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2021 Virtual Conference Agenda 



All times are Eastern Time Zone

Information below is tentative and subject to change multiple times.

Conference Guide

Thursday, June 3

1:00pm - 2:00pm

13. Current State and Future of the Games Industry

Moderators: Jerry Calixto, Take-Two Interactive; and Scott Porter, EY 

This session will examine media and entertainment trends, gaming industry challenges, China’s gaming regulation and ethics and the future of games.

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

3:00pm - 4:00pm

14. Internal Audit in a Virtual World

Moderator: Greg Page, Tribune Publishing

Panelists: David Thande, Workiva; and Linda Vasquez, Workiva

As organizations around the globe undergo significant change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what impact do we see to Internal Audit functions and how can they remain effective in their mission under drastically different working conditions?  This session will provide some insight as to how one organization’s Internal Audit and Compliance functions were able to achieve success through various strategic (and coincidental) changes to prepare for the new working dynamic.

(CPE: AU-Audit/1/Overview)

Tuesday, June 8

1:00pm - 2:00pm

15. Finding the Needle in the Haystack through Data Analytics

Moderator: Fahd Taimur, Hearst Corporation

Panelist: Aaren Humphreys, Deseret Management

As audit organizations have access to more data than ever before they have to figure out how to use it in a manner that provided and adds value to the companies that they work for. The panel will discuss a practical and useful approach to Data analytics utilizing different tools to predict outcomes and identify anomalies for review. The examples to be presented are in the areas of fraud, Ad Revenue and fuel cost at Deseret Management, and Travel expenses and accounts payable at Hearst Corporation.

(CPE: AU-Audit/1/Update)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

16. Collection Efforts Pre and Post COVID

Sponsored by Szabo Associates

Panelists: Ed Ienner, Meredith Corporation; Robin Szabo, Szabo Associates; and Christine Lipani, Meredith Corp.

Businesses are finding themselves in unique positions as we try to find our way through and beyond the COVID pandemic. We will take an in-depth look at how the pandemic has changed our jobs, the economic damage that has taken place…which ultimately forces us to retool our credit and collection policies. This including; when to send customers to collections, new dynamics to credit risk analysis, real-time data driven analysis and decision making, sector analysis, and risk appetite.

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


Wednesday, June 9

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 5.1 - CFO Roundtable (By invitation only)

Speaker:  Tom Joyce, MUFG

Moderators: Paul Yates, Hubbard Broadcasting; Glenn Krieg, Morgan Murphy Media 

  • In the first part of this two part discussion, the speaker will discuss timely issues relevant to today’s media CFO, including expectations for the COVID-19 economic recovery, outlook for 2021 global markets, assessing the Impact of President Biden’s First 100 Days Policy agenda and preparing for tax code policy changes and ESG’s acceleration.

  • The second part will be a moderated discussion covering issues important to media’s most-senior financial executives. Topics to be discussed include health insurance/employee benefits, employee retention and recruitment, security, impact of new lease accounting standards, as well as an open forum to discuss other subjects of current concern to participants. Please come prepared with thoughts and questions.

Sponsored by KPMG and Bond & Pecaro

(CPE: F-Finance/2/Advance)

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Thursday, June 10

1:00pm - 2:00pm

17. How Covid Has Pushed Companies Over the Tech Tipping Point: What This Means for Finance

Moderator: Jerry Calixto, Take 2 Interactive

Speaker:  Laura LaBerge, McKinsey & Company; and Priyanka C. Prakash, McKinsey & Company

In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. Many of these changes appear to be here for the long haul.  Staying competitive in this new business and economic environment requires new strategies and practices. Laura LaBerge from McKinsey & Co will share the latest research along with insights as to how the role of finance is evolving as companies focus on building out their strategies for exiting the crisis over the next year.    

(CPE: F-Finance/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

18. Biden Administration Pro-Union Agenda

Moderator: Brandon Zarzana, The Columbian

Speaker: Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

The new Administration is moving swiftly to implement a pro-union agenda at the National Labor Relations Board.  The House of Representative has passed the PRO Act, organized labor’s wish list.  This session will examine the current status of the PRO Act and many areas targeted by the new Administration including independent contractor status, Supervisory status, repealing Right-to-Work laws, eliminating secret ballot elections and more.

