their air, so I work for them. I want to be really sure that what we’re delivering is what they need. We are adaptable and flexible and we’ve done local contests with some of the stations.”

The show’s content also includes a big chunk of original content. “About 50% of our stories we produce out of L.A.,” Gibbons says. “Bill and I always do the lead stories. Then, we have contributors with areas of specialty. That gives us a nice cross-section of voices.”

America Now has a wholesomeness to it that Gibbons doesn’t think will dim as the show expands to bigger markets.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

“To be a national show doesn’t force us to lose our local connections,” she says. “It makes us more of what we’re doing. Our production value is great. The team is topnotch. They’ve lived through startup shows. They’ve been around. They’re pros, so I don’t think the show will change.”


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