Benjamin (BJ) Elias serves as Senior Vice President, Distribution, for Fox Networks where he is responsible for leading the division’s distribution of new media products and services, including authenticated video (commonly known as TV Everywhere) via websites and mobile apps, over-the-top television (OTT), video-on-demand (VOD), and interactive television.
Mr. Elias played a key role in expanding the distribution of Fox Networks’ industry-leading suite of TV Everywhere apps and websites, including FOX NOW, FXNOW, FOX Sports GO, Nat Geo TV and BTN2GO. He is a key driver in negotiations with major cable, satellite, and telco affiliates and has emerged as a leader in working through increasingly complex issues with the television stations affiliated with Fox Broadcasting.
Prior to joining Fox Networks in 2010, Mr. Elias served as Director of Strategy and Business Development at A+E Networks where he was responsible for VOD product management, digital distribution business development, and advanced advertising for History, Lifetime, and A&E.
Prior to A+E Networks, Mr. Elias worked for Sezmi Corporation as Director of Content Partnerships where he negotiated content license agreements with film studios, cable networks groups, and internet companies for the company’s hybrid OTT video service. He has also held business development positions with Yahoo! and CBS.
Mr. Elias earned bachelor degrees in political science and journalism from Emory University and a master’s degree in communications management from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. He was recently included on Broadcasting & Cable Magazine’s 2015 Digital All-Star List, as well as named 15-To-Watch by CableFAX in 2012.
Craig Hunegs was named President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group in May 2013. In this role, he is responsible for overall Television Group performance and for creating traditional television and digital growth for Warner Bros.’ industry-leading television business. Warner Bros. is the largest producer and distributor of television series in the U.S. (more than 65 current domestic series for the 2014-15 season) and is producing an increasingly significant number of local series in key countries around the world. The company distributes its programming globally across traditional television networks and all other video platforms. Warner Bros. Television Group divisions include Warner Bros. Television, Warner Horizon Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Telepictures, Shed U.S., Warner Bros. Television Production UK, Warner Bros. International Television Production, Alloy Entertainment, Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution. Hunegs reports directly to Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Tsujihara.
In the core Television Group business, Hunegs is actively managing the expansion of international local production, increased production for U.S. basic and premium cable networks and SVOD services, the growth of Warner Bros. Animation’s kids business and the evolution of linear and on-demand TV distribution windows. Hunegs’ focus on Television Group growth includes key digital initiatives in short form programming production, interactive games, OTT distribution and the Studio’s investment in Machinima, a leading MCN targeting fandom and gamer audiences and creators. He is on the board of The CW network, and plays an active role in setting its linear and digital distribution strategies. The CW is enjoying breakout success this season, fueled by WBTV’s “The Flash” and “Arrow,” among other programs. Hunegs is also the lead deal maker for all Television Group production divisions.
Previously, Hunegs served as Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Television Group from 2006-13, where he played a central role in managing the Television Group and developing, planning and implementing its key initiatives, including broad licensing partnerships with Netflix and Hulu, the launch of original cable series production and international local production, the formation of new linear and on-demand distribution windows, the expansion into online and wireless entertainment, the acquisitions of Alloy Entertainment and Shed Media and the creation of The CW network.
From 1999-2006, Hunegs was Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Television Production and, from 1997-1999, Executive Vice President Business and Financial Affairs, Warner Bros. Television Production. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Hunegs was the Head of Business Affairs for The WB Network. Before that, he served as Vice President, Business Affairs for NBC Entertainment. He began his career in television as a program attorney at ABC Entertainment.
Hunegs is a board member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation and a past board member of the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Hunegs is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Colorado College.
Michael Lombardo is president, Programming, for Home Box Office. He is responsible for overseeing all of HBO’s and Cinemax’s programming initiatives including HBO Films, HBO Sports, HBO Documentaries & Family and HBO Entertainment. He also oversees HBO Marketing as well as HBO’s Program Planning group, which is responsible for research and scheduling in connection with the HBO and Cinemax services. In addition, he is responsible for the West Coast Business Affairs, Legal and Production departments. He was named to this position in June 2007.
During his tenure as president, HBO Programming, HBO has launched some of its most acclaimed and successful series including True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Girls, Veep, Looking, True Detective, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, many ranking among the top programs in the network’s history. Additional award-winning programs include the miniseries Mildred Pierce and Generation Kill; HBO Films’ Too Big To Fail, Temple Grandin, Taking Chance, Grey Gardens, Game Change and You Don’t Know Jack. Lombardo also shepherded Cinemax’s first foray into primetime originals with the popular action series Strike Back and Banshee.
Formerly, Lombardo was executive vice president, Business Affairs, Production and Programming Operations, a position he held since January 2003. In this capacity, he was responsible for the negotiation and administration of talent, production and license agreements for HBO original programming as well as overseeing the network’s West Coast Production and Legal departments and the Programming Operations area, which includes original programming operations, administration and budgeting.
Lombardo currently serves on the boards of The Paley Center, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Film Independent. He was appointed a member of the Board of Trustees at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by President Obama in February 2014.
He has an AB degree from Cornell University and JD from the University of California at Berkeley.
