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Content London Speakers 2022

 

SPEAKERS

Maria Pia Ammirati
Head of drama, Rai

Ammirati is a TV Executive, writer and journalist, now head of drama at Rai. After a work experience as a journalist and militant reviewer, she entered at Rai in 1992 and from 1993 she led radio and television programs as author and presenter. In 2000 she moved from Rai Educational Department to Rai 1, covering various positions to eventually being appointed deputy director. From 2014 to 2020 she ... read more

Ammirati is a TV Executive, writer and journalist, now head of drama at Rai. After a work experience as a journalist and militant reviewer, she entered at Rai in 1992 and from 1993 she led radio and television programs as author and presenter. In 2000 she moved from Rai Educational Department to Rai 1, covering various positions to eventually being appointed deputy director. From 2014 to 2020 she was head of Rai Teche while from 2016 to 2019 she was assigned responsibility for the Rai Play Content.

In November 2020 she was appointed head of drama. Ammirati wrote a number of novels and publications and received several awards, including 2001 Strega Award Selection, 2011 Campiello Award Selection, Procida Award, Basilicata Award. She is also a member of various literary juries, including Premio Strega, Premio Viareggio, Premio Rapallo.

From 2019 Ammirati is a member of the board of directors of Rai Pubblicità; from 2017 to 2020 she was a member of the board of directors of Rai Cinema S.p.A. and from 2020 to 2021 she was president of Istituto Luce-Cinecittà.

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Fabrizio Battocchio
Head of formats and factual, RTI

Battocchio has been running the Format Department since 1999 and was appointed head of factual entertainment and documentaries in 2013. He is a lecturer at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milano, where he teaches “Languages and Creativity in Meda” and “Television formats”. He is also a writer of essays on communication pragmatics, television production, formats and genres.

Ana Cueto
Head of research, Atresmedia

Ana has been working in the audiovisual industry for more than 20 years and is a passionate fan of trends in television and media since her beginnings in pay TV. In Canal Satélite Digital, she was in charge of Programming and Acquisitions of various channels, such as Viajar or the pioneer Channel C: Later, she joined NBC Universal for the set up and launch of the group’s channels in Spain, Cal... read more

Ana has been working in the audiovisual industry for more than 20 years and is a passionate fan of trends in television and media since her beginnings in pay TV. In Canal Satélite Digital, she was in charge of Programming and Acquisitions of various channels, such as Viajar or the pioneer Channel C:

Later, she joined NBC Universal for the set up and launch of the group’s channels in Spain, Calle 13 and Studio Universal, where she was responsible for Programming and Acquisition (films, series and documentaries). From 2005 to 2014, she worked at the production company Plural as head of R&D, both buying and developing all kinds of formats for national and regional networks. She joined Atresmedia in February 2014 as Head of Research and New Projects in the Programs area, where she screens markets and trends in search for the best formats for Atresmedia (both linear and digital).

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Mike Darnell
President, Warner Bros. Unscripted Television.

Darnell serves as president of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television. Regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of reality television, Darnell joined the studio in 2013 and has since grown the unscripted portfolio exponentially, elevating the division to become the #1 producer of unscripted primetime television in America. Darnell and his team produce nearly 60 series across br... read more

Darnell serves as president of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television. Regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of reality television, Darnell joined the studio in 2013 and has since grown the unscripted portfolio exponentially, elevating the division to become the #1 producer of unscripted primetime television in America.

Darnell and his team produce nearly 60 series across broadcast, cable, streaming, digital and first-run syndication, consisting of over 2,000 hours of programming annually. Hit series include The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (ABC), multi-Emmy winner The Voice (NBC), Paris in Love (Peacock), Friends: The Reunion (HBO Max), Harry Potter 20thAnniversary: Return to Hogwarts (HBO Max) and The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo), plus new daytime talk show Jennifer Hudson and the Emmy-winning first-run series Extra. The division also specializes in high-end documentaries, including Greg Berlanti’s Equal (HBO Max) and Helter Skelter (EPIX), among others.

Prior to Warner Bros., Darnell spent 19 years as president of alternative entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, developing and overseeing hundreds of iconic and top-rated shows, including American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, The Simple Life, The X Factor, Joe Millionaire, Hell’s Kitchen and Family Guy.

