NATPE to Lure Attendees Back

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The National Association of Television Programming Executive hopes to entice attendees back to its annual convention with two new programs — an all-inclusive VIP Buyer Membership and a reduced rate for unemployed TV executives –– said Rick Feldman, president and CEO of the association.

"We want people to come out of this NATPE feeling like it was a worthwhile endeavor," Feldman said at a Tuesday morning press breakfast. "If they feel that it is, then they will be willing to pay fair-market price to attend next year."

Feldman, who began at the association six months ago, has instituted several new approaches to the show this year and convinced six of the ten major syndicators to come back to the show floor. Instead of a general session and keynote speech, the conference will start with a yet-to-be-determined "opening act."

It will also feature ten separate "super sessions" with industry leaders, including one titled "Loose Cannons: They Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say," with panelists Roger King, CEO of CBS Enterprises and King World Productions; talk-show host and would-be politico Jerry Springer; Mark Cuban, outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and president of HDNet; and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

MGM will join syndicators Sony, NBC Enterprises, King World, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach and Universal Domestic Television on the NATPE show floor this January, Feldman said. Paramount, Buena Vista and Warner Bros. Domestic Television will stay in the suites at the Sands Expo Center and Venetian Hotel, while sources say Twentieth Television is the one major syndicator that has yet to make up its mind.

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