PaleyIC 2015 Speakers

Deals and Dealmaking: Capitalizing on the Media Revolution

2015 Speakers


 Tim Armstrong  Donna Gigliotti       Rick Mandler  Rich Ross
 Jim Bankoff  Irwin Gotlieb  Joe Marchese  Michael Roth
 Lionel Barber  Cory Haik  Brent Montgomery  Tom Rothman
 Peter Benedek  Steve Hasker  James Murdoch  Emmett Shear
 Frank A. Bennack, Jr.    Jon Heller  Jennifer Nason  Steve Swartz
 Andy Bird  Mike Hopkins  Joe Ripp     Marni Walden
 Jonathan Bokor  Reza Izad  Andrew Robertson  John Waller
 Bob Bowman     David Levy  Dan Rose  
 Melissa Brenner     Mark Lieberman  Jane Rosenthal  
 Claudio Chiaromonte   Simon Lowden    
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2015 Moderators

 Marc Brodherson      
 Frank Cooper III      
 Richard Greenfield      
 Chris Pantoya      
 Nancy Peretsman       
 Mark Robichaux      
 Stephanie Ruhle      
 Cristiana Falcone      
 Lawrence Shire      
 Hannah Storm      
 David Zaslav      
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Tim Armstrong

Tim Armstrong is CEO of AOL Inc., a leading global media technology company headquartered in New York City and operating in over 20 countries worldwide. Today, AOL serves nearly 400 million consumers every month across the globe, and maintains partnerships with thousands of the world's leading companies. AOL owns, builds and operates global media brands and provides technology and services to over 10,000 other brands and media companies.  Under Tim’s leadership, AOL was acquired by Verizon for 4.4 billion dollars on May 12, 2015.

Prior to joining AOL, Tim spent almost a decade at Google, where he served as President of Google's Americas Operations and Senior Vice President of Google Inc. as well as serving on the company's global operating committee. Tim started in his career by co-founding a newspaper in Boston, MA before moving into the Internet industry, where he has worked as a team member, investor or co-founder at numerous companies, including Starwave (sold to Disney / ESPN / ABC Internet Ventures), Snowball (IPO), Associated Content (sold to Yahoo), and Patch (sold to AOL). Tim has also been an active investor in the start-up community, both on and offline.  

Tim serves on the board of The Priceline Group, Inc., The Paley Center for Media, the New York regional board of Teach for America, the Waterside Charter School in Stamford, CT, as Chairman Emeritus for the Ad Council, and as a trustee for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He also acts as an advisor to the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm driven by former Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, General Stan McChrystal. Additionally, Tim is the chairman of the IAB Education Foundation, a new non-profit working to improve diversity and close the skills gap across the digital media and advertising landscape. An ardent champion of community service, Tim was honored by the Ad Council with their 60th Annual Public Service Award in 2013. Tim is a graduate of Connecticut College and Lawrence Academy. He has served as a trustee for both.

Jim Bankoff
Chairman and CEO, Vox Media

Jim Bankoff is the Chairman and CEO of Vox Media, running all aspects of what has become the fastest growing digital media company today, attracting 165 million people globally each month. The company operates eight of the most successful media brands on the web: SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon,, Curbed, Eater, Racked and Re/code.  Each features high-value digital journalism, storytelling, brand advertising and content marketing at scale. Under Jim's leadership, Vox Media recently secured a $200 million strategic investment partnership with NBC Universal.

A veteran of the online industry, Jim developed and led dozens of the most popular websites on the internet including AOL, Mapquest, Moviefone, AOL Music and Engadget as an Executive Vice President at AOL. He co-founded, won an Emmy award for his production of the Live8 Concerts, and also oversaw AOL’s industry-leading instant messaging services, AIM and ICQ, and social networking and community applications including Blogsmith and Netscape.

Lionel Barber
Editor, The Financial Times

Lionel Barber is the editor of the Financial Times. Since his appointment in 2005, Barber has helped solidify the FT’s position as one of the first publishers to successfully transform itself into a multichannel news organisation. During Barber’s tenure, the FT has won numerous global prizes for its journalism, including Newspaper of the Year, Overseas Press Club, Gerald Loeb and Society of Publishers in Asia awards.
Barber has co-written several books and has lectured widely on foreign policy, transatlantic relations, European security and monetary union in the US and Europe and appears regularly on TV and radio around the world. As editor, he has interviewed many of the world's leaders in business and politics, including: US President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Barber began his career in journalism in 1978 as a reporter for The Scotsman. He then moved to The Sunday Times as a business correspondent and joined the FT in 1985 as a business reporter. During his FT career, he has also served as Washington correspondent, Brussels bureau chief, news editor, European editor and US managing editor.

