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Dispatch From NATPE

Hello from my first NATPE (and first trip to Vegas!). I got in earlier today from New York and am operating on very little sleep, but some initial observations: I've seen only a handful of familiar execs so far-covering mainly cable, emerging media, and a random array of other NY-based parts of TV for the magazine, the international syndie group hasn't so much been my crowd.

But the longer I hang out in the lobby at my hotel-"THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay," that is-the more people pop up. Saw Bravo programming execs Francis Berwick and Jerry Leo in what looked like an intense conversation with four other guys over an afternoon drink. Then, a few hours later and a few tables away, I saw the mean older brother - Wayne maybe? - from The Wonder Years having a drink with a publicist and some other guy. Random.

Also, there are a TON of Spanish-speaking going on here. Guess it's the international buyers, but seriously, every elevator conversation I've snooped on-er, accidentally overheard-so far has been in Spanish.

During the Tartikoff Legacy Awards at 6 p.m. (co-sponsored by B&C), the late NBC programming exec's memory was honored with speeches by his widow Lily, NATPE chief Rick Feldman and the New York Times' Bill Carter. The night kicked off with an intro by current NBCU dashing, young executive on-the-rise Jeff Gaspin that, while nicely honoring-in a vanilla kind of way-was dated. NBC, he said, has had a rough couple of years.

"I'm not sure if you heard about it," he deadpanned. "It's not like there was any press coverage or anything like that." Um, Jeff? That gratuitous self-flagellation was the same thing that earned Jeff Zucker criticism from
the press during the upfronts-eight months ago! Buck up, guys! You're not doing all that badly now!

Anyway, I digress. Awards went to writer Stephen Cannell, Wheel/Jeopardy! EP Harry Friedman, USA/Sci Fi President Bonnie Hammer and CSI creator Anthony Zuiker.

Next up, drinks with NBC U for the Globes and then whatever else I can stay up for. Hasta manana.

By Anne Becker