Eric Schmidt to Give MacTaggart Lecture

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Google's executive chairman is the first leading figure from a technology company to deliver the Edinburgh International TV Festival speech.

LONDON -- Google's Eric Schmidt is to deliver the annual MacTaggart lecture at this years MediaGuardian Edinburgh international television festival, according to the Guardian .

It will be the first time in the event's 35-year history that a leading figure from the technology industry will address the confab.

The MacTaggart lecture, delivered on the Friday night at the start of the festival – August this year 26 – traditionally sets the tone for the weekend. From the 1970s to the early 90s, the MacTaggart was dominated by creative figures, including the writers John Mortimer and Dennis Potter and the director John Schlesinger.

George Entwistle, TV festival advisory chair, responsible for the 2011 program, told the Guardian: "Television was supposed to be dead and isn't, on-demand was supposed to have triumphed and hasn't. It's the perfect MacTaggart for an industry at the convergence crossroads – the chairman of Google will give us a steer on the way ahead."