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Syndicators dump on NATPE

Just hours before NATPE was set to open its doors for its 38th year. top Hollywood syndication executives threatened not to be back for the 39th. "This is clearly a line in the budget that has long outlived its usefulness," said Warner Bros.' Dick Robertson on an ALTV panel. "This convention is largely financed by the major companies that take these big spaces and put on these big shows. It's nbot about selling programs anymore. It used to be...It's a big $2 million or $3 million schmooze fest." Five out of six syndication heads on the panel agreed. "There is a good chance that we won't be backas an exhibitor just because it is ridiculous," said Carsey-Werner's Bob Raleigh. "We think as a trade organization there is value to get together and discuss the issues of the day, be an exhibitor and double our annual T&E for five days and nights, I don't think that's frugal." Columbia TriStar's Steve Mosko was the panel's lone NATPE defender. "We are big believers in NATPE. This has always been a productive time for us doing business." Mosko is the current NATPE chairman.
- Joe Schlosser