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NAPTE By Any Other Name

What’s in a name? A ROSE by any other name might be the Retired Occulists Society of England. For NATPE, which is holding its convention in Las Vegas this week, it’s about trying to get through a convention without having its name butchered like one of the  characters in Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” (Take my word for it, that play makes “CSI” look like “Sesame Street”).

And like an extra in “CSI,” NATPE’s chances of escaping unscathed are slim to none.  For those of us who have been covering NATPE since the days when Oprah was the new kid on the block, there are not enough fingers to count the times it has shown up as “NAPTE” in print (and been pronounced “Naptee” by the uninitiated and even, sometimes, by the ought-to-be-initiated). It even occcasionally slips by proofreaders as “NTAPE,” though the latter is a far rarer variant.

A Web search turned up more examples (including eight misnamed YouTube videos) than you can shake a stcik at: “Pangolin unveils first SMS interactive HDTV system at NAPTE trade show, January 25-27 2005” read one headline. “Janice Dickinson To Add Glamour To NAPTE,” read another. The examples seemed endless, including a 2001 story about a program “operated by NAPTE” from, oops, never mind. Just say it came from the oldest and most respected TV publication in the business whose rose-red face shall remain nameless.

Even the Internet’s Free Dictionary defines “NAPTE” as the National Association of Television Program Executives (I love Google). And speaking of Google, the first entry under a search for NAPTE is NATPE’s Web site.

I wonder how all this plays with NAPTE, which is actually the National Association of Part-Time and Temporary Employees, when the first three Google entries under its name–and a lot of them below it for that matter–are actually references to NATPE.

By the way, NAPTE describes itself as a “registered nonprofit voluntary membership organization dedicated to advancing the economic and social interests of all people working on a part-time, contractual, or temporary basis.” If the writers strike continues, some NATPE members may need NAPTE benefits. Come to think of it, I wonder if there are already any NATPE members who are also NAPTE members. And if they were also Texas steelworkers, they could be NTAPE members. NTAPE is the North Texas Association of Public Employees ( I guess their roses by any other name would be yellow).

 I have a..let me see…orange Hallmark Channel hat for the first person who e-mails a 2008 “NAPTE” reference—and, sorry,the headline of this piece doesn’t count.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.