Variety’s Entertainment Summit is open to all CES registrants.

Where: ARIA, Level 1, Bristlecone 4 / REGISTER FOR CES

Technology is transforming the entertainment industry at an astonishing clip, creating huge choices in how to produce, monetize, market and distribute content for today’s digitally savvy audiences. Join our conversations at CES 2018 to stay ahead of the best strategies across all media platforms. Pioneers and innovators of the entertainment industry will share how they are taking risks and finding opportunities to succeed now and into the future.

For partnership inquiries, please contact: Alex Bullard |


January 10, 2018


Aria, Las Vegas

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Variety Entertainment Summit at CES
Jan. 10

9:00 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. The Future of TV
Chief multiplatform executives will explore best business models and audience engagement strategies for various TV services, spanning pay TV, ad-supported OTT and subscription-based models.

Todd Supplee, Partner, PwC

Erin McPherson, Head of Content Strategy, Acquisitions and Programming, Verizon
Brian Sullivan, President & COO, Fox Networks Group
Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, YouTube
Maggie Suniewick, President, Digital Enterprises, NBC Universal
Rebecca Glashow, Worldwide Head of Distribution, Awesomeness

9:40 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. Headliner Conversation with Ben Sherwood, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, and President, Disney|ABC Television Group
Join us for a discussion with Disney-ABC’s chief as the company is poised for a monster 2018, with the launch of its new streaming service and the ABC debut of American Idol with star judge Katy Perry.

Interviewed by Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety

10:10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Nissan CMO Conversation

Roel de Vries, Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy for Nissan

Interviewed by:
Matt Spiegel, Managing Director, MediaLink.

10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Headliner Conversation with Tim Armstrong, CEO of Verizon’s Oath
Join us for a discussion with Tim Armstrong as he shares insights on the future of combined AOL and Yahoo properties underneath the newly minted OATH division.

Interviewed by Todd Spangler, NY Digital Editor, Variety

11 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Conversation with BroadbandTV

Speaker: Shahrzad Rafati, Founder and CEO, BroadbandTV

Interviewed by Todd Spangler, NY Digital Editor, Variety

11:15 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. Stealing the Show – Best in Brand Storytelling
What entertainment and consumer brands are the most progressive and creative across new marketing opportunities in social, digital publishing, OTT and linear TV? Marketers creating the ultimate in storytelling around their brands converge to share their strategies.

Scott Fisher, Founder, Select Management

Brian Benedik, Global Head of Advertising, Spotify
Dan Riess, EVP Content Partnerships and Co-Head of Turner Ignite, Turner
Bob Jacobs, Head of Marketing, Product and Brand Communication, Volvo Car USA
Gigi Gorgeous, Digital Influencer
Peter Minnium, President, Ipsos Connect

11:55 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. The New Age of Hitmaking
Brilliance can come from any source in today’s entertainment industry – podcast, social media-shared video, or plain old TV show or film. Today’s hitmakers of the expanding platform universe will share their stories.

Chris Berend, SVP and Head of CNN Digital Studios, & Co-Founder, Great Big Story, CNN
Baron Davis, NBA All-Star and Producer (Issa Rae’s Feud)
Ashley McCollum, GM, BuzzFeed’s Tasty

12:35 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. Break for Lunch

1:35 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. Headliner Conversation The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, Scott Gimple and AMC TV’s Charlie Collier
Join us for a look at the multiplatform universe of hit series The Walking Dead with Charlie Collier, President AMC TV; Scott Gimple, Showrunner and Executive Producer, The Walking Dead; and Norman Reedus, Star, The Walking Dead

Interviewed by:
Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety

2:10 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Let’s Get Connected: Titans of Audience Engagement
What are the latest strategies in connecting powerful, can’t-ignore messaging to audiences? Can you create personalization at scale? What marketing formats are best breaking through on premium TV, short-form video and multiplatform brand integrations? How is advancing analytics helping marketers fine-tune and better target promotions to desired audience segments?

Gayle Fuguitt, Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation, Foursquare

Oliver Laubscher, Chief Media Officer, VICE Media
Ira Rubenstein, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, PBS
Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE
Barry Tishgart, SVP and GM BAMTech Media
Eric Edge, Head of Global Marketing Communications and Industry Relations, Pinterest

2:50 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The State of the Stream
Today’s entertainment-on-demand loving audience has quickly built a complex streaming economy, with a new group of media power players calling the shots. Business strategies wildly vary. User-generated content mixes with increasingly premium offerings across platforms. In a crowded field, the streaming elite debate what comes next for this industry.

