The Program Exchange

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The Program Exchange
Industry Television syndication
Founded 1979
Defunct 2016
Headquarters New York, United States
Key people
Owner Publicis
Parent ZenithOptimedia
Website The Program Exchange

The Program Exchange was a syndicator of television programs. It was founded as Program Syndication Services Inc. in 1973 and later launched the DFS Program Exchange in 1979, which became the DFS-Dorland Program Exchange from 1986 to 1987. From 1987 to 2008, it was a division of Saatchi & Saatchi, an advertising agency (which acquired Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, the original owners), and would later be acquired by Publicis in 2000. In January 2008, Publicis transferred The Program Exchange from the Saatchi & Saatchi subsidiary to its ZenithOptimedia subsidiary; the logo was then changed to reflect this change. In early-2016, the website was shut down.

The Program Exchange was a "barter syndicator," distributing programming on behalf of the shows' producers, many of them having their own cash distribution services. Instead of paying a cash fee, television stations who ran those programs agreed to a barter exchange (hence the syndicator name), wherein the station agreed to air a certain number of commercials for various General Mills products per program. This arrangement allowed for the programs to air on stations that may not have large budgets to acquire them. The Program Exchange typically distributed older programming that was no longer widely distributed in syndication, as well as programming designed to meet federal educational/information mandates. The Program Exchange still holds distribution rights to the Jay Ward Productions and Total Television archives, both of which were produced at the DFS-owned Gamma Productions studios in Mexico during the 1960s.

The Program Exchange handled distribution for all titles listed below.

Children's programs[edit]

Family programs[edit]



  • B. Smith Cooking Vignettes
  • Cartoon Network Short Cartoons
  • Dr. Bob Arnot: Eat Better America
  • Healthy Break by Jake
  • Medical Minute
  • Nutrition Minute

External links[edit]