‘Teddy bear’ is a word Judy Price, CBS’s vice president of children’s programs and daytime specials, uses to define Jerry Sachs.
‘He’s just a real neat, warm, likeable, personable individual. He’s very decent. And fun to be with and to deal with.’
Price has been dealing with Sachs for at least 15 years, first at ABC, where she was also vice president of children’s programming. But it was only when she joined CBS 13 years ago that she began working with him closely and getting to know him well.
At that time, Sachs was hired to help CBS in its efforts to buy time on independent stations to promote its Saturday morning schedule. CBS had brought on Sachs because its employees were not specialized in the kids area.
Finding independent stations that would accept the CBS ads was a tricky task, says Price, because ‘a lot of stations, if they [were] in the kids business, [didn't] want to sell time to competitors.’
Still, Sachs discovered stations that weren’t necessarily competing with CBS for Saturday mornings. ‘We were able to get significant national coverage [on independent stations] because of Jerry’s help.’
While Sachs worked with CBS for just a few years in this role, Price has also worked with him on shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and has made a point of keeping in touch with him.
‘I respect his opinion and do want to keep plugged in to what he’s doing.’ She meets with him ‘a number of times’ each season to talk about programming, advertising, trends in the kids business and other news.
‘He’s a long-time expert, and I think that’s why he is sought after for advice and information.’
Price credits Sachs with ‘good instincts.’ Take Bananas in Pajamas, she points out, which is ‘really a growing phenomenon.’
‘He has brought shows into the syndication market that have proven to be unique and the right thing.’
And not only has he turned shows into hits in syndication, but he has had ‘the wherewithal and the knowledge to support them through advertising.’
Despite his long list of accomplishments, Price says Sachs is ‘a very humble individual. There’s certainly not a big ego there.’
Price considers herself to be just one of Sachs’ fans. ‘I think he’s admired and respected by most people in the business who have contacts with him. That’s a rare thing.’