Drake Earl to give new-media confab keynote


TORONTO -- Current TV co-founder Joanna Drake Earl, who launched the net alongside former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, will deliver the opening address at the Banff World Television Festival's new-media conference in June, organizers said Wednesday.

Drake Earl, president of new media at the San Francisco-based channel, will open nextMEDIA 2007, which runs June 8-10 in Banff, Alberta.

Her address will come ahead of Dawn Airey, managing director of channels and services at BSkyB, delivering the keynote address at the sister Banff World Television Festival, which will runs June 10-13.

Current TV features "pods," or short programs, many of which are created by TV viewers.

The network, which reaches 50 million homes worldwide, grew out of Newsworld International, a Canadian channel originally carried on DirecTV that Gore and Hyatt bought from Vivendi Universal in 2004 as a platform on which to launch Current TV.

Drake Earl, who co-founded the interactive TV channel along with Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt, is expected to offer insights into Current TV and user-generated content models for broadcasters.

"Current TV is revolutionary, creatively empowering a new generation of TV producers. Their story is one we are excited to share with everyone who will be attending the conference," nextMEDIA executive producer Mark Greenspan said in a statement.