(May 21, 2003 – Burbank, CA) - The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. (ATF), The Heritage Networks and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) will partner in the production financing, distribution, marketing and barter advertising sales of the long-running weekly syndicated series “Showtime at the Apollo.” The announcement was made today by Jonelle Procope, the newly appointed CEO & President, Apollo Theater Foundation, Frank Mercado Valdes, CEO, The Heritage Networks, and Dick Robertson, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. “Showtime at the Apollo,” which debuted in national syndication in 1987, is currently produced by The Heritage Networks and de Passe Entertainment. De Passe Entertainment will continue to serve as a production partner on the series, with multi-award winning Suzanne de Passe serving as the series’ executive producer. “‘Showtime at the Apollo’ is really a show business institution with a multi-generational fan base,” said Procope. “With Suzanne as the executive producer, plus the distribution and marketing know-how of Heritage and Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution, the series is not only going to grow creatively, but also attract new viewers and take the franchise to the next level,” added Nicole Bernard, Senior Vice President, New Business Development and Communications, Apollo Theater Foundation. “Heritage’s proven track record of working with ethnic programming combined with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s industry-leading distribution infrastructure make this a win-win situation for ‘Showtime at the Apollo,’” said Mercado Valdes. “We are extremely honored to be involved with such a popular, successful property as ‘Showtime at the Apollo,’” said Robertson. “By tapping into the respective expertise of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Heritage Networks, we can fine-tune and maximize the series’ distribution, marketing and advertising sales efforts.” “Showtime at the Apollo” is a one-hour weekly musical variety show that has launched the careers of some of today’s hottest artists including Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Jahiem, Sisqo and rapper Fat Joe. The show’s popular amateur talent competition is styled after the legendary Apollo Amateur Night – “where stars are born and legends are made”™ – a weekly live show that has been a fixture at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York since 1934. Winners of Apollo’s original amateur talent competition include legendary stars Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. About The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. (“the Apollo”) was established in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and development of the world famous Apollo Theater, a New York City, New York State and federally-dedicated historic landmark. The Apollo continues to celebrate and promote the cultural heritage and performance traditions of communities of color, honor the legendary artists who have played the Apollo, and provide a performance platform for future stars. While preserving and building upon the theater’s rich history, the Apollo Theater Foundation also serves as a cultural and educational resource for the community and the public at large. About The Heritage Networks The Heritage Networks is the country’s largest syndicator of ethnic television programming. THN is also one of the fastest growing syndication, distribution, sales and marketing companies in broadcast television. Founded in 1993 by Frank Mercado Valdes and based in New York, THN acquires television programming targeted to urban, ethnic and other niche markets and distributes its properties nationwide. THN also produces original television programs such as “Livin’ Large,” “Weekend Vibe” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” THN programs currently reach 85% of the general population and 95% of African American homes.
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