Robyn Polashuk, Managing Partner of Covington’s Los Angeles office, focuses her practice on the licensing and distribution of television networks and programming content across a variety of platforms (including cable and satellite, IPTV, mobile and Internet) and business models (from linear to subscription and transactional video-on-demand, electronic sell-through and interactive applications).
Ms. Polashuk has extensive experience in digital distribution, particularly in the area of “over the top” and “TV Everywhere” models.
In this practice, Ms. Polashuk represents both leading media groups and emerging networks, in general entertainment, sports and specialized programming genres, as well as major technology and Internet companies. Her clients have included Disney and ABC, El Rey Network, Fox Cable Networks, Hulu, Ovation, NFL Network, PBS, Tennis Channel, TV One, and Univision Communications.
She has negotiated on behalf of content providers with all the traditional television distributors, including AT&T Uverse, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS, as well as the emerging “OTT” distributors, such as PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and Verizon OnCue Mobile.
In 2015, Ms. Polashuk was named among Daily Journal’s top women lawyers and received the “Top Cable Deal Lawyer” recognition from Multichannel News as one of nine leading cable-industry lawyers “who seal the deals in cable.”
Previously, Ms. Polashuk held in-house positions such as Vice President, Distribution Legal Affairs at Lifetime Television and Senior Counsel, New Technology Law Group at The Walt Disney Company. She attended the Cable Television Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2004, and received her J.D. from University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1994, her M.A. from University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communications in 1988, and her B.A., cum laude, from Duke University in 1987.
Head of Programming, AwesomenessTV
Grant Gibson is the Head of Programming at AwesomenessTV, where he faces the daunting challenge of making the world more Awesome. Included under the AwesomenessTV banner are AwesomenessTV, the leading YouTube channel serving the global teen audience; the AwesomenessTV Network, a community based MCN with over 7.5 billion views; DreamWorksTV; Awestruck; Big Frame; as well as consumer products, music, publishing, and branded entertainment divisions.
Gibson has spent the past 15 years in the media business, connecting audiences to content through data and most recently came to AwesomenessTV as part of the Big Frame acquisition in 2014, where he was employee No. 1 and served as Head of Audience Development. Prior to Big Frame and AwesomenessTV, Gibson was Director, Strategy & Finance at ArcLight Cinemas where he helped shape the rollout strategy for the high-end movie theater’s growth from a single location to a national chain. Gibson was also previously Manager, Business Development at Twentieth Century FOX Filmed Entertainment Group, where he oversaw the studios VOD initiative.
Gibson received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles with his wife and two children; no dog yet, but rumors abound.
Jeff Pray oversees all media activation and investment across all Starcom LA clients. Coming from the TV buying group working on Warner Bros. in NYC 12 years ago, he moved to LA to work on Walt Disney Studios. Jeff started at Starcom LA in the national cable investment team and quickly saw the future and established the Starcom LA digital practice, which is now evolving into a platform agnostic activation team. He has oversight across all LA clients developing creative, innovative and results-oriented campaigns across current clients: thinkThin, KB Home, Del Monte, Big Heart Pet, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, Disney XD, Mattel and Fisher-Price. Jeff’s foundation working with movie studios and on entertainment clients drives his passion for doing things first, pushing boundaries and never accepting no for an answer. Nowhere is this more apparent that Jeff pushing for Walt Disney Studios to become the first advertiser ever on YouTube for “Pirates of the Caribbean 2”.
VP, Head of PlayStation Vue
Sony Network Entertainment Int’l (SNEI)
Dwayne has P&L responsibility for PlayStation Vue, SNEI’s new Cloud Based TV Service, including oversight of Strategy, Programming/Content Acquisition, Service Operations and Product Management.
He began his career in the Information, Communications and Entertainment practice at KPMG and then spent 10 years at The Walt Disney Company, initially within Corporate Finance, but ultimately as the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Walt Disney International. While at Disney, Dwayne was responsible for the acquisition and expansion of The Wiggles franchise across all of Disney’s product lines and the development and execution of market entry strategies for Brazil, Russia, China and India, the latter including managing the acquisition of Hungama and UTV, India’s most integrated media & entertainment company at the time.
Dwayne left Disney to be the General Manager of West Coast Entertainment for Google where he focused on premium content acquisition for YouTube and managed an ad sales team that concluded YouTube’s first ‘upfront’ ad sale, as well as delivered 40% of YouTube’s total revenue during his tenure.
Dwayne then joined Sony to help build out what is today PlayStation Network by executing partnerships with the strategic third parties and building Sony managed digital media services, including PlayStation Vue, Music Unlimited and the Live Events Viewer.
Dwayne obtained his Bachelor of Accountancy from New Mexico State University and later earned his M.B.A from the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School (M.B.A.) with Majors in Strategic & Entrepreneurial Management.
Executive Chairman and Chief Media Officer
Nancy Tellem is the Executive Chairman and Chief Media Officer of Interlude, a media and technology company at the forefront of interactive online video storytelling. Interlude is reimagining video for a generation that wants to do more than just watch passively by creating amazing experiences that are both playful and thought provoking.
Until October of 2014, Tellem was President of Xbox Entertainment Studios where she oversaw Microsoft’s TV strategy and created a studio focused on the development and production of interactive programming.
