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Reliving The NATPE Days

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OK….so you are asking yourself…….what is NATPE? It's an acronym for the National Association Of Television Program Executives.

NATPE is a professional TV programming organization whose members are responsible for the production, distribution, acquisition, and exhibition of television shows over TV stations and networks. Founded in 1963, NATPE holds an annual convention where buyers and sellers of TV programming meet to conduct business, attend seminars to hear the industry's leaders speak on issues of interest, and have some fun meeting today's TV personalities. Next week NATPE holds is 54th annual convention in Miami.

My first NATPE convention was in 1985 when I was with KXTX, Channel 39. And while I have not attended one since 2001, these annual trips provided a lot of great memories. When I was attending, the conventions were held either Las Vegas, New Orleans, or Houston. Aside from the business aspect, what I really looked forward to were the program syndicators taking us out to dinner, meeting people from other TV markets, establishing long time friendships, and meeting the stars both at dinner or on the NATPE convention floor.

I thought I would share with you some of the celebrities I got to meet at a NATPE convention:

*Dick Clark (wonderful gentleman)
*Jackie Gleason (got his autograph at a hotel bar in New Orleans)
*Bill Daily (From I Dream of Jeannie and The Bob Newhart Show)
*Tony Danza and the cast of Who's The Boss
*Morton Downey, Jr.
*Jerry Springer
*Deborah Norville
*Carol Burnett
*The cast of Leave It To Beaver (except for Hugh Beaumont who had passed away)
*Howard K. Smith (ABC and CBS News)
*Oliver Treyz (former President of the ABC Television Network)
*Barry Diller, media mogul and former head of the FOX Network and Paramount Pictures
*Roger King, Chairman Of King World Productions and the person who made Oprah Winfrey famous
*Vanna White
*Tim Allen (Home Improvement)
*William Hanna, founder of Hanna-Barbera Animation (think Fred Flintstone)
*Denny Terrio, host of Dance Fever
*Mary Hart, early Entertainment Tonight host (met her at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix when KOOL-TV picked up the show)
*Roger King, brother to Roger and King World Productions executive
*Bill Cosby

I must say that the majority of these stars were very gracious to me, considering that they were meeting so many other people they didn't know. Not an easy task, for sure.

And the one person I missed getting to meet was... Howard Stern.

Fun times and great memories. See you next time!

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