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UPN goes small for meets

Small powwows promote better dialogue, say weblet execs

Add UPN to the list of networks canceling their annual spring affiliates meetings in favor of alternative gatherings.

Rather than throwing one big affil confab, UPN will hold of a series of smaller powwows in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco this June.

NBC and Fox earlier announced that they had dropped their late spring meetings; most of the webs had downsized such events in recent years.

UPN usually holds its spring affil meetings in conjunction with the net’s May upfront presentation; the net has already discontinued its January NATPE meeting in favor of smaller gatherings.

Regional dialogue

UPN execs said the regional meetings are cost-efficient and promote better dialogue between the network and its station owners/managers.

“It seems better as a primary tool than a teleconference,” said UPN chief operating officer Adam Ware.

Steve Carlston, UPN’s affiliate relations and marketing exec VP, said the netlet was looking for a “dialogue, not a monologue.”

“Meeting in a room of 200 people or so doesn’t provide instant feedback,” he said. “If we make the group smaller, these will be much more productive.”

UPN affiliate board chair Dave Hanna, president and GM of Lockwood Broadcast Group, endorsed the move.

“In the past two years the network has done everything we’ve asked to communicate more effectively and we’re very pleased that UPN is continuing that effort,” he said.

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