Anchors to Share Stage at Station Summit

Annual PromaxBDA conference for local TV set for Las Vegas
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WHY THIS MATTERS: ;Station Summit is the one time TV station marketers from around the country can meet up for education and networking.

ABC News' David Muir

ABC News' David Muir

ABC News’ David Muir, CBS News’ Jeff Glor and NBC News’ Lester Holt will come together for a keynote session at this year’s Station Summit in Las Vegas, June 25-29, with PromaxBDA noting it’s the first time all three have been together on a panel.

With the 24-hour news cycle now more crowded and clouded than ever — as topics such as the recent summit in North Korea and family separations on the Mexican border compete for time — the three should have plenty to discuss in the one-hour session on Tuesday morning (June 26).

During PromaxBDA’s annual Station Summit, executives from TV stations, studios and syndicators meet up to chat about the coming year in television from the point of view of stations in local markets. Unlike PromaxBDA’s annual conference, which was held June 11-14 in New York City, the Station Summit focuses primarily on the promotion and marketing of local television, including news, locally originated programming and syndicated fare.

CBS News' Jeff Glor

CBS News' Jeff Glor

“It’s an opportunity for the station groups to be able to hear about all the marketing plans the studios and the networks are putting together for the products they’re launching in the fall,” PromaxBDA president and CEO Steve Kazanjian said.

This year, new syndicated shows to discuss include True Crime Files, a one-hour strip from Investigation Discovery; Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence and Question Jury; and CBS Television Distribution’s Face the Truth. Meanwhile, Fox Stations Group is preparing limited summer runs on select stations of several new shows.

Those studios and syndicators will be on hand in Las Vegas to talk to stations about the launch and marketing of this new content, as well as the care and feeding of existing programs.

NBC News' Lester Holt

NBC News' Lester Holt

Along those lines, another keynoter is Jeopardy!’s Alex Trebek, host of the show for 35 years. Trebek will talk with Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune executive producer Harry Friedman on Wednesday at 8 a.m.

After the Wednesday keynote, each syndicator or studio will meet with station executives.

As part of the day’s activity, Twentieth Television has created an immersive art gallery experience, where visitors can see installations of their favorite Twentieth properties, including Modern Family, Last Man Standing, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, King of the Hill and The Simpsons, said Richard Dumont, Twentieth’s senior VP of marketing.

Twentieth went all-out on the experience, creating a logo for it and then using it to adorn T-shirts, tote bags and stickers.

“Station Summit is very important in our world,” Dumont said.

Visitors to the experience will see impressionistic art of The Simpsons and other famous characters, a huge version of Brian the Dog from Family Guy, and selfie walls from Modern Family adorned with patterns from Cameron’s (Eric Stonestreet) colorful wardrobe, among exhibits from other shows.

“At the end of the day, everybody in the business, whether they are on the studio side or TV-station side, they are all fans of TV,” Dumont said.

Also on Wednesday, Warner Bros. will reveal the results of a study it commissioned from Magid, “focusing on how to create emotional connectivity and optimal audience flow through promotion,” the studio said. Later that day, Warner Bros. will do sessions on its scripted off-net series and its unscripted first-run series for station groups.

Thursday is PromaxBDA day, which will include a focus on two tracks: the convergence of content and marketing and essentials.

Those themes encapsulate several sessions but Larry Rickel, president and CEO of strategic planning company The Broadcast Image Group, will talk about how stations’ news and marketing departments must work closely together to serve common interests.

Essentials is new to Station Summit this year and is intended to serve the 20%-40% of attendees who are at the conference for the first time, Rick Swanson, VP of marketing and programming, Station Summit, said.

Focusing on the Basics

“That is a significant churn in this audience,” Swanson said. “What are the things that we can do as an organization to bring them up to speed on the business of marketing a TV station? What are the basic, essential skills that they need? We’ve got a handful of sessions dedicated to that at Station Summit this year.”

Sessions include “Topical Promos that Kick Butt” with Greg Derkowski, audience specialist at 602 Communications, and one on how stations can plan ahead in case disaster strikes, as it did last year in markets such as Houston, Puerto Rico and South Florida.

Disclosure: Paige Albiniak also serves as editorial director for PromaxBDA.

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