NATPE unveils incentive plan


The National Association of Television Programming Executives is looking
to reinvent itself and making a number of wholesale changes for next year's
conference in New Orleans.

NATPE president and CEO Bruce Johansen met with top domestic and
international syndication executives Thursday in Los Angeles, outlining a
number of modifications aimed at bringing back the top studios to the conference

In response to a new set
of proposals from NATPE yesterday, a number of top syndicators were

'I was encouraged to see such support and positive energy in the room,' says
Twentieth's Bob Cook, who said his studio will likely be back on the convention
floor next year, with the caveat that the decision depends on market

NATPE says it will pay for the hotel rooms and convention admission price for
the top half a hundred buyers of TV product at next year's annual convention in
New Orleans. That was just one of the inducements President and CEO Bruce
Johansen offered to syndication executives yesterday in hopes of bringing the
top studios back to the conference floor after their defection from this year's

NATPE is offering the studios booth packages ranging from $40,000 to $200,000
for the four-day conference. The 'modular' booth packages will include meeting
areas and food.

'We need to somehow restore that sense of community that NATPE once stood
for,' Johansen said.

One other NATPE item: For next year's conference in New
Orleans (Jan. 20 through 23), the association will share the Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center with an Intel Corp. conference.