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Julien Degroote
Head of content development, TF1 Group France

Degroote currently serves as head of content development for French leading network TF1 Group. He is responsible for commissioning, developing or creating and overseeing the new shows for the three national TF1 Group channels: TF1, TMC and TFX. His credits include: The Masked Singer, Ninja warrior, District z, The wall, Tattoo Fixers. Degroote is also in charge of spotting the best ideas and trend... read more

Degroote currently serves as head of content development for French leading network TF1 Group.

He is responsible for commissioning, developing or creating and overseeing the new shows for the three national TF1 Group channels: TF1, TMC and TFX. His credits include: The Masked Singer, Ninja warrior, District z, The wall, Tattoo Fixers.

Degroote is also in charge of spotting the best ideas and trends around the world as head of scouting (scripted and alternative).

Prior to joining TF1 in 2014, Degroote has been a TV producer for 12 years. As head of programs in the French independent TV production company Coyote, he managed 200 hours of TV shows produced each year and multi-million budget for TF1 in different genres: Family Feud, Four In A Bed, People’s Quiz, 30+ live entertainment prime time shows.

Previously, Degroote served as creative senior executive of Endemol France working on Big Brother, Star Academy and overseeing the adaptation of The Celebrities Farm.

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Jennifer Dettman
Executive director, unscripted content , CBC

Dettman is an award-winning television executive with 15+ years of experience leading innovative television and digital content creation. She is one of the top female executives in the country and an internationally respected voice in the industry. Dettman has had a leading role in a digital transformation to define new paths forward to fit the changing media landscape and she is dedicated to crea... read more

Dettman is an award-winning television executive with 15+ years of experience leading innovative television and digital content creation. She is one of the top female executives in the country and an internationally respected voice in the industry. Dettman has had a leading role in a digital transformation to define new paths forward to fit the changing media landscape and she is dedicated to creating best-in-class Canadian content that competes global on all platforms. At the CBC, Dettman is the head of the Unscripted department and is the chair of the documentary channel.

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Channing Dungey
Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group

Highly esteemed TV industry leader, Dungey serves as chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group. In this role, she has creative responsibility for all of Warner Bros.’ unrivalled television production activities, including scripted and unscripted programming for streaming services, cable, and the U.S. broadcast networks. As of May 2022, the studio is producing more than 100 series. Select signature... read more

Highly esteemed TV industry leader, Dungey serves as chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group. In this role, she has creative responsibility for all of Warner Bros.’ unrivalled television production activities, including scripted and unscripted programming for streaming services, cable, and the U.S. broadcast networks. As of May 2022, the studio is producing more than 100 series.

Select signature shows include Warner Bros. Television’s global hit comedy Ted Lasso, new breakout comedy hit Abbott Elementary, All American, All Rise, Animal Kingdom, Bob♥Abishola, The Cleaning Lady, The Flash, The Flight Attendant, Gossip Girl, Kung Fu, Lucifer, Maid, Manifest, Peacemaker, Queen Sugar, Riverdale, The Sex Lives of College Girls, Shining Vale, Superman & Lois, Sweet Tooth, Westworld, You, and Young Sheldon, plus Warner Bros. Unscripted Television’s The Bachelor franchise (including The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise), Paris in Love, The Voice (U.S.), and more. Upcoming series include Bad Monkey, Mrs. Davis, Night Court, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, The Sandman, Shrinking, and The Wheel, among many others.

Dungey was previously vice president of original series at Netflix. Before that, she was president, ABC Entertainment, after working in drama development at ABC and ABC Studios. She was a partner at Dexterity Pictures and president of film production company Material, after five years as a Warner Bros. Pictures production executive.

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Cécile Frot-Coutaz
Chief executive officer, Sky Studios

Frot-Coutaz is CEO of Sky Studios, Sky’s original programming arm across Europe. In addition to developing, commissioning and producing Sky Original comedy and drama, Frot-Coutaz has responsibility for Sky Studios’ factual output as well as its global portfolio of production companies which includes Blast! Films, Jupiter Entertainment, True North and Love Productions, creator of the Great Brit... read more

Frot-Coutaz is CEO of Sky Studios, Sky’s original programming arm across Europe. In addition to developing, commissioning and producing Sky Original comedy and drama, Frot-Coutaz has responsibility for Sky Studios’ factual output as well as its global portfolio of production companies which includes Blast! Films, Jupiter Entertainment, True North and Love Productions, creator of the Great British Bake Off. She also oversees Sky Studios Elstree, the new, state-of-the-art film and TV studios that will house 13 sound stages and is set to be the world’s most sustainable film and TV studio when it opens later this year.