Barber has received several distinguished awards, including the St George Society medal of honour for his contribution to journalism in the transatlantic community. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Tate and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Barber graduated in 1978 from St Edmund Hall, Oxford University with a joint honours degree in German and modern history and speaks fluent French and German.

Peter Benedek
Founding Partner and Board Member, UTA

Peter Benedek is a Founding Partner and Board Member of premier global talent and literary agency UTA, where he also sits on the firm’s eight-member board of directors. UTA has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Toronto, Nashville, Miami and Malmo, Sweden.

Benedek has helped steer UTA’s growth over two decades into a leading talent and literary agency with a reputation for providing unsurpassed creative opportunities for artists, creators and brands. The agency’s 300 agents and 700 employees collectively represent many of the world’s most widely-known, award-winning artists working in all current and emerging areas of entertainment, including motion pictures, television, music, digital media, broadcast news, theatre, video games, books and touring. UTA is also globally recognized in the areas of film and television packaging, film finance, corporate consulting, branding, licensing, endorsements and the representation of production talent.

In 2015, UTA acquired The Agency Group, the world’s largest independent music agency, and combined it with its existing music practice to create UTA Music, which now represents many of the biggest global touring and live music artists. Benedek is known as one of entertainment’s top representatives of television writers and creators, with a reputation for packaging many critically acclaimed and beloved television series.  Benedek was the agent behind client David Chase’s seminal series The Sopranos and also set up client Lena Dunham’s critically-acclaimed series Girls.  Benedek established the unique international financing structure for client Tom Fontana’s series Borgia and Copper.  Benedek was also principally involved in NBC’s Law & Order franchise, which eventually spanned four series across multiple television platforms.  Benedek’s clients also include Michael J. Fox, Neil Cross, Blake Masters, Rene Balcer, Josh Brand and production companies such as Parkes/McDonald, Random House Studios and Working Title Television.

Benedek has also overseen UTA’s successful expansion into corporate representation.  He is the architect of UTA’s joint venture company United Entertainment Group, a DJE Company, a branded entertainment firm that creates original content and other marketing solutions for Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Frito-Lay, Samsung, AT&T, Starbucks, Nestle, Quaker and others. In addition Benedek has represented corporate giants such as and American Eagle Outfitters, providing strategic entertainment marketing services.  

Benedek sits on the Boards of the Hammer Museum and the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles.  He additionally is the President of the Board of Governors of the L.A. Saban Free Clinic, and also sits on the Board of the UTA Foundation. He is head of the L.A. council for the Bicentennial 2017 Fundraising Campaign for the University of Michigan, and is the winner of the David Hermelin Award for his activities on behalf of the university.  Benedek is an active supporter of other L.A.-based organizations including the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA and the Motion Picture Television Fund. Benedek divides his time between residences in Brentwood, California and Water Mill, New York. He is an avid art collector who supports both young and established artists.  He is married to Barbara Benedek, the renowned screenwriter of such films as The Big Chill, Men Don’t Leave, and the remake of Sabrina.

Benedek earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan and the London School of Economics.  He earned his law degree from Columbia Law School, where he graduated with distinction in 1973.  He began practicing law at the Beverly Hills law firm of Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin, and was named a Partner in 1979.  In 1981, he left to found the law firm of Weissman, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman & Schulman.  In 1984, he left the practice of law to form the Bauer-Benedek Agency, which in 1991 merged with Leading Artists Agency to form United Talent Agency.  In 1998, Benedek received the Arthur B. Krim Award from Columbia Law School in recognition of his outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry.  

Frank A. Bennack, Jr.
Chairman, The Paley Center for Media
Executive Vice Chairman, Hearst

Frank A. Bennack, Jr., is executive vice chairman of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest private companies engaged in a broad range of publishing, broadcasting, cable networking and diversified communications activities. He is also chairman of the Corporation’s Executive Committee, a director of Hearst Corporation and a trustee of The Hearst Family Trust established under the will of William Randolph Hearst. In addition, he sits on a number of corporate committees and the Hearst Foundations Boards where he has served for more than 25 years. Bennack served as Hearst’s CEO for more than 28 years. He directed the company through an unprecedented period of growth from when he began his first tenure as CEO in 1979 through June 2013 when he stepped down—increasing revenues 12 times and growing earnings more than 30 times, through investments, acquisitions and startups. Today, Hearst is comprised of some 200 businesses and 20,000 employees.

