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Strong Season Buoys CBS Affils

May 30, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Coming off its strongest season in memory, the CBS Network is anticipating a considerable bump in attendance at its affiliates convention this Wednesday and Thursday at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Subjects up for discussion-in closed-door sessions-are expected to include possible network-affiliate revenue streams and digital and other strategies by which the two sides could benefit from partnering.

“We’re going to be more specific than we ever have been,” said CBS Affiliate Relations President Peter Schruth, who expects attendance to hit 520, some 100 more than at last year’s gathering at the Bellagio.

“The meeting next week should be very upbeat. CBS has a lot to celebrate, and we look forward to celebrating with them,” said Doreen Wade, Freedom Broadcasting president, who also chairs the CBS affiliates advisory board.

“Both the affiliates and the network have common issues,” Ms. Wade said. “So it’s in both our interests to work on those issues together where it makes sense.”

The open sessions will be devoted to traditional presentations by the division chiefs-including Entertainment President Nina Tassler, who will walk the affiliates through the fall prime-time lineup presented to advertisers May 18 in New York; and CBS Marketing Group President George Schweitzer and Executive VP and Creative Director Ron Scalera, who will lay out the network’s advertising, promotion and marketing plans for the launch of the fall schedule.

“Face the Nation” moderator and interim “CBS Evening News” anchor Bob Schieffer will speak at Thursday’s lunch. And Gil Schwartz, executive VP of CBS Communications Group, is expected to present his annual serio-comic sendup of his work world.

However, the entertainment highlight of the two-day gathering will come Wednesday night, when the group attends a performance by Celine Dion at Caesars Palace.