Stations, Syndicators Hit Vegas for Meeting of Marketing Minds

PromaxBDA summit attendance expected to double 2011 launch level

Syndicators are honing their marketing strategies as they head to the PromaxBDA Station Summit at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas June 25-28. At the show, they will meet with some 1,000 TV station executives and creative directors to discuss promo plans for this fall’s new shows.

Both groups are preparing to launch new syndicated shows this fall, such as Warner Bros.’ Bethenny, Sony Pictures Television’s Queen Latifah and off-network sitcom survivor Community; CBS Television Distribution’s The Arsenio Hall Show; and Twentieth’s offnet sitcom, Modern Family, which Twentieth hopes to turn into a syndie hit on the scale of Warner Bros.’ supernova, The Big Bang Theory.

As part of the event, syndicators are bringing along some of their top talent to meet and mingle with station execs. Among those are Bethenny Frankel and Arsenio Hall, as well as Dr. Oz, whose four-year-old talk show was recently renewed through the 2016-17 TV season in more than 55% of the U.S. Ever vigilant about his health and that of others, Oz will lead early risers on a 5K run on the morning of June 26.

Steve Levitan, executive producer of the Emmy-winning Modern Family will meet with affiliates over lunch during the show. Two stars of Community, Danny Pudi and Gillian Jacobs, will greet affiliates during their session, as will Latifah’s executive producer Corin Nelson and coexecutive producer Todd Yasui.

Doubling Down in Vegas

In its third year, the Station Summit has grown quickly. With 1,000 people expected to attend this year, the conference has doubled in attendance since its launch in 2011.

Jonathan Block-Verk, PromaxBDA CEO, says that today’s fragmented TV environment has made marketing an even more crucial part of any TV company’s business plan.

“For the past 10 or 15 years, this entire industry has been talking about how change is coming,” Block-Verk says. “This was the year that change came. Today, marketing and promotions are going to differentiate between success and failure for your station.”

This year, Fox has moved its network affiliate marketing meeting, known as FPEC (Fox Promotion Executive Conference) to Planet Hollywood, running June 23-25. According to Block-Verk, every other major network—ABC, CBS, NBC, The CW as well as Telemundo—is hosting affiliate marketing meetings at the Station Summit, and MundoFox and Univision each will have a presence.

Old and New Entries On Display

On June 26, Studio Day, the event gets turned over to the studios’ syndication divisions, most of which will be making presentations to station groups and affiliates about their new and old shows, whether that’s Warner Bros. with Ellen and Bethenny, Sony with Dr. Oz and Queen Latifah or CBS Television Distribution with Arsenio and a new conflict talk show, The Test.

“All of the decisions regarding the acquisition of programming are now centralized,” says Block-Verk. “What matters now is localized marketing and promotion, which is relevant to the specific audience in each DMA.

“On Studio Day, attendees will get fundamental insight into launch strategies, marketing assets, creative executions and all of the tools and resources at their disposal to be successful in their specific market,” Block-Verk says. “How you market Arsenio in Los Angeles is very different than how you market it in Mankato, Minn. Station Summit is the only place where station executives will be able to get in-person advice and assistance from their studio partners.”

On June 27, Station Summit morphs into a broader conference with panels, an awards luncheon and marketing events. The morning will be led with a 9 a.m. keynote from Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation officer at VivaKi, Publicis Groupe’s digital ad agency, discussing how to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape.

That will be followed by a panel—moderated by B&C contributing editor Paige Albiniak*— and featuring Scott Blumenthal, executive VP of television for LIN Media; Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting; Deborah McDermott, president & CEO of Young Broadcasting; Emilio Romano, president of Telemundo Media; and Larry Wert, Tribune president of broadcast media, talking about best strategies for survival at a time when everything about local broadcast TV is influx.


*Editor’s note: Albiniak, author of this article and a longtime contributing editor at B&C, also recently became PromaxBDA’s editorial director.

E-mail comments to palbiniak@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter: @PaigeA