Industry leaders converse about business deals, strategy and the future of media and entertainment.
info_outline Sinclair's STIRR Bets That All TV Viewing is Local 11/25/2020
Sinclair's STIRR Bets That All TV Viewing is Local Sinclair Broadcast Group has taken the streaming wars to local markets. The TV station giant is expanding its ad-supported STIRR platform designed to help its nearly 200 stations better monetize digital viewing of newscasts and syndicated programming. Adam Ware, Sinclair's VP and general manager of national networks and platforms, talks about the growth of the streaming service and why local TV is poised to prosper in the free streaming arena.
info_outline Universal Pictures Marketing Chiefs Look Back on a Year of Bold Moves 11/18/2020
Universal Pictures Marketing Chiefs Look Back on a Year of Bold Moves Michael Moses and Dwight Caines reflect on how they rewrote the theatrical promotional playbook over the course of the global pandemic as the , strike to shorten the theatrical window, and introduce a .
info_outline How Electronic Arts is Producing TV Shows to Broaden the Videogame Market 11/11/2020
How Electronic Arts is Producing TV Shows to Broaden the Videogame Market EA's competitive gaming entertainment unit not only oversees the esports extensions of its best-selling games, but a completely different kind of entertainment more akin to "Project Runway" than the "League of Legends World Championship."
info_outline Investor Mellody Hobson: 'If It Matters, It's Counted 11/04/2020
Investor Mellody Hobson: 'If It Matters, It's Counted Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, explains why she’s bullish on the media sector at a time of great transition for traditional TV and film giants. The respected investor and former DreamWorks Animation board chair asserts that the most important way for media giants to pursue diversity and inclusion goals is to start by counting. "If it matters, it’s counted," she says of establishing an honest benchmark for measuring workforce diversity goals.
info_outline How Women With Agency Run Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine 10/28/2020
How Women With Agency Run Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Lauren Neustadter, head of film and TV for Hello Sunshine, discusses the growth of Reese Witherspoon’s content production banner. One of the company’s first employees, Neustadter explains the guiding principles for projects tackled by the company – including Apple’s “The Morning Show” and Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” -- and how Hello Sunshine has navigating the exploding global marketplace for content.
info_outline Larry Wilmore Navigates His New Show Through the Trump Era 10/21/2020
Larry Wilmore Navigates His New Show Through the Trump Era The veteran comedy writer/producer/performer is back with another talk show on the Peacock streaming network, where he's up to the challenge of finding the humor amid bleak political headlines. Wilmore also traces his evolution through a 30-year TV career.
info_outline Ted Sarandos on Netflix’s Five Years of Global Growth, Controversy Over ‘Cuties’ and Management Changes 10/14/2020
Ted Sarandos on Netflix’s Five Years of Global Growth, Controversy Over ‘Cuties’ and Management Changes Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer discusses the global scope of the streaming giant’s business during a wide-ranging Q&A. Sarandos details how the company decides when to invest big in local language production, and the metrics that Netflix uses to evaluate the success of original and acquired content. The long-serving Netflix executive also weighs in on the controversy in the U.S. over the French film “Cuties,” the challenges of filming during the coronavirus pandemic and recent changes in the company’s senior management ranks.
info_outline How Carlos Watson Built a Media Brand to Discover ‘The New and the Next’ 10/07/2020
How Carlos Watson Built a Media Brand to Discover ‘The New and the Next’ Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of Ozy Media, started his company in 2013 as a digital magazine venture that was dubbed by one reader “the love child of Vice and the Economist.” Watson’s ambition for Ozy Media has grown to include TV series, podcasts and a traveling festival featuring top thinkers and entrepreneurs. The former McKinsey & Co. analyst turned journalist discusses how his San Francisco-based company plans to grow even in pandemic times and how he attracted top investors, including Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective and Marc Lasry.
info_outline '90-Day Fiance' Producer on Unscripted TV Demand: ‘Our Business is Booming’ 09/30/2020
'90-Day Fiance' Producer on Unscripted TV Demand: ‘Our Business is Booming’ Eli Holzman, veteran producer and CEO of Industrial Media, discusses the explosive demand for unscripted TV content and how that spurred him to sell his fledgling Intellectual Property Corp. banner two years ago to private equity investors. He now heads a collection of independent production banners that collectively has more than 60 series running across two dozen-plus networks. Holzman talks about the lift that comes when a show connects big in pop culture -- a la TLC’s “90-Day Fiance,” from Industrial’s Sharp Entertainment -- and how streaming has opened the door for the kind of shows he most loves to produce.
info_outline How Wattpad’s Aron Levitz Mines User-Generated Stories for Movie, TV Hits 09/23/2020
How Wattpad’s Aron Levitz Mines User-Generated Stories for Movie, TV Hits Wattpad Studios head Aron Levitz and his team comb through the nearly 1 billion stories that members of Wattpad’s 80 million-plus monthly users have shared on the app. His goal: to find the unique narratives that resonate with fans, and then turn them into TV shows, movies and books.
