Susan Powter seizes power: a TV talk show

January 27, 1994|By Ed Bark | Ed Bark,Dallas Morning News

"Do you want me to shut up?" voluble Susan Powter politely asked a photographer kneeling near her.

"No, you can talk," he replied. "Just look this way."

Judging from the attention she commanded, the Dallas-based "motivation diva" had the alluring look of a winner Tuesday at the 31st annual National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Miami Beach. NATPE, an elephant-size flea market for 10,000-plus buyers and sellers of syndicated programming, helped Ms. Powter schmooze the way for her new weekday syndicated show, premiering this fall.

Mike Stutz, operations manager for WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, happily posed for a picture with Ms. Powter before proclaiming her "one of the hottest things here." Her show is being packaged and sold by Multimedia Entertainment, which already has an imposing talk lineup of Rush Limbaugh, Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael and Jerry Springer.

At a "Powter breakfast" and later on an exhibit floor, Ms. Powter sold herself as a sounding board for women. Her hair is still all a burr and her energy level is still all a whir. Even so, a male Multimedia representative not-so-brightly introduced her at the breakfast as "a lady who's the product of a devoted mother and an indifferent hairdresser." Ms. Powter let it pass and sailed into a whoosh of words about her show.

"Fitness, wellness, men, women, children. There are so many issues. I would like to discuss these issues on television. I think the potential is enormous! I mean enormous! Because I've been out there sitting and talking with women. . . . Let's see if they can solve the problems. I think we'll all be quite amazed at the brilliance of women, don't ya think? And men! Men of course!"

She also promises "no tabloid, no whining."

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