NATPE is in the market for a new topper. Rick Feldman, who has served as prexy and CEO of the National Assn. of Television Program Executives for the past nine years, will transition to a three-year consultancy with the org when his contract expires at the end of April.

NATPE has retained exec search firm Korn Ferry to recruit a new chief, with help from Feldman. Feldman’s segue to a consulting role had been planned for some time, NATPE said.

“We deeply appreciate the contributions Rick has made to NATPE including his work most recently on our very successful Miami conference, which grew in all key categories for the second year in a row,” said Jordan Levin, Generate CEO, who is the elected co-chair of NATPE along with Electus’ Chris Grant. “His knowledge and experience will continue to be put to good use as a consultant to the person we select and to the organization as a whole.”

Feldman is credited with revitalizing the org and salvaging its annual January syndie/international programming confab. The NATPE gathering was once the key focal point for sales of syndicated programming, but its importance waned by the early 2000s thanks to broader marketplace changes, from the consolidation of TV station ownership to the growth of the cable biz.

Feldman has been a tireless cheerleader for the event, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face gatherings and shifting much of its focus to the international scene. That became more pronounced in the last two years with the confab’s move from Las Vegas to Miami.

Of his tenure, Feldman said, “We have expanded our programs, improved our financial position, enhanced our brand internationally, integrated the digital world and brought new life to our organization with our move to Miami.”

Feldman was a longtime TV station exec before joining NATPE in 2003. He spent 16 years at KCOP-TV Los Angeles when the station was owned by Chris-Craft Industries, rising to prexy and g.m. He also served as exec veep and chief operating officer for Barry Diller’s USA Broadcasting.