×

Mark Cuban, Dawn Ostroff to Speak at Variety’s CES Summit

Top creators and platform execs will discuss the ways that technology and innovation are transforming Hollywood during Variety’s annual Entertain­ment Summit at CES, set for Jan. 8 during the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, CBS Interactive CEO Marc Debevoise, Imax president Megan Colligan, Fox Entertainment’s SideCar Content Accelerator chair Gail Berman and Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, are among the speakers scheduled for the Jan. 8 event at the Aria Resort & Casino. Many of the sessions will attempt to make sense of the exploding number of content platforms as more and more companies enter the streaming fray, pitching content directly to consumers. 

“We’re in an exciting period of evolution for the media business, and making a direct connection with your customer has never been more important,” says Sean Kisker, exec VP and chief strategy officer of Otter Media and WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer, who will speak at the summit panel on building fandom around projects and products. “We expect to share our perspectives on how various businesses understand this challenge, and how each thinks about the concept of fandom as a driver to their model.”

Oren Katzeff, Conde Nast president; Shay Mitchell, “Dollface” star and found­­er of Beis Travel; George Barrios, co-president of WWE; and Jessica Burns, head of brand and marketing at Grubhub will join Kisker on the panel.  

Popular on Variety

The summit kicks off with “Peak 2.0 — The Future of the Content Industry,” a panel directly examining the future of the seemingly limitless content landscape; Colligan and Berman will appear on the panel.

Another session will examine zeitgeist storytelling and who’s using it best in the digital age, with Suzanna Makkos, exec VP of comedy and animation at HBO Max among those weighing in on the topic. 

“Clearly, we need to aspire to the same standard of excellence as HBO, but are branching out beyond their core demo to reach all audiences,” Makkos says. “For example, we’re working with 18-year-old Zelda Barnes on a dramedy series called ‘Generation,’ which follows a group of high school students in their exploration of modern sexuality within a conservative community and features a diverse cast of people of color and sexual orientation.”

“At a time when it feels like a new streaming service is always becoming available, it’s important to prioritize your audience and understand why they are watching your content,” says 

Fellow panelist Rebecca Glashow, co-chief of AwesomenessTV. “I’m excited to share our learnings about Gen Z and share how this digitally native audience helps us create and identify compelling storytelling.” 

Andrew Wallenstein, Variety co-editor-in-chief. will interview Cuban in the day’s first headliner conversation. Best known as one of the “sharks” on ABC’s long-running business reality competition series “Shark Tank,” Cuban is co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, whose holdings include Magnolia Pictures.

John Harrison, global sector leader and partner of EY, and John Curbishley, Viacom exec VP of distribution strategy, will examine the evolution of media and entertainment, while another panel will tackle the challenge of finding the most-wanted young audiences.  

The tech breakthroughs that will drive the next level of engagement, including artificial intelligence, voice activation, AR/VR and more, will be scrutinized, while Heather Dumford, senior VP of MediaLink, leads a look into creating personal brand engagement across platforms in another of the summit’s panels. 

Additional conversations are set with Debevoise, chief digital officer of CBSViacom in addition to CEO of CBS Interactive; NBCU’s Yaccarino; Matt Derella, Twitter global VP of revenue and content partnerships; Guru Gowrappan, exec VP and group CEO of Verizon Media; Dawn Ostroff, Spotify chief content officer; creator Lele Pons; and Farhad Massoudi, Tubi CEO. He plans on talking about the growth in ad-supported video on demand during his session. 

Tipsheet    

What: Variety’s Entertainment Summit at CES 

When: Jan. 8

Where: Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas 

Web: events.variety.com

More Digital

  • Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic

    Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic Adventure,' Upcoming Feature Debut 'Feu de Paille'

    “The Atomic Adventure,” a contender in UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilmFestival, is the third short from Loïc Barché (“Goliath,” “Le Commencement”). Variety talked to the director about the short, and his feature debut “Feu de Paille.” “The Atomic Adventure,” produced by young French outfits Punchline Cinéma and Leonis Productions, is set in 1961 in Algeria, where France [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Blood Oath

    MBC Studios to Launch Arabic TV Series 'Blood Oath,' Written by Britain's Tony Jordan

    MBC Studios, the Saudi-owned production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group is set to launch “Blood Oath,” an Arabic crime series written by Britain’s Tony Jordan (“EastEnders,” “Life on Mars”). The announcement comes as Dubai-based MBC Studios, set up in 2018 and headed by former president of NBCUniversal International Peter Smith, is [...]

  • Spirited Away

    Netflix to Carry Iconic Studio Ghibli Animated Films

    The iconic animated features of Japan’s Studio Ghibli will be available on Netflix from February. The move is a further change of position for the studio which has repeatedly resisted the idea that its beloved cartoons would be released on digital platforms. Netflix, sales agent Wild Bunch, and Studio Ghibli, which counts Hayao Miyazaki as [...]

  • ‘Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series

    ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series for SVOD (EXCLUSIVE)

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producer World of Wonder has greenlit two docu-series: “God Shave the Queens!” and an “Untitled Trinity Taylor Pageant Project.” The announcement will be made Sunday at the first-ever DragCon U.K. convention, which is taking place at Olympia, London. “God Shave the Queens!” features the first-ever cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and [...]

  • VRrOOm Launching VR Platform for Immersive,

    VRrOOm to Launch VR Platform for Immersive, Multi-User Streaming of Live Events

    French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation. Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco. [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content