HRTS luncheon in jeopardy

No date set for long-standing event

A long TV industry tradition -- the annual HRTS luncheon with the broadcast network chiefs -- is in jeopardy this year.

Heading into October, the Hollywood Radio & Television Society is yet to announce a date for the event as behind-the-scenes tussling over who from NBC would be featured on the panel continues.

Last year, NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman made his debut alongside the entertainment presidents of ABC, CBS, Fox and the CW.

This time around, NBC brass designated exec vp Teri Weinberg, who was promoted in February to oversee scripted development and current series for the network.

After pushback from the other networks, HRTS balked at that choice with the argument that everyone on the panel has to hold at least an entertainment president title, which is not held by anyone at NBC.

With NBC standing firmly behind their decision, HRTS is said to be "reevaluating" its plans for the luncheon this fall, which had been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 29.

However, HRTS executive director Dave Ferrara said the organization hasn't officially announced its 2008-09 lineup and never makes that announcement until all the pieces are in place as things are being "constantly shuffled."

Typically, the organization hosts three luncheon events in the fall, one of which is usually the network chiefs event.

"We will announce our schedule as soon as it is set," Ferrara said, adding that he hopes that will be "within the next few days."

Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.