She started her career in strategy consulting at Mercer Management Consulting, in London, where she stayed for four years. In 1994, after obtaining her MBA, she joined the Pearson group headquarters in London. She was subsequently named Corporate Strategy Executive for Pearson TV, where she spearheaded the acquisition and integration of All American Fremantle into the Pearson Television group.

In 2001, she relocated to Burbank as the US commercial lead for the renamed FremantleMedia Group and was responsible for delivering some of the production company’s biggest shows including American Idol and America’s Got Talent. She held several executive roles and positions within the group, eventually ending as Chief Executive Officer in 2012. There she led a restructuring of the business and the strategy maintaining Fremantle’s position as one of the world’s leading content producers, while expanding its capability to enable it to compete in the world of high end drama, with shows like Deutschland 83, American Gods and The Young Pope. She joined YouTube in October 2018 as Head of EMEA, responsible for all aspects of the business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including forging partnerships with and supporting YouTube’s growing community of content creators. She is a graduate of ESSEC (B.A., 1988) and of INSEAD (M.B.A., 1994).

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Superna Kalle
President, international networks, STARZ

As president, international networks, Kalle has P&L responsibility for the international division and oversees all operations of STARZPLAY including programming and production of original series, distribution, operations, marketing and publicity, and has oversight of Lionsgate Play, now available throughout South and Southeast Asia. During her time at STARZ, Kalle has solidified STARZPLAY’s... read more

As president, international networks, Kalle has P&L responsibility for the international division and oversees all operations of STARZPLAY including programming and production of original series, distribution, operations, marketing and publicity, and has oversight of Lionsgate Play, now available throughout South and Southeast Asia. During her time at STARZ, Kalle has solidified STARZPLAY’s presence in Europe, Latin America and Canada, and continues to expand the footprint making STARZ one of the world’s leading pure-play subscription platforms.

She previously served as executive vice president for International Digital Networks at STARZ where she joined in 2018 to lead the international expansion of STARZPLAY, now available in almost 60 countries globally. Kalle serves on the board of directors for STARZPLAY Arabia, as a Ddrector of the International Academy of Television Arts of Sciences, and on the board of trustees of Woodbury University. She is also proud to be a Mentor in the 2021 Women in Entertainment (WIE) Mentorship Program (BBBSLA).

Kalle has been recognized as one of Cablefax’s “Most Powerful Women” and “Top Women in Media” multiple times and was named a Multichannel News/NAMIC Luminary for her accomplishments overseeing Sony Movie Channel.

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Bernadette McDaid
Global head, Red Bull Studios

Bernadette McDaid is Global Head of Red Bull Studios, a premium content label which develops, commissions, finances and distributes award-worthy content worldwide. Based in Salzburg, Austria, with offices in LA and in London, Red Bull Studios partners with best-in-class filmmakers, broadcasters, and streamers, to tell globally relevant stories of inspiration and aspiration through premium documen... read more

Bernadette McDaid is Global Head of Red Bull Studios, a premium content label which develops, commissions, finances and distributes award-worthy content worldwide.

Based in Salzburg, Austria, with offices in LA and in London, Red Bull Studios partners with best-in-class filmmakers, broadcasters, and streamers, to tell globally relevant stories of inspiration and aspiration through premium documentary film and series.

A multi award-winning filmmaker and Commissioning Executive, previously, McDaid was Acting Head of Development and Programming for National Geographic, London, and prior, Head of Content for Discovery Science in Washington DC. McDaid is the recipient of a Cine Award for Excellence and four Emmy nominations for Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. She has also been nominated for an Outstanding Science and Technology Programming Emmy for Creating Synthetic Life and secured two Emmy wins with Stephen Spielberg for Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero. In 2020, her work with filmmaker Tom Jennings on Apollo: Missions to the Moon saw the feature documentary succeed over Black Mirror, Deadwood and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie to win the prestigious Producer Guild of American award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures.

