Media Finance Focus 2021 


Note: This is a preliminary agenda and will change frequently prior to the conference.

Sunday, May 23


12:30 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.   MFM Executive Committee Meeting


2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.      MFM Board of Directors Meeting

12:30 p.m- 5:00 p.m.    Pre-Registered Attendees Materials Pick-Up    


5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.      Newcomers Reception (Invitation Only)   

5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.      Chairmen's Reception

Sponsored by Hearst Television/Corporation

     Open to all full-conference registrants. 


7:01 p.m.                     Dinner on your own! ENJOY Tampa!

Monday, May 24


7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.      Registration Desk Open (on-site registration available)


7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.      Welcome Coffee 

sponsored by Marketron 


8:30 a.m.-10:10 a.m.        1. Opening General Session with Keynote Speaker
                                            Sponsored by

Keynote Speakers: TBA 


10:10 a.m.-10:30 a.m.        Coffee/Refreshment Break

sponsored by Manship Media 


10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m            2Speed Networking for Credit/Collections Professionals

This interactive session will provide credit & collection professionals with an opportunity to polish their networking skills and interact with numerous peers. This exercise allows participants to interact in a small group in order to network with each other in short intervals (approx. 15 minutes). During this time, attendees will have a chance to exchange business cards, share knowledge and insights on current industry trends, and perfect their networking abilities in a non-intimidating environment.



10:30 a.m.-11:20 a.m.      Breakout Sessions

3.  Streaming and Its Impact on Traditional Media
This will be a two part session.  Part one will discuss the proliferation of video streaming services, the various business models currently employed, the impact on traditional video media providers and consumers now, and what lies ahead.  Part two will be a deep dive into the recent launch of Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming service.

4.  Accounting and Reporting Update- Public Companies
This session is a one-stop shop for the latest updates from the FASB and SEC.  Speaker(s) will discuss accounting and financial reporting hot topics, including accounting standards that are effective in 2020 and beyond, as well as a regulatory update. 

5.  Video Games Industry Trends

6.  Alternative Sources of Revenue

7.  Tax Roundtable (Media Industry Tax Group)
This is an open forum discussion involving tax issues on a federal and state level. Audit roll-call and discussion of federal tax issues.  


11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.      Breakout Sessions

8.  Consumers Load Up on Entertainment Subscriptions...Have we reached the 
      "Churning Point"?

9.   Accounting and Reporting Update - Private Companies 

10. Video Games Sales Trends

11. ATSC 3.0 from Concept to Reality
As the transition to ATSC 3.0 progresses through markets across the country, join in a discussion between John Robertson, Senior Director of Finance- Hearst Television and Dave Folsom, Retired Chief Technology Officer of Raycom Media and Current Lead Technical Consultant to the Pearl Group. Together they will give an update focusing the progress made to date in transitioning the top markets, key technical considerations around implementation, regulatory requirements and the financial impact of the new broadcast standard. 

12. Legal Notices/Legislative Updates (Newspaper)

13. Federal Tax Update (Media Industry Tax Group)                                    


12:20 p.m.-1:20 p.m        Committee Luncheon (invitation only-ticket needed for entry)  

   Sponsored by American Express


All other attendees lunch on your own -- purchase lunch ticket ($30) or onsite ($38 -- while supplies last) for lunch


1:30 p.m.-3:20 p.m.            14. Internal Audit Roundtable

In a safe, informal environment, Controllership and Internal Auditors join together to discuss use of data analytics, how to audit top industry risks, evaluating COSO and SOX controls, characteristics of the new auditor, retaining and finding talent, and a  variety of other topics. 

1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m.        Breakout Sessions

15. Cybersecurity
Not a day goes by when we don't hear of another cybersecurity related incident. In this informative and eye-opening session, we will cover latest developments in information security, the devious nature of cyber criminals, and demonstrate how easy it is to duplicate a website, with audience interaction. We will close by detailing out steps you can take to protect your company and yourself from cyber criminals.

16. Media Trends Update

17. Speed Mentoring for Young Professionals
The Young Professionals Committee is offering access to some of the most trusted and experienced experts in the media industry during this session! Connect with a group of mentors to ask questions on career development or get to know someone new in the industry. Mentees will rotate to several mentors during our 50 minute session. Please sign up for this session at the registration desk when picking up conference materials.

18. Cost Management

19. Consumer Insights/Streaming and Advertising

20. Taxation of the Digital Economy

2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.      Breakout Sessions & Roundtables

21. Television Roundtable
A lively unscripted discussion of operating issues and hot topics of interest to television professionals. Come to discuss actual challenges and/or successes. This is an opportunity to network with, and learn from, your peers. 

22. Getting into the Weeds on Marijuana and CBD Advertising
In recent years, states have increasingly opted to legalize certain uses of marijuana, opening a risky, but potential lucrative, stream of advertising revenue for media companies.  With 2018’s Farm Bill, Congress decriminalized certain hemp products.  This laid the groundwork for a multi-million dollar industry for the legal production, sale, and advertising of hemp-based products, including some CBD oils, although many complications remain.  This panel will discuss some potential pitfalls and complications involved in accepting advertising for marijuana and hemp-derived products.

