Conan O'Brien, Julius Genachowski to Attend NCTA Convention

Conan O'Brien

The talk show host introduced a St. Patrick's Day-themed clip of Ferrell dancing in in a tight leprechaun outfit, with exposed gut and green Speedo.

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Top cable TV industry executives from Turner Broadcasting, Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable, ESPN, News Corp. and Fox Sports Media Group will be at the Boston event.

Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski, NBA Basketball Commissioner David Stern, talk show host Conan O’Brien and actor-director Edward Burns will be among more than 13,000 descending on Boston beginning Monday for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s 61st annual convention and international exposition.

They will all be speakers during daily general sessions, along with top cable TV industry executives including Turner Broadcasting chairman Philip Ken, Comcast Cable president Neil Smit, Time Warner Cable chairman Glenn Britt, ESPN president John Skipper, News Corp. deputy chairman Chase Carey and Fox Sports Media Group chairman David Hill.

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Genachowski will deliver a keynote address on Tuesday in a one-on-one session with former FCC chairman Michael Powell, who is now president and CEO of the NCTA, the primary trade group for the cable TV industry.

Competition and collaboration in an environment where plentiful options have blurred traditional business boundaries is the topic when Carey and Sarandos are joined on a panel by Time Warner chairman Jeffrey Bewkes and Cox Communications president Patrick Esser. That will be moderated by Piers Morgan, host of Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN.

Morgan will also interview Conan O’Brien in a one on one conversation.

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Hill, Stern and Skipper will be joined on a panel discussing the impact of digital media on the sports business by Turner Broadcasting president of sales David Levy. That will be moderated by Darren Rovell, CNBC’s sports business reporter.

Britt will be on a panel discussing how innovative companies position themselves to take advantage of an anytime, anywhere, anything goes media environment with AOL chairman Tim Armstrong and Discovery Communications President David Zaslav, which will be moderated by Erin Burnett, chief business and economics correspondent for Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN.

Burns and Smit will be joined by VECO president Reo Caraeff, Verizon Wireless president Dan Mead on a panel called Digital Disruption: The impact of digital distribution on the future of entertainment, communications and commerce in our daily lives, moderated by Julia Boorstin, CNBC media and entertainment reporter.  

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There will also be dozens of speakers and panel sessions during the three-day event being held in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which concludes Wednesday evening.

The panels range from technical sessions like Your Wish Is It’s Command: New Possibilities for Technology Interfaces on Monday; to policy panels such as Legally Speaking: FCC Advisors on Law, Policy, Telecom and the Future on Tuesday; to content oriented sessions like Independents Day: Strategies For Success from Indy Cable Programmers on Wednesday.

There will also be a large exhibit floor with representatives from technology and services company along side program services and new channels seeking carriage on the nation’s cable, satellite, Telco and streaming delivery services. Last year when the convention was held in Chicago there were over 275 exhibitors.

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Along with exhibits this year, the NCTA is creating Imagine Park, an interactive exhibit venue designed to introduce and demonstrate innovative new products and services, as well as facilitate discussion of issues affecting the future of media and entertainment. The diverse line-up of exhibitors includes A&E, CBS Sports, Cisco, Discovery Communications, SNL Kagan. Showtime, HBO, Starz, Lifetime, TV One, Wealth TV, Technicolor, TiVo and NetCracker Technologies. 

As part of Imagine Park, the NCTA is sponsoring a live, 48-hour student developer competition that is all about building compelling new applications for computer tablets and smart phones.

Adjacent to Imagine Park will be a cable industry innovation showcase presented by CableLabs and the NCTA to feature Boston-area start-ups working on projects related to broadband and the television marketplace.

There will also be a number of special events, luncheons and awards programs mixed in during the convention. Brian Lamb, who founded C-Span and recently announced his retirement, will receive a special NCTA Vanguard Award. Lamb will be accompanied by Susan Swain and Rob Kennedy, who recently succeeded Lamb as co-CEO’s of C-Span.

Other Vanguard Award winners for 2012 are Jerald Kent, Chairman of Suddenlink Communications; Bridget Baker, president, TV networks distribution, for NBC Universal; Jill Campbell, executive vp of Cox Communications; John Landgraf, president of FX Networks; Chuck Pagano, executive vp technology for ESPN; Gail MacKinnon, executive vp and chief government relations officer for Time Warner Cable; Linda Schupack, executive vp marketing for AMC; Dan Maloney, president Motorola Mobility; Tapan Dandnaik, senior vp of Mediacom Communications; and Jeffrey Hirsch, executive vp and chief marketing officer, residential services, for Time Warner Cable.

The Cable Center’s annual Cable Hall of Fame dinner will mark the induction of Larry King, the radio and TV personality who retired last year from  his show on CNN; Ann Rallis Carlsen, CEO of Carlsen Resources, Leo Hindry Jr., a veteran cable executive now managing partner of InterMedia Partners; Debra L. Lee, chairman of BET Networks, H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, president of The Lenfest Group and Phil Lind, vice chairman of Rogers Communication.