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Keynotes


John Curbishley John Curbishley, EVP, Distribution Strategy, Operations & New Business, Viacom
Twitter ID: @johncurbishley

John Curbishley leads the strategy, operations and new business team within Viacom’s distribution group.  John is responsible for developing and implementing distribution strategies for Viacom’s brands across a full range of platforms including MVPDs, SVOD and AVOD platforms, and Viacom D2C services.  In addition he is focused on identifying new and emerging distribution opportunities as well as developing new products for existing distributors, and also manages business operations for the group including content delivery. John reports to Viacom’s EVP and Head of Distribution and Business Development, Tom Gorke.  Before joining Viacom, Curbishley’s 20-year career in the media industry included strategy and business development roles with NBCUniversal and the BBC, and experience as a strategy consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton.  He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a law degree from the University of Oxford.


Tim Gibson Tim Gibson, VP Video & Application Marketing, AT&T

Tim Gibson is vice president of Video & Application Marketing for AT&T Mobility & Entertainment Group. In this role, he is responsible for leading multi-billion dollar revenue objectives across all AT&T video properties. Gibson's team is responsible for driving revenue marketing to video subscribers including premium channels (HBO, Showtime, STARZ), sports packages (e.g., NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass), pay-per-view movies and events (UFC, Boxing). Gibson's team also tasked with packaging constructs for AT&T's video products and revenue evolution into 3rd party applications.
 
Prior to this role, Gibson lead Video Strategy and Business Development for AT&T, providing thought leadership for all video strategy and related topics. Significant projects include the inception work for AT&T's entrance into OTT video (DIRECTV Now) and vertical extension opportunities to expand AT&T's portfolio of media assets. As lead on business development activities, Gibson negotiated and executed cross-functional partnership opportunities to the aggregate benefit of the AT&T enterprise.
 
Gibson acted as the Domestic Planning Team IMO leader throughout the AT&T/DIRECTV Integration Planning process, coordinating ideation and planning activities for go-to-market, product, advertising, technology and content. Prior to the IMO, Gibson was part of the founding leadership team of DIRECTV’s Digital Entertainment Products Group (DEPG), managing all digital strategy, business development and oversight of the company’s venture investment portfolio.
 
Gibson began his tenure at DIRECTV in 2005 in Finance where he helped oversee the company’s transition to an investment grade credit with over $12 billion in bond issuance, financing over $20 billion of share repurchase. Gibson was a member of the team that completed DIRECTV’s spin-off from Liberty Media in 2009, including running the integration process and welcoming the RSNs into the DIRECTV family. Additionally, he managed the execution of the mergers of several Home Service Providers, which formed DIRECTV’s O&O Field Services group.
 
Before joining the company, Gibson was with Alta Communications, a private equity firm in Boston, where he completed multiple venture investments in the media and telecom space. Prior to Alta Communications, he was a media investment banker with DLJ/Credit Suisse. A native Canadian, Gibson holds an Honors Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario.
 
Gibson is based at AT&T's El Segundo office and lives in Hermosa Beach with his wife Lisa and three little boys – David, Logan and Christian.


Erin L. McPherson Erin L. McPherson, Head of Content Acquisitions, Strategy and Programming, Verizon

Erin McPherson oversees the content business across Verizon’s growing number of platforms and services, including Fios, Broadband, Wireless and 5G Home. She and her team drive content strategy, deal negotiation and partner management for Verizon partners, including all major broadcast and cable networks, sports and digital publishers and creators. 
 
Prior to Verizon, Erin served as Chief Content Officer at Maker Studios, the world’s largest network of short-form online video, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2014. In her role at Maker, Erin oversaw the development and production of hit YouTube programming as well as innovative franchises across Disney. Before joining Maker, Erin was Vice President and Head of Video at Yahoo, where she led the company’s foray into original video and oversaw award winning Yahoo Studios.
 