23. Digital Ad Sales Strategies

24. TBA

25. Blockchain & In Game Economics

26. Tax Considerations for the CPA/Accountant Not in Charge of Tax

3:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.         Refreshment Break

Sponsored by WideOrbit

3:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m.         Roundtable

27. Radio


3:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.         Breakout Sessions 

28. Drones

29. Residual Payments
Update on new residuals affecting SVOD and other new platforms.

30. Games Legal Issues

31. Newscycle - Newspaper

32. Terms of (Un)endearment: Evaluating and Responding to Customer Terms

Credit professionals are confronting a growing trend of customers either demanding extended trade terms or simply engaging in self-help and stretching payments beyond – often way beyond – existing terms.  The speakers will discuss the reasons why terms pushback is a growing trend, how to evaluate whether a customer’s terms pushback efforts are a sign of financial distress or merely an attempt to obtain “free” working capital (or both), and strategies for responding to terms pushback.

33. Financial Reporting for Income Taxes


4:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m.         Breakout Sessions & Roundtables 

34. Robotics & AI

35. Spotlight: User Research or Art of the Game

36. Newspaper Operations Roundtable

37. Lease Accounting - Lessons Learned

38. Cash Forecasting in Credit 

39. Wayfair Impact on Income and Gross Receipts Taxes

4:30 p.m.                         Exhibit Hall Opens


5:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m.          Exhibit Hall Opening Night Reception 

   Sponsored by Nexstar Media Group

Join us as we open the Exhibition Hall for cocktails and light hors-d'oeuvres!


7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.      Opening Night Event 

Sponsored by Szabo Associates and MFM/BCCA

at Madame Tussauds Hollywood

 Tuesday, May 19

7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.           Registration Desk Open


8:00 a.m.-9:50 a.m.          40. Seated Breakfast followed by General Session 
                                             Sponsored by 

(Breakfast served until 8:45am)

A View from the Top Panel
Kasey Montoya, KTLA

Keynote Panelists: Jeff Korlik, President, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned Regional Sports Networks

Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group

Randy Pitchford, President & CEO, Gearbox  


9:50 a.m.-10:45 a.m.          Refreshments in Exhibit Hall & Games Socializing with YPs

10:45 a.m.-12:35 p.m.        Young Professionals Roundtable

41. Workplace Culture & Diversity
Join the YP committee for a group discussion on subjects related to young professionals and working with them in the media industry today. This year’s topics will include workplace culture, diversity & inclusion, and leadership & development. Open to conference attendees of all ages!

42. Bankruptcy (and other credit/collection issues) Boot Camp  

10:45 a.m.-11:35 a.m.      Breakout Sessions

43. The Future of Media 

44.  What's Up in Washington for Broadcasters?

45. Legal Issues of Employment (Newspaper)
Quickie Elections, the latest from the NLRB, dealing with unions.

46. Games Industry Valuation

47. State and Local Legislative Update (Media Tax Group)


11:45 a.m.-12:35 p.m.      Breakout Sessions

48. Credit Cards
The evolution of maximizing value of card acceptance (e.g. payment portals) with potential industry specific call outs of use/value cases (e.g. political advertising).

49. Music Licensing - TV & Radio
Local Radio and TV broadcasters pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the
PROs – ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR.  Bill Velez, Executive Director of the RMLC, and Janet McHugh, Executive Director of the TVMLC, will discuss music license fees now and in the future i.e. why you pay what you pay and whether you can expect fee adjustments in the future.  They will also give you news from Capitol Hill such as the US Department of Justice’s ongoing review of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees.  Join us for an interesting and lively discussion.

50. Consumer Trends and Demographics of Those Who Stream
Streaming and how are those usage trends changing?  What surprises and opportunities lie in the demographics?  How will the data be different in five years? 

51. Heard on the Street
The flow of information is essential to the capital markets. Every quarter, executives at publicly traded companies organize earnings calls that provide access to the investment community, where analysts covering companies can gain insights into management’s thinking, strategy, and progress. Curious about the topics covered in earnings calls for video game companies? Join Heard on the Street, where we’ll share insights with you from the most recent calls and highlight key trends/issues in the industry.

52. Federal Legislative Tax Update 


12:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m.       Buffet Luncheon in Exhibit Hall


2:00 p.m.-3:50 p.m.       Roundtables

53. CFO Roundtable (invitation only)

Sponsored by KPMG and Bond & Pecaro

54. Newspaper Controllers Roundtable


2:00 p.m.-2:50 p.m.        Breakout Sessions

55. Production Accounting

56. Monetization Strategies

57. B2B Checks are Facing Extinction in Media
In an era shaped by technology innovations that have changed the way we live and work, it’s hard to believe that there are media agencies still writing checks to pay suppliers. While the majority of industry leaders have taken the plunge to electronic payment systems, as both suppliers and agencies are looking to speed up the payment process by automating invoices, there are still hesitations and questions surrounding the adoption of more modern payment technologies. In this presentation, we will address how to bring measurable time and cost savings to your accounts payable team with B2B payments technology specifically adapted to expedite the payments process for the media industry.

