From CNN founder Ted Turner to supermodel Tyra Banks, a colorful blend
of TV celebrities descend on Las Vegas next week for the National Association
of Television Program Executives' 42nd annual gathering. The show, which runs
Jan. 25-27, is expecting a 10%-15% larger crowd than last year's 7,000
attendees. Though considerably smaller than its 20,000-person heyday, 2005's
growth is thanks, in part, to President Rick Feldman.
He has done it by revitalizing NATPE and broadening its appeal. “The
definition of a programming executive has changed,” he says. “People at
investment banks, at the William Morris Agency and ICM, at Sprint and Comcast
are involved in programming.”
This year, the traditional programming community continues its support.
Several large syndicators—including Sony Pictures Television, NBC Universal
Television Distribution, Viacom's syndication units, MGM and
Carsey-Werner—will anchor the show floor. Top international distributors like
Sony, Warner Bros. and MGM will also exhibit. While 80% of exhibitors will have
booths, the remaining 20% opt for hotel suites for meeting with clients. Warner
Bros. Domestic Television is the biggest name among the suite-holders.
NATPE will also address the evolving syndication business. Because
syndication now uses original product on multiple formats, a special seminar on
cellphone programming will be offered Jan. 25. A second highlight: small
sessions with execs like Lifetime chief Carole Black and CBS Alternative VP
“We're thrilled with the response from various industries,” says
NATPE Co-Chairman John Weiser, president of distribution at Sony Pictures
Television. “2004 was a turnaround for momentum.”
On the floor, attendees may glimpse syndication stars like Banks, host
of an upcoming Warner Bros. talk show; The
Insider's Pat O'Brien; and Howard Stern sidekick Robin Quivers,
who headlines a new Sony talker. Broadcast faces, including the casts of
Arrested Development and
Scrubs, will also pop up. The comedies are
among the broadcast programs being shopped for syndication. NATPE may no longer
be a deal-making hub, but it offers an education in TV.
Here are some highlights from the 2005 show's agenda:
Tuesday, Jan. 25
8:45 a.m.: Ted Turner, chairman, Turner
Noon: Maturing Cable Nets Shoot From the
Hip: Bonnie Hammer, USA and Sci Fi;
Ted Harbert, E! Networks;
Steve Koonin, TNT and TBS;
Debra Lee, BET; Peter
4:30 p.m.: Is Over-the-Air
Barrett, Hearst-Argyle Television; Deb
McDermott, Young Broadcasting; Jim
McNamara, Telemundo; Patrick
Mullen, Tribune Broadcasting; Dennis
Wednesday, Jan. 26
9 a.m.: Michael J. Copps, FCC
10:30 a.m.: Anatomy of a Hit: Two and a Half Men:
Chuck Lorre, Peter
Roth, Warner Bros. TV; stars Charlie
Sheen and Jon Cryer.
Noon: The Reality of “Reality”:
Tom Gutteridge, Fremantle North America;
Stephen Lambert, RDF International;
Gregory Lipstone, William Morris;
Ben Silverman, Reveille; Bertram van Munster, The Amazing
Race; Andrea Wong, ABC.
1:30 p.m.: Business Paradigms for the New Bottom
Line: Bill Cella, Magna Global
U.S.; Bruce Rosenblum, Warner Bros. TV;
Nancy Tellem, CBS Entertainment;
Tony Vinciquerra, Fox Networks Group;
Jim Wiatt, William Morris.
Thursday, Jan. 27
8 a.m.: David Janollari, The WB;
Bob Greenblatt, Showtime.
Noon: Future Speak X 3:
Jon Miller, AOL; Ian
Shepard, Sky Interactive; Tom
Wolzein, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.