UPN’s newly installed prexy Dean Valentine has raised eyebrows among the netlet’s affiliates by canceling a Jan. 20 breakfast meeting with affils during the National Assn. of TV Program Executives sales confab in New Orleans. In a memo dispatched Dec. 19 to all UPN affils, Valentine explained he’s too busy working on UPN’s program development slate for the upcoming season to attend NATPE this year.
Some restless UPN affils say the pullout smacks of an effort to dodge questions about some recent high-profile UPN affiliate defections to the WB Network camp. However, a UPN spokeswoman notes that Valentine will be in New Orleans to discuss UPN-related matters in private meetings with affiliates on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19.