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Daytime Syndication…the Land Where Time Stands Still

The Latest Mr. Television Column at Campaign US

Many years ago, the National Association of Television Program Executives Conference (aka NATPE) was the pinnacle of overindulgence. Outlets like Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and the former Paramount and KingWorld would compete to have the biggest booths and the most lavish parties. I remember the endless food and booze, and entertainment from the likes of Elton John and Steely Dan. It was huge.

Back then, the point of the annual gathering was for television stations to acquire product from distributors of syndicated programming. Station executives would be wined and dined while being pitched a potpourri of different types of original shows (including talk, game, magazine and court). Getting a buzz was synonymous with making a deal, I guess. But time and deteriorating budgets have taken their toll, and the NATPE of today – year 54 — is a far more subdued marketplace where the focus has shifted to new media and technology. Some station execs still surface (more for reunion purposes than to do actual business). And some producer wannabes (often wearing lime green or purple jackets for some reason) still walk the floor looking for a deal.


Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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