Erin started her career also practicing law, specializing in intellectual property, and entertainment law. She served as in-house counsel for LivePlanet, founded by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and she served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall, Federal District Judge in the Central District of California. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School.


Speakers


Mrugesh Desai Mrugesh Desai, Regional Vice President, North America, Accedo
Twitter ID: @accedotv

Mrugesh Desai joined Accedo in 2013 and is Regional Vice President, North America, leading the North American sales, solutions engineering, and marketing functions. He was previously Head of Solutions Engineering, working with customers to understand their video experiences needs and help define ways to scale their brand and content to the fragmented OTT device market while still delivering best in class video experiences. He is most excited about some of the new advents in video experiences specifically in AR, VR and mixed reality and sees Accedo playing an important role in this arena.


Alex Drosin Alex Drosin, SVP, US Business Development and Account Management, OTT, Massive Interactive
Twitter ID: @massive_voice

As SVP, US Business Development and Account Management, OTT at Massive, Alex Drosin is at the forefront of helping the world's leading telcos, broadcasters and studios build, deploy and market next-generation video applications. Clients include Sony Pictures Television, Britbox, DAZN, Globo, Bell Media, Viacom, Deutsche Telekom and many more. Massive has established itself as the leading supplier of award-winning video applications through its powerful user experience management console and platform, Massive AXIS, which allows clients to deliver real-time UI changes across all devices. Alex is currently focused on helping customers of Massive amplify their value proposition, through the launch of new initiatives and solutions that align to emerging industry trends, such as artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality and "cord-cutting." Previously, Alex served as EVP, Strategy and Business Development, for The Filter, a B2B focused recommendation solution backed by Peter Gabriel and Eden Ventures. His remit included building relationships with top-tier clients, ranging from Comcast to Walmart. Alex has worked in digital entertainment for over 30 years, serving as a strategic advisor to a multitude of companies. He first became hooked on the industry after spending over a decade working for Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video, where he helped establish and grow Saturday Night Live's presence around the world. Alex left Broadway Video to launch his own company, Glowcast Ventures. He began his career as a journalist for The Wall Street Journal / Europe in Brussels.


Andrew Einaudi Andrew Einaudi, CEO and Co-Founder, Caavo Inc
Twitter ID: @caavoinc

Andrew Einaudi Co-Founder and CEO, Caavo Inc Andrew's passion is to design and develop complex technology into amazing consumer experiences. Over the past 20 years, he's launched multiple products - from Jawbone to Slingbox to Xbox One and now, Caavo Inc. As CEO and co-founder of Caavo, Andrew's mission is to unify entertainment for everyone. Prior to starting Caavo along with Ashish Aggarwal, Vinod Gopinath and the late Blake Krikorian in 2015, Andrew has worked across product, marketing and program management within both Fortune 100 and startup companies. Most recently, he was part of the Xbox team at Microsoft, working to develop and launch the Xbox One game console. Before joining Microsoft, Andrew led development of new television services for Echostar, operator of the Dish Network. As director of product and program management at Sling Media, he drove development of all Slingbox products and accessories, as well as SlingPlayer apps on desktop, mobile and web. Before Sling Media, Andrew managed product development at the consumer technology wearable product company Jawbone, where he was responsible for hands-on development of the company's first mobile headset ranging from designing custom transducers to optimizing algorithms to soldering tiny wires. Andrew began his career as a consultant, leading technology integration projects for high-tech startups in the automotive, mobile and entertainment spaces after graduating from Stanford University with a BS Symbolic Systems - Human Computer Interaction LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreweinaudi 


Joel Fineman Joel Fineman, Director, Publisher Development, Premion, a divsion of TEGNA
Twitter ID: @PremionMedia

Joel leads Premion’s partnership strategy with a host of vMVPDs, traditional networks, and pure-OTT services. Through expanding partnerships and strategic inventory acquisitions, he is responsible for delivering Premion’s advertisers with unprecedented reach on the local level.  
 
