Previously committed to being a NATPE 2002 convention floor hold-out, Twentieth Television has now decided to exit to a nearby hotel in Las Vegas.
Twentieth executives say they are still big supporters of NATPE, which is why keeping a presence there is really important. But, similar to a lot of syndicators' decisions, Twentieth believes it can save money in these tough times by not setting up the typical $1 million-plus booth.
On Thursday, Studios USA also pulled out of this year's convention. Steve Rosenberg, Studios USA Domestic TV's President said in a statement, "While we continue to support the NATPE oragnization and will maintain a presence at its January 2002 convention, we have chosen to forego a booth in favor of exhibiting with other major syndicators Jan 21-24 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Given the current advertising and station sales environment, it is imperative that we do everything possible to cut costs. When you factor the diminished station attendance and the quantifiable business return, we found it very difficult to justify the expense."
Many floor defections, including the domestic syndication divisions at King World and Warner Bros. are leaving for the Venetian, but Twentieth hasn't chosen their hotel location yet.
At this point, Columbia TriStar, FremantleMedia, Tribune Entertainment, and NBC Enterprises are among the major syndicators still headed for the NATPE floor.
- Susanne Ault