58. Digital & Analytics

59. Due Diligence in M&A

3:00 p.m.-3:50 p.m.        Breakout Sessions

60. The Digital Addition: How to Incorporate Digital Revenue Streams Into Traditional Media Business
Revenue from digital inventory continues to soar for broadcasters. With early adopters leading the way, some broadcasters are wondering how to tackle the challenges that come with digital growth. Organizations must ensure advertisers can amplify their reach across terrestrial and digital formats without adding expenses that negate the benefits of the new digital tactics. From org charts and compensation models to back office systems, this panel will share best practices from media companies that are successfully tackling the digital landscape today.

61. Auditing New Technologies
In this presentation, our presenter will help to identify the risks to financial reporting associated with new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.  Also being addressed are the challenges associated with auditing in this new technology driven era these technologies and expectations related to internal controls to respond to news risks corresponding controls in relation to the COSO framework that should be in place operationally.

62. Aligning Finance & Talent Technologies (Tax)

63. Esports

64. RPI vs AI and the Future of A/R: How to Prepare for the Age of Digital Automation
More dangerous than the uncertainty around super-intelligence and possible abuse of AI is the belief that AI is the future. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Artificial Intelligence is the present and it is all around us. We carry it in our pockets, it’s in our cars and homes and influences our lives on a scale bigger than we realize. While the smart minds continue to explore the seemingly infinite potential of this technology, the reality of its penetration rates in the world of Credit and A/R continues to lag far behind the hype. So what’s standing in the way of AI realizing its potential for A/R?

65. Credit Card Surcharge Legalities

3:50 p.m.-4:30 p.m.        Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall

Sponsored by Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP 

4:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m.         Breakout Session

66. Newspaper Valuation

67. TBA

68. Mergers - Integration of Systems

69. Artificial Intelligence

70. Esports Case Studies

71. Outsourcing...or Insourcing? Values, Challenges & Pitfalls

72. Employment Taxes

5:45 p.m.-7:15 p.m.          Happy Hour with Awards Ceremony/Concert

5:45 PM    Happy Hour w/ drinks and light hors-d'oeuvres in Exhibit Hall

6:30 PM    Awards 

Rainmaker Award Winners:

Stephen Clare, Entercom Communications

Doug Lyons, The E. W. Scripps Company

Kent Nate, Bonneville International

Working Capital Award Winners:

Robin Stephenson, Tribune Publishing

George Berbari, A&E Networks

Sean Hetzler, TEGNA

6:45 PM    Concert/Entertainment

BMI singer/songwriters The Sharks featuring lead singer Dennis Quaid

7:15 p.m.                         Open Evening - Dinner on your own...enjoy LA/Hollywood

Wednesday, May 20


7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        Registration Desk Open

7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.        Attendee Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall 

Sponsored by EY                                  


8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.      73. General Session


MFM Annual Membership Meeting


Keynote Speaker #1: Brian Bark, SVP/CIO, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Jack Zwaska Career Achievement Award: Chuck Sennet, Assistant General Counsel, Tribune Media

Keynote Speaker #2: TBA, Deloitte

Peter F. Szabo Award: Dee Stevenson, Gray Media Group

10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.       Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall

10:30 a.m.                         Exhibit Hall Closes 


10:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.     Roundtable

74. Networks, Programming and Streaming/Interactive & Digital Media


10:30 a.m.-11:20 a.m.       Breakout Sessions

75. Finance Effectiveness/Operational Pain

76. Robotics Process Automation - Newspaper

77. Automating the Close

78. Mobile (Games)

79. Who owns the Consumer Billing Relationship in the streaming world? 

80. Sales/Credit Relationship

11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.       Breakout Sessions & Roundtables

81. The Move to Impressions Based Selling

82. TBA

83. Cross Media Opportunities

84. Automation – Governance, Risks and Controls
While the potential for benefits from automation such as robotic process automation is great, so are the risk-related implications of this technology. How does management know what these automations are doing, or when they start to get off track? Have the right controls been put in place to mitigate key risks?  Will it meet audit requirements?  In this session we discuss the importance of governance, risk and control considerations for organizations implementing and managing automation/RPA. 

85. Newspaper Unscripted Roundtable

86. Media Credit Roundtable - Wrapping it all Up

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.       Luncheon 

News Headlines by local newscaster (TBA)
Entertainment TBA

Presentation of the William Shriftman Memorial Award Scholarship


2:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.        Dessert,  Final Prize and Grand Prize Drawing sponsored by BARR Credit Services 

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.         87. Closing General Session (motivational speaker TBA)

3:30 p.m.                        Conference Adjourns...

See you next year Media Finance Focus 2021 in Tampa, Florida


NMIA/Internal Auditors Staff Training 

(Open to ALL NMIA and Media Internal Auditors - not additional fee required)


Wednesday, May 20


3:40 p.m. - 6:10 p.m.        90. Internal Audit (NMIA) Staff and Management Roundtable

Thursday, May 21


8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.       91.  Internal Audit (NMIA) Staff and Management Roundtable


Speaker/Company disclaimers:

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the “Deloitte” name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.

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