Joel has spent the majority of his career helping publishers navigate the digital ecosystem. He has a track record in developing strategies to monetize content through audience growth, marketing, distribution and advertising. 
 
Prior to joining Premion, Joel worked at Roku on its Audience Development and Content Acquisition teams. There, he partnered with traditional TV network partners, such as Disney, Fox, and NBC, to grow streaming time and revenue—both advertising and subscription. Prior to Roku, Joel worked at Quantcast, in business development for the company’s analytics solution. Earlier in his career, he was a travel editor at U.S. News & World Report. Joel is a graduate of Davidson College and Georgetown University.


Rob Gelick Rob Gelick, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS Entertainment Digital, CBS Interactive

Rob Gelick is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Entertainment Digital. In this role, he oversees CBS All Access, CBS’ digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, the CBS apps, and CBS.com, as well as the CBS Television Distribution Digital businesses. This includes the product, technology and overall consumer experience across multiple platforms – the web, mobile, connected devices, social, video and gaming. 
 
In addition, Gelick’s team leads the development and production of original digital content to support the CBS Television Network’s slate of shows. This includes managing and producing original editorial and video for over 40 shows’ branded pages on CBS.com as well as social accounts. Gelick also leads the development of digital strategies to launch and grow the digital presence of CBS’s new shows as well as special events like the GRAMMYs and ACM Awards. 
 
Previously, Gelick was the SVP and GM of Digital Platforms for CBS Entertainment Digital and held the position of SVP and GM of CBS Mobile, where he led up all aspects of the CBS Mobile business across more than a dozen CBS Interactive properties including CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBSNews.com, CNET, GameSpot, and TV.com; as well as mobile development for The CW and CBS Paramount Television. He also managed licensing of CBS brands on mobile platforms, and oversaw all mobile-related video, advertising, games, alerts and interactive TV initiatives. Gelick joined CBS Interactive in 2008 as Vice President of CBS Mobile, overseeing operations and new business development.
 
Prior to CBS, Gelick was one of the founding executives at Helio where he envisioned, developed and managed an award-winning portfolio of mobile social networking and media services including the industry’s first MySpace mobile service, the first complete YouTube Mobile offering. Before Helio, Gelick spent eight years at Motorola. There, he was instrumental in the company’s strategic alliance with Apple to bring iTunes to Motorola’s next generation mobile devices.


Cynthia Hudson Cynthia Hudson, SVP and Managing Director, CNN en Español
Twitter ID: @cnnee