Dave Finnochio, CEO, The Bleacher Report
Andrew Sugerman, EVP, Publishing and Digital Media, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media
Marc Whitten, VP, Amazon Fire
Lisa Sugar, Founder and President, POPSUGAR

3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Amplifying Your Brand with Facebook
Bob Gruters, Group Director, Global Marketing Solutions – US, Facebook

3:45 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. We’re Going Live! Thrills with Experiential Tech
Advancing technology is enabling sports, concert and live events to offer truly spectacular experiences for fans. How might companies be introducing VR, extending social media engagement and ramping up in-venue interactivity during the game, concert or live production?

Bachir Zeroual, Head of VR Marketing, Samsung Electronics America
Kevin Chernett, EVP Global Partnerships and Content Distribution, Live Nation
Rebecca Howard, SVP of Emerging Platforms and Partnerships, Discovery VR
Kay Madati, VP and Global Head of Partnerships, Twitter

4:25 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Historic Emmy OTT Win – Headliner Conversation with Joel Stillerman, Chief Content Officer, Hulu



Who Is Speaking?

  • Shahrzad RafatiBBTV

    Shahrzad Rafati is the Founder and CEO of BroadbandTV (BBTV), a digital entertainment company which exists to empower creators and inspire audiences. Shahrzad is building one of the strongest ecosystems in digital video worldwide, by connecting BBTV’s owned & operated brands, content, top talent, millennial audiences and digital platforms, powered by its smart proprietary technology.
    Recognized by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, Shahrzad is accredited with pioneering both the technology and business model that made peace between large entertainment entities like the NBA and their fans that were uploading premium content online.
    Shahrzad has been the spirited drive and energy that has propelled BBTV to success. She has personally brokered successful deals with major media companies, music publishers, telcos, professional sports leagues and Internet giants. Today, BBTV generates 29.4 billion monthly impressions and 259MM hours viewed per month. BBTV is also the third largest video property in the world – in terms of unique viewers – following only Google and Facebook. According to the July 2017 comScore Top 100 Video Properties Worldwide report for Unique Viewers, BBTV represents 27% of Google Site viewers and 53% of Facebook. To put that into context, this means that over one in four people on Google Sites, including YouTube, are watching BroadbandTV content.
    Shahrzad has been broadly recognized by numerous industry and community groups for her contributions to the media industry, and entrepreneurship. In 2014, The Vancouver Economic Commission appointed Shahrzad to its Board of Directors and the World Economic Forum welcomed Shahrzad as a Young Global Leader (YGL). Most recently, she was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40, selected as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful Women in Global Television, awarded Person of the Year by the British Columbia Technology Association, and named to TheWrap’s Innovators List. In 2015, Shahrzad was awarded Woman of the Year by the Business Intelligence Group, named a Young Influential by Adweek, and Variety Magazine included Shahrzad in its Power of Women list. Shahrzad is also a graduate of YGL Oxford Module: Transformational Leadership at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and is actively involved with Founders Forum.
    Shahrzad is a highly sought after speaker for a number of industry events. Speaking engagements to date include Dreamforce alongside Marc Benioff, Mark Cuban, Chris Sacca, and Brian Moynihan, the CEO and Chairman of The Bank of America, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Cannes Lions, VidCon, Web Summit, MIPCOM, CES, Newfronts, Financial Times Digital Media, dmexco, Business Insider’s IGNITION, Collision, BCTECH Summit and TEDx Vancouver.
    Shahrzad is also a known thought leader in the entrepreneurship and media & technology space, having regularly contributed to Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.
    In addition to BBTV’s achievements, Shahrzad actively pursues ways to encourage social change and is a champion for equal rights.