From 1997 to 2012, Tellem was President of the CBS Network Television Entertainment Group. She oversaw both CBS Entertainment Network and CBS Studios. As President, she evaluated business and strategic opportunities: content partnerships, new production models, developing technologies and emerging media. She also oversaw all programming, development, production, business and legal operations and the network’s prime-time, daytime and late-night lineups. Not only did she help revive the network by championing “Survivor”, “CSI” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”, but she played an important role in the Company’s early efforts to expand its content and distribution across digital and mobile platforms. Before CBS, Tellem was the Executive Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs for Warner Bros where she shepherded in such hits as “ER” and “Friends.”
In 2006, Tellem was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame for her contributions to the electronic arts. Two years later Forbes ranked her 32nd on its list “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Simultaneously, Entertainment Weekly named her the third-smartest person in TV for quickly restoring CBS’s entire primetime lineup after the 100-day writers’ strike. The National Association of Television Program Executives awarded Tellem a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award in recognition of her “extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating TV programming.”
Tellem holds board and advisory positions at numerous digital and media-related companies, including Dot &Bo, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Media. She earned her B.A. from the University of California Berkeley, and received her J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of Law. Tellem is married to sports agent Arn Tellem, the vice chairman of Wasserman Media Group. The couple has three sons.
Editorial Director, B&C, MCN, Ratings Intelligence
Mark Robichaux is Editorial Director of NewBay Media’s TV Group in New York, which includes Multichannel News, Broadcasting & Cable, NextTV and Ratings Intelligence.
Prior to his current position, he was Editor-in-Chief of Multichannel News, the leading business magazine covering the cable-TV industry, and before that, Editor-in-Chief of sister publication Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
He was a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 13 years, writing for Page One, as well as covering small business and the cable-TV industry. He is author of critically acclaimed Cable Cowboy, a biography of cable pioneer John Malone that tells the broader story of the birth of the modern cable-TV business.
He worked as a staff reporter at the Miami Herald upon graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Steve Reynolds is Chief Technology Officer at Imagine Communications and responsible for product engineering, product line management and R&D activities. Reporting directly to the CEO, he provides vision and leadership for engineering and research teams developing next generation media technology while managing the product roadmap for the company.
Reynolds brings 20 years of technology leadership in the cable industry to Imagine Communications. At Comcast, he served as Senior Vice President of Premises Technology overseeing the strategy, roadmap and development of all technologies employed in service delivery to the customer premises. Prior to Comcast, Reynolds was Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV Incorporated, a world leader in digital and interactive television technology.
His cable industry experience also included executive level positions at ACTV Incorporated and Intellocity USA. Reynolds was a member of the technical team at TV Guide, leading development of the industry’s first interactive program guide for digital cable set-tops.
Reynolds earned a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Widener University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from West Chester University. Reynolds is a member of the SCTE and has participated in numerous standards making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. He holds over two dozen patents relating to digital video, interactive television and digital devices.
Vince Roberts is executive vice president, Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer, Disney|ABC Television Group, a position he was promoted to in October 2010. In this role, Mr. Roberts develops and implements operational and technological strategies and solutions to support the Disney|ABC Television Group’s vast portfolio of media and broadcast businesses. Additionally, he is responsible for assessing new and emerging business technologies for divisions within the Group.
Reporting to Mr. Roberts are the broadcast operating and technical functions of the ABC Television Network (BO&E), Disney Channel Worldwide, Disney XD, Disney Junior, ABC Family and Disney ABC Domestic Television. In addition, he supports Disney|ABC International Television, including, Disney-branded networks in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Japan, Korea, and Canada. Mr. Roberts also supports the engineering team from ABC’s eight Owned TV Stations in regards to their operational and technological systems.
Mr. Roberts is the primary technology leader for the Disney|ABC Television Group and is charged with developing a comprehensive technology roadmap to support the strategic objectives. His other major responsibilities include: acting as the senior advisor to business unit management on technology implementation and initiatives; providing leadership in ensuring appropriate technology usage; assessing new and emerging technologies to determine applications to business unit initiatives; identifying and overseeing business process driven technology improvements; and evaluating technology support and infrastructure operations. Mr. Roberts and his team have become industry leaders in developing and implementing cloud based and file based workflows supporting both linear broadcast operations and digital media non-linear delivery.
A founding employee of Disney Channel, Mr. Roberts joined the network in 1983 as a staff engineer and then went on to serve as director of Operations and Engineering. In 1989, after a two-year stint as senior vice president of Color Systems, Inc., he rejoined Disney Channel as vice president, Engineering and Operations. During his tenure with Disney, he led the team that developed one of the country’s first video file server-based broadcast operations. Mr. Roberts also established Disney’s first international broadcast operation – Walt Disney Television Singapore. Since then, he has been responsible for the launches of more than 90 entertainment channels and/or channel feeds available in more than 160 countries and 30 languages.
Prior to joining Disney, Mr. Roberts spent four years in videodisc R&D and manufacturing with MCA and JVC/EMI/GE. While at MCA, he was awarded a patent for developing a specialized quality control process device. During his time at Color Systems Technology as senior vice president of Production, the company was awarded an Emmy for technical achievement for the video coloring process. In addition, Mr. Roberts has eight domestic and international patents pending; two have been granted.
