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2021 Virtual Conference Agenda 


All times are Eastern Time Zone

Conference Guide

Thursday, July 1

1:00pm - 2:00pm

29. Localization

Moderator: Marcy Magiera, DEG

Speakers:  Chris Carey lyuno, SDI Group; and Teresa Phillips, Spherex

The business of localization has grown in tandem with the explosion of streaming video services around the world. This session will provide perspective on the value localization adds to content, as well as the opportunities and challenges for localization at this time of robust growth.

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

30. Automation of Segregation of Duties (SOD) and Access Certifications - A Primer for Getting Started

Moderator: Susan Balk, Hearst Corporation

Panelists: Greg Page, Tribune Publishing; Michael Sutton, Tribune Publishing; and Ivan Ng, Hearst 
Are you challenged by heightened scrutiny and increased demands from auditors around the documentation of your User Access and SOD certifications?  Does the manual nature of these reviews make it difficult and time-consuming to effectively manage your application's security design risks? If you answered yes to either or both of these question, attend this conference session to learn why effective security roles and establishing the scope of your certifications are the foundational first steps to getting started.  Panelists from Tribune Publishing and Hearst will share their experience and lessons learned and answer questions.

(CPE: AU-Audit/1/Intermediate)

Tuesday, July 6

1:00pm - 2:00pm

31. Jumpstart Your A/P process Through Efficient Use of Credit Cards
Sponsored by
American Express

Moderator:  Griff Dudley, American Express

Panelists: Stephen Mecham, American Express; and Lisa Ahern, Effectv

With new critical issues and opportunities birthed during COVID-19, advertisers must understand the true needs of their customers and have a clear view of the industry landscape. There is a heightened focused on automating A/R to adapt for buyer needs, especially in the small business space via credit card acceptance. Credit card acceptance also plays a vital role in ensuring the industry wide transition to direct to consumer business does not mean a loss of customers.  Please join American Express as they welcome real world stories from guests who have had experience with the shift to credit card acceptance and who will bring to life the value of being able to utilize credit card as a buyer in their industries.

(CPE: MS-Management Services/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

32. The Compounding Effect of Marginal Gains

Sponsored by WideOrbit

Moderator: Tim Swift, WideOrbit

Panelist: Elizabeth Bramowski, Audacy Inc.; Cordie DePascale, PremiumMedia360; and Kim Parker, Graham Media

With changes in technology and audience habits, media publishers are constantly looking for the next big thing to help them better deliver successful ad-supported content. But even small process improvements can often compound to produce impactful results. Finding marginal improvements across each area of business today can lead to large overall gains in the future.  This panel discussion will explore how top media companies are leveraging leading technologies to make incremental improvements to workflow and process efficiencies, helping reduce operational costs and capture additional revenue

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1/Overview)


Wednesday, July 7

2:00pm - 2:50pm

RT 9.1 - Roundtable: Television

Moderators: Tracy Clark, Hearst Television; and Lori Brock, Meredith Local Media Group
An unscripted discussion of operating issues and hot topics of interest to television professionals.  Come and discuss actual challenges and/or successes.  This is an opportunity to network with, and learn from, your peers.

(CPE: BMO-Business Management & Organization/1/Advance)

2:00pm - 2:50pm

RT 10.1 - Tax - State & Local Update

Moderator:  Kenny Levine, Reed Smith

Panelist: DeAndre Morrow, Reed Smith

Join us for an update on nationwide state and local corporate tax developments, including potential refund opportunities and audit issues to watch out for.  Topics will be wide-ranging: state transfer pricing audits, apportionment, NOLs, franchise taxes, and more.

(CPE: T - Tax/1/Advance)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

RT 10.2 - Roundtable: Tax - State & Local Update

Moderator:  Paul Nesterovsky, Sinclair Broadcast Group

This session is limited to In-house tax professionals who will share recent audit and litigation experiences involving all types of state and local taxes with the emphasis on the media-related issues.

