NATPE shows some solidarity


The latest volley in the battle between the National Association of Television Programming Executives and some big-name syndicators came from NATPE Wednesday, which lined up a number of high-profile supporters
who pledged to stand behind its conference.

NATPE officials also released preliminary attendance figures for the
conference of 9,600 registered through Monday, down 31 percent
from last year's 13,913 at the same point.

NATPE president Bruce Johansen said he was "thrilled" with the registration
figures because the association had been projecting a drop-off of more than 40 percent.

NATPE officials introduced Tony Vinciquerra as the new chairman, replacing
MediaCom's Jon Mandel.

Vinciquerra said his mission is to be a unifier.

"NATPE will continue to reflect whatever form the industry takes," he addedd.

Tribune Entertainment's Dick Askin, Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. programming head Emerson
Coleman and a handful of station and international programming executives made
appearances at the press conference in support of NATPE.

"NATPE has always been an important forum for us," Coleman said, "and we want
to continue that relationship."