Promax brings out big guns

Promax/BDA's newly installed chief, Glynn Brailsford, has a wake-up call for any TV station execs-you know who you are-yawning over next month's annual convention.

"There're a million reasons to be in New Orleans," insisted Brailsford at a press conference in Los Angeles last week, regarding shrinking station attendance at Promax/BDA's annual gathering, largely due to the consolidation and changing economics of the business.

But, besides soaking up the secrets of the convention's designated keynote speaker, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Executive Producer Michael P. Davies, Promax/BDA-goers will see a beefed-up presence by syndicators-previously, the four-day event's prime draw.

Also at Promax/BDA (running June 14-17), Studios USA's Executive VP of Marketing Susan Kantor will roll out "Syndications Indications," which will be a general session for rival companies to show off their wares.

"Previously, [syndication campaigns] have been kept inside to each station group. But this time, studios are going public about what they're selling and letting stations know what they're going to be up against," Brailsford explained.

Plus, Barron Postmus, Carsey-Werner Distribution's director of station relations, and Dan Weiss, senior vice president of marketing, will give advice on ways to revive ratings-challenged shows in a session titled "Air Freshener: Keeping Good Programming From Going Bad (Or How to Tinker With Your Stinker)."

Like every other trade show, the 45th annual Promax/BDA get-together (geared towards media promotions and marketing professionals) is also emerging as a showcase for new technologies.

For the first time, each daypart of the conference will offer "e-sessions," shedding light on the industry's "it" trend: Internet/TV convergence.

Examples include "Selling the Wild, Wild Web," a look at station Web-site management led by Vince Manze, NBC vice president and creative director, and "Licensed to Thrill: Music From the Internet," a how-to guide on downloading music for program promos.

Also worth mentioning: Promax/ BDA has nabbed an online company as its first overall sponsor, the Web branding outfit called dotTV.