(CPE: T - Tax/1/Advance)

Thursday, July 8

1:00pm - 2:00pm

33. What's Up in Washington?

Moderator:  Paul Kelly, KTRK-TV/ABC
Speakers:  David Oxenford, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP; and Rick Kaplan, NAB
While much has changed in the last year, DC regulation of broadcasters, cable companies and other media entities continues on.  This session will provide information about the latest issues in media regulation from the FCC and Congress.  Topics that will likely be discussed include the composition of the FCC and Congress and what that means for regulation, the potential for more regulation of online media entities and how that may affect traditional media; the status of changes to the FCC’s media ownership rules; possible modifications to the FCC’s EEO rules and legislative efforts to bring back the minority tax certificate; music licensing and other copyright issues; advertising issues; changes in technical rules for both radio and TV; and many other matters under consideration in our nation’s capital. 

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1/Update)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

34. The Fast Innovating Business of Sports and Other Media Businesses’ NFTs

Moderator: Richard Taub, Pequan Group

Panelist: Mark McElwain, BigToken; and Jake Craven, Breaker

Why are major sports leagues and other content  owners investing so much in the digital collectible industry (aka NFT’s, or Non-Fungible Tokens) and how will the digitization of the content-related collectibles industry change our companies?  Join this session to learn why the NBA, Fox, Warner, Mattel, even Twitter’s Jack Dorsey are creating these new assets, their revenue potential and what your company needs to know from the most complete set of research data covering this space. This will be the first time this research is shared anywhere.

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1/Overview)

Tuesday, July 13

1:00pm - 2:00pm

35. Remote Work Force

Moderator: Dan McGuire, KPMG

Panelists: Reagan Aikins, KPMG; and Daniel De Jong, KPMG

This session will examine tax implications resulting from working remotely. What happens when emergency rulings which provide tax relief for remote workers expire?  What happens when employees work in a state where your company doesn’t have a presence? Some states are suing other states in an effort to secure tax dollars – others are offering tax incentives to lure work from home employees. How do these efforts affect your company?   

(CPE: T - Tax/1/Overview) 

3:00pm - 4:00pm

36. Newspaper Mergers, Acquisitions and Values Valuation

Moderator: John Sanders, Bond & Pecaro

Panelists: Sara April, Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April; Jamie Paxton, Paxton Media Group; and Douglas Arthur, Huber Research

As the country has gradually gains control of the COVID-19 Pandemic which disrupted the entire media sector, the newspaper market in 2020-2021 continues face economic and operational headwinds, with strategic buyers rationalizing regional holdings, local non-profits assuming control of major metropolitan newspapers, and private equity firms acquiring large newspaper groups.  A panel of experienced finance professionals and operators will explore newspaper valuation trends in this dynamic and unprecedented marketplace, including major metropolitan and secondary markets.  Additional useful topics will include how deals are being structured, leveraging acquisitions for financial success, digital strategies, and how to maximize the operational benefits of consolidation.

(CPE: MS-Management Services/1/Overview)

Wednesday, July 14

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 11.1  - Roundtable: Internal Audit #2

Moderator: Kevin Schmitz, Meredith Corporation

Speakers: Vicki Coxon, PwC; Robyn Conlon, PwC; and Somdatta Ghosh, PwC

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.

(CPE: AU-Auditing/2/Advance) 

Thursday, July 15

1:00pm - 2:30pm 

37. GENERAL SESSION - Keynote Speakers

Sponsored by Deloitte

Speaker: Dr. Gunnar Wiedenfels, CFO, Discovery

Part One: Maintaining Corporate Culture in a Changing World

Culture is inexorably linked with leadership; leadership is what’s necessary to build and maintain a high performing organization. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels understands this equation well. In March of 2018, Discovery Communications, Inc. acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. Among his challenges was designing a new culture that leveraged the best of both companies. With the arrival of the pandemic in 2020, the company had to transform communication and connection while supporting employee well-being and responding to a myriad of issues including those around social justice. Our speaker will talk about how he approached the question of building and evolving corporate culture in a way that engages and supports talent despite a changing world.

Speaker: Pete Giorgio, Deloitte
Part 2: Sports Outlook for 2021

Looking ahead, the US sports industry has an unprecedented opportunity to reevaluate its business models and build a new future. Success will likely require that sports organizations develop strong connections with customers, robust sensing and modeling capabilities, and the ability to continually reinvent how they think and operate. This session will explore strategic opportunities that organizations can take to boldly position their businesses to thrive in the future.