Under his leadership, the company launched three leading cable networks with its partner ABC (now the Walt Disney Company), A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime, and invested in the ESPN family of networks, now in 190 countries and territories. On Bennack’s watch, Hearst has marched toward diversification and global expansion, including its nearly $1 billion acquisition in 2011 of Lagardère’s 100 international titles outside of France, its purchase of healthcare information leader MCG, its acquisition of a 50 percent interest in global ratings agency Fitch Group and its establishment of a joint venture with television producer Mark Burnett. Bennack was also instrumental in the decision to create what today is Hearst Television Inc., one of the nation’s largest non-network owned television station groups, which operates 29 television stations. During his tenure, Hearst has launched such magazines as Country Living, Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Marie Claire and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Prior to his first tenure as chief executive, Bennack served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Corporation and, prior to that, as vice president and general manager of the Hearst Newspaper Group. He also served in a variety of management posts, including a seven-year tenure (1967 to 1974) as publisher and editor of the San Antonio Light.
Bennack is a director of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation. He is chairman of Hearst Magazines UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation. Bennack is also a governor and chairman of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and its Healthcare System, a managing director of the Metropolitan Opera of New York, chairman emeritus of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and chairman of The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television & Radio). He was the 1992-93 chairman of the Newspaper Association of America (formerly the American Newspaper Publishers Association). As a teenager, the San Antonio native was host of both television and radio programs. He eventually entered publishing in his hometown, and rose from classified advertising salesman to newspaper publisher by the age of 34.

Bennack has received honors for his charitable work from such organizations as the American Heart Association, United Cerebral Palsy and the Inner City Scholarship Fund of New York. His industry awards include the Gold Medal from the International Radio & Television Society in 1991, the Trustees’ Award (Emmy) from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1993, the 1997 Center for Communication Award, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Advertising Council in 1999, and the 1999 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters. In 2007, he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Andy Bird
Chairman, Walt Disney International

As chairman, Walt Disney International, Andy Bird is responsible for Disney’s businesses outside of the United States. Reporting to Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Mr. Bird and his global team develop and implement strategies to increase Disney brand affinity and awareness in key international markets, introduce new customers and guests to Disney’s unique storytelling legacy and iconic characters, and invest in and maximize opportunities in emerging markets.

Since joining The Walt Disney Company in 2004, Mr. Bird has greatly expanded Disney presence around the world. During his tenure, Disney has: acquired UTV, one of India’s premier media and entertainment companies reaching almost 250 million consumers through film, television and interactive media; launched free-to-air Disney Channels in Russia, Turkey and Spain; launched Dlife, Japan’s first foreign-owned and free-to-air channel targeting women and families; increased local production, particularly for television content; and reorganized and integrated Disney’s international structure and leadership ranks.

Prior to joining Disney, Mr. Bird spent nearly a decade with Time Warner, joining in 1994 as senior vice president and general manager of Turner Entertainment Networks Limited. He rose to president of TBS International in 2000, and became responsible for all TBS broadcasting outside of the continental U.S.

Between 1989 and 1994, Mr. Bird held a number of positions in radio and television in Europe, including helping to start a music channel, producing and directing a popular London-based morning TV program, and producing a Saturday morning children's TV show. In 1992, Mr. Bird was tapped by Unique Broadcasting, the largest independent radio production company in the United Kingdom, to start up and operate Unique Television.

Mr. Bird began his career with Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, England, as breakfast show producer. After that, he moved to London to join the Virgin Broadcasting Company working at Music Box, a Pan-European music channel. Later, Virgin asked Mr. Bird to help launch and program a satellite-delivered national radio service called "Radio Radio." He became head of programming for the service, producing radio shows for leading comedians and television presenters.

A native of the United Kingdom, Mr. Bird is a Commander of the British Empire. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and literature from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1985.

Jonathan Bokor
SVP, Director of Advanced Media, MediaVest

Jonathan Bokor, SVP, Director of Advanced Media at MediaVest.  Jonathan is MediaVest’s subject matter expert on advanced media, which includes addressable TV, audience indexed TV, OTT/connected TV, and VOD.  Prior to MediaVest he was the General Manager, iTV Solutions at Canoe Ventures, where he led Canoe's iTV business and held P&L responsibility for Canoe's portfolio of iTV solutions.  Prior to Canoe, Jonathan was Vice President of Business Development at Tandberg Television, a division of Ericsson, where he was responsible for Tandberg’s content and advertising solutions.  Prior to Tandberg Television, Jonathan was Senior Director of Business Development and Sales for Walt Disney Internet Group.  Jonathan holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bob Bowman
President of Business and Media, Major League Baseball