  • Gigi GorgeousDigital Influencer

    As a transgender female, Gigi Loren Lazzarato is a Canadian actress, model, and Internet personality who inspires and entertains with her story and larger-than-life personality. Gigi is noted for chronicling her journey during her transition on her YouTube channel and has worked with several top tier brands including Crest 3D Whitening, Pantene, Too Faced, and Revlon. She was just named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2018 and was included as part of the 2017 OUT 100 list, Variety 2017 New Leaders and TIME Magazine’s Most Influential People on the Internet. In 2015, she was won the Streamy Award for Best Beauty Channel.
    Her documentary, This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and released on YouTube Red earlier this year. The documentary was recently recognized at the 7th Annual Streamy Awards where it won for Feature, honored for “MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECT OF A DOCUMENTARY” at 2017 Critics Choice Documentary Awards and the ATTN video series campaign for “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” won “Best of Television” for Shorty Social Good Awards 2017! Gigi can also be seen acting as a reoccurring on-air personality for MTV and “TRL.”
    Gigi is passionate about giving back and supporting causes close to her heart, including Children’s Hospital LA, LA LGBT Center and GLAAD.

  • Andrew SugermanDisney
  • Bob GrutersFacebook

    Bob Gruters is the US Group Lead for Facebook’s Entertainment, Restaurants and Multicultural business teams in North America, overseeing marketing relationships with leading brands across these key verticals. With more than 20 years of experience, Bob has held key leadership positions across the marketing and advertising industry that span television, digital, print, and OOH media.
    Prior to joining Facebook, Bob launched REVOLT Media, Sean Combs’ television and digital music platform, where he was Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Before that, he was Senior Vice President of Client Development at Univision and Vice President of Business Development at Viacom representing the Entertainment group which included Spike TV, Comedy Central, TV Land and CMT. Before his career in television, Bob led Marketing Services for The New Yorker at Conde Nast.
    Bob was also the Media Director at Sony Electronics where he led media and marketing strategy across the consumer and B2B divisions. Prior to this position, he held numerous marketing positions at JC Decaux, Esquire (Hearst), and Gannett.
    Bob earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University where he met his beautiful wife, Barbara. He is the very proud father of Evan, Grace, Matthew & Ryan and resides in Westfield & Monmouth Beach, NJ.

  • Peter MinniumIpsos Connect
  • Roel De VriesNissan

    As Corporate Vice President, Global Head of Marketing, and Brand Strategy, Roel is focused on further strengthening Nissan’s brands value. There are two key elements to this: firstly ensuring internally Nissan is doing everything needed to develop leading brands; and secondly making sure this is then communicated effectively and consistently in today’s increasingly complex world of marketing.
    Career History
    Born and growing up in the Netherlands, Roel always wanted to work in the automotive industry, inspired by a belief that purchasing a car is one of the most emotive investments a person will ever make in their lives. He first joined Nissan in 1994 at the European head-office in Amsterdam, having qualified with a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Engineering from Hogeschool Eindhoven, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Groningen. Then in 1998, Roel took a role based in South Africa responsible for marketing. During his time in South Africa Roel became Director of Marketing and Sales and experienced incredibly fascinating and challenging times when the country went through significant political and financial changes.
    Following his time in South Africa, Roel worked in a number of global roles including General Manager Product Planning General Overseas Markets (2008 -2009), Program Director for Nissan’s all rear wheel drive vehicles (2009 – 2010), before being appointed to his current role as Corporate Vice President, Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy in November 2010.
    Education and Awards
    • Awarded Bachelor Industrial Engineering, Hogeschool Eindhoven, Netherlands
    • Awarded Master Business Administration, University of Groningen, Netherlands
    In Roel’s Personal Time
    Roel likes to spend as much time as possible enjoying all aspects of life, from travel, to sports, to good food and wine – all enjoyed with family and friends. His favourite sports are field hockey, running, skiing and golf.

  • Tim ArmstrongOath

    Tim Armstrong is CEO of Oath, a global digital and mobile company that reaches over 1 billion consumers and partners with the world’s leading global brands. Oath’s mission is to Build Brands People Love and the company owns 50+ media brands including Yahoo, AOL, HuffPost, TechCrunch, Tumblr, as well as adtech and distribution platforms that support thousands of partners across the globe. Oath launched in June 2017 as a Verizon owned company, following Verizon’s acquisition of AOL Inc in 2015, where Armstrong was Chairman and CEO.
    Prior to Oath and AOL, Armstrong spent almost a decade at Google where he finished as President of the Americas and a member of the global operating committee. Armstrong started in the media business after college by co-founding a newspaper in Boston, MA and then moving to Internet companies in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and New York. These companies included Starwave (creators of,,, Disney Internet Ventures, Snowball (NYSE Company), and America’s Health Network (acquired by News Corporation). Armstrong also co-founded and seed-funded Associated Content (acquired by Yahoo) and Patch (acquired by AOL).
    Armstrong serves on the boards of Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ), Tech:NYC as co-founder, iDiverse as Chairman, Greenwich Academy for Girls, Connecticut College Athletic Club as co-founder, Waterside School and as a trustee for the US Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He also serves as a loving husband and dad as well as lacrosse and basketball coach. Armstrong is an avid New England sports fan and Massachusetts native. He is part Camel (Connecticut College graduate) and part Trojan (Lawrence Academy graduate).