(CPE: BMO-Business Management & Organization/1.5/Overview)

BCCA Contributor Award Presentation to
Mary McKenna, VP Global Head Customer Finance Operations
at NBC Universal

3:00pm - 4:00pm

38. Music Licensing

Speakers: Janet McHugh, TVMLC; and Bill Velez, RMLC

Join Bill Velez of the Radio Music License Committee and Janet McHugh of the Television Music License Committee as they review the “ins and outs” which means the “dollars and cents” of music licensing.  Local TV and Radio continue to pay millions of dollars to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC but most folks in the industry don’t understand why.  Bill and Janet will explain everything and tell you what is new in the world of music licensing.

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1/Advance)

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Tuesday, July 20

1:00pm - 2:00pm

39. How To Go Back To Working In The Office, After Working Remotely

Sponsored by Szabo Associates
Moderator: Dee Stevenson, Gray Media Group

Panelists: Ed Ienner, Meredith Corporation; Christine Lipani, Meredith Corporation; and Ellen Lehr, Audacy

Most people think working remotely (from home) is the equivalent of “living the dream.” And for some people (like me), it is. But remote work isn’t everyone’s’ ideal setup and many remote workers make the decision to go back to the office. Regardless of loving your remote situation or not, it will be an adjustment and even a challenge to make the jump from the remote situation back into an office.  But it doesn’t have to be…. This session will share tips for making the leap from working remotely to working back in the office a successful one.

(CPE: MS-Management Services/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

40. Political Hot Topics - Labor Relations

Moderator: Lori Brock, Meredith Local Media Group

Panelists: Dave Masud, Masud Labor Law Group; and Dana Neves, Meredith Corporation
The political change in Washington will created changes on the labor front.  Make up of the NLRB has changed, Quickie elections could be coming back, the pro-act will be in congress and the status of independent contractors could be changing.

(CPE: BL-Business Law/1/Intermediate)

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Wednesday, July 21

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 12.1 - Joint Roundtable: Networks, Programming, and Streaming/Interactive and Digital Media 

Leaders: Antonella Ricciardi, NBCU; Lori Locke, Discovery; Jen Hurley, The Washington Post; and Kimberly Phillips, ESPN/The Walt Disney Company
An open discussion about topics of interest to the media industry and related accounting considerations.  Subjects will include COVID-19 and the challenges related to the pandemic, advertising and other business trends, recent accounting pronouncements, and more.  

(CPE: BMO-Business Management & Organization/2/Advance)

Thursday, July 22

1:00pm - 2:00pm

41. Privacy Regulations

Moderator: John Sanders, Bond & Pecaro

Speaker: Duane Pozza, Wiley Rein

This presentation will focus on privacy and data issues that are critical for companies to consider, as the collection and use of consumer data continues to grow.  Data can be collected and used in a wide range of ways that are beneficial for both companies and consumers.  But companies must be mindful of privacy laws, including those recently passed in California and Virginia, and under consideration in other states and at the federal level.  Companies also face cybersecurity threats and must deal with securing data within the company.  This presentation will discuss both legal issues and practical approaches to managing consumer data and privacy concerns.

(CPE: BL-Business Law/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

42. Future of Operational Audits...Risk and Compliance Management Through Assurance Mapping

Moderator:  Marcus Anjewierden, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Speaker: Lauren Nakabayashi, Deloitte

In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the assurance requirements from Board members and other stakeholders and these are here to stay.  This is a methodology for mapping out these assurance requirements to plan how to ensure all of them are covered sufficiently.  This approach can be used for compliance requirements (e.g. health and safety) or the risks of the company.

(CPE: AU-Auditing/1/Advance)

Tuesday, July 27

11:00am - 12:00pm

43. Preparing for an Audit (Tax)

Moderator: Sean Hetzler, TEGNA

Panelists: Matthew Cooper, Deloitte; and John Keenan, Deloitte

Experts plan to cover preparing for an IRS audit and give a general update on the state of the IRS.  Trends, industry themes, what to say and what not to say.

