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Bart Spiegel, U.S. entertainment and media deals leader for PWC, offers his 2021 outlook on dealmaking in an industry that has buffeted and buoyed by pandemic conditions. Spiegel points to the rise of videogame usage and a “repositioning” of assets held by traditional media giants as trends to watch in the year ahead.…
 
Each week, Observer senior entertainment reporter Brandon Katz and Hollywood Reporter contributor Jean Bentley highlight the new Netflix titles they're excited about. Recent guests: Daniel Fienberg from The Hollywood Reporter, Joanna Robinson from Vanity Fair, and Megan Vick from TV Guide. Click Must Watch: Netflix Edition to follow the show on you…
 
Aryeh Bourkoff, CEO of LionTree, offers insights into how the pandemic has reshaped the marketplace and what that means for media dealmaking in the near term. The veteran investment banker, who is on speed dial for such notable, media moguls as John Malone and Shari Redstone, weighs in on the convergence trends that he sees coming for Big Media and…
 
Jessica Lessin, founder and editor-in-chief of The Information, discusses the growth of the eight-year-old outlet that has distinguished itself through deep-dive reporting, analysis and scoops in the tech and media worlds. Lessin also offers her perspective on trends for the coming year at Facebook, Google, TikTok, and she weighs in on the prospect…
 
The veteran unscripted TV producer and entrepreneur behind Wheelhouse discusses the building blocks of his three-year-old venture. Montgomery, the producer behind “Pawn Stars” and other cable hits, explains why Wheelhouse has expanded beyond TV production to investing in tech startups, digital media, marketing and merchandising efforts for promisin…
 
For just $20 a month, Philo offers consumers more than 60 cable channels. It's a simple value proposition that has helped this venture stand out in a crowded marketplace of so-called virtual MVPDs. And as Philo CEO Andrew McCollum explains, he's not about to make the mistake that has the prices of many of his competitors soaring.…
 
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 g…
 
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 cou…
 
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 h…
 
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 al…
 
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. anal…
 
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…
 
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 influen…
 
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 perspe…
 
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 p…
 
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 c…
 
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 H…
 
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.…
 
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