NATPE sets kudos, theme for 50th-anni confab

Steve Levitan, John Langley, Debra Lee to receive Tartikoff kudos

“Modern Family” co-creator Steve Levitan, “Cops” boss John Langley and BET chief Debra Lee have been set as NATPE’s honorees for the 10th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards.

The kudos will be handed out at the NATPE confab in Miami, which runs Jan. 28-30 at the Fontainebleau Hotel. Under the direction of its newly appointed topper Rod Perth, the National Assn. of Program Executives is gearing up for its 50th anniversary confab. The theme of the 2013 gathering is “Beyond Disruption,” a nod to the state of the programming biz.

“We needed a theme that is a metaphor for the conditions all of us are dealing with these days…I believe the word ‘disruption’ is a metaphor for opportunity, and the word ‘beyond’ clarifies what television has gone through in the past, whether it was the remote control, video cassettes,” Perth told reporters Tuesday in a conference call. “You can keep going through those disruptive things at that moment. New markets were created, people not only survived, but thrived. That’s the spirit of the theme.”

NATPE 2013 has already gained momentum months before the confab, with Perth noting that room reservations are “pacing well ahead of last year.” Studios and distributors including Lionsgate, Content Media Corp, MGM Worldwide and Univision are slated to attend.

“All indications are that it’ll be a terrific conference,” said Perth.

Perth, a veteran of CBS, USA Network and ReelzChannel, was tapped to succeed Rick Feldman as NATPE’s prexy and CEO in May (Daily Variety, May 23).