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CBS to Skip NATPE Convention

Just as Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution decided to come back to the National Association of Television Programming Executives show floor, CBS Television Distribution -- which has incorporated King World Productions and Paramount -- last week decided not to come to the annual programming confab in Las Vegas at all.

Citing the fact that its newest first-run show, Dr. Phil spinoff The Doctors, is sold in 60% of the country, CBS said, "We have determined that we're meeting the needs of our clients and we'll 'sit this one out.' We'll miss our friends and the big party, and we thank [NATPE president] Rick [Feldman] for his patience while we took time to reach this decision. We'll reassess this next year."

The move means many of syndication's most popular shows won't be represented at NATPE, including Oprah, Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown.

CBS Television Distribution's counterparts at CBS International will still attend the show, hosting a booth on the show floor. Warner Bros. and NBC Universal will also be on the floor at the Mandalay Bay, while Sony Pictures Television joins Twentieth Television in the suites. Sony said it is focusing more of its efforts on the much larger Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place in Las Vegas during the week prior to NATPE.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.