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Sneaky Preview

September 07, 1986|John M. Wilson

Savvy marketing . . . or inferiority complex?

Tribune Entertainment, which lost Siskel/Ebert to Disney, apparently is trying to sneak in its new "At the Movies" hosts ahead of schedule. Local stations, expecting final Siskbert segments, apparently have been getting surprise shows featuring replacements Rex Reed and Bill Harris.

KABC, which will debut the new Siskbert show locally Sept. 20 ("At the Movies" will move to KTLA), chose to air re-runs last weekend rather than the Reed-Harris shows supplied by Tribune.

We couldn't reach Tribune or KABC officials at press time, but Donna la Pietra, exec producer of Disney's "Siskel & Ebert & the Movies," offered her assessment: "They're trying to ride on the coattails of the audience Gene and Roger already built, and it's obviously unfair to subscribing stations."

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