You can now count Buena Vista among the growing number of syndicators not setting up shop on next year's NATPE convention floor.
A studio spokesperson confirmed late Wednesday that Buena Vista won't be putting up its usual booth. It was expected that the distributor was looking to save costs at January's convention, considering today's tough economic climate coupled with the fact that the studio has already solidly cleared its 2002 strip Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
However, the spokesperson did indicate Buena Vista wouldn't be completely absent at NATPE and was "working with NATPE on other options" besides exhibiting its wares on the floor. At this point, it's unclear if Buena Vista will move to an off-site hotel location, which the domestic divisions at Warner Bros. and Carsey-Werner believe is a better, cheaper alternative.
It's not definite, but there's a strong chance King World's domestic arm will be off the floor in Las Vegas as well, similarly citing the need to cut costs this year. Paramount is another studio that has been rumored to leave the NATPE floor, but has had no official comment on the subject so far. - Susanne Ault