Gary Mitchell joins NATPE

Replaces European development exec Pam Smithard

LONDON -- NATPE has appointed former DLT Entertainment and Portman Entertainment executive Gary Mitchell to be its European business development executive, following the departure of NATPE veteran Pam Smithard after fifteen years fronting the program sales market in Europe.

Smithard is leaving to pursue other projects.

Announcing the move, NATPE president and CEO Rick Feldman said that the Las Vegas-based market continued to be "one of the key events" in the distribution calendar despite the tough economy.

"In these difficult times it is vital that content owners take advantage of every opportunity to meet buyers and potential partners," he said, adding that NATPE is working on "a number of cost effective ways for distributors of all sizes and countries to exhibit in Las Vegas in 2010."

Mitchell, who was previously VP of international sales at the U.K.'s DLT Entertainment and director of sales at Portman, said the market was a crucial step towards getting programming noticed.