The Syndicated Network Television Association (SNTA) Wednesday confirmed to B&C that it will abandon its 3-year-old annual SNTA Day ad-sales conference in 2006.
A different pre-upfront format will emerge in place of the series of all-day pitch meetings with media buyers and planners in New York (which have been capped by an all-star party) as well as in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Under the new plan, SNTA members will have their ad-sales departments arrange separate standalone meetings with advertisers. But agencies will still have the option to have all the SNTA members come into their shops at once for a day of meetings, which giant media-buyer Starcom has traditionally done.
Some advertisers had been reluctant to discuss specific strategies alongside competitors at SNTA Day’s round-robin sessions, leading board members to rethink their strategy (B&C, Oct. 24) amid only a 3% rise in the 2005 syndication upfront.
In a prepared statement Wednesday, SNTA President Mitch Burg said, “The SNTA members decided it would be more productive to hold meetings at the media agencies during the 2006 pre-upfront period, in place of a Syndication Day conference. This change will allow for more of the dynamic dialogue.”
Meanwhile, Tribune Entertainment’s continued involvement in SNTA remains up in the air. There’s been widespread speculation that it is considering pulling out as a cost-savings move.
That would leave all the other major studios as part of SNTA, with the exception of Sony Pictures Television, which has chosen to work alone.