In a major coup for Synditel, the syndication portion of the summer Television Critics Assn. tour, the org has agreed to move the daylong event from the back to the front of the three-week-long endurance session next year.
For syndicators, the switch could help ensure more widespread press coverage for their shows.
Over the past couple of years, they have been relegated to the end of the tour, when many dazed critics and TV newspaper reporters are on jets heading back home.
A spokesman for Synditel said the TCA agreement only applies to the July 1994 meeting. He indicated that future decisions will be based on how well next year’s event goes.
At Thursday’s Synditel, attendance dropped from 97 critics and reporters last year to 86 this time out. At the peak of the tour, when the networks, Fox, PBS and cable networks are rolling out their dogs and ponies, attendance is usually around the 150 mark.
The number usually varies based on the roster of talent and number of syndicators participating in the event — a factor usually determined by which distributors have new shows to plug.
Since the syndicators first started cooperating on Synditel in 1987, the best they have been able to do is a sesh in the middle of the tour. The TCA ended that practice, however, to reserve it for newsmakers and its annual awards show.