Bob Bowman was appointed President, Business & Media of Major League Baseball by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. on December 4, 2014.  He directs revenue-generating and media rights activities across all MLB entities while continuing to oversee MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM) and MLB Network.  Bowman has been President & Chief Executive Officer of MLBAM, the league’s world-class technology company, since its inception in 2000.
Bowman joined MLBAM in 2000 following two years of work in the Internet space.  He took on oversight of MLB Network in 2014.  MLBAM was created in January 2000, when the owners of the 30 Major League Clubs voted to follow the recommendation of Commissioner Selig and centralize all of Baseball’s Internet and Interactive Media operations under one roof.  MLBAM operates the official League site,, as well as each of the 30 individual team sites.  It also develops, deploys and distributes the highest grossing iOS app, At Bat, as well as manages live video content for dozens of clients.  In 2014, MLBAM captured, encoded and distributed 30,000 live video events. is an award-winning multimedia business at the forefront of the digital revolution.
Prior to joining MLBAM, Mr. Bowman was President and Chief Operating Officer of ITT Corporation, one of the world’s largest and preeminent conglomerates.  He joined ITT in 1991 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ITT Sheraton, the Boston-based global hotel network.  In 1992, he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the parent company before being named President and Chief Operating Officer in 1995.  Following the trivestiture of the Company’s business divisions in 1995, Mr. Bowman successfully oversaw the growth and operations of the $8 billion conglomerate until its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 1998.  During his tenure, Mr. Bowman and the senior management team at ITT created more than $25 billion of value for the company’s shareholders.
Before joining ITT, Bowman served as Treasurer for the State of Michigan from 1983-1991.  The youngest State Treasurer in the nation at the time of his appointment, during his eight-year term the State’s pension system grew from $6 billion to $19 billion in asset value, and improved the State’s credit rating from BBB to AA.
Immediately prior to his appointment in Michigan, Bowman also worked as a municipal finance investment banker with Goldman Sachs & Company, and from 1979 to 1981 he served in the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Domestic Finance.  In that role, he worked on both the New York City Loan Guarantee Act and the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act.
A native of Milwaukee, Bowman graduated from Harvard College in 1977, and received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School in 1979.  Bowman serves as President of the Michigan Education Trust and is a member of the Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Corp., ViaSat, Inc. and Vince Holding Corp.

Melissa Brenner
Senior Vice President, Digital Media, NBA

As Senior Vice President of Digital Media for the National Basketball Association, Melissa Rosenthal Brenner has led the development, oversight, and implementation of the NBA’s global digital strategy and social media portfolio across multiple media platforms.  In that role, she has forged groundbreaking deals with leading social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, found innovative ways to incorporate social media throughout the league’s wide array of assets, and helped NBA partners maximize social media opportunities with the league.  In addition, Brenner manages the league’s relationship with Turner relating to NBA Digital, where she is responsible for the development and oversight of NBA TV, NBA LEAGUE PASS, and various NBA mobile content offerings.

Under her leadership, the NBA has built one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 800 million likes and followers combined across all league, team, and player pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sina, and Tencent.  Brenner has been instrumental in the NBA’s achievement of many milestones in the social media space, including the first professional sports league to partner with YouTube (2005) and Facebook (2007).  
Brenner previously managed the league’s marketing relationships with broadcast partners ESPN/ABC and TNT.  She also ran the search for the league’s former agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and developed and maintained the league’s relationship with Cartoon Network.

A member of the NBA family since 1997, Brenner has worked in the Consumer Products Marketing, Advertising, and Marketing departments.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Brenner lives on the Upper West Side with her husband Joe and their two children, Sadie and Jack.

Claudio Chiaromonte
Executive Vice President and Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Latin America

Claudio Chiaromonte is currently Executive Vice President and Managing Director for The Walt Disney Company Latin America. He was promoted to this position in June 2013.

In March 2009, he assumed all day-to-day responsibilities for Latin America as COO (Chief Operating Officer), reporting to Andy Bird, Chairman of The Walt Disney Company International, while keeping his responsibilities as CFO (Chief Financial Officer). He held these positions until January 2011, when he was appointed Managing Director in the Company for the region, which made him responsible for all Disney businesses in Latin America.

Mr. Chiaromonte was previously regional CFO and Senior Executive for DCP (Disney Consumer Products) for the Walt Disney Company Latin America, heading all financial planning, controllership and information technology operations as well as business strategy and operations for DCP in the region.

Prior to this role, Mr. Chiaromonte was CFO for The Walt Disney Company México with oversight of all business segments; before that, he was the CFO for all Southern and Andean territories in Latin America.

Mr. Chiaromonte joined Disney in 1996 as Sr. Manager of Finance for The Walt Disney Studios Latin America and was instrumental in the establishment of Theatrical distribution operations in the region. In this role he also set up Home Entertainment business structures and operations, including the implementation of local production strategies for the region.

Before joining Disney, Mr. Chiaromonte ran his own Accounting and Tax firm. He graduated as a CPA from Universidad Católica Argentina and holds an MBA from IAE Business School in Argentina.

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