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Kate Phillips
Director of unscripted, BBC

Chris Rice
Co-CEO, Endeavor Content

Rice is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Endeavor Content, one of the world’s leading independent film & TV studios. Endeavor Content creates, produces and distributes over 40 feature films and television series a year. In television, the studio produces series including Severance, Tokyo Vice, Nine Perfect Strangers, vLife & Beth, See and Truth Be Told and distributes award-winning series inc... read more

Rice is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Endeavor Content, one of the world’s leading independent film & TV studios.

Endeavor Content creates, produces and distributes over 40 feature films and television series a year. In television, the studio produces series including Severance, Tokyo Vice, Nine Perfect Strangers, vLife & Beth, See and Truth Be Told and distributes award-winning series including Killing Eve, Normal People, The Morning Show, Pachinko and The Night Manager amongst many others. EC’s recent film titles include the multi-Oscar nominated The Lost Daughter from Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lin Manuel Miranda’s, In the Heights, The Michael B. Jordan starring Just Mercy and Michael Bay’s, Ambulance.

Prior to the formation of Endeavor Content, Rice was a partner at WME IMG where he led WME’s international television group and oversaw entertainment financing and distribution for IMG. Before joining WME, Rice was Co-founder of Cinnamon Entertainment, a financing, production, and sales company.

Rice has been an advisor to multiple media and distribution businesses and was part of the investment team at Creative Capital Fund, a venture capital fund focused on media investments. Rice received an MBA with distinction from London Business School.

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Sally Riley
Head of Scripted Production, ABC Australia

Michael Thorn
President, entertainment, FOX Entertainment

As president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment, Thorn is responsible for all scripted programming and development, as well as casting at FOX, and oversees original scripted live-action and animated content for FOX Entertainment’s streaming AVOD service, Tubi. FOX series Thorn oversees are the hit dramas 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star; The Cleaning Lady, FOX’s most-watched drama premiere in tw... read more

As president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment, Thorn is responsible for all scripted programming and development, as well as casting at FOX, and oversees original scripted live-action and animated content for FOX Entertainment’s streaming AVOD service, Tubi.

FOX series Thorn oversees are the hit dramas 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star; The Cleaning Lady, FOX’s most-watched drama premiere in two years; The Resident; and highly-anticipated dramas Monarch, starring Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins and Anna Friel, which is fully owned by FOX Entertainment; and Accused, from Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa and David Shore. FOX comedies under Thorn’s purview include Call Me Kat, the 2020-21 season’s #1 new comedy; Pivoting; and Welcome To Flatch, from Jenny Bicks and Paul Feig.

Thorn also is responsible for overseeing FOX’s slate of iconic animated hits, including The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Duncanville, The Great North, Housebroken and upcoming Krapopolis, from Dan Harmon; and Grimsburg, starring and executive-produced by Jon Hamm. Both Krapopolis and Grimsburg are 100% owned by FOX Entertainment.

Before FOX, Thorn was executive vice president of development at 20th Century Fox Television, where he led scripted development efforts on This Is Us, Empire, Life in Pieces and Speechless, among others.

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Niklas Vestberg
Head of formats and development, TV4

Vestberg heads up the department of formats and development at TV4, commissioning the non-scripted titles for the channel and its platforms – from documentaries and talk shows to international format successes such as The Masked Singer, Survivor and Masterchef. After studies in media, communications and journalism Vestberg joined TV4 in 2006, starting out as executive producer for Who Wants To B... read more

Vestberg heads up the department of formats and development at TV4, commissioning the non-scripted titles for the channel and its platforms – from documentaries and talk shows to international format successes such as The Masked Singer, Survivor and Masterchef. After studies in media, communications and journalism Vestberg joined TV4 in 2006, starting out as executive producer for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Come Dine With Me, among other formats. In 2010 he added responsibility for both production and acquisitions of kids content at TV4, before taking the role as format manager, acquiring international formats for the channel.