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


Tuesday, June 15

1:00pm - 2:30pm

19. GENERAL SESSION - Keynote Session

Sponsored by CHUBB

WFH:  Managing a Remote Work Environment

Moderator: Michael Depp, Editor, TVNewscheck
Panelists:  Don Thompson, Sinclair; James Jeffries, Gray Television, Inc.Joe Mechlinski, Shift; and
Julie Anderson, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This panel will consider the longer-term changes the pandemic has shaped for the media in terms of on-site working, virtual work or a hybridity of the two. Which departments are more conducive to permanent virtual work? How has employee management evolved to accommodate so much of the workforce in remote conditions? What has the last year taught media organizations about post-pandemic efficiencies they can or should pursue?

(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/1.5/Overview)

Announcement of scholarship in memory of William “Bill” Shriftman        

3:00pm - 4:00pm

20. Streaming: Video Services, Viewership, Revenue Models, & Consumer Preferences

Sponsored by Symphony MediaAI

Moderator: Robin Szabo, Szabo Associates

Panelists: Kristen Newkirk, NBCU; and Alan Wolk, TV[R]EV

This panel will discuss the proliferation of video streaming services, viewer demographics, the domestic and international revenue models, what consumers are seeking now and how video streaming will continually evolve. Plus an in depth look at Peacock and the best practices learned when launching a new streaming service.

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

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Wednesday, June 16

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 6.1 - Roundtable: Radio

Moderators: Bob Cole, Morgan Murphy Mediaand Andrew Rosen, Miller Kaplan

The Radio Roundtable is a well-attended, energetic discussion of the challenges radio accounting faces every day.  This session  will focus on (1) Working remotely – lessons learned from COVID, (2) Automation solutions—needed more than ever, (3) Miller Kaplan revenue review (4) Digital--how to track, control, and analyze this critical, fast-evolving business segment and (5) Open discussions on the current state of employee compensation, music licensing, cybersecurity issues, and surviving/thriving in your daily work.  Come to discuss your challenges—and successes—with others in similar positions.  Solutions, and new friends, will be discovered!  

(CPE: MS-Management Services/2/Advance)

Thursday, June 17


1:00pm - 2:00pm

21. Lease Accounting - New Rules and COVID

Moderator: Sue Tuxill, Salem Media
Panelists: Matthew Esposito, Grant Thornton; and Nishit Mehta, Grant Thornton 

The COVID world has caused many companies to rethink their lease portfolio – some opting to drastically shrink their holdings while others are returning to their pre-pandemic office locations. This session will examine economics of same as well as resulting accounting implications.

(CPE: AC-Accounting/1/Intermediate)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

22. Third Party Cookies

Sponsored by Szabo Associates

Moderator: Jen Hurley, Washington Post

Speakers: Todd Nicolini, The Washington Post; and Joey Weed, The Washington Post 
The death of the third party cookie and the effects on the digital ad industry.

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

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Tuesday, June 22

1:00pm - 2:00pm

23. SUPER SESSION: Increasing Profitability by Re-Allocating Budget to Support Diversity and Education

Speaker: Jack Myers, Media Ecologist and Founder:

This session will examine 20 Year Trends in the Advertising Economy 2010-2030, as advertising/Media is Declining in Time & Attention Among Brand Budget Owners. It will look at solutions: Why Investment in Diversity and Education is a Corporate Growth Imperative, How to Increase Investments in Diversity and Education with 0% Budget Increase. B2B Marketing is first of major marketing/media categories to be disrupted and last to be reinvented for digital era growth.

Jack will also conduct a Q&A with C-suite executives with Audacy’s Chief Marketing Officer Paul Suchman and VP Social Impact Sarah Harris:
   o   Rethinking B2B communications as educational learning tools
   o   Rethinking diversity as a driver of business growth
   o   How Audacy is Partnering with MediaVillage and to 
         advance B2B marketing and team diversity

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

3:00pm - 4:00pm

24. How to Modernize Your Finance Operation

Sponsored by EY

Panelists: Karin Bleiler, Symphony MediaAI

Ana Occhiuzzi, Hearst TelevisionKen Gladson, Meredith Corporation; and Alison Young, The E.W. Scripps Company

Fragmenting revenue streams and distribution models call for a new set of skills, tools, and strategies in the finance department. In this session, we’ll discuss what industry leaders are doing differently today to remain competitive and future-proof their operations. Learn the skills required of a well-rounded team, how to improve predictive insight with modern technology, and why the CTO may be your greatest ally.