Mr. Roberts co-chaired the FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility Committee (VPAAC) on Internet Closed Captioning; was Chairman of the Innovation Advisory Board for Imagine Communications, and in 2014 was awarded the Broadcasting & Cable Technology Leadership Award. Mr. Roberts currently also serves on several internal and industry organizations focusing on innovation, technology development and business efficiency. He continues to play a key role in helping develop Disney’s future technology strategy initiatives. Mr. Roberts is Chairman of the Executive Board of the Entertainment Technology Center at University of Southern California (ETC @ USC). He is a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Fellow, a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) and the Emma Bowen Foundation.
Ali Barash is an Agent in the Digital Media department of leading talent and literary agency UTA, where she focuses on online entertainment packaging and content strategy.
Barash represents digital influencers and content creators, such as “Conversations With My Two Year Old,” “Action Movie Kid,” Andrew Bachelor aka “KingBach,” Jenn McAllister aka “JennXPenn,”Jack Vale and Logan Paul. She also works with clients including Dolby, JASH and Just For Laughs.
Barash joined UTA in 2011 after beginning her career in the agent trainee program at ICM. She received her B.A. in English from Tufts University.
Beatrice Springborn is Head of Originals at Hulu. Since joining the Hulu team earlier this year, Beatrice has played an integral role in greenlighting straight-to-series orders for Hulu’s growing slate of originals, including Difficult People, a half hour comedy series produced by Amy Poehler with stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner; CASUAL, a comedy series from Oscar® nominated Director Jason Reitman; The Way, a drama series from Universal Television and Jason Katims’ True Jack Productions; and 11/22/63, an original event series starring James Franco from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, based on Stephen King’s best-selling book.
Prior to joining Hulu, Springborn was head of Television for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s Storyline Entertainment, who have deals with Universal TV, NBC International and Sony Pictures TV. At Storyline, Springborn developed and produced the MTV series Happyland, which premieres this fall. Prior to Storyline, Springborn was SVP for Caryn Mandabach Productions (Peaky Blinders) where she oversaw the development of genre and book-based series for the international marketplace. She previously was the EVP of TV and film production and development at Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Motion Pictures (The Walking Dead). Springborn started her executive career in features, serving as the manager of development at Pixar where she worked on Ratatouille and Finding Nemo. She was also the VP of production and development for FilmNation Entertainment, which specializes in international sales and production for producer Aaron Ryder. While at FilmNation, Springborn worked on The Prestige, The TV Set, Hamlet 2 and House At The End Of The Street.
Prior to Pixar, Springborn was a journalist and worked at CNN, Texas Monthly and a magazine all about UNIX computing.
Matt Smith is a recognized digital media industry evangelist and thought leader, having spoken at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, TVNext, Streaming Media East & West, NewTeeVee, among others. He also has the distinction of being a Streaming Media All-Star.
Matt is presently Chief Evangelist for Anvato – the leading, turnkey platform solution that enables media companies, content providers and broadcasters with a robust, powerful and complete toolset to enable their content to reach any screen, anytime.
Prior to Anvato, Matt was Vice President, Technology for Chideo; Vice President, Internet Television at Envivio; Architect at Cisco Systems; and Vice President and Chief Systems Architect at Inlet Technologies.
Prior to Inlet, Smith served as a key video architect and evangelist for Yahoo!, and spent several years at NBC, first at the affiliate level and later with the network.
Kimberly Kalb is the Entertainment Partnerships Director at Meerkat, executing the company’s entertainment strategy by developing and managing relationships and programs with entertainment properties, celebrities, influencers and media outlets.
Prior to joining Meerkat, Kalb led West Coast Entertainment Partnerships at Tumblr, overseeing relationships with entertainment companies based in Los Angeles, including “Ellen,” NBC’s “The Voice,” “Awesomeness TV” and “Entertainment Tonight.” Kalb joined Tumblr from HBO, where she led millennial marketing efforts for the namesake brand, and HBO GO as the Manager of Brand Strategy. Previously, she also managed integrated marketing for LXTV, a production arm of NBCUniversal.
Kalb received her BS from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, and is currently earning her MBA at UCLA.
Christopher Ruddy is a noted journalist and entrepreneur.
Christopher Ruddy currently serves as CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc. one of the nation’s leading news media companies.
In 1998, Mr. Ruddy founded Newsmax Media, a broadcasting and multimedia publishing company whose content covers news, politics, health, lifestyle and finance.
In 2013, Newsmax launched Newsmax TV, a 24/7 informational and lifestyle network. In June of 2014, DIRECTV and DISH Network began airing Newsmax TV. Verizon Fios added Newsmax to its lineup in 2015, bringing the TV network’s reach to over 41 million U.S. homes. Newsmax TV is also the first major 24/7 news channel to become available free on over-the-top devices and smartphones.
The company’s flagship website, Newsmax.com, is consistently ranked as one of the country’s most trafficked news websites. Forbes magazine has called it a “news powerhouse” and the New York Times has called it a “potent force” in American media.
