Now, That's A Heavy Assignment

She did it. In television ads first aired on Sept. 5, former CBS journalist Kathleen Sullivan took to a mountaintop to announce that she had lost 23 pounds--the gratifying result, ostensibly, of nine months of highly publicized dieting with the Weight Watchers program.

Sullivan, 41, stepped on the scales earlier in a Weight Watchers ad campaign starting in January. Without saying how much she actually weighed before and after, she boasts that she has dropped three dress sizes. The reward: Extension of her quarterly pitchwoman contract, which depended on her meeting the loss target. "It's a lot of pressure," she said in February of the deal. Fortunately, Sullivan has a day job: She'll start work on a show that will air on the Fox network next autumn.

Weight Watchers is relieved, too. This division of H.J. Heinz lost nearly $15 million in the fiscal year ended Apr. 30, analysts say--in part because Sullivan's campaign began in the middle of a severe winter that kept people away from weight-loss centers. Now, after investing in direct marketing and customer database programs, analysts say the unit's profits should reach $5 million in fiscal 1995.