Cynthia Hudson is senior vice president and managing director of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy for CNN/U.S. Hudson oversees all aspects of CNN's Spanish-language media businesses, including newsgathering, editorial content, programming, production, operations and personnel, of the CNN en Español 24/7 television news networks, CnnEspañol.com and CNN en Español Radio. In first quarter 2019, Hudson inaugurated CNN Radio Argentina, a radio network available in 120 cities and 23 provinces throughout Argentina. In April, she launched CNN en Español's multi-platform anti-discrimination campaign called Proyecto Ser Humano (The Humanity Project). The project highlights the stories of those who have encountered discrimination and those who fight for greater inclusion. Hudson partnered with music, television and film producer Emilio Estefan and Grammy award winner Gian Marco to produce The Proyecto Ser Humano official theme song. In 2018, Hudson expanded CNN en Español's TV & digital operations in Argentina and Mexico and expanded the role of Cross-platform Content across all platforms to continue the brand's digital and social growth. However, she began the evolution of CNN en Español in 2010 when she took over the helm at CNN en Español and launched CNN en Español's multi-platform business with expanded feeds for Latin America, Mexico and the US Hispanic market, as well as revamping the logo, branding and programming. She changed the channel from a news wheel to a program-based network and added studio production in Miami, expanded production in Mexico, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Hudson added new talent and hit shows such as Cafe CNN, Conclusiones, CNN Dinero, Camilo, Fuentes Confiables, Nuestro Mundo, En Dialogo con Longobardi, etc. and launched originally produced documentaries, investigative series and live programming. In 2011, Hudson launched CNNEspañol.com and refocused resources to develop CNN en Español's top Spanish-language News Social Platforms on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. In addition, she expanded the radio business to include affiliates in the US Hispanic Market, Latin America and Europe. In 2014, CNN en Español began its cross-platform branded sales strategy which has led to the development of experiential large-scale event coverage including the Summits of the Americas in Cartagena, Panama and Peru, Olympics, S X SW, Via del Mar and our award-winning electoral coverage in over 30 countries. CNN en Español has an extensive bilingual staff at various operations hubs including Atlanta, Miami, Washington DC, NY, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem and Madrid. Under Hudson, CNN en Español has won three National Emmys, three Glaad Awards, four Promax awards, most recently, she has been recognized with the 2018 PromaxIMPACT Award Awarded to a cultural influencer for their work and continued IMPACT on multicultural awareness, embracing and engaging diverse audiences within the entertainment marketing industry. Also, in the most recent Latin Grammy Week in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Latin Recording Academy® has distinguished Cynthia Hudson with the 2018 Leading Ladies of Entertainment award. This organization honors and recognizes professional women within the arts and entertainment industries who have made significant and indelible impressions and contributions to their fields. Hudson also has received an honorable mention at the Shorty Awards for Best Multi-Platform Campaign for Social Coverage of the Venezuelan Crisis. She was personally nominated for an International Emmy Award as Executive Producer of the documentary, A Trip with Fidel, which aired in over 35 countries around the world. In 2016, The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) recognized Hudson with a Presidential Award for her unwavering commitment to journalism, the pursuit of the truth and her leadership in journalism. In 2017, Hudson was recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas running a leading global company and she was recognized as a top influential minority leader of the communications industry by Cablefax. Hudson has won eight Emmy Awards, has been named as one of People en Español's most powerful women (2009), as well as one of the most powerful Hispanics in Poder, CableFax, Hispanic Target and other influential publications. She has been recognized with the Lech Walesa Media Award for her dedication to the cause of democracy (2015). She has been the keynote speaker and a panelist at a plethora of industry-related events including The Festival of Media, NAHJ, Hispanicize, AHAA and Harvard Women in Business. Before joining CNN en Español, Hudson served as chief creative officer and executive vice president for SBS and managing director of Mega TV. There she was responsible for SBS'™ expansion, directly overseeing flagship TV network Mega TV, as well as the company's internet site lamusica.com and other new media development. In addition, she supervised the strategic expansion of SBS content across multiple media platforms and development of branded entertainment synergies among all SBS properties including the radio on TV formats. Mega TV saw tremendous growth under her watch and garnered the network 27 EMMY awards in the years under her watch. From 1997 to 2005, Hudson served as senior vice president and editorial director of Cosmopolitan Television (a Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group division), heading up the creation and development of the Cosmopolitan TV Networks, including Canal Cosmopolitan Iberia and Canal Cosmopolitan Latin America as well as the foundation for Cosmo TV Canada. There she led the research, development and creation of Cosmo TV, overseeing design of original programs, on-air packaging, promotions and program acquisitions, as well as the creation and production of original formats and the overall business strategy for the networks. Hudson also wrote and created the original drama, Miami Sands, Promark's internationally successful English-language American telenovela. Prior to Cosmopolitan TV, Hudson was senior vice president of programming and creative services for United International Holding'™s joint venture channel service, United Family Communications (UFC), now Cello/AMC networks Latin America. While at UIH she created Casa Club TV, the first pan-regional Home channel for Latin America. Hudson was the vice president of programming and production for the Telemundo Network from 1992-94. During her tenure, the network's programming line-up was redesigned, and developed its first in-house telenovela production unit with successes such as Tres Destinos, a prime-time scripted drama series that debuted in 1994. From 1984 to 1992, Hudson held various production and executive positions with the Univision Network, including Executive Producer of the first daytime U.S. Hispanic magazine show, TV Mujer (TV Woman), which garnered Univision its first Emmy Award for ongoing series production. Hudson started her professional career as a news producer and reporter at Univision affiliate WLTV 23, where she held various positions from reporting to production and management. Hudson's community efforts include being a Director on the board of The National Epilepsy Foundation and acting as a Director and now Vice President of the University of Miami Alumni Association. Born in Los Angeles, she holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree in Communications from the University of Miami and is fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in French. 

