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The theme of the National Association of Television Program Executives' 2001 conference and exhibition is "The elements of media converge," and the ongoing process of convergence is bringing a rising wave of new-media companies to the annual gathering.

New-media exhibitors range from content providers like Mondo Media to technology companies like Texas Instruments, which is making its first appearance at NATPE with a 3,000-square-foot exhibit.

While new media are making inroads, syndication remains the driving force of what NATPE bills as its "global media content event."

"Every NATPE that I've been to, we're always looking for ideas that will attract people to watch syndication," says Bob Igiel, president of the broadcast division of Young & Rubicam's Media Edge, New York. "Numbers have been in the toilet for most of the shows, with few exceptions. Sci-fi has worked and will continue to. You look for ideas that have potential."

Advertising Age Los Angeles Bureau Chief Wayne Friedman will be at NATPE this week, filing reports on adage.com. The TV association itself will Webcast many of the sessions on its natpeonline.com convention site.

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