Newsmax has several platforms by which it reaches a global audience. In addition to Newsmax.com, more than 4 million Americans subscribe to its free email newsletters and an additional 1.4 million subscribe to 17 health and financial newsletters the company publishes. The company also maintains the Newsmax Feed Network, a syndicated headline box that appears on more than 2000 partner websites making approximately one billion page views monthly. Partner sites include dozens of ABC, NBC and CBS television news station websites across the country, several newspapers published by Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Herald, and international brands including London’s Daily Telegraph, and Israel’s Jerusalem Post, among many others.
As a journalist, Mr. Ruddy previously worked at the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He has conducted interviews with political, business, and world leaders, including Bill Clinton, the late Sir John Templeton and Mikhail Gorbachev.
A Newsweek cover story named Mr. Ruddy one of America’s top 20 most influential news media personalities. In 2010, Folio Magazine, the leading publication of the magazine industry, named Ruddy to its “Folio 40” — described as “the most distinguished” innovators and influencers in the business. In the same year, the South Florida Business Journal awarded Mr. Ruddy its “Ultimate CEO” designation for his executive leadership at Newsmax.
Mr. Ruddy is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Publishers Association, the industry organization representing investment publications, including such well known brands as Motley Fool, Morningstar, TheStreet.com and others that reach 25 million paid subscribers monthly. He is also a member of the Kissinger Council of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), chaired by Dr. Henry Kissinger.
Mr. Ruddy holds a B.A. summa cum laude in History from St. John’s University in New York and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. He studied Mid-East Politics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Ruddy has also served as a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.
In 2012, Mr. Ruddy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from St. John’s University.
Andrew Ferrone leads Roku’s global pay TV business. In this role, he is responsible for all pay TV deals including over-the-top multichannel services, managed network services, and co-branded device deals. Most recently Andrew was head of consumer product management at RealD, the leading licensor of 3D technologies. At RealD, Andrew drove product planning and commercial partnerships for a portfolio including content services, distribution technologies, and consumer devices. Andrew started his career at Videoguide, the leading licensor of interactive program guides for TVs and DVRs, which was acquired by Gemstar-TV Guide and then bought by Macrovision, currently called Rovi. Andrew rose to a senior position in the corporate product development team driving the next-generation of cross platform, personalized digital media services for pay TV operators, consumer electronics manufacturers, online destinations, and mobile devices.
Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Digital Electronics from Dartmouth College.
Caroline Horner is a passionate innovator experienced in delivering large-scale data programs that support multi-platform advertising and media businesses. She contributes a unique, analyst/executive perspective to every stage of development, from data generation to making
the insights accessible through automation of reporting and custom analytics.
In her role as Senior Vice President, Product Innovation, Caroline directs the development of all new products with a disciplined business focus on data monetization strategies and partner revenue relationships.
“Product innovation is the living legacy of Rentrak,” Caroline says. “Rentrak was born from the notion that massive amounts of centralized data can create great value for the entertainment industry. Part collaboration, part inspiration—product innovation keeps Rentrak clients out in front.”
Before joining Rentrak, Caroline served at GroupM as the Managing Partner, Director of Advanced Segmentations and Analytics. There, she helped GroupM agencies and clients apply optimized planning and addressable advertising strategies.
Prior to GroupM, Caroline directed the development of Dish Network viewer measurement for support of internal business units and external ad sales. While at Dish Network, Caroline also delivered custom ROI analytics for advertising clients, launched the first national addressable television campaigns, and participated in industry standardization programs. Prior to Dish, she held various executive and innovator positions at digital agencies, traditional agencies, and a consulting practice.
Caroline has a degree in biology from Duke University, an MBA in Quantitative Marketing Intelligence from UCONN, and a Master’s Degree in cake decorating from Wilton Industries.
When she’s not hard at work overseeing product development at Rentrak, Caroline enjoys cake decorating, snowboarding and kayaking.
Truly a multi-hyphenate, Mike O’Malley got his start in front of the camera hosting Nickelodeon’s Get the Picture and the iconic game show Guts. His success continued in television with standout roles in Yes Dear, My Name Is Earl, My Own Worst Enemy, Justified, and his Emmy®-nominated, groundbreaking performance as ‘Burt Hummel’ on the hit show Glee. Mike’s feature work includes roles in Eat Pray Love, Cedar Rapids, Leatherheads, Meet Dave, 28 Days, and the upcoming Untitled Concussion Project starring Will Smith which will be released Christmas 2015. Also an accomplished writer, Mike wrote and produced the independent feature Certainty which he adapted from his own play. In television, Mike has served as a Consulting Producer on Shameless and is in his second season as creator and Executive Producer of Survivor’s Remorse for Starz.
Scott Smith, Sr. Product Manager at Adobe, is focused on improving digital video measurement and reporting for digital marketing teams around the world. Scott is tasked with overseeing all aspects of video management, measurement, monitoring, and monetization across all verticals and devices for digital marketing. He is a seasoned product manager with experience across several high-tech industries. Prior to Adobe, Scott worked for 5 years at Limelight Networks, a CDN, specializing in online video delivery.
A global expert in client relations, since 2000, Mr. Siegman has worked with RSG’s clients to identify opportunities and devise strategies to take advantage of emerging technologies, manage their content rights, improve the customer experience, and leverage advanced mathematics to optimize ad revenues. Before joining RSG, Mr. Siegman was a domestic brand manager in Japan for one of Japan’s largest consumer packaged goods company. He has conducted business in 40 countries on six continents, speaks Japanese fluently, and is a member of MENSA. Mr. Siegman received his MBA from Thunderbird (The Garvin School of International Business) and his BA from Oberlin.
