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

“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 and follow her
on Twitter: @PaigeA