NATPE executives said Wednesday its January 2003 convention will proceed
as scheduled in New Orleans, although explored the possibility of canceling its
commitments to hotels and the convention center during that time frame.
'We can't not honor our commitment and be viable as an organization,' Bruce
Johansen, NATPE 's CEO, said at a news conference at a West Hollywood hotel.
He also said NATPE 's signups for the Jan. 21-to-24, 2002, convention in Las
Vegas are running about 40 percent below the 2001 figures, but added that the
convention typically gets about 40 percent of its attendance from registration
during the show.
NATPE officials also said eight companies, including Warner Bros. Domestic
Television, which had abandoned floor exhibits in favor of hospitality suites at
the Venetian Hotel.
NATPE and the companies will pay for express buses to shuttle people from the
hotel to the convention center, and the companies will be listed in the official
NATPE also formed a task force to look at the configuration of future
meetings -- including the 2004 conference, also slated for New Orleans -- and at
the future activities and goals of the organization.
Named as task force chairman: Tony Vinciquerra, executive vice president and
COO of Hearst-Argyle Television Inc.
Other task force members are Carole Black, the Lifetime
Entertainment Services CEO; Julie Kantrowitz, COO of integrated sales for AOL
Time Warner Inc.; Garnett Losak, vice president and director of programming at
Petry Media Corp.; Steve Rosenberg, president of Studios USA Domestic
Television, and Jay Switzer, the CHUM Television president.