The Paley Center for Media Presents

Catching the Eye of Generation Y

Oct 23, 2014
6:45 – 8:30 PM
Los Angeles

Millennials, the young generation of Americans currently in their late-teens through mid-thirties, comprise 24% of the US population—and 100% of the coveted 18-34 demographic of media consumers that marketing and entertainment executives most want to reach. On October 23, ABC Family’s Tom Ascheim, MTV’s Susanne Daniels, and Defy Media’s Keith Richman wvisited the Media Council in Los Angeles to share insights and discuss strategies for earning—and keeping—the loyalty of a generation whose habits, preferences, and values are shaping the future of the media industry.

 undefinedTom Ascheim, President, ABC Family
Tom Ascheim was named President, ABC Family, in December 2013, with oversight of original programming and acquisitions, franchise management, marketing, sales and operations, and responsibility for the overall strategic and creative direction for the channel. Ascheim previously served as Chief Strategy Officer of Sesame Workshop and Executive Vice President of Sesame Learning, where he led the team in developing a digital, in-school and companion-home offering, which paired differentiated learning solutions with in-school assessment. Prior to that, from 2007-2011, Ascheim was Chief Executive Officer at Newsweek, overseeing all global operations, web and mobile sites, and regional magazines in US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In this role, he successfully led the effort to sell Newsweek and worked with new ownership to merge Newsweek with The Daily Beast. Ascheim served as EVP and General Manager of Nickelodeon Television, where he ran the company's portfolio of channels, including Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite, Nick Jr, and Nick's three digital networks. He also spearheaded the repositioning of Nick@Nite away from being "home of the reruns" to the driving brand in Nick's new family strategy. He had held the title of EVP and General Manager of Nickelodeon Digital Television Networks. In this role, he managed all aspects of the brand, including production, development, programming, online, on-air promotion, marketing, and advertising sales. He also led the negotiation between Nick and Sesame Workshop, which resulted in a joint venture and the creation of Noggin, and oversaw The N, a channel dedicated to serving millennials. Ascheim joined Viacom in 1990 as VP of Nickelodeon Business Development and Media Products, where he was responsible for strategic and long-range planning, market analysis, and the annual budget. Tom received his BA in American Studies from Yale College and an MBA from Yale School of Management.

undefinedSusanne Daniels, President, MTV Programming
Susanne Daniels is an award winning entertainment executive who has developed and produced some of the most memorable series on television. In her current role as President of Programming for MTV, she oversees all development and programming for the iconic youth brand, a post she assumed in November of 2012. Her responsibilities include oversight of scripted and reality series, news and documentaries, production and talent. Prior to joining MTV, Daniels led the programming divisions at Lifetime Television and The WB Network (now THE CW). In 1994, she embarked on an incredible run at The WB, generating a string of culture-defining hits including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Felicity,” “Angel,” “Smallville” “Gillmore Girls,” “7th Heaven” and “Charmed.” Those shows not only helped establish the fledging network but recognized Daniels as one of the leading voices in programming for teens and young adults. From there Daniels went on to serve as President of Lifetime Television where she was responsible for all programming on Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network, the two highest-rated women’s cable television networks during her tenure. While at Lifetime, she launched the channels’ highest rated drama series in its history with “Army Wives,” oversaw the acquisition and re-development of reality hit “Project Runway,” as well as many Emmy Award winning original movies and mini-series which became touchstones for Lifetime. Daniels was also successful in rebranding and expanding Lifetime Movie Network to full distribution. Daniels started her career as an assistant to executive producer Lorne Michaels on “Saturday Night Live.” She was ultimately promoted to Manager of Development for Michaels’ Broadway Entertainment and helped develop the maverick “The Kids in the Hall” comedy series and the box office smash “Wayne’s World.” From there, she went on to oversee specials and variety series for ABC, including the “The Academy Awards,” “American Comedy Awards,” “American Music Awards,” and “MTV’s 10th Anniversary Special,” among others. Following her tenure at ABC, she served as Vice President of Comedy for Fox Television where she shepherded their successful Thursday night comedies “Martin” and “Living Single.” Most recently and before assuming the head programming position at MTV, Daniels served as a consultant for numerous networks, including Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, where she has been credited for helping boost ratings. Daniels is also an accomplished author. Together with Variety editor Cynthia Littleton, she wrote Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN (Harper Collins, 2007). The book is a comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at the intense rivalry between the two broadcast networks and how they ultimately merged into The CW. She also serves on the prestigious boards of The Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Children Now, and Common Sense Media, among other advisory roles. Daniels has also been recognized for her numerous humanitarian and philanthropic efforts which have centered on preventing teen pregnancy and inspiring young women to make positive choices and establish strong role models in media. Daniels is based in Los Angeles where she resides with her husband, writer-producer-director Greg Daniels (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” and “King of the Hill).”

undefinedKeith Richman, President, DEFY Media
As President of Defy Media, Keith oversees all areas of business development, content development and marketing for Defy Media. Keith co-founded Break Media in 2004 and in his role as CEO was responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business, building it into a 160 person, profitable digital media company. He led the company through its merger with Alloy Digital in 2013. In 2012, Keith oversaw the creation and launch of Break Media’s Acumen insights portal as well as a groundbreaking annual study , The Acumen Report: The Definitive Guide to Men , which provides insight into men’s lifestyles and behaviors to bridge the gap between advertisers and audience. Prior to co-founding Break Media, Keith was the co-founder and vice-president of OnePage (acquired by Sybase 2002) and co-founder and director of business development for Billpoint Inc. Keith was integral in developing the business plan and raising venture funding, which ultimately led to the company’s successful acquisition by eBay in 1999. Previous posts also include business development manager at Excite and Classifieds2000, as well as director of corporate planning at the Walt Disney Company, where he focused on consumer products, cable and emerging media. He was included in The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen 2007 New Media list of the most talented executives in film, television, representation, legal and new media, all age 35 and under, recognized in the prestigious annual “40 Under 40″ by Multichannel News and was named one of the “10 to Watch” by Television Week in 2006. Keith holds an MA and a BA from Stanford in International Policy Studies.

undefinedModerator: Andrew Wallenstein, Editor-in-Chief, Digital, and Variety Magazine
Andrew Wallenstein is editor-in-chief, digital, of and Variety magazine. He has been with the publication since 2011, where he oversees daily and weekly coverage of the entertainment industry, with a focus on technology. He was at The Hollywood Reporter from 2002 to 2010, where he held various top posts including editor of Wallenstein has been an on-air contributor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” for nearly a decade and also hosted the TV Guide Channel’s “Square Off,” a weekly primetime series about the TV industry, in 2006-07. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and has taught undergraduate journalism at several universities. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe and Business Week.


undefinedPresentation: Dounia Turrill, Senior Vice President, Client Insights, Nielsen
Dounia Turrill is Senior Vice President, Client Insights for Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers watch and what they buy. In this role, Dounia helps drive thought leadership for Nielsen, serving as a lead voice as Nielsen grows and evolves its initiatives related to cross-platform audience measurement. She leads Nielsen’s global cross platform audience measurement practice defining and managing the collective knowledge of the Watch team across Nielsen, leading thought leadership efforts designed to encourage and facilitate client discussions. Prior to Nielsen, Dounia was Vice President, Research, at the CW Television Network, and before that was Vice President, Research, at the WB Television Network. In those capacities, she was an active member of the TV Committee of the Media Research Council. Dounia is a graduate of The London School of Economics and Political Science.


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