Having programmed, promoted and consulted local television stations in several major markets, including Philadelphia, I am never surprised at the shortsighted naivete of broadcast managers. They bought "The Cosby Show" for syndication rerun like addicts buy cocaine ("The 600-Million Man" by Peggy Ziegler, Oct. 2).
It is indicative of the ills of local television when a show like "Cosby" is expected to compensate for management's failure to reach local audiences with the one program vehicle that is supposed to reflect the markets they serve--the local news.
Even in the face of mounting competition from cable, VCR use and lower average audience levels, local television news and developing local television properties are the best franchises that stations have to gain regular and loyal viewers.
"Cosby," used as a crutch, may prove to be a long run for a short slide.
Ivan Ladizinsky and Associates
Marina del Rey