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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

Tuesday, May 11

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Sponsored by
Szabo Associates

  • Joe Batista, Chief Creatologist, Dell Technologies

Paying it Forward: Adjusting the Sails
It has been said by Thomas S. Monson, “We can't direct the wind but we can adjust our sails.” Coping with structural uncertainty, radical technology shifts talent & skillset transformation, changing business models and emerging players with new value propositions and not to mention what “Post COVID World” will look like. The conditions ahead are much more than light winds, but major wind disturbances with intense velocity! We will adjust our sails with collection of short stories and insights designed to create your new playbook or maybe reaffirm an existing one in either case maybe it’s time to “adjust the sail” and play it forward.

Presentation of the Jeana K. Stanley Memorial Award to Hearst and Hearst Television in recognition of their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in media.

  • Dr. Tina M. Harris, Endowed Chair of Race, Media & Cultural Literacy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Mentoring at the Crossroads of Difference
Some organizations are suffering from a disconnect between diversity, equity, and their workforce in general. In this presentation, Dr. Harris will explain why it makes good business sense for senior managers to serve as mentors to staff members from various backgrounds. Such mentors can use their racial privilege and cultural capital to actively and aggressively advocate for the professional and personal success of their junior protégés, particularly those from historically marginalized groups such as women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The result will be a more successful organization.

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



3:00pm - 4:00pm

2. Accounting Update - Public Companies

Moderator: Wilson Matheson, PwC

Panelist: Shawn Cortese, PwC

This session will examine emerging topics with respect to SEC disclosure simplification initiatives, lessons learned from applying ASU 2019-02 for content assets and emerging issues with respect to direct-to-consumer and digital advertising and affiliate revenue transactions. It will also look at navigating accounting for software and cloud computing arrangements.

(CPE: AC-Accounting/1/Advance)

Joe batista- photo.jpg

Wednesday, May 12

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 1.1 - Roundtable - Media Credit

This session will look at significant issues facing credit and collections professionals. Areas to be covered include liability – joint & several vs sequential, digital, invoicing & billing, anti-trust.  Best practices, including approving customers, financial statements, systems services and shared services including outsourcing.  This session will look at automation, payments, AI and order to cash.
(CPE: SK-Specialized Knowledge/2/Advance)

Thursday, May 13

1:00pm - 2:00pm

3. Tech Talk - Where is Media Technology Headed?

Moderator: Paul Kelly, ABC/KTRK

Speaker: Tim Hinson, ABC/KTRK

Media technology continues to change at a feverish pace with no signs of slowing down. What do you need to know about the future of cloud technology, virtualization, artificial intelligence, augmented reality? How will they affect not just your professional life but your personal life as well? How do we keep up with the evolution, do we embrace it, or do we resist?

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

3:00pm - 4:00pm

4. Newspaper Print Cycle Changes

Moderator: Steve Hall, Las Vegas Review Journal 

Panelists: Conan Gallaty, Times Publishing Company; Joe DeLuca, Times Publishing Company; Heather Williams, The McClatchy Co. and Dan Schaub, The McClatchy Co.
This session will look at two companies and how they have made changes to print distribution cycles over the past several years. You’ll hear from Dan Schaub from McClatchy about the change they made to eliminate Saturday from their print cycle across their properties. You’ll also hear from Conan Gallaty and Joe DeLuca from the Tampa Bay Times about the changes they made in 2020 to eliminate five days of print, leaving Sunday and Wednesday print publications. The panelists will share the lessons they’ve learned, impact on circulation and advertising revenue, financial impact, e-edition adoption rates, etc., and will answer questions that you have about the changes.

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

Tuesday, May 18

1:00pm - 2:00pm

5. Mitigating Fraud and Processing Cards Not Present Payments for Streaming Subscriptions

Moderator: Cal Mostella, WarnerMedia

Panelists: Pete Kovacs, HBO Max; and Colin McCarthy, HBO Max

An introduction to the actors and the steps involved in processing a card transaction and mitigating fraud risk throughout the lifecycle.
This session will outline steps to process a transaction, techniques and tools to mitigate fraudulent transactions, explain best practices to reduce and recover fraudulent disputes, examine the cost of fraud to your business (merchant compliance program-scheme enforcement) and analyze processing fees.

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

3:00pm - 4:00pm

6. Games Trends & Insights

Moderator: Kerry Coffey, Velan Studios, Inc.

Panelists: Gina Vetere, ESA; others TBA

Over the past year, video games were not only a source of entertainment but also of much needed social engagement. This discussion will highlight the education, health and social benefits of gameplay, including during the pandemic.  It will also focus on new research on trends regarding the average gamer, player well-being and the economic contributions of the industry. In addition, the discussion will provide an overview of some of the opportunities and challenges for the industry arising out of the current U.S. policy landscape.

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

Wednesday, May 19

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 2.1 - Roundtable: Newspaper Operational
Steve Hall, Las Vegas Review-Journal

An open discussion of topics of interest to newspapers specifically focused around operating issues such as: revenue diversification; circulation initiatives/pricing; advertiser trends; expense management and savings ideas; systems discussions; working with remote employees; and other topics of interest to the attendees. This is a great opportunity to network with, and learn from, your peers.

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

Annual MFM Membership Meeting via Zoom

Agenda items include: confirmation of the incoming slate of Board Members as elected by the MFM membership; confirmation of Board appointments made since our last Annual Meeting; and the Annual Treasurer’s Report. All members are invited to participate. your email for the Zoom link. 

