NATPE sets shorter, later 2004 confab

Hotel, exhibition space factored into date change

The National Assn. of Television Program Executives is pushing back its confab in 2004 one week, to Jan. 18-20, rather than Jan. 13-16.

The annual event will unspool at the Venetian Hotel and the adjoining Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, but will last three rather than four days as originally planned.

The decision to change the dates and shorten the duration by one day was made after the org determined the requirements it had for hotel facilities and exhibition floor space for the original dates could not be met.

The newly confirmed dates allow greater flexibility with exhibition and meeting space. NATPE’s executive committee recently approved the modification and the announcement was made Tuesday by the org’s prexy-CEO Rick Feldman.

“Rather than make a significant change from our January 2004 conference next year, we elected to make this slight change of date. The only major accommodation NATPE needed to accept was shortening the conference by one day, which we feel is a worthy compromise,” Feldman said.

“This will allow us to develop a highly focused agenda of events in one centralized location, while also representing minimal logistical challenges to people coming to Las Vegas,” he added.

Because media consolidation has changed the dynamics and reduced the number of players in the domestic syndication biz, NATPE has faltered for a couple of years.

The challenge for Feldman, who was appointed three months ago, is to refocus the event to accommodate all the major constituents — not only domestic syndicators but also producers, station execs, advertisers, foreign programmers and newcomers to the TV biz.