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(April 2, 2001) -- Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Los Angeles, has decided to pull out of the NATPE convention, Electronic Media reports in today's issue. The company, which has had one of the biggest booths at the annual gathering of the National Association of Television Programming Executives, instead will pay for a hospitality suite at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas while NATPE convenes at the Las Vegas Convention Center in January. Warner Bros. will shuttle attendees between the Convention Center and the Venetian.

Dick Robertson, president of the Warner Bros. unit, has long been critical of NATPE, previously calling it a "schmoozefest." He said the move should save the company $1.5 million annually. Warner Bros. has made hotel plans to coincide with the NATPE convention through 2005.

While Warner Bros.' domestic TV sales force and media sales force will move off the convention floor, other AOL Time Warner units are expected to continue to rent space at NATPE.

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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