Promax/BDA lands Clinton for confab

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Promax/BDA announced Tuesday that former President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker for the organization's 52nd annual North American conference in New York City in June.

The announcement came just days after news reports that Jim Chabin, president and CEO of Promax, had unexpectedly been asked to leave the organization. Promax/BDA declined comment on the reasons for Chabin's departure but announced Friday that long-time Promax/BDA member and current vice chair Lee Hunt was appointed to the post of interim managing director of Promax/BDA, coinciding with the "leave of Jim Chabin."

"Our membership will certainly benefit from President Clinton's experience and wisdom as a prominent world leader and respected statesman as well as from his efforts inspiring humanitarianism around the globe," said Michael Benson, Promax/BDA chairman and executive vp, marketing for ABC Entertainment. "As an organization dedicated to furthering the roles of our members as the world's foremost television marketers, what better example to provide to them than this global communicator whose vision and accomplishments, both during his presidency and beyond, have touched billions."

Chabin, who led the TV marketing, promotions and design association from 1992-1999 and again since 2002, was instrumental in arranging Clinton's Promax appearance. Benson said Promax/BDA did not expect any changes in its annual conference or in Clinton's role at the event. He said Clinton's office was apprised of the situation at Promax and knew there were potential changes afoot in the organization when Clinton agreed to speak about a week ago.

"A speaker like Bill Clinton is extremely relevant and the changes going on at Promax really have no impact on the conference in June," Benson said. "We're very thankful for the work Jim did to start the process with Bill Clinton's office. Jim started the process and the staff was able to close the deal and finish things up along with the executive committee. It was really a group effort."

Benson said Clinton will be giving his point of view on American society in his keynote speech.

Chabin also ran the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the three years in between his stints as president and CEO of Promax. Benson declined to confirm or deny reports that Chabin's departure was permanent.
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