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NATPE Files for Bankruptcy After Pandemic Event Cancellations

Event organizers for TV executives plan to restructure company and hold events in 2023

The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) announced on Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it plans to restructure its organization. The org says that it has depleted its financial reserves and has been unable to generate substantial revenue after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to cancel many of its planned events.

NATPE traditionally holds its flagship conference event in Miami in January, with producers, station owners, syndicators and other major executives in the TV industry attending. The event has still drawn a significant amount of participants even as syndication has been on the decline as streaming has become more popular among consumers.

But over the past two years, the world has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in January thanks to new variants of the virus that increase transmission, forcing NATPE to cancel those events. While NATPE held a virtual marketplace during the height of the pandemic in 2020, it could not match the revenue of its in-person counterpart.

“These cancellations forced NATPE to operate on its financial reserves, which now require it to reorganize the NATPE business structure,” read a statement from the organization.

NATPE says that its bankruptcy filing will not affect its plans to hold events in 2023. Its January conference event is currently set to be held in Nassau, Bahamas, along with a summer marketplace in Budapest, Hungary in June. In the meantime, the company is “looking at all possible options to restructure, including raising funds through strategic alliances, and continue to operate NATPE as a more streamlined and reorganized operation.”