Perth said upcoming Miami confab ahead of last year's pace
Registration among program buyers for the upcoming NATPE confab is running about 30% ahead of this time a year ago.Rod Perth, who is in the first year of his presidency of the National Assn. of Television Program Executives, announced the news during a press conference Wednesday morning while promoting the Jan. 28-30 event in Miami Beach. The longtime TV exec, who has experience in both the broadcast and cable side of the business, said all major studios will be attending this time around. Sony was noticeably absent at last year’s event, but this time around the studio is looking to publicize and sell the new Queen Latifah talkshow to station groups around the country. Perth, who calls the confab “the bridge between content and monetization,” said the event has “significant momentum” heading back to South Florida. NATPE, which is celebrating its 50th anni in 2013, will also return to the Fontainebleau Resort in 2014; there is no deal closed for 2015, though Perth said he’d like to stay there. After many years in Las Vegas, NATPE has enjoyed being in Miami Beach because of its close proximity to Latin American countries, which creates a greater opportunity for execs from those territories to participate. “There is more programming coming out of Latin America, with hundreds of formats being sold to Europe and all over the World,” Perth said. “Latin America has emerged as an important contributor to global television.” For NATPE to remain an effective org, Perth needs to bring global buyers and sellers to the confab as syndicated television — the bread and butter of NATPE gatherings for decades — has lost its importance in recent years. Besides Queen Latifah’s gabfest, the only other major talkshow hosts looking to make a big splash in 2013 are Arsenio Hall, whose show will be distributed by CBS Television, and Bethenny Frankel, from Warner Bros. The three-day event will feature plenty of panels about television and how content, and the way it is viewed, is constantly changing. Newly announced speakers include Glen Mazzara, showrunner of AMC megahit “The Walking Dead”; “Arrested Development” exec producer Mitch Hurwitz (series is returning on Netflix in 2013); and Peter Casey, producer on several TV hits of the past, including “Cheers” and “Frasier.” Previously announced Brandon Tartikoff Award honorees are “Modern Family” exec producer Steve Levitan, BET CEO Debra Lee, “Cops” creator John Langley and Herbert Kloiber, chairman of the Tele Munchen Group. As for how Perth is adapting as successor to former NATPE topper Rick Feldman, the prexy said, “I’m dealing with the hundreds of constituents and seeing that their interests are serviced, but not sacrificing our mission. You tend to be pushed and pulled. The thing you can’t see from the outside is that the job does not stop.”
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