Katrina Bowden loves her gift-suite swag and her "30 Rock" swagger


Last month, the TV industry converged on Manhattan for the annual upfronts -- the period when the networks pitch their fall series to advertisers to attract large "upfront" ad commitments.

Traditionally, the upfronts have meant a grand celebration, full of celebs, musical acts, programming previews, parties with gourmet food and drink, and lots of swag -- er, deluxe parting gifts -- exchanged in hotels' special "gifting suites."

But that was all scaled back after the 2007 writer's strike. Today, many networks have opted instead for smaller "roadshow" presentations to advertisers. With the recession in full bloom, even the swag is more modest than in upfronts past. Still, some still felt the value of media coverage outweighed their modest impulses, and they went in, again, for a big show.