Bruce David Eisen is a veteran attorney, consultant and media executive. Eisen’s legal and consulting practice provides legal, M&A, and digital and traditional media strategy and distribution services to a broad range of clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies that have included 20th Century Fox, Blockbuster, Nuvo TV, the Hollywood Film Awards, Game Show Network, UP Network, BabyFirst TV and Brainstorm Media.
Recent services include providing a valuation of the digital rights to the Morgan Creek film library, arranging and negotiating the sale of The Hollywood Film Awards to a major television production company and devising and implementing the TV Everywhere strategy for basic cable network, NuvoTV, including negotiating agreements with various technology vendors.
From 2009 through 2012 Eisen was the Vice President Online Content Development & Strategy for DISH Network where he was responsible for the strategy and implementation of the company’s on-demand and online initiatives. Eisen negotiated agreements with most of the major television networks, licensing over 20,000 television shows for distribution.
Eisen was one of the principals who started CinemaNow in 1999 and negotiated financing for the company in excess of $40 million. Eisen was responsible for day-to-day operations of the company and for all of CinemaNow’s business development and legal activities. In that capacity he negotiated CinemaNow’s agreements with over 200 content licensors including all of the major Hollywood studios.
Eisen started his career as the head of Legal/Business Affairs for Trimark Pictures where he negotiated and drafted all of the company’s production and distribution agreements and was instrumental in negotiating Trimark’s $75 million line of credit with The Chase Manhattan Bank.
Eisen is the founder of HereIsTV, the web’s leading provider of daily, human curated TV show recommendations whose email newsletter is distributed to over 100,000 daily subscribers.
Lee Brenner leads global business development & media partnerships for Microsoft’s Bing Pulse.
Most recently, Lee co-founded and managed HyperVocal, a digital media company. During his time at HyperVocal, Lee also reported from the White House and co-hosted “Politics Powered By Twitter,” a daily show on SiriusXM. He previously co-founded FastFWD Group, a digital communications & marketing firm dedicated to targeting often hard-to-reach demographics.
During the 2008 election cycle, Lee was the Political Director & Executive Producer of Political, Non-Profit & News Programming at MySpace. As such, he executive produced the series of MySpace/MTV Presidential Dialogues, including the creation of an early, at-home digital polling tool. Brenner also forged the landmark 2008 partnership between MySpace and the Commission on Presidential Debates. He developed additional partnerships with major news providers, as well as counseled news, political, faith, and non-profit leaders on “best practices” for the use of social media. Prior to this, Lee spent years at CNN in NYC and Washington, DC, culminating as Senior Editorial Producer for Wolf Blitzer.
Lee is a graduate of Tufts University and received a Masters of International & Public Affairs at the University of Hong Kong, having won a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship.
He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the Board of Advisors of WhyTuesday?, a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections. A Chicago native, Lee is based in Washington, DC, with his wife, and he dreams of deep-dish pizza. His Twitter handle is @LeeBrenner.
Dan is the Chief Operating Officer at Whipclip, a new app that enables users to share their favorite TV and music moments. Prior to joining Whipclip Dan served as EVP of Media for Demand Media where he managed the Media and eCommerce divisions which include properties such as Society6.com, eHow.com and LIVESTRONG.COM.
Prior to Demand, Dan worked in the online and mobile industries for clients such as Fox, Universal, Disney and others. In 2001, Dan founded Mobile Care Solutions, Inc., pioneering some of the first electronic medical record applications for mobile devices. Dan received an A.B. in molecular biology from Princeton University.
Malcolm CasSelle joined SeaChange International in 2015 as part of the company’s acquisition of Timeline Labs, where he had served as CEO. Previously, Mr. CasSelle led startups in the digital industry, including MediaPass, Xfire and Groupon’s joint venture with Tencent in China.
He has also been an active early stage investor in companies including Facebook, Zynga, and most recently Bitcoin-related companies.
Earlier in his career, Mr. CasSelle co-founded PCCW, a publicly traded telco service provider based in Hong Kong. He holds degrees in Computer Science from MIT and Stanford University and speaks Japanese and Mandarin.
Evan Young is General Manager of Content, Applications, and Advertising at TiVo, and in this role currently oversees strategy, product management, business development, and operations for first-party and third-party content, applications, services, and advertising on the TiVo platform.
At TiVo since 2004, he has led TiVo’s initiatives in Internet TV streaming; developer platform SDK & APIs; tablet & mobile applications; connected TV & CE experiences; interactive advertising; and cloud services.
In January 2015, Evan accepted a Technical & Engineering Emmy(R) Award from NATAS for TiVo’s early work on Internet TV streaming services.
Evan has an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Harvard University. While at Stanford, Evan was the founder of “The Future of Entertainment”, an annual business and technology conference on media convergence.
Melissa Grego is an L.A.-based journalist, editor and entrepreneur with expertise in the TV, media and entertainment industry.
In March 2015, she embarked on an entrepreneurial path, transitioning from her position as Editor-in-Chief of Broadcasting & Cable to the role of Consulting Editor for the publication.
