ATAS to sponsor conference on aging

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the American Assn. of Retired Persons and various guilds will co-sponsor a daylong conference Sept. 11 on the problems of aging as they relate to the media, titled “Age Has a Future: Maturity and the Media.”

Co-sponsors for the event include the TV Academy, AARP, UCLA’s Center on Aging, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, the Writers Guild of America West, the Producers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild, Women in Film, the American Federation of TV & Radio Artists and the U.S. Adminstration on Aging.

Jeff Sagansky, president of CBS Entertainment, will receive a special-recognition award from AARP at the event. CBS, which traditionally has an older-skewing audience, has advocated broadcasting to all viewers as opposed to narrowly targeting the key demographic groups sought by advertisers.

Horace Deets, exec director of AARP, will deliver the keynote address on the media and a maturing marketplace, and Fernando Torres-Gil, President Clinton’s recently appointed assistant secretary for aging, will also address the group.

The conference will feature three panel discussions, with NBC West Coast prez Don Ohlmeyer, producer Gil Cates and various experts in the field of gerontology among those set to participate.

The idea for the seminar grew out of a recent UCLA survey of TV Academy members, which found the widespread belief that the industry does a poor job of serving the elderly and discriminates against older adults.

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