Blighty TV convention gets keynoters

Semel, Westlake speak at Royal Television Society

LONDON — Yahoo! topper Terry Semel and Microsoft’s Blair Westlake, corporate VP of media/entertainment and technology convergence group, will be keynote speakers at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, British TV’s most prestigious talking shop.

They will join BSkyB topper James Murdoch; his sister Elisabeth, who runs U.K. producer Shine; BBC director general Mark Thompson; RTL chief exec Gerhard Zeiler; Endemol chief creative officer Peter Bazalgette; and ITV chief exec Charles Allen at the Sept. 15-17 confab.

The biennial gabfest opens with an address from the government’s Media Secretary Tessa Jowell.

Semel, Westlake and Frank Sixt, executive director of mobile combo Hutchison Whampoa, will kick-start proceedings in a session devoted to “media disruptors,” which will provide a global perspective on how mobile, broadband and the Internet affect the traditional world of TV.

Media leaders, broadcasters and content providers hope to gain new insight into the threats and opportunities provided by an always-on, interconnected entertainment world.

Other participants at the convention, to be held at Cambridge U., include Channel 4 topper Andy Duncan; Josh Berger, managing director and exec VP, Warner Bros. Entertainment U.K.; and David Elstein, chairman of Sparrowhawk Media, the new owner of Hallmark’s international channels.

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