Salzman, Allen chat up NATPE

Execs talk to convention

LAS VEGAS — David Salzman, Executive Producer MADtv, says that a prerequisite for being a producer is, “You must be a tormented soul.” Calling himself a major newshound, he enjoys creating something out of nothing, but that his strength is his ability to put togeher groups of people.

He brought up his concern with product placement or integration within programming. He calls this the blurring of truth and non-truth where somebody is sneaking something in that the consumer does not know about. “I think it’s a potentially dangerous area where everyone is trying to make the bottom line work,” he says.

Byron Allen, CEO entertainment Studios/CF Entertainment, Inc., in his opening remarks paid tribute to Johnny Carson saying, “Johnny Carson was my absolute hero.” Allen’s appearance on Carson’s show jumpstarted his comedy career.

Allen first came to NATPE in 1981 and “annoyed a lot of people,” he says. “I got to know and understand the psyche of the customer.” Allen’s entertainment network is not a traditional one as it currently places 15 shows on 3,200 time periods across the country.

“It’s tough now,” Allen adds, “Ideas are a dime a dozen. You’ve got to be in the trenches. It’s all about execution and distribution.”