NATPE 'isn't going to die'

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NATPE President and CEO Bruce Johansen says the non-profit organization isn't `going to die', and its annual conference will head to New Orleans in 2003 and
2004 as planned.

Johansen, speaking at a press conference in preparation for the upcoming
NATPE Conference next month in Las Vegas, also said a task force has been
created to help decide the organization's future.

'We are here, we are strong, we've been around for 39 years, we're not going
to go away,' Johansen said Wednesday.

'NATPE is not going to die, it's not going to disappear, it's going to change
and we are excited about those changes.'

The task force is headed by Hearst-Argyle COO Tony Vinciquerra, who is also
expected to be elected NATPE's 2002 Chairman.

Other members include Lifetime President Carole Black, AOL-Time Warner's
Julie Kantrowitz and Studios USA's Steve Rosenberg.

The group is expected to make final recommendations to the NATPE Board of
Directors in April.

'We don't want to do a quick fix right now and just announce to you that
NATPE is going to do X, Y, Z or that NATPE is going to have a fall conference,
or a spring conference,' 'All of which have been speculated on and all of which
are possible.'

Johansen confirmed NATPE is talking with other conferences including
marketing group PROMAX and domestic syndication advertising group SNTA about
possible links.

On reports that NATPE was going to pull out of its next two stops in New
Orleans in 2003/2004, Johansen says the organization made a mistake by having
its attorneys tell local hotels that it was pulling out.

He says NATPE will remain in New Orleans for a number of reasons, including
the fact that if it pulled out of its reservations in the Big Easy that it would
'open itself up to litigation' that could bankrupt the organization.

'There are going to be some people who are not happy about that decision,' he
said, referring to disgruntled domestic syndication companies that have
threatened not to go New Orleans.

'We think it's the smartest thing for us to do, to honor that
commitment.'

As for next month's conference, NATPE executives say they are running about
40% behind in initial attendance and that there are 500 exhibitors signed up to
be on the conference floor.

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