NBC Universal adds ‘Trisha’ to its Stamford family

NBCUniversal has announced the addition of a fourth daytime talk show to be produced at the Stamford Media Center (formerly the Rich Forum).

The weekday talk show, "Trisha," starring television personality Trisha Goddard, is the newest addition to several daytime talk shows already produced in Stamford, including "The Jerry Springer Show," "The Steve Wilkos Show" and "Maury."

NBCUniversal relocated its three shows to Connecticut in April of 2009 as a result of the state's film, television and digital media tax credit program.

The new one-hour talk show, "Trisha," is expected to add about 50 new Connecticut-based jobs, expanding the media center's current staff of 230, according to Barry Wallach, president, NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution. The show will bring 1,000 audience members to downtown each week.

"The continued support we've received from the Stamford community, the governor and mayor's offices and Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development - in particular the Film Office - paired with the preservation of the state's film tax credit, has created a thriving atmosphere for our productions," Wallach said.

Goddard, known as the "queen of chat" in the United Kingdom as host of her long-running former talk show, "Trisha Goddard," will use her conflict-resolution skills to help people navigate challenging issues.

A mother of two, she was a television reporter and the first black anchorwoman on Australian television. She was awarded the British College of Psychiarist's President's International Medal of Service to Mental Health.

"Trisha" has been sold in more than 80 percent of the U.S. to station groups that include Sinclair, CBS, Hearst, Weigel, Belo, Capitol, Cox, FOX, Granite, Lin and Sunbeam.

During its first two years of production on "The Jerry Springer Show," "The Steve Wilkos Show" and "Maury," the Stamford Media Center has spent more than $23 million with Connecticut construction and maintenance companies, local restaurants and caterers, hotels, car services and cleaning services.

The shows have attracted more than 160,000 audience members to the downtown, 70 percent of whom travel from out-of-state.

Those statistics have made Sandy Goldstein, executive director of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, and Jack Condlin, president and chief executive officer of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, staunch supporters of NBC.

"I love everything that NBCUniversal is doing in our city. They bring people in who eat at our restaurants and stay at our hotels," Goldstein said, adding that NBCUniversal has created local jobs. "NBCUniversal has been a Stamford player, participating in everything."

Its employees are on boards of several non-profit organizations, including the DSSD.

Condlin said he was not one of those who objected to the at-times controversial talk shows when they arrived three years ago because he saw the benefit to the city.

"NBCUniversal brought an additional dimension to Stamford, particularly downtown," he said, adding that it diversified the city's economic base and employment opportunities. "It played a major role in NBCSports coming here."

Condlin was referring to NBC Sports Group's announcment in October that it will lease space at the former Clairol campus on Blachley Road to house NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Digital, NBC Sports Network and Comcast Sports Management Group.

"NBCUniversal's continuing investment in the state is proving just how powerful Connecticut's film incentives are," said Catherine Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development," in prepared comments.

"Our programs for film production, infrastructure projects, and digital media are making Connecticut a winning destination for production companies."

NBCUniversal has established itself as a vital part of the downtown Stamford community and continues to drive traffic to local businesses, said Mayor Michael Pavia.

The addition of the "Trisha" show and expansion of operations at the Stamford Media Center, indicates Stamford's growing attraction as a media hub, he said.

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