Virtual Paley: Private Capital in Media

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm ET

By virtue of the significant amounts of capital at their disposal, the venture capital and growth/private equity industries are playing a significant role in the evolution of media, as technology, innovation, and changes in consumer behavior and preferences fuel disruption across news, entertainment, and sports. This conversation will look at how these investors may shape the future of media. What are their perspectives on incumbent and new media and how do they see the COVID-19 pandemic and the current macro environment driving opportunity and risk? Which sectors are ripe for upheaval and how are they likely to evolve? What role will AI play? What kinds of communities and new platforms do they see evolving and how will their participation as investors change the way we all consume media?

A link to RSVP to this Virtual Paley event will be sent to NY Paley Media Council Members. To find out more about Media Council Membership, contact


Brad Burnham
Union Square Ventures

Brad Burnham

Brad Burnham is a partner at Union Square Ventures. He started working in information technology with AT&T in 1979. Brad spun Echo Logic out of Bell Laboratories in 1989 and joined AT&T Ventures in 1993. Brad co-founded TACODA in 2001 before joining Fred to create Union Square Ventures in 2003. Brad majored in political science at Wesleyan University. He is married with two kids and lives in New York City.


Assia Grazioli-Venier
Founding Partner
Muse Capital

Assia Grazioli-Venier

Assia Grazioli-Venier is the founding partner of MUSE CAPITAL and advisor to high-growth tech startups, entertainment companies and sports businesses. She has worked at the forefront of technological disruption for 18yrs, from the first onset of mobile, to music streaming, subscription models, D2C commerce, sports-tech and beyond.
She started her career in 2004, creating and launching Ministry of Sound TV, Radio & Digital, one of the leading music brands/record labels in Europe, which later sold to Warner Music. She became an expert in all things digital media and consumer innovation, leading her to Spotify in 2008 as Director of Special Projects, where she advised on strategic partnerships and growth initiatives for 8 years.
Appointed in 2012, Assia currently sits on the board of directors of Italy's legendary Juventus Football Club, where she is the first woman and youngest board member to serve in such a role in the 120-year history of the club. Assia was also on the board of advisors of Northzone, one of Europe’s leading technology venture funds, whose portfolio includes Spotify and iZettle.
In 2016, Assia launched Muse Capital with her business partner Rachel Springate. Muse Capital is a seed-stage consumer fund that operates as a bridge between Silicon Valley, the brand world and the entertainment industry. The fund’s unique value-add is fueled by the partners’ careers helping startups forge revenue-generating strategic partnerships that catalyze scale.
Assia is a staunch supporter of the economic value of diversity in business, sits on the steering committee of AllRaise, and is an advisor to the Milken Institute.
Born in Rome and educated in the US, Assia is fluent in four languages and has lived in New York City, London, Milan and Stockholm. She currently lives in Los Angeles, and is a proud breast cancer survivor.


David Kestnbaum
Senior Managing Director
The Blackstone Group

David Kestnbaum

David N. Kestnbaum is a Senior Managing Director in the Private Equity Group. He currently focuses on investments in Business Services, Leisure & Entertainment, Media & Telecom, and Transportation & Logistics, amongst other sectors.

Since joining Blackstone in 2013, Mr. Kestnbaum has been involved in the execution of Blackstone’s current investments in Merlin Entertainments, SERVPRO, PSAV, Alight Solutions, SESAC, Tradesmen, and Outerstuff, as well as prior investments in AlliedBarton Security Services, AVINTIV, Cloverleaf Cold Storage, and DJO Global. Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Kestnbaum was a Vice President of Vestar Capital Partners, and was previously a member of JP Morgan’s Financial Sponsor Group.

Mr. Kestnbaum holds a BA in Political Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently a Director of SERVPRO, PSAV, Alight Solutions, SESAC, Tradesmen, and Outerstuff.  He is currently representing Blackstone as a 2019-20 Partnership for New York City Rockefeller Fellow, and was previously a member of the Associates Council of Prep for Prep, a New York-based non-profit organization.  


Ted Oberwager
Managing Director

Ted Oberwager

Ted Oberwager (New York) joined KKR in 2008 and is a member of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry team within KKR's Private Equity platform. He focuses on Internet, Media, Entertainment & Sports private equity and TMT growth equity investments in the Americas. At KKR, Mr. Oberwager has been involved with investments in OverDrive, Epic Games, AppLovin, RBmedia, Pandora, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Weld North Holdings, Starry, DoubleDutch, FanDuel Group, Next Issue Media and Sealy Corporation, as well as business development and strategy roles in KKR Credit. He serves as a director or observer on the Boards of AppLovin, RBmedia, UFC, and FanDuel Group. Prior to joining KKR, he was with Merrill Lynch global private equity where he was involved in a broad range of private equity transactions. He holds a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


John Josephson
Chairman & CEO

John Josephson

John is the Chairman and CEO of SESAC, Inc., a leading music licensing and rights management company.  He has been an investor in, and director of, the company since 1992, following its acquisition by Allen & Company Inc. in partnership with an investor group.  SESAC was acquired by affiliates of The Blackstone Group in February 2017.  Blackstone’s acquisition of SESAC was the first investment as part of its Core Equity strategy, which is specifically designed to hold investments for much longer periods of time than traditional private equity funds, with an initial target of 10-15 years or more.  Previously, John was a Managing Director at Allen & Company LLC, where he worked with companies in the media, entertainment and consumer internet and technology industry verticals.

John currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Paley Center for Media, the Board of Directors of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Arts & Sciences at Cornell University and the New York Advisory Board of Teach for America.  John is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Recording Academy, the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.


This event is exclusive to Media Council Members and other invited guests. To find out more about Media Council Membership, contact