Thursday, May 20

1:00pm - 2:00pm

7. Digital Sales Academy: Selling Digital
Christine Pecher, Marketron

Speaker:  Jeff Ulrich, Marketron
According to eMarketer, 2021 will be a year of digital acceleration. Your clients will want to incorporate digital advertising into their marketing mix but need your guidance to use them successfully with your airtime products. This session will teach you about different digital ad products, when to sell them and how to build a strong cross-media offering. It will also include success stories. Join this session for an introduction to geofencing, over-the-top (OTT)/CTV, targeted display, video, mobile messaging, email marketing, and owned and operated inventory. 

(CPE: MK-Marketing/1/Overview)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

8. Accounting Update - Private Companies

Sponsored by Deloitte

Moderator: Darren Wilson, Deloitte

Panelists: Gretchen Scheidler, Deloitte; and Ashok Parmar, Deloitte

This session is a one-stop shop for the latest updates from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The speaker will discuss accounting and financial reporting hot topics and accounting standards that are effective in 2021 and beyond.  The course will also address COVID-19 accounting considerations specific to media companies, including revenue recognition, content accounting, impairment assessments, and reporting considerations.

(CPE: AC-Accounting/1/Advance)

DEL_PRI_RGB deloitte.jpg

Monday, May 24

3:00pm - 4:00pm

New Member Orientation

Media Financial Management Association (MFM) aims to make media finance and accounting employees more knowledgeable and valuable today, while developing the next generation of global media leaders. What’s important to you is how we fulfill that vision. Please join us on May 24th, to hear from, and talk with, your media and entertainment industry colleagues from across the country. In addition to reviewing all the benefits of MFM membership, you will hear how others are using these benefits and will have the chance to ask questions in small groups.

Tuesday, May 25

1:00pm - 2:00pm

9. Accounting Challenges for Digital

Moderator: Bob Cole, Morgan Murphy Media

Panelists: Ashley Nelson, Your Agency Solution; and Jeff London, Marketron

This session will review of what the top digital revenue sources are and follow the larger revenue streams “through the system,” including especially the Third party providers. It will analyze how those third party providers collect information and create invoices, and how best for media providers can take those invoices, understand/review and process them quickly.

(CPE: Accounting/1/Intermediate)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

10. Newspaper In-sourcing/Out-sourcing

Moderator: Mike Lavey, Tribune Publishing

Panelists: Jennifer Ellmer, Gannett Co.; David Borowski, West Monroe Consulting; and Rajesh Chopra, IBM

As many media companies, and newspaper companies in particular, take steps to offset both secular and pandemic-driven revenue declines, reducing finance back office expenses is a primary focus.  This session will address the many considerations related to outsourcing your finance department from the perspective of the media company, the outsource provider, and an outsource decision consultant.  Outsourcing considerations to be addressed include is my finance operations of sufficient size to justify outsourcing, what does an outsourced finance operation look like, will I lose control or flexibility if I outsource, is there a difference between outsourcing and offshoring and what should I expect from an outsourcing partner.

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

Wednesday, May 26

2:00pm - 3:50pm

RT 3.1 - Roundtable: Workplace Culture Roundtable  - Young Professionals

Moderators: Carrie Heffernan, Bonneville International; and Ryan Laninga, Bonneville International 
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!

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

RT 4.1 - Roundtable: Internal Audit #1
Moderators: Marcus Anjewierden, Deseret Management Corporation; and Kevin Schmitz, Meredith Corporation

In a safe, informal environment, Controllership and Internal Auditors join together to discuss current auditing issues including developing trust with clients, data analytics, auditing top industry risks and new technologies, evaluating internal controls, characteristics of the new auditor, and retaining and finding talent.  Time should be available to discuss topics of interest and ask questions of peers in the industry.

(CPE: AU - Auditing/2/Advance)

Thursday, May 27

1:00pm - 2:00pm 

11. Videogames Live Services – KPIs to ROI

Moderator: Aaron Weberg, Gearbox Software

Panelist: Ken Go, Deca Games; David Saunders, Gearbox PublishingTaylor Miller, IUGO Games

Live service models are a cornerstone of videogame monetization. From free-to-play to premium titles—across mobile, console, and streaming platforms—an increasing proportion of total revenue derives from micro-transactions, battle passes, and even subscription offerings. KPIs to ROI, live services are here to stay. This panel will explore the changing landscape of videogame monetization and how ideas both traditional and novel are shaping the future of finance, game development, product management, marketing, and live operations.

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

3:00pm - 4:00pm

12. Adoption of Impression/Audience-Based Buying and Selling

Moderator: Brenda Hetrick, Matrix

Panelists: Melanie Webb, TEGNA; Joe Lampert, CNOmniMedia Group; and Becky Meyer, Gray Television

The proliferation of digital ad revenue has tasked traditional broadcasters with adopting and unifying a cross-platform standard of measurement to sell, transact, and measure efficiently and easily. By doing so, broadcasters will be able to automate more of their processes and transactions to enable them to accelerate the speed from prospect to cash. Listen in as leader’s from today’s traditional media companies discuss both the risk and reward in deploying impression-based and audience-based buying and selling – and what that means for future workflows.

(CPE: MK-Marketing/1/Overview)


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