info_outline How Dare I Not Succeed? How ‘Love and Hip Hop’ Producer Mona Scott-Young Hit Big by Channeling Her Passions 09/16/2020
How Dare I Not Succeed? How ‘Love and Hip Hop’ Producer Mona Scott-Young Hit Big by Channeling Her Passions Mona Scott-Young, CEO of Monami Entertainment and the steward of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” franchise, discusses the growth of the company she launched in 2008. Scott-Young details the preparation and the lucky breaks that allowed her to seize the moment to segue from her background in music management to TV and media. She credits the seminal influence of her hard-working mother for helping her realize her strengths and her potential. “I have so many tools at my disposal – how dare I not succeed,” Scott-Young says.
info_outline Reliving 'Green Book' History Through a New Podcast and Apple Maps 09/09/2020
Reliving 'Green Book' History Through a New Podcast and Apple Maps Recently recreated in an Oscar-winning film, the travel route African-Americans used in the segregated south is being revisited not only as a new podcast, but as an audio guide thanks to a new integration between Apple Podcasts and Apple Maps. MacMillan Publishers VP of podcasting Kathy Doyle describes "Driving the Green Book" and shares her perspective on the broader podcast business.
info_outline VENN Founders Eye TV’s Big Game With Streaming Network Launch 09/02/2020
VENN Founders Eye TV’s Big Game With Streaming Network Launch Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin, co-founders and co-CEOs of VENN, discuss how the “white space” in TV for content aimed at videogame enthusiasts drove them to launch the Videogame Entertainment & News Network streaming platform. The digital entrepreneurs detail the steps they took to the Aug. 5 launch and how they plan to fund up to 50 hours of original programming through sponsorships and distribution partnerships with Twitch, YouTube and others.
info_outline Disney TV’s Craig Hunegs on Steering 3 Studios and Forging a New Path for Talent Deals 08/26/2020
Disney TV’s Craig Hunegs on Steering 3 Studios and Forging a New Path for Talent Deals Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, details how the Disney-21st Century Fox mergers create a TV production behemoth and why studio chiefs decided it was important to maintain three distinct imprints: 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television. He also discusses the studio’s new approach to compensation formulas for creative talent at a time when Hollywood’s traditional profit models are in flux.
info_outline Clive Davis on Producing a Biopic That Captures ‘the Whitney Houston That I Have Known’ 08/19/2020
Clive Davis on Producing a Biopic That Captures ‘the Whitney Houston That I Have Known’ The music biz legend discusses how he teamed with “Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten to develop a biopic of Whitney Houston, the singer whose career Davis shepherded to great heights before her tragic death in 2012. Davis details how they shaped the script, raised the financing and then held a vigorous auction for the property with Hollywood’s major studios. Davis also offers his thoughts on the state of the pandemic-rocked music industry and his advice for aspiring music moguls.
info_outline Understanding Snapchat's Role in Political Coverage With Peter Hamby 08/12/2020
Understanding Snapchat's Role in Political Coverage With Peter Hamby With the political conventions set for next week, the presidential campaign is ready to take yet another unpredictable turn. 'Good Luck America' host Peter Hamby gives his POV on what to expect next on the road to the election and his own role translating politics for Snapchat's Gen Z audience.
info_outline How New York Plans to Restart TV and Film Production 08/05/2020
How New York Plans to Restart TV and Film Production Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, discusses how New York City plans to gradually get TV and film production back in action amid the pandemic. “It’s been very hard to see these industries that are really so definitive of New York City just (struggling) to find a way forward,” del Castillo says.
info_outline Hollywood's Big Challenge: Resuming Production in a Pandemic 07/29/2020
Hollywood's Big Challenge: Resuming Production in a Pandemic The dealmaking required to get studios, networks and guilds on the same page has gotten more complex than ever amid COVID-19, but that's what it will take to ensure the creation of more TV shows and movies. Ken Basin, head of business affairs at Paramount TV, gives an inside look at the issues people like him are confronting now to make things happen.
info_outline CW Chief Mark Pedowitz on TV’s Year of Disruption 07/22/2020
CW Chief Mark Pedowitz on TV’s Year of Disruption CW chairman-CEO Mark Pedowitz discusses how the network has revamped its fall launch plans amid the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The executive who moved CW into the ad-supported streaming area nearly a decade ago also weighs in on the fate of linear TV, the growth of on-demand competition and why the end of CW’s output deal with Netflix has been a good thing for the network. And he gets a little sentimental about the final bows of stalwart CW series "Arrow" and "Supernatural."
info_outline How Big Brands Blow It: Multicultural Marketing Startup Guides Companies Through Anti-Racist Movement 07/15/2020
How Big Brands Blow It: Multicultural Marketing Startup Guides Companies Through Anti-Racist Movement Lori Hall and Jessica Lane Alexander, co-founders of the newly launched multicultural marketing firm Pop’N Creative, discuss their Atlanta-based startup. The entertainment veterans who worked together at Turner Broadcasting and at TV One talk about the tone-deaf and “offensive” marketing pitches that inspired them to go into business for themselves with the goal of helping to guide big brands through unfamiliar waters and uncomfortable conversations about race in America.