  • Lisa SugarPOPSUGAR

    Lisa Sugar is the founder & president of POPSUGAR Inc, a global media and technology company that is parent to lifestyle media publisher POPSUGAR and monthly subscription box POPSUGAR Must Have. Together, these brands attract a monthly audience of over 100M visitors worldwide, as well as 3.1B content views and over 370M video views. Her book, POWER YOUR HAPPY: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life (Dutton; September, 2016), chronicles what she’s learned on her journey building the company. Prior to POPSUGAR, Lisa served as a media planner at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and at Young & Rubicam and began her career at Showtime and Fox. Lisa graduated with a degree in psychology and English from The George Washington University. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs – a Jack Russell Terrier and a Terrier Mix.

  • Todd SuppleePwC

    Todd is a Partner in PwC’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications consulting practice, possessing more than 20 years of global management consulting and professional management experience. He leads PwC’s Media consumer research and is a contributing editor to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook publication. Todd is a former CEO of an independent film production studio and COO/CFO of a global retailer. He focuses on data and analytics, understanding how content owners can leverage data and advanced modeling techniques to make better decisions related to the evolving and finicky customer.

  • Bachir ZeroualSamsung

    With a passion for technology-driven platforms that are redefining consumer behavior, Bachir Zeroual is the Head of VR Marketing at Samsung Electronics America, and is responsible for leading the strategy and execution of marketing programs supporting Samsung’s virtual reality technology. Since joining Samsung in 2016, Bachir has been focused on accelerating virtual reality into the mainstream consumer experience and helping brands reinvent how they connect with consumers through Samsung’s VR and 360 products and services.

    Prior to Samsung, Bachir developed his strong insight into global consumer behavior at Coca-Cola, working in their France, South Africa and U.S. locations across a wide variety of sub-brands. Specifically, Bachir launched and ran the marketing ventures efforts, with the ambition to partner and strategically invest in emerging technologies, helping Coca-Cola brands better connect with consumer targets, in various spaces such as music and fitness.

    Bachir holds a degree from EDHEC Business School.

  • Scott FisherSelect Management Group

    Scott Fisher is the Founder of Select Management Group where he leads the careers of top digital talent including Eva Gutowski, Gigi Gorgeous, among others. Fisher has been behind many of the landmark brand ambassador deals in digital including Crest, Starbucks, and Smashbox Cosmetics. Under the company’s entertainment arm SelectNext, Fisher serves as an executive producer of Gigi Gorgeous’ documentary “This is Everything,” which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, Scott founded Foreground, one of the first talent management and production companies focused on digital talent. While moving the operation from Toronto to Los Angeles in 2014 he founded Select Management Group developing his broader vision.

  • Brian BenedikSpotify

    Brian Benedik is the Global Head of Advertising Sales where directs the sales strategy and organization across Spotify’s 58 markets. Brian previously served as Vice President, North American Ad Sales for Spotify where he grew the advertising business exponentially and built a world-class team across the U.S. and Canada.

    Brian is an ad sales veteran and recognized leader in the audio industry. Prior to Spotify Brian served as President of Katz 360, the digital division of Clear Channel-owned Katz Media, where he helped build the largest online audio sales network and helped to create the emerging Digital Audio Ad marketplace.

  • Dan RiessTurner

    Dan Riess is executive vice president of content partnerships and co-head of Turner Ignite. Within this leadership position, Riess oversees creative, solution-based client ideation across Turner’s entertainment, news and kids brands, while closely aligning with sales, client and network strategy to strengthen opportunities and outcomes for marketers. He is based in New York and reports to Donna Speciale, president of Turner Ad Sales.

