‘Netmeisters gathering

BMG prez keynote at Variety Interactive Summit

Bertelsmann Music Group prexy and CEO Strauss Zelnick is skedded to provide the keynote address at this year’s Variety Interactive Summit, to be held Feb. 2-4 at the Loews San Diego Resort.

Outside of exhibitions and demonstrations of new online products and services, the three-day confab will include a series of panels on marketing and advertising, distribution, strategic mergers, acquisitions and partnerships occurring between the Internet and television.

Following the recent merger news between AOL and Time Warner, the confab’s organizers have added panel discussions on the possible impact of the deal on the rest of the interactive and Hollywood communities.

Bevy of mavens

Myer Berlow, prexy of interactive marketing for America Online, is speaking, as are Rick Hess, prexy of Propaganda Films; Warner Bros. Online executive veep Jim Banister; Lisa Simpson, prexy of Sony Online Entertainment; Nicholas Butterworth, prexy and CEO of the MTVi Group; Ken Goldstein, senior veep and general manager of Disney Online; Jonathan Taplin, co-founder and co-CEO of Intertainer; Josh Greer, CEO of Digital Domain; and David Neuman, prexy of Digital Entertainment Network, among others.

Sponsors include AOL, Intervu, Sabela Media, ThingWorld.com, Webstakes and L90 Inc.

“The purpose of the conference is to explore the critical intersection of new and old media,” said Charlie Koones, U.S. publishing director of Daily Variety and Variety. “At no other time has it been more important to look at this sector and how it effects our industry.”

Zelnick speaks

In his keynote, Zelnick will most likely discuss everything from e-commerce to the distribution of music and films online, among other changes affecting the entertainment industry in an Internet economy.

Before joining BMG, Zelnick was prexy and CEO of Crystal Dynamics, a producer and distrib of interactive entertainment software. He also was prexy and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox, prexy and chief operating officer of Vestron Inc. and veep, intl. TV for Columbia Pictures.

BMG Entertainment, which is partnered with AOL in Europe, is a $4.6 billion music and entertainment company with more than 200 record labels including Arista, RCA and Ariola and operations in 53 countries. Among its stable of artists are ‘N Sync, Puff Daddy, Whitney Houston, Sarah McLachlan, Kenny G, Toni Braxton, Annie Lennox and George Winston.

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