In Pressing Times, TV Executives To Press More Flesh

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Executives of broadcast and cable networks, local stations and other TV media need to press the flesh more than ever -- at the right time, with the right people.

USA Network has moved its upfront presentation right smack in the middle of the broadcast upfront week. Symbolically or otherwise, it wants to have a bigger marketing presence. USA isn't the first cable network to do this. Other big-time cable networks -- ESPN, TBS and TNT -- have been in this game for some time.

At the same time, the National Association of Television Program Executives says its upcoming annual meeting in Miami expects the best attendance in years -- of about 5,000 -- with many more station and syndication executives attending. 

Perhaps nervous TV executives need an increased presence around other executives -- from media agencies, programmers, and especially new digital media -- even if nothing is going on.

Station executives seem to have more pressing issues as they look for real-time, face-to-face answers.  What, for example, are their future prospects in the digital world?

Dangling out there for a while has been a great hope that mobile apps will give consumers access to local TV news, weather and local info through smartphones, tablets and other devices.

For local station executives, the need to meet-and-greet also concens finding answers about how syndicated programming will play in the new digital field, and what it means for them locally.

USA Network, meanwhile, wants a deeper connection with advertisers -- especially as established cable networks get subjected to the audience erosion long dealt with by their broadcast competitors. Additionally, like the broadcasters, USA needs to figure out what new digital video platforms will mean for its programming assets.

Overall whether TV executives are coming from broadcast, cable, syndication or local stations, all need to be even quicker on their feet in a changing marketplace where they wonder when and where TV shows and other content will be distributed -- and who will be in charge.

Apart from those big media companies that control content, we seemingly know the answer from the other end of the business equation: entertainment consumers.

That said, maybe TV executives should also hang out more often at the mall, Starbucks, Best Buy or Home Depot for some face-to-face consumer info.

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