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Rob Wade
President, alternative entertainment and specials, FOX Entertainment

Wade joined FOX Entertainment as president, alternative entertainment and specials, in 2017. He oversees FOX’s unscripted programming, specials and alternative development slate, and its in-house studio, FOX Alternative Entertainment (FAE). Under Wade, FOX has launched numerous hit series, including The Masked Singer, which is produced by FAE. Along with Studio Ramsay Global, FAE produces Gordo... read more

Wade joined FOX Entertainment as president, alternative entertainment and specials, in 2017. He oversees FOX’s unscripted programming, specials and alternative development slate, and its in-house studio, FOX Alternative Entertainment (FAE).

Under Wade, FOX has launched numerous hit series, including The Masked Singer, which is produced by FAE. Along with Studio Ramsay Global, FAE produces Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition, Next Level Chef, this season’s #1 new entertainment program. Other FAE programs include Fall 2021’s #1 new unscripted series, Alter Ego; last season’s #1 new unscripted program, I Can See Your Voice; Domino Masters; Name That Tune; Crime Scene Kitchen, Summer 2021’s #1 new series (with Fly on the Wall Entertainment); Lego Masters; and Beat Shazam.

Wade also is responsible for overseeing TMZ, including its hit programs, TMZ and TMZ LIVE. Moreover, he is responsible for all series produced by Studio Ramsay Global, the production entity launched by Gordon Ramsay and FOX Entertainment.

Prior to FOX, Wade served as showrunner on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and was the head of entertainment development at BBC Worldwide. He was an executive producer on FOX’s The X Factor and NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and was head of TV at SyCo Entertainment North America.

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Filippa Wallestam
EVP and chief content officer, Viaplay Group

Wallestam is executive vice president & chief content officer at Viaplay Group, the international streaming challenger. Prior to taking on this role in October 2019, Wallestam held positions including CEO of the company’s Swedish operations and head of strategy for free-TV and radio in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. She joined the company in 2014 having previously worked as a strategy consultan... read more

Wallestam is executive vice president & chief content officer at Viaplay Group, the international streaming challenger. Prior to taking on this role in October 2019, Wallestam held positions including CEO of the company’s Swedish operations and head of strategy for free-TV and radio in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. She joined the company in 2014 having previously worked as a strategy consultant at Boston Consulting Group in London and New York, and at Daily Mail General Trust. Wallestam holds an MSc in economics and business administration from Stockholm school of economics.

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Trish Williams
Executive director, scripted content, CBC

As executive director, scripted content at CBC, Williams has creative oversight of the public broadcaster’s distinctive slate of drama, comedy, film, radio comedy and YA digital original programming. Williams was appointed to the role in 2019. Working with the best Canadian talent from around the country, recent additions to the Scripted programming line-up are the breakthrough Peabody-winning c... read more

As executive director, scripted content at CBC, Williams has creative oversight of the public broadcaster’s distinctive slate of drama, comedy, film, radio comedy and YA digital original programming. Williams was appointed to the role in 2019. Working with the best Canadian talent from around the country, recent additions to the Scripted programming line-up are the breakthrough Peabody-winning comedy Sort Of featuring Bilal Baig as a gender-fluid nanny and the delightfully hilarious ratings hit Sonof a Critch starring Benjamin Ainsworth, Mark Critch and Malcolm McDowell. Recently announced new drama programming includes the epic and groundbreaking mini-series Bones of Crows by Indigenous writer/director/producer Marie Clements, the adaptation of Quebecois hit series Plan B starring Patrick J Adams and Karine Vanasse and Essex County, based on the graphic novels by celebrated author Jeff Lemire. Current airing and streaming programming highlights on CBC, GEM and Radio One include Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, Workin’Moms, Pretty Hard Cases, Because News and The Debaters. Williams has held senior creative roles in media since 2008 when she joined CTV/Bell Media. Before joining CBC in 2019, Trish served as Vice President, Temple Street, where she oversaw the creative execution of series for production as well as the sourcing and development of IP and original series for primetime cable, pay, conventional and OTT platforms. As Director of Drama at Bell Media, she led a team handling all development and production of original drama series and movies across CTV, Space, Bravo, TMN/HBO Canada, and MUCH. Some select highlights include greenlighting the international hit Orphan Black, as well as rating successes Saving Hope and Motive and the critical darlings Sensitive Skin and The LA Complex.

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