(CPE: F-Finance/1/Overview)

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Wednesday, June 23

2:00pm - 3:00pm

RT 7.1 - Tax - Federal Update

Moderator:  Louis Lazar, PwC

Panelist: Janice Mays, PwC

The ongoing pandemic, economic challenges and political divisions will affect the prospects for significant tax legislation and other policy changes this year. The potential effects of changing policies in the US and around the world—in addition to corporate and individual rate increases, potential increased taxation of foreign operations and a host of other proposed changes to US, state and foreign tax laws—may have a significant effect on your business. This section will focus on the federal tax legislative landscape and the Biden’s Administration’s revenue proposals.
(CPE: T - Tax/1/Advance)


3:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 7.2 - Tax - Federal Update Roundtable

Moderator:  Sean Hetzler, TEGNA
This roundtable is limited to In-house tax professionals who will share recent audit and litigation experiences involving federal and international taxes with the emphasis on the media-related issues.

(CPE: T - Tax/1/Advance)

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Happy Hour with Awards and Music 

  • Entertainment provided by BMI Singer/Songwriter 


Thursday, June 24

1:00pm - 2:00pm 

25. Games Valuation

Moderator: Mark Mondello, Duff & Phelps, LLC

The video game industry ecosystem had another year of rapid change. The last year saw high volatility among public video game stocks, new and evolving business models. One thing remains consistent: video games continue to occupy more of consumers’ media consumption time. This session will be a year-in-review in M&A, public market activity, and trends in the video industry, with some commentary on what to look for in the future.

(CPE: F-Finance/1/Intermediate)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

26. Role of Investor Relations

Moderator: Antonella Ricciardi, NBCU

Speaker: Marci Ryvicker, Comcast  

We invite you to participate in learning more about the role of investor relations.  Any investor relations team has the primary responsibility of managing communication between a company’s corporate management and its investors, but what really goes on behind the scenes?  Find out from one of the media industries well-known and highly respected individuals in this space and someone who has worked both as an analyst following media companies and now heading up one of the world’s leading media company’s investor relations team. 

(CPE: MS Management Services/1/Overview)

Tuesday, June 29

1:00pm - 2:00pm

27. The Tsunami Continues
(Current Developments in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Proceedings Resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Sponsored by Szabo Associates

Speakers: Wanda Borges, Esq., Borges & Associates; and Bruce Nathan, Lowenstein Sandler

Many companies, including small businesses, have been reeling from the disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Two of your favorite speakers, Wanda Borges and Bruce Nathan, will discuss the onslaught of bankruptcy filings and other insolvencies since the onset of the pandemic and the anticipated continuing tsunami of bankruptcy and other insolvency proceedings in 2021.  Trends, developments and changing rules in insolvency and bankruptcy cases will be highlighted.  A retrospective of several pandemic-driven chapter 11 cases will be presented.  Some new twists in preference defenses will be discussed.  Developments resulting from the Small Business Reorganization Act as modified by the CARES ACT and an overview of the bankruptcy changes in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and their impact on media credit providers will be part of the presentation. 

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



3:00pm - 4:00pm

28. ESG

Moderator: Christine Oliver, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Speaker: Kristen Sullivan, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Many companies are evaluating their corporate purpose and ability to drive the long-term sustainability of their enterprise by addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies and challenges. Hear from Kristen Sullivan, Partner and leader Deloitte & Touche LLP's Sustainability and KPI services how companies are addressing sustainability, environmental, social, and governance matters; as well as performance measurement, reporting and disclosure

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

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Wednesday, June 30

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 8.1 - Roundtable: Newspaper Controllers
Moderator: Mike Lavey, Tribune Publishing

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)


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