PGA taps Hurst for new media

Tech consultancy CEO to chair org; Otto, Titus join board

The Producers Guild of America has elected veteran exec Brian Seth Hurst as chair of its year-old New Media Council, designed to respond to the production boom in areas beyond traditional features and TV.

“I am delighted in Brian’s election due to his stellar background, indefatigable enthusiasm and marketing acumen,” PGA exec director Vance Van Petten said. “I also am deeply indebted to the vision of Marc Levey, who got the guild to the forefront in representing producers of this essential and vastly growing segment of the entertainment industry.”

Hurst is CEO of the Opportunity Management Co., a strategic consultancy dedicated to helping clients maximize opportunities brought about when technologies create changes in consumer lifestyles. He was formerly managing director of convergence worldwide at Pittard Sullivan and has overseen brand and convergent projects for clients such as TiVo, Discovery Health, Discovery Networks Europe, British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Gameplay, OpenTV, Mindport, NTL and CTV. He also serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences representing the Interactive Media Peer Group.

A year in the life

The PGA also announced that the council’s board of governors includes vice chairs Stephanie Otto and Richard Titus. The original council was established in April 2002 under the leadership of Levey, who now serves as chairman emeritus, and is the PGA’s third council in addition to producers and associate producers.

“The PGA New Media Council is comprised of highly qualified experts in every aspect of new-media production from DVD production, to broadband and mobile entertainment, interactive television and console and PC gaming,” Hurst said. “It is my intention to expand our role while educating traditional producers on the value of new-media planning and integration.”

The council has staged panels on animation, DVD producing and videogame producing and established the Industry Relations and Job Banks committees.

Move is the latest by the PGA to elevate its Hollywood profile. The org elected Kathleen Kennedy, one of the industry’s top feature producers, to a two-year term as president last year and has been heavily focused on the issue of credit proliferation.

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