Variety Spices Up Turner's Promos


Turner Network Sales has shuffled its 2002 slate of 22 affiliate promotions to emphasize some weekly shows and Cable News Network's revamped lineup.

Turner will also shift its vendor-support program to bolster cooperative ad spending on TBS Superstation, said vice president of local ad sales Jerry Ware. A similar program for Turner Network Television was successful last year, he said.

"We create these to meet the business needs and goals of our affiliate partners," he added.

Ware would not estimate how much revenue was generated from its 2001 slate of 22 promotions, aside from noting that the TNT vendor-support initiative brought more than $1.3 million to affiliates in eight key markets.

This year, the vendor program is tied to the " 'Reel' Meals Sweepstakes" for TBS's "Dinner & a Movie" franchise.

TNS and TBS Superstation are pitching a sweepstakes that grocery stores can use to draw more co-op and promotional ad dollars from their vendors, which typically favor newspapers. It runs through March 2003.

Turner suggests that operators in 10 markets pitch customizable "Dinner & a Movie" recipe-themed, free-standing-insert artwork in Sunday newspapers, plus co-branded retail displays.

A tie-in "Witchblade
Warrior Challenge" will support the second season of TNT's Witchblade. Centered on affiliates in the top 25 markets, the contest will furnish its grand-prize winner with a state-of-the-art personal gym and one year of self-defense lessons.

This summer, the TBS "Unbelievable Wednesdays" promotion will spotlight the returning Ripley's Believe It or Not
and the upcoming Worst Case Scenario. Top prize is a trip to the Aspen Jazz Festival in Colorado.

On the sports front, sweepstakes will be pegged to TNT's coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the Professional Golfers' Association Championship in August and National Association for Stock Car Racing coverage, Ware said.

Turner will also add affiliate promotions for new CNN series, NewsNight, anchored by Aaron Brown, and American Morning, with Paula Zahn anchoring.

The Brown tie-in is still in development, but Ware said the Zahn promotion would run in the top 25 markets starting in September.