Date: 24th January 2001

Natpe On It's Last Legs?

Once the primary showcase for new syndicated material, the annual conference of the National Association of Television Program Executives may soon become a thing of the past.

As reported by the online edition of Broadcasting & Cable, Warner Bros. TV exec Dick Robertson remarked during a panel discussion at the current conference in Las Vegas that the organization "has long outlived its usefulness." He added: "This convention is largely financed by the major companies that take these big spaces and put on these big shows. It's not about selling programs anymore. It used to be. ... It's a big $2-million or $3-million schmooze fest."

Bob Raleigh of Carsey-Werner commented at the same panel: "There is a good chance that we won't be back as an exhibitor just because the cost is ridiculous." However Columbia TriStar's Steve Mosco, who is also the current NATPE chairman, defended the conference. "This has always been a productive time for us doing business," he said.

Source: Studio Briefing