Freebies for the audience
Ms. O'Donnell is making sure the studio audience will get its fair share of freebies; she has already tapped Keebler and juice brand Apple and Eve to provide cookies and juice on her first day (Sept. 5) and she is working toward securing other gifts for viewers for future shows. (No word yet on Pontiacs.)
"She started as a stand-up comic," said ABC's daytime president, Brian Frons. "She's very in tune to making the audience in the right frame of mind.
"She met with the sales team and got them excited about how she wants to drive sales," Mr. Frons added.
"The View" has worked with numerous advertisers for sponsored segments and product giveaways. Previous marketing partners include Clorox, which provided a bathroom makeover to the winner of the "Ugliest Bathroom" contest, and Sears, which sponsored a makeover of host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's old dorm room at Boston College.
Early efforts criticized
But some earlier efforts with sponsors have been criticized for lack of transparency. Campbell Soup had a product-placement deal in 2000 that was ridiculed as the hosts weaved in comments about the soup into their discussions as part of the sponsorship agreement. Star Jones Reynolds, forced off the show earlier this year, also got in hot water for soliciting sponsors for her wedding, reportedly in exchange for mentions on the show.
Mr. Frons said "The View" will be making a few set changes come fall, such as bringing the audience closer to the stage. Ms. O'Donnell's homosexuality could provide an interesting new theme for the women this season. But will she talk about it? Mr. Frons said: "You'll hear more about being a mom, and we'll have a lot of comedy, she'll share on relationships, but she won't be on a soap box."
~ ~ ~
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to "The View" as a syndicated show. The show is produced by ABC and is not in syndication.