 


Dan Hurwitz Dan Hurwitz, Chief Revenue Officer, Penthera
Twitter ID: @HurwitzDan

Dan Hurwitz brings over two decades of experience envisioning, building and scaling cutting-edge solutions for media/marketing technology companies. Prior to joining mobile video software leader Penthera in 2017, Dan established business operations at startups including Evergage (personalization software), GoNoodle (child health development), and MapMyFitness (connected health, acquired by Under Armour in 2015). Over the course of his career, he has also worked with some of the largest media enterprises in the world, including NBC, AOL, and Sirius XM, architecting and guiding game-changing solutions.


Erick Opeka Erick Opeka, President, Cinedigm Networks, Cinedigm Digital Networks
Twitter ID: @ErickOpeka

Erick Opeka serves as Cinedigm’s President of Digital Networks, overseeing the company’s nine digital-first networks.  Opeka is responsible for shaping the strategy, development, launch and operations of the company's OTT networks including documentary network Docurama, fandom network CONtv, family-centered Dove Channel, e-sports network WHAM, MMA channel COMBAT GO, K-Pop and Asian Pop Culture outlet HALLYPOP, and Chinese-content channel Bambu
 
Opeka previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Global Digital, where he oversaw the distribution of Cinedigm's 50,000+ hours of content. He also handled the multi-platform distribution deals, client management, content strategy, sales, development and operations for each channel. 
 
Before joining Cinedigm, Opeka co-founded and ran New Video Digital, where he successfully grew the company into the largest aggregator of independent video content for 650 partners. Prior to launching this venture, Opeka managed digital and home entertainment releases for A&E Networks, MLB, and Docurama Films. He began his career at Madstone Entertainment, a vertically-integrated exhibitor, distributor and digital cinema pioneer.
 
He is a frequent speaker at top industry events and serves as the Chair of the Entertainment Merchants Association’s OTT Growth Council; is on the Board of Advisors of Latin Music OTT Service VidaPrimo; provides mentoring to the entrepreneur support organization Techstars; acts as an advisor to Blue Fever; and is a member of the Producer's Guild of America.
 
Opeka received his BA from UT Austin and his MBA from Florida State University. He is a veteran who served as a lead technology trainer and combat medic in the U.S. Army Infantry.


Erik Ramberg Erik Ramberg, VP, Head of Global Business Development, MediaKind
Twitter ID: @Media_Kind

Erik is a seasoned product management and business development executive with over 16 years of experience in the media and technology industry.

Erik joined Ericsson as part of the Mediaroom acquisition from Microsoft. During his 10 year tenure at Microsoft, Erik led various initiatives involving new business opportunities, product management, and product planning of the TV and Media (TVM) organization, including Xbox and Windows Media Center. At Microsoft, Erik managed key operator and consumer electronic partnerships, including Sony, Best Buy, Samsung, Toshiba and Panasonic.

Prior to Microsoft, Erik presided as General Manager and Vice President of MovieBeam, a video-on-demand service started with major investment from the Disney Corporation, specifically its subsidiary Buena Vista Datacasting. Erik’s entertainment and wireless communications industry experience also includes working at Dotcast and Cellnet Data Systems.

Erik received a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College.