info_outline LA's Laemmle Theatres Shares Its Struggle to Survive Amid COVID 07/08/2020
LA's Laemmle Theatres Shares Its Struggle to Survive Amid COVID CEO Greg Laemmle describes what it has been like to keep his chain of seven arthouse theaters afloat as they remain dark for a fourth month amid a COVID-induced shutdown. Having already laid off nearly 200 employees, he has begun to explore selling some of his properties to keep the 82-year-old family business going. Regardless, Laemmle believes moviegoing will return post-COVID and he is also hopeful his budding foray into virtual cinema will be there for the long term.
info_outline Richard and Demi Weitz 07/01/2020
Richard and Demi Weitz When the coronavirus lockdwon began in march, WME partner Richard Weitz was like any father looking to find a way to celebrate his daughter Demi’s 17th birthday amid the pandemic. From that humble start, the two have built the Quarantunes franchise that has raised $6.7 million for coronavirus-related relief efforts around the country. Here the Weitzes discuss the spark for the fundraising effort, the hurdles they overcame and how they recruited partners such as Goldman Sachs and Alliance Bernstein to help drive big-dollar donations.
info_outline The 'Watch Party' Trend Sweeping the Video World Amid Lockdown 06/24/2020
The 'Watch Party' Trend Sweeping the Video World Amid Lockdown One key trend to emerge during the pandemic era is "watch parties," enabling socially distanced users to share a viewing experience. To explore this phenomenon, we spoke with Joe Braidwood, COO of Scener, which has differentiated itself from the many players in this space with an HBO partnership.
info_outline An Investor’s Guide to Navigating the Content Business 06/17/2020
An Investor’s Guide to Navigating the Content Business James Moore, managing partner and CEO of Vine Alternative Investments, discusses the asset management firm’s approach to building a diversified portfolio of content, production and IP holdings. The parent company of Village Roadshow has been slowly amassing a library through acquisitions. As Moore explains, Vine hopes to help fill the void for global TV buyers as Hollywood’s largest studios focus on funnelling content into vertically integrated streaming platforms.
info_outline A Blueprint for How to Restart TV and Film Production in NYC 06/10/2020
A Blueprint for How to Restart TV and Film Production in NYC Blair Breard, a longtime New York City-based producer, details the steps that a coalition of producers are taking to prepare for the resumption of production in New York. Breard, known for her work on auteur-driven comedy series including “Louie,” “Baskets,” “Better Things” and “One Mississippi,” discusses the coalition of New York-area production veterans who came together to develop COVID-19 safety guidelines in order to make sure the industry is shovel-ready to return to work once the greenlight comes from state and local health officials. “We’re problem solvers,” she says. “That’s what we do.”
info_outline Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch Doesn't Need to Finish First to Win the Streaming Wars 06/03/2020
Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch Doesn't Need to Finish First to Win the Streaming Wars With the streaming wars in full swing, Starz finds itself in a crowded market alongside bigger ventures from HBO Max to Netflix. But as Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch explains, his company is content to be a second or third option behind other larger players as the streaming space evolves toward more bundled offerings.
info_outline How WarnerMedia Built HBO Max 05/27/2020
How WarnerMedia Built HBO Max Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct to Consumer, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creative and technical development of the HBO Max streaming service, which debuts May 27. He details the reasoning and rationale behind the service’s curation focus, the depth of its content library and how its user interface was designed to stand out from the rest of the streaming pack. Greenblatt also weighs in on the hard decision to delay the planned “Friends” reunion special that was to have launched the service because of the coronavirus lockdown.
info_outline 'Snowpiercer' Producers Forge TV Deals of Tomorrow 05/20/2020
'Snowpiercer' Producers Forge TV Deals of Tomorrow Tomorrow Studios leaders Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements discuss their efforts to blaze their own path through the global content landscape with backing from ITV Studios. The pair detail the circuitous journey that the new TNT/Netflix drama thriller "Snowpiercer" took the screen and how they got Netflix to agree to break its binge rule for the international release of the series. Adelstein, who was a partner in the early years of the Endeavor talent agency, and Clements, who had a long tenure at Brillstein-Grey Television, weigh on chasing hot IP prospects around the world, what it takes to bring a series to fruition as well as the state of play in the creative community in general and the talent agency business in particular.
info_outline Lily Singh Balances Late-Night TV with YouTube Stardom 05/13/2020
Lily Singh Balances Late-Night TV with YouTube Stardom Fresh off a second season renewal for her NBC late-night show, Singh candidly discusses the growing pains of her first season in a new medium while somehow managing to keep her Internet presence going. It wasn't easy but she says she's slowly figuring it all out.
info_outline Growth Curve: How Paramount Television Studios is Handling the Shutdown 05/06/2020
Growth Curve: How Paramount Television Studios is Handling the Shutdown Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount Television Studios, discusses the “triage” process of adjusting the division’s operations to the realities of the coronavirus lockdown. The industry veteran who was part of the team at FX Networks and spent 16 years as an agent at ICM reflects on how dealmaking has changed in TV and why studios need to think about a portfolio approach to managing content rosters.