CAB Agenda's a Peek at What's Hot


New York— Executives on the buying and selling side will look ahead at "what's hot" in programming and advertising at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau's annual Cable Advertising Conference this week.

Often referred to as the unofficial start of ad-supported cable's upfront selling season, the conference — set for the Marriott Marquis Hotel here on Feb. 11 — will be the last on the watch of CAB CEO Joseph Ostrow.

Ostrow promised the conference would deliver "the prognosis for the 2003-04 TV marketplace." That session, moderated by CNBC Open Exchange
co-anchor Tyler Mathisen, will feature Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. senior media analyst Tom Wolzien, as well as other panelists who had not been confirmed by press time.

Another discussion, moderated by Ed Gordon (most recently, host of Black Entertainment Television's BET Tonight) will feature success stories on clients who've met marketing goals "with some unconventional strategies."

For instance, company marketing officials and executives from their ad agencies will team to discuss business for the following accounts: Cingular Wireless (director of media Charlie Payne and OMD USA associate director of national TV buying John Friedman); Ethan Allen (vice president of advertising Leonora Kirkley and MediaCom executive vice president of national and local broadcast Donna Speciale); and Mazda (manager of marketing communications Kevin Everhart and Doner Advertising senior vice president and media director John Lisko).

On the programming front, six cable-network executives are set to discuss the latest in original fare. But in a departure, the CAB said those talks will be interspersed between the other sessions as one-on-one chats with E! Entertainment Television Wild On host Jules Asner.

On tap: Discovery Networks U.S. president Billy Campbell; E! Networks CEO Mindy Herman; Comedy Central executive vice president and general manager Bill Hilary; USA Cable president Doug Herzog; Turner Network Television executive vice president and general manager Steve Koonin; and FX president Peter Liguori.

Asner also will chat with Johnson & Johnson corporate vice president of advertising Andrea Alstrup.

Keynote speakers will be AOL Time Warner Inc. chairman Richard Parsons (at lunch) and Federal Trade Commission chairman Timothy Muris (in the morning).

On the road

In a new wrinkle, the CAB will hit the road with variations on the conference format. In Los Angeles on Feb. 13, Discovery Networks president of ad sales Joe Abruzzese will deliver the keynote. Panelists include Herzog and Liguori, as well as TV Land general manager Larry Jones.

Speakers for the events in Detroit (Feb. 21) and Chicago (April 2) have not been set, the CAB said.