When in 2012 she was promoted from Executive Editor to Editor-in-Chief of B&C, she became the first female to hold the top editorial position at the leading TV industry publication in its more than 80-year history. As EIC, Grego was responsible for the editorial leadership of the brand across all platforms–print, digital and live conferences and summits.
While at B&C, Grego founded the company’s annual off-the-record conferences Keynotes & Cocktails: Women of Hollywood (now Women of the West) and Women of New York, featuring rare access to some of the most impactful people in business.
As Consulting Editor, she continues to produce Women of the West and Women of New York, contribute select editorial projects to B&C and author her interview column Mel’s Diner. Grego also produces B&C and Multichannel News’ Next TV Summit & Expo, featuring editions in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
At the same time, she is developing entrepreneurial initiatives dedicated to promoting gender diversity in business.
Grego held leadership positions at The Hollywood Reporter and TelevisionWeek and was a staff reporter covering TV at Variety. A frequent public speaker and commentator, she has provided perspective about TV and media on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, NPR, ABC News, Yahoo, Access Hollywood and The Insider and was a special correspondent for Extra. She regularly moderates Q&As and panels at industry events around the world.
Mr. Philip Schuman is a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and is based in Los Angeles. Mr. Schuman is part of the Telecom, Media, Technology (TMT) practice, and he co-leads FTI’s media and entertainment industry practice. He specializes in advising companies in the communications, media, entertainment, technology and business services industries. His work covers new business entry strategy and implementation, performance improvement, mergers and acquisition (M&A) advisory, business plan development and due diligence.
Mr. Schuman has worked with media and entertainment businesses including transmission platforms of all types, OTT programming services and MCNs, broadcast operators, television production companies and technology providers to these sectors. The companies include The Walt Disney Company, News Corporation, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Viacom, ATT, Directv, Verizon, InDemand, BSkyB, Sky Italia, Canal+, Kabel Deutschland, British Telecom, Virgin Media, Deutche Telecom, Studio 71 and ProSieben/Sat1, among many others.
Prior to joining FTI, Mr. Philip Schuman co-founded HighView Media Group in 2002. HighView Media Group has two business segments:
• It owns and operates five television channels and six radio stations that predominantly serve consumers in German-speaking Europe.
• HighView Media also operated HighView Media Consulting, a global media advisory and management firm that specialized in serving companies in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology sectors. Mr. Schuman sold HighView Media to FTI in November of 2014 when he became the firm’s practice leader in media and entertainment.
Prior to forming HVM, beginning in 1995, Mr. Schuman served in several capacities at Universal Studios, culminating in him serving as Co-President of Television Distribution at Universal. In that role, Mr. Schuman oversaw Universal Television Distribution’s worldwide licensing activities.
Prior to Universal, Mr. Schuman worked for General Electric as Senior Transaction Counsel for its plastics division. He began his career at Shearman & Sterling, where he served as an associate for seven years.
Mr. Schuman is a member of the American Bar Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his JD from the Emory University School of Law, with the distinction of order of the Coif.
John Fitzpatrick works with the world’s most popular influencers including pranksters Vitalyzd (7 million subscribers) and Roman Atwood (4.3 million subscribers) and YouTube’s most popular animated show,ExplosmEntertainment’s (3.3 million subscribers) Cyanide and Happiness. John’s partners represent an audience of over 36 million people and 300 million views per month.
Alongside representing talent, John is also one of the executive producers of the upcoming Natural Born Pranksters film, starring YouTube’s top pranksters Vitalyzd, Roman Atwood and Dennis Roady that will feature the trio’s most epic pranks ever and a concept that revolutionizes the prank genre.
John P. Roberts is a television and digital media veteran with a 20-year history of developing original content, new business strategies and ancillary revenue streams for the entertainment industry.
He is currently the Chief Digital Officer for Bunim-Murray Productions, a Banijay Group company. In this role, Roberts leads BMP Digital with a focus on increasing the company’s digital productions, including multi-platform and digital programming for the web, mobile devices and other online and connected device distribution platforms. He also oversees business and investment opportunities relevant to BMP’s digital initiatives.
Most recently, Roberts served as Senior Vice President of Digital Media and Commercial Ventures where he was responsible for developing new digital and commercial business opportunities in North America and oversaw original digital productions, interactive television, social games and mobile apps.
Prior to Endemol, Roberts served at Senior Vice President of Digital Content and Cross-Platform Entertainment at The Hub, a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro. His extensive media industry knowledge stems from his work with numerous companies including Lucasfilm LTD, GSN, Vulcan Programming, Universal Studios and News Corp, where he established FOX’s first-ever internet presence Fox.com. He was also on the launch team of FOX’s first cable network, FX.
Roberts is a frequent speaker on industry panels such as Digital Hollywood, Banff Media Festival, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Producers Guild, Next TV Summit and many others. He is a four-time Emmy Award nominee in interactive television and recipient of the ITV Leadership Award from ITVT.
