CAB Confab to Kick Off Upfront


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 next week.

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

Ostrow promised that 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 that have met marketing goals 'with some unconventional strategies.'

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 VP
and GM Steve Koonin and FX president Peter Liguori.

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