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Keshet’s INTV Gathering Puts Focus on News Biz, China’s Investment Boom

TEL AVIV — CNN’s Jeff Zucker, Fox’s Dana Walden and NBC’s Jennifer Salke are among the high-profile U.S. executives headed to Israel next week for the fourth installment of INTV, a quasi-annual conference in Jerusalem spearheaded by Israeli media giant Keshet.

The March 6-7 gathering is devoted to discussing all that is innovative, evocative and boundary-busting in the TV and digital content world. It’s a sign of Keshet’s clout in the TV industry that the company is able to bring top media executives and investors and cultural figures to Jerusalem for its elaborate in-house brainstorming sessions.

Zucker will deliver a keynote dubbed “The War on Truth,” moderated by Yonit Levi, one of Israel’s most well-known and prolific TV journalists. His talk will be immediately followed by a panel discussion led by another well-known Israeli news presenter, Dana Weiss, examining bias in journalism.

“There is an extra emphasis this year on what I would not call just news, but counterpoints,” Keshet CEO Avi Nir told Variety. He pointed to planned discussions on documentaries and a talk on faultlines in television advertising with Harris Diamond from the McCann World Group. Another keynote speech will be delivered by China Media Capital chairman Li Ruigang, whose presence at INTV marks an acknowledgment of the media industry’s focus on grabbing Chinese investment dollars.

Since its inaugural conference in 2012, INTV, despite its small size and its location at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has managed to lure an impressive number of Hollywood bold-faced names. HBO CEO Richard Plepler, WME TV head Rick Rosen and scribes Sarah Treem and Julian Fellowes all graced the stage at the last event in 2015.

In panels, more intimate one-on-one “fireside chats” and the ever-important after-hours cocktail gatherings, attendees have traded ideas over the future of global content, the role of Israeli start-up brainpower in fueling genre-bending technology, and the future of the media industry as a whole.

This year, the emphasis will again be on dissecting the factors that are shaking up the media world.

“I don’t like the term ‘fake news,’ even though it’s very catchy,” Nir said. “What we will actually all be discussing is the incredible effect of social media and its effect on people’s consciousness, awareness and even their sense of reality.”

(Pictured: CNN’s Jeff Zucker, China Media Capital’s Li Ruigang)

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