(CPE: T - Tax/1/Advance)

1:00pm - 2:00pm

44. Digital Transformation and Trends in Finance & Accounting

Sponsored by Szabo Associates

Moderator:  Beth Bramowski, Audacy
Speaker:  Sanjay Srivastava, Genpact; Marie Leonore Faiez, Genpact; Ankur Pitaliya, Genpact; and Brajesh Jha, Genpact

This session will provide an overview on the latest digital trends in Finance and Accounting in the media industry – with a focus on orchestrating process, people, data and technology.

(CPE: CSA-Computer Software & Applications/1/Intermediate)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

45. Data Acquiescence to Data Activism: Why Legislation & Technology Must Work Together To Provide Data Protection and Monetization

Speakers: Brittany Kaiser, Own Your Data Foundation and the Digital Asset Trade Association; George Stella, BigToken; and Gilbert Hill, FinFlo

Most of the data privacy legislation around the world addresses transparency, consent to data uses and tracking. These laws provide people the ability to request a copy of their data footprint and some legislation is starting to enforce opt-in/opt-out rules, however, we’re miles away from users being able to monetize their data, track exactly how their data is used and be able to approve certain use cases.  This past year, our lives have been almost completely online and while we’re slowly going back to pre-pandemic activity, a lot of behaviors that we adopted while being home will stick with us. More people will browse and shop online, work remote, chat virtually, book virtual appointments, and so much more. We’ve created a massive amount of new data which has fundamentally changed consumer behaviors, and securing that data, making sure we’re not exploiting that data needs to be our focus as people involved in media, technology, and legislation. This panel will discuss the recent shift from data acquiescence to data activism and why legislators and technologists must work together to enact ethical standards of data use and provide the necessary technology for people to exercise their data rights.

(CPE: CSA-Computer Software & Applications/1/Intermediate)

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Wednesday, July 28

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 13.1 - Roundtable: Games
Jerry Calixto, Take Two Interactive; 
Michael Noguera, The Gearbox Entertainment; and Gerald Ratigan, Gearbox Software

Join your fellow games finance professionals in an open forum on issues facing the games community.

(CPE: BMO-Business Management & Organization/2/Advance)

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 14.1 - Roundtable: Newspaper Unscripted

Moderators: Mike Lavey, Tribune Publishing Company; and Steve Hall, Las Vegas Review-Journal
This session is an open discussion focusing on issues of interest to Newspaper Controllers and other Finance personnel. Topics will include Accounting and Finance operations in a “post”-pandemic environment, providing meaningful and timely management reporting, accounting for the impact of Covid-19 on the balance sheet, managing expenses and cash flows, real estate management, contract renegotiations and managing staffing as it relates to retention and morale in a remote working world.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn from and share with your peers in our industry.

CPE: MS-Management Services/2/Advance)

Thursday, July 29

11:00am - 12:30pm

Closing Brunch/Lunch







1:00pm  - 2:00pm

46. Why Understanding a Cyber Attack Is Important to You

Moderator:  Andrew Rosen, Miller Kaplan 
Speaker: David Lam, Miller Kaplan

It seems that just about every week we are hearing about another major cyber attack. This session will cover how to help prevent the fallout from these attacks by taking simple steps based on understanding how the hackers work and what defenses are available. We will cover the anatomy of a recent attack and commercially reasonable practices to protect yourself and your company.

(CPE: CSA - Computer Services & Application/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

47. Portfolio Scoring

Moderator:  Melissa Balderas, WBBM-TV/CBS
Panelists: Shreesha Murthy, Meredith India; Ed Ienner, Meredith Corporation; and Arcelia Pimentel, BCCA/Media Whys 
This session will discuss best practices and important resources to help you understand how to assess customer creditworthiness and how to make better-informed low to medium-risk decisions for your business. The right informed credit decision can affect your company’s bottom line.   Navigating this important information and the best resources to use to get it is key -- forecasting financial risk over the last 30 years has become one of the major growth tools used areas of statistics and probability modelling.

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1/Intermediate)

See you next year at Media Finance Focus 2022 - May 23-25, 2022

in Tampa, Florida at the JW Marriott on Water Street

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