Twentieth, Tribune Book NATPE Suites

Dec 8, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Twentieth Television and Tribune Entertainment have firmed up location commitments for January’s National Association of Television Program Executives convention, booking suites at the Venetian Hotel to hobnob and deal beginning Jan. 18. The move marks the last two major companies to decide between taking a suite at the market or returning to the floor.
With the decision to take suites, Twentieth and Tribune will join majors such as Paramount, Warner Bros. and Buena Vista in the Venetian. Other regular players taking suites include E!, MTV, Alliance-Atlantis and FremantleMedia.
Meanwhile, after an exodus from the floor two years ago, companies such as King World, NBC Enterprises, Sony, Universal, MGM and Carsey-Werner-Mandabach will make a return by setting up exhibitions at the Sands Expo Center below the Venetian Hotel. DIC Entertainment and Discovery Communications are also expected to take larger booths. However, the booths on the floor will be streamlined from the lavish presentations offered several years ago. The market will be held Jan. 18 to 20.
“Everybody is in the same building,” said Rick Feldman, president and CEO of NATPE. “Now it’s time to focus on the show.”
CNN’s Larry King, who will moderate the panel “Loose Cannons: They Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say.” The panel will feature Mark Cuban, president of HDNet; Roger King, CEO of CBS Enterprises; Jerry Springer; and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.
“We’re putting on some good programs,” Mr. Feldman said. “From the beginning we wanted to stress that we didn’t want panels where people are being a commercial for themselves. Instead, we’ve put together an entertaining and enlightening agenda and are attracting top-level executives and talent that will offer our attendees a rich experience.”
Others scheduled to speak include The WB Network Chairman Jamie Kellner, Jon Mandel, global buying officer of MediaCom, and entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren. They will form the panel for “Is Free TV Worth Saving in a 500-Channel World?”
June Dromgoole, controller, program acquisitions, of Britain’s Channel 4, will speak during the panel “The Hit Seekers.” The session also will feature Jay Switzer, president/CEO of Chum Ltd.; Remi Jacquelin, deputy director of acquisitions for TFI; Pedro Lascurain, director of acquisitions for TV Azteca; and Carlo Sartori, chair of RAI SAT.
In addition, NATPE has bolstered the lineup for its series of “The Chat Room” sessions during the conference, including Bert Van Munster, co-creator and co-executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series “The Amazing Race”; Brenda Hampton, creator and executive producer of “7th Heaven”; and Robin Leach. Previously announced participants of “The Chat Room” include Mr. Ziffren and Greg Meidel, president of programming, Paramount Domestic Television.
Before NATPE starts both NBC and Fox will hold affiliate meetings, though the scope of the meetings has yet to be determined.