    Formed in 2016, Turner Ignite is an insights-powered content and data solutions unit that powers the next generation of advertising capabilities. Since the team launched and with oversight of the content part of the group, Riess has been focused on developing new advertising environments and capabilities that power marketers with unique opportunities. From expanding branded content capabilities with the launch of Courageous, to social optimization tools like Launchpad or bringing the power of native advertising to television with Turner Native Plus, Riess and his team are passionate about producing meaningful campaigns with real results and reach.

    Riess has held several key positions across Turner since joining in 1997. Prior to his current position, he was executive vice president of integrated marketing and branded content for Turner Ad Sales, a position he took on after overseeing Turner Entertainment Ad Sales as senior vice president of integrated marketing. Before Turner Ad Sales, he was vice president of marketing and ad solutions for the Turner New Products Group. From the early 2000s, Riess was director of TBS Inc. Strategic Planning, an in house corporate strategy team; and in the late 1990s, he held a critical role in the brand positioning development for TNT and CNN Headline News as the manager, then director, of the Turner Marketing Solutions Group – the industry’s first-ever, integrated marketing and sales group. Riess began his career in marketing at EMI Music/EMI Records.

    Riess and his team have been honored with several industry recognitions, including a Cannes Lions for Turner Ignite and CNN’s “Human by Design” campaign with Square Enix, Digiday Publishing Awards’ “Best in Show” for the CONAN partnership with Universal Pictures’ Ride Along 2, and Adweek’s “Grand Arc Award” for the Great Big Story and Modelo branded content campaign in 2017. The Turner Ignite division was recognized by TV of Tomorrow with an award for “Achievements in Advanced Advertising” in 2016.

    Riess earned a bachelor of arts degree in international affairs at Gettysburg College and an MBA at Columbia University School of Business.

    Turner Ad Sales monetizes the company’s portfolio of leading entertainment, kids, news and sports properties through award-winning advanced advertising capabilities that power return-on-investment for brands. Attracting a wide-scale audience of diverse fans, the collection includes leading media brands Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, Great Big Story, HLN, SuperDeluxe, TBS, TNT, truTV, Bleacher Report and Turner Sports’ high-profile coverage of the MLB, NBA NCAA, PGA and the newly-formed professional eSports league ELEAGUE. In addition, the company has digital sales partnerships with the NBA, NCAA and PGA.

    Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

  • Erin McPhersonVerizon

    Erin McPherson serves as Verizon’s Head of Content Strategy, Acquisition and Programming. In this role, McPherson oversees Verizon’s content activities, including programming, acquisitions, development, strategic partnerships, and original content across all Verizon’s platforms, including Fios and future OTT efforts. Prior to joining Verizon, McPherson served as the Chief Content Officer at Maker Studios, the world’s largest network of short-form online video, which was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2014, and prior to that, Erin ran video at Yahoo. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law.

  • Oliver LaubscherVICE Media

    Oliver Laubscher serves as Chief Media Officer at VICE, where he develops content marketing solutions for brands, agencies and platform partners globally. He manages the US Agency Sales Team and the Marketing Solutions Team across Connection Strategy, Operations and Marketing Solutions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

    Oliver previously worked at GroupM/WPP where he created and financed digital channels and programming assets. He held roles at Ogilvy in London, Schematic and WPP Digital in New York.

    Oliver created a fashion label in Berlin and managed an NGO in Sarajevo. He also worked at IBM in Zurich.

    Oliver is a board member of Precipart Group, a global engineering company. He also sits on several advisory boards and created Noted Places, a travel app in 2014.

    Oliver holds an MA of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Zurich.

    He lives in NY with his wife and daughter.

  • Bob JacobsVolvo

    Bob Jacobs joined Volvo Cars in March 2017 as Vice President, Marketing, Product and Brand Communication for the US market as well as the region Americas, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil and South American importer markets. Bob joined Volvo from Starwood hotels where he was the Vice President, Brand Management for Sheraton and Westin North America. There he led all marketing and guest experience initiatives for the two brands. Prior to his time at Starwood, he spent more than twenty years at Procter and Gamble marketing iconic brands like Crest, Pampers and Duracell.

    Bob is an avid runner and skier and also enjoys cooking and traveling with his family. He currently lives with his wife and four children in Connecticut.




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