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Tegna, MGM Set ‘Bold’ Plan for Live Syndicated Series

Variety logo Variety 1/16/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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The Tegna Media station group and MGM have teamed to launch a first-run syndicated strip, “BOLD,” that will focus on the day’s news and online trending topics. The plan is to produce updated editions of the half-hour show for each time zone starting in fall 2017.

“BOLD,” which stands for Broadcast Online Live Daily, will promote interactive elements encouraging viewers to submit video and content ideas for the show, share their thoughts on the highlighted stories and vote in polls. There’s no word yet on producers or hosts for the series. Lisa Kridos, Tegna’s exec producer of program development, is overseeing the effort.

“The show will reflect how viewers are consuming content across multiple platforms at the same time. ‘BOLD’ combines those experiences in an informative, interactive and innovative way. ‘BOLD’ will do the heavy lifting, bringing together the day’s top stories, funny and emotional content and viral videos in one place,” said Dave Lougee, president of Tegna Media.

“BOLD” marks another significant investment in content creation from Tegna, the station group formerly known as Gannett Broadcasting, in an effort to take advantage of the reach of its 46 stations covering about 30% of U.S. TV households. The company last year launched the talk show strip “T.D. Jakes,” which expanded into non-Tegna markets via syndication but has yet to land a clearance in New York or Los Angeles.

“BOLD” also reflects the growing focus among local stations on live and timely topical fare in daytime in an effort to encourage viewers to tune in on a regular basis. Daytime TV viewership has plummeted for many local stations amid the explosion of competition from cable and digital outlets and the spread of time-shifting options. Broadcasters are hoping that amping up the volume of live news and entertainment fare will make help make those shows a daily check-in habit for viewers.

“Tenga has a significant footprint across the U.S. with a group of very successful television stations. Since this is a live program created by stations for stations, it will speak to our client base,” said John Bryan, MGM’s president of domestic television distribution.

Plans for “BOLD” were unveiled on the eve of the annual NATPE programming convention, which runs Tuesday-Thursday in Miami.

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