Paul Jaffe is Senior Director of Technical Business Development at WideOrbit, the leading provider of advertising management solutions for media companies, where he is the primary liaison between WideOrbit clients and its Product and Engineering teams. He leads the product development and direction of many WideOrbit products, including WO Programmatic, WO Rep, WO Payment and WO Central – Long Form DR. Previously, Paul was Vice President, Information Technology at Adlink, the Los Angeles Cable Interconnect, where he co-authored the SCTE 118 specifications, built many bleeding-edge research tools, and innovated the widely-used Adtag™ and Adcopy™ MVPD marketplace segmentation and targeting system. He is based in Los Angeles.
As Executive Vice President of Content, Revenue, and Business Development at Vin Di Bona Productions, Lisa Black oversees all off-air marketing initiatives for the Vin Di Bona brand, which includes America’s Funniest Home Videos, the longest-running, primetime entertainment show in the history of the ABC network. Through meaningful global partnerships, strategic planning, and creative development, Lisa creates and extends revenue streams for the company and its assets. Her duties include the implementation of all brand extensions such as social media, mobile, and application development, as well as developing both local and international versions of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Lisa also oversees further monetization of television’s largest collection of user-generated video clips through expanding distribution via emerging global channels and through growing VDBP’s footage licensing business, Home Video Licensing. The company’s latest innovation, Home Video Licensing, is an online platform allowing access to search and self-serve licensing to various content professionals for use in advertising, online marketing and entertainment. Prior to joining Vin Di Bona Productions, Lisa served as General Manager for Warner Bros. Women’s Digital Brands and Business Development, where she was responsible for the overall strategy and alternative revenue generation for Telepictures’ daytime brands, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, TMZ, Anderson Cooper, Extra and MomLogic. Black formerly was Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital Media for SiTV, leading the development and implementation of the marketing strategy for SiTV’s programming and the SiTV digital network. Her previous experience also includes Vice President at Lifetime Television, Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Food Network, and financial positions at Random House, Broadway Media and KPMG.
Michael Goldman is President of COMEDY TIME, a leader in independent production and distribution of comedy content for digital and traditional media outlets. He has successfully negotiated and structured distribution deals with all the major phone, broadband portals, cable and satellite companies including Verizon and FIOS, Sprint, ATT, Hulu, Netflix, Youtube and Yahoo and Dish Networks among others.
Michael previously was the SVP with responsibility for the business development, film clip, finance, and legal departments for VCP, the licensing division of Paramount Pictures with a focus on developing and negotiating license transactions for apparel, interactive, master toy, trading card, collectible, credit card, comic book, restaurant, themed entertainment and advertising applications in commercials of Paramount’s motion picture and television library.
He negotiated and structured Paramount’s license for the launch of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (BGSC) restaurant program — the first licensed movie theme restaurant program. He also structured Paramount’s investment in BGSC and established the BGSC International franchise company to expand the BGSC program into Mexico and Asia and became a member of BGSC Board of Directors in 1998.
Michael joined VCP in 1993. Prior to VCP, he was involved in crisis management consulting, mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning at Sigoloff and Associates, a crisis management consulting firm and Wickes Companies Inc. Before joining Wickes, he worked for the Space and Communications Group of Hughes Aircraft Co. Michael holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA from UCLA.
David Goldman is the founder and CEO of the Comedy Time network, which began as the comedy channel for Sprint TV in 2004. Under his leadership Comedy Time has become a market leader in the production and distribution of premium short-form comedy content for mobile, broadband, cable and over the top services. The company has also produced over 300 half-hour episodes for various cable networks and for Hulu.
Mr. Goldman has created digital distribution partnerships for Comedy Time that include Hulu, AOL, Yahoo, Netflix, YouTube, MSN, Verizon, Sprint, Fios, Dish Networks, Amazon, Samsung and Vessel, among others.
In addition to the main ComedyTime brand Mr. Goldman launched vertical comedy brands aimed at Women, Latinos, Asians and Urban audiences.
Mr. Goldman created a branded mobile channel for Lionsgate Entertainment that was honored with both Media Week’s “Media Plan of the Year” award and the Jack Meyer’s “Gold Agency” award.
Mr. Goldman is currently also the Head of Business Development and Talent – North America for Culture Machine. Culture Machine is a media and technology company founded by ex-Google and Disney executives. Their multichannel video network has the largest number of creators in India.
Goldman’s professional experience includes V.P. Motion Pictures at both William Morris Agency (WME) and ICM (ICM Partners) representing such talent as Will Smith, Kurt Russell, Mick Jagger, Billy Idol, David Lee Roth, The Beach Boys, Roland Emmerich, Renny Harlin, Andrew Dice Clay and Brandon Lee. Additional experience at William Morris includes Head of the Motion Picture Directors Division, operational management in the Office of the CEO and film, television and music Business Affairs.
Goldman founded comedy management/production company Power Entertainment (now The Collective) whose clients included SNL‘s Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen and Kenan Thompson. Martin Lawrence, Cheech and Chong, Eugene Levy, Martin Mull, Jeff Dunham, Nick Canon, Mark Curry and John Leguizamo.
Goldman produced the hit sitcom “One on One” for Paramount Television and UPN, the movie “Alibi” for Viacom Television and ABC and numerous live comedy tapings for AOL. His overall studio producing deals include 20th Television, ABC/Disney Studios and Viacom Entertainment.
Mr. Goldman is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA Law and a member of the California Bar.