Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scenes from Miami Beach and the NATPE Convention

Miami
Above, it's the sunrise from the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach. I was back there for a second year in a row, as this week's National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) convention took place. Once upon a time, NATPE was the place where local TV station executives came to buy syndicated programming for their lineups. Those days are gone (because of consolidation, most TV shows are sold with one or two phone calls to mega station groups) but NATPE is still a great place to meet up with industry execs and take stock of the business. This year NATPE also focused heavily on the reality TV community, and it was an opportunity to sit down with execs and producers from that world too. And by the way, the Fountainbleau is quite a nice hotel to stay at, even if I never got the chance to play tourist. Here are some pics from my Three Days in Miami.

Miami
On-stage selfie: About to moderate a "Shark Tank" panel at NATPE with executive producer Clay Newbill and judges Daymond John, Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary and Mark Cuban.

Miami
And then, a post-panel "Shark Tank" selfie, with NATPE CEO Rod Perth joining us.

Miami
It was kind of weird walking by this sign all day Tuesday.

Miami
"Elvis" is in the building.

Miami
Workers set up for NATPE's opening night party.

Miami
Back in the 1990s, NATPE was all about the massive convention floor. It was like Comic-Con -- every syndication company had a massive booth, where they'd bring in talent and even hire celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck to serve lunch. I remember being well fed at the Sony booth, where Puck would walk around serving you pizza. NATPE is quite different now. Most of the distributors still come, but work out of hotel suites. Some actually have small cabanas around the Fountainbleau pool -- as you see above, where CBS, NBC Universal and Debmar-Mercury execs are hanging out.

Miami
Spotted in Miami Beach. I guess the name of this store says it all.

Miami
Dan Harmon and I share a moment after our one-on-one NATPE panel on Wednesday.

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