New year, new NATPE. From January 17-19 content buyers and sellers from all over the world will flock to Miami.


Unlike other markets, NATPE is HUGE. Its more than 6000 attendees feature executives from all facets of the entertainment industry including broadcast, syndication, international, branded, digital and cable. While it’s hard to predict exactly what any market will be like, signs point to a different NATPE than in years past. To get a better idea of what that means for nonfiction producers, we spoke with NATPE board member and NPA Executive Committee member, Bruce David Klein of Atlas Media Corp.


Nonfiction producers who might fear getting lost in a market with such a wide focus needn’t worry, according to Klein. “NATPE has re-invented itself over the last few years.” Its innovations include a “serious reality track” through its parties, panels, and other event offerings (such as the Reality Breakthrough Awards and keynote speaker Nancy Dubuc of AETN). “And, duh,” Klein notes, “it’s Miami in January.”


Klein himself is moderating a panel specifically geared towards nonfiction. “I’m definitely excited for my panel,” says Klein. Coming out of discussions among NPA members, Networks & Producers in the Age of Disruption asks how the “robust producer community can continue to develop and produce amazing hit content for network clients” in an era of disruption. Panelists include Marc Graboff, Brent Montgomery,  the NPA’s John Ford, and Russ McCarroll. Even if the 45-minute discussion yields no definitive answers, it will no doubt be thought-provoking for anyone who attends (check out below for more panel details).


If you have suddenly developed an urge hop on a plane to Miami, Klein has some tips: “Don’t over-schedule yourself.” Considering how large NATPE is, it can be easy to try to cram in as many industry events as possible. However, according to Klein, that ensures that “you will only meet people you know and have a very limited experience.” Hang out in the lobby bar to give yourself an opportunity to connect with “surprising people.” 

A lot of producers enjoy the variety, can find it creatively stimulating to hang out with people you didn’t plan on meeting. In recent years, I’ve had great informal chats with everyone from Ted Sarandos to Vince Gilligan.

And if a New Year’s resolution has you taking up running, Klein recommends a beautiful morning jog on the boardwalk.

Networks & Producers in the Age of Disruption

Wednesday, January 18th    10:00-10:45 AM
Ocean Tower Salon 2 A


Bruce David Klein - President & Executive Producer, Atlas Media Corp.


Marc Graboff - President, Global Business & Legal Affairs, Production Management and Studios, Discovery Communications

John Ford - General Manager, Nonfiction Producers Association

Brent Montgomery - CEO, ITV America

Russ McCarroll - SVP, Development & Programming, HISTORY


Rapid changes in technology, social media, and consumer viewing habits are redefining the “cable network” model, which in turn is putting unscripted producers and production companies under increasing pressure to produce more for less. Challenges in development funding, series budgets, size of orders are calling into question “the way things are done.” Both networks and producers are feeling the heat - but are these merely short-term challenges in need of a few tweaks to fix? Or are they profound structural shocks that cry out for a complete realignment of a decades old business model? Join the executives who face these issues, and find the solutions that will move your own business forward by listening in on this high-level discussion.