Monday, Jan. 28
It’s NATPE time! Yes, the National Association of Television Program Executives’ annual wingding is upon us. Mandalay Bay in Vegas is the site, and siblings B&C, Variety and Multichannel News kick things off with the fifth annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards. Lucky/worthy recipients are Bob Wright of General Electric, Nancy Tellem of CBS, Peter Roth of Warner Bros. Television and Mark Itkin of William Morris. Elsewhere at Mandalay Bay, the retro channel RTN salutes another stellar television professional as Robin Leach hosts dinner at RM Seafood.
Tuesday, Jan. 29
NATPE action continues with a keynote and Q&A from NBC Universal President/CEO Jeff Zucker, as JZ talks about reaching consumers on all platforms and working around that nasty strike. At lunchtime, B&C swells P.J. Bednarski and Ben Grossman moderate Back to Basics: It’s Still the Television Business, reminding all that the ol’ boob tube still has a lot of mojo in it. CBS TV Stations prez Tom Kane and Debmar-Mercury co-prez Mort Marcus are on the panel. Speaking of the tube, National Geographic unveils The Final Report: Investigation of TWA Flight 800 at 8 p.m. ET, pondering whether the doomed '96 flight was a mechanical error or terrorism.
Wednesday, Jan. 30
If a full schedule, iffy finances and/or a dubious relationship with Texas Hold 'Em prevents you from attending NATPE, you can learn all you need to know about TV and the digital revolution from the comfort of your office. The Webcast “Rules of the Game in 2008: At the Digital Crossroads” rolls at 2 p.m. ET. It’s produced by B&C and Multichannel News and stars FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell. And with that big football game going down this weekend, Fox Sports offers up the modestly monikered Best Damn Super Bowl Bash. Chris Rose, John Salley, Rodney Peete and GoDaddy.com spokeswoman Amanda Beard are live from Arizona for the next three days. Each day, a different Super Bowl vet serves as guest host. Giants sack daddy Michael Strahan was scheduled for Friday, but apparently he has other plans. And back at NATPE, CNBC host Maria Bartiromo moderates the Wall Street Gives Guidance panel.
Thursday, Jan. 31
The ad industry umbrella group thinkLA invites a half-dozen CEO-types out to the Left Coast for a summit on “Audio-Anchored Advertising.” Emmis Communications President/CEO Jeff Smulyan shares his insights at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Elsewhere in that City of Angels, the Southern California chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) holds its membership mixer at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. Speaking of a little trip to the beach, Lost hits the airwaves after a long hiatus. Check in with Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and the rest of the Oceanic Flight 815 gang in a two-hour premiere that starts at 8.
Friday, Feb. 1
NATPE has cleared out of Vegas just in time to make room for Artie Lange, as the former Howard Stern sidekick offers up his randy brand of humor at the Mandalay Bay Theater. And the annual Television Critics Association tour may be but a memory, thanks to the strike, but Discovery is offering up a “virtual TCA” Webcast. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Charlie Duke help with a sneak peek at NASA’s Greatest Missions. Surefire way to ruin the whole thing for all involved: Mistakenly refer to Buzz Aldrin as Buzz Lightyear.