Gary Schanman Gary Schanman, SVP, Video Products, Charter


Elana Sofko Elana Sofko, COO, CSS Entertainment

Elana Sofko joined Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in 2016 Ms. Sofko brings over two decades of media and entertainment experience, always on the leading edge of innovation. Prior to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Ms. Sofko focused on a range of digital business growth initiatives for WWE, including International expansion and localization of WWE's digital properties as well as supporting the launch and international expansion of WWE Network, a subscription based video over-the-top (OTT) service. Ms. Sofko worked on the launch of satellite radio as part of the start-up team at the company now called SiriusXM, and has overseen strategic growth initiatives at ESPN, Nokia, News Corp and A&E Television Networks. Ms. Sofko earned a B.A. in English Literature from the State University of New York at Albany, and an M.B.A. from University of Connecticut, which included a semester in China at Peking University. Ms. Sofko's qualifications include worldwide experience in distribution, monetization, digital tech and products, business and corporate development.


Blake Stuchin Blake Stuchin, VP, Digital Media Business Development, NFL
Twitter ID: @nfl


Moderators


Kristen Hanich Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @KristenAtParks
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Consumer electronics, mobility services and devices, connected health and wellness

Kristen Hanich heads Parks Associates' consumer electronics and mobility research, with expertise in other verticals including connected cars, mobile networking, healthcare, wellness, and independent living. She leads a mix of custom and syndicated research projects throughout the year, with a focus on major players and emerging trends. Kristen specializes in bridging the gap between data-driven and narrative approaches to understanding the consumer markets via a mix of qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

Kristen has dual master's degrees in applied anthropology and public health from the Universities of North Texas in Denton and Fort Worth. She earned her BSc in health at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

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Craig Leslie Craig Leslie, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Entertainment services, broadband services, voice and AI in connected entertainment

Craig has participated in numerous entertainment projects and has authored reports on broadband services, voice recognition, and artificial intelligence technologies. He currently studies market trends and consumer behavior, focused on broadband services, connected devices and emerging technologies.

Craig earned his Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, with concentrations in Marketing and International Business. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA.


Steve Nason Steve Nason, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @SteveAtParks
Website: http://parksassociates.com

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Entertainment content and services, consumer behavior on emerging technology markets

Steve is a senior analyst at Parks Associates, specializing in entertainment content and services. He brings over fifteen years experiencei n a variety of market research and marketing strategy roles including several in the emerging technology and media space.

Steve earned both his BS in Telecommunication with a concentration in Business and his MA in Mass Communications from the University of Florida.


Brandon Riney Brandon Riney, Researcher, Parks Associates

Brandon is part of the Entertainment Team, specializing in OTT services. He is one of the main contributors to Parks Associates' OTT Video Market Tracker, which includes an exhaustive analysis of market trends and profiles of over 250 over-the-top video service providers in the U.S. and Canada.

Additionally, Brandon works with the Connected Home team in assisting with Parks Associates' Smart Home Tracker, which provides analysis of key industry trends, market shifts, and new players in the market.

Brandon holds a BBA of Business Integrated Studies from the University of North Texas in Denton.
 


Brett Sappington Brett Sappington, Sr. Director, Research, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @BrettsView
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Pay TV and OTT video services, entertainment content distribution, video and cloud technologies, broadband services

As Senior Research Director and Principal Analyst, Brett Sappington leads Parks Associates research practice for entertainment, broadband access, and consumer electronics markets. His personal and custom research focuses on trends and technology innovations among major service providers, content producers, networks, and technology vendors and the market forces affecting their businesses. Brett is an internationally recognized thought leader in the television, broadband, and online video service industries.

Brett has spent over twenty years in the industry as an analyst, executive manager, and entrepreneur for companies specializing in cloud, communication, and IP-related technologies. He founded a successful networking technology startup, built new divisions of wireless networking and audio software products, and was involved in the development and marketing of early-market products for Wi-Fi, VoIP, video-over-IP and other technologies.

Brett holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in high-tech marketing and a BA in physics from Baylor University.

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