21 Jul 2016


Paris, 21 July 2016Ben Sherwood, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, President, Disney-ABC Television Group; David Linde, Chief Executive Officer, Participant Media; and Sophie Watts, President, STX Entertainment are confirmed as keynote speakers at MIPCOM 2016.

Organised by Reed MIDEM, the MIPCOM entertainment content market runs in Cannes from 17 to 20 October 2016. These three Media Mastermind keynote speakers will explore, each from their own perspective, the MIPCOM 2016 theme of “The New Television”.

Ben Sherwood is Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, and President, Disney-ABC Television Group, which includes The Walt Disney Company’s global entertainment and news television properties. Sherwood oversees ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, and the ABC Television Network. He also oversees Disney Channels Worldwide, a portfolio of 116 kid-driven entertainment channels or channel feeds available in 163 countries in 34 languages. Additionally, he oversees cable network Freeform and the company’s equity interests in A+E Networks, and Hulu.
Sherwood will outline how Disney has always been an early-mover in the fast-changing TV industry – a fact that is underlined by Shonda Rhimes, whose credits include ABC hits “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal”, “Private Practice”, “How to Get Away with Murder” and “The Catch”, being named MIPCOM 2016 Personality of the Year.

David Linde was named CEO of Participant Media, the global media company founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeff Skoll to produce entertainment that inspires and compels social change. Linde, who joined the company last year, is responsible for leading the company’s overall strategy, day-to-day operations, content creation, advocacy, strategic investments and acquisitions. Participant Media’s business includes the production of film, TV and digital content, including the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight”. The company also operates the Pivot TV cable network, and the digital hub TakePart, which serves millions of socially conscious consumers each month with daily articles and videos. Linde’s career spans production, global distribution and building companies from the ground up. He most recently led Lava Bear Films, a production company he founded with the support of India’s Reliance Entertainment. Prior to that, he was Chairman of Universal Pictures, President and co-founder of the acclaimed specialty studio Focus Features, and a Partner in the independent production company Good Machine. Linde will talk about Participant Media’s unique focus in entertainment to create meaningful impact on pressing social issues through its content.

Sophie Watts has served as President of global media company STX Entertainment since the company’s inception. She was the chief architect of STX’s uniquely collaborative partnership structure, and is responsible for conceiving and driving forward the Company’s growth initiatives and new business development. She also oversees its recently established new media/digital division. Watts has a diverse creative background as an award-winning film, television and video executive. She has championed and raised financing for acclaimed and award-winning documentaries such as “Bully” and was executive producer of the acclaimed NBC series “State of Affairs”. Her keynote will take as its theme “reimagining and building a 21st century media company from the ground up”, and will explore how STX Entertainment is approaching the challenges and opportunities of today’s ever-changing global media landscape.

The three Media Mastermind keynotes underline the different approaches that can take place in the fast-moving landscape of “The New Television”. To delve deeper into this year’s MIPCOM theme, MIPCOM and Parrot Analytics today unveil an exclusive whitepaper entitled “Who’s Winning in the World of the New Television?” To get a 360° vision of key trends impacting the five major segments of the television industry – from broadcast to cable, premium cable, SVOD and AVOD - download this ground-breaking report here.


For press enquiries, please contact:

Jane GARTON, Entertainment Press Director

Philippe LE GALL, Press Events Manager

Yassia FEKIR, PR Manager

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