Licensing and merchandising of television programs has been taken in-house at Florida’s Television Syndication Company (TVS), and the effort will be headed up by newly appointed director of licensing, Susan Aloisio. Aloisio, with TVS since 1996, will oversee licensing efforts for the TVS syndicated slate, which includes Reel Planet (the company’s most widely distributed show, reaching 60% of the U.S. market), The Coolwallas, Waiting for Christmas and Coots & Critter.
While no licensing efforts for Coolwallas and Waiting for Christmas have been undertaken in the past, the other properties’ licensing programs were formerly contracted out to the International Licensing Partners firm. According to Bob Yde, director of marketing at TVS, moving licensing in-house allows smoother coordination between production, distribution and release of product vis a vis the broadcast schedule. ‘The more facets you can control the better your chances for [licensing] success are.’
Aloisio will spearhead a full-blown licensing campaign for Waiting for Christmas, in addition to overseeing the development of a campaign for Coots & Critter at Licensing Show `99 in June. As the latter series grew out of a TV special, a few prior licenses exist. In developing the series, TVS aimed to target an older demographic. ‘What we tried to do was expand [the property] to reach kids and teens and adults,’ Yde says. ‘We also moved the characters from the swamp to the big city.’ Yde notes that this will affect what licenses are pursued for Coots & Critter .
The company will be adding new shows to their slate-co-productions with European producers on international properties that will be produced for the domestic market through TVS’s production arm, White Mountain Entertainment.