MIPCOM: Disney’s Ben Sherwood, Participant’s David Linde Set for Keynotes

Ben Sherwood - H 2016
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STX Entertainment president Sophie Watts also will give a featured speech.

Disney’s Ben Sherwood, Participant Media’s David Linde and STX Entertainment’s Sophie Watts are slated to address this year’s MIPCOM, giving keynote speeches during the four-day confab set to run Oct. 17-20 in Cannes.

The executives represent three diverse media companies and approaches to handing the changing TV environment, and they will address this year’s theme of “The New Television.”

Sherwood, who heads up the Disney-ABC Television Group and oversees the Disney channels worldwide, as well as the company's stakes in A+E Networks and Hulu, will address how the legacy brand has tried to stay modern in the changing television landscape. He also will point to the company’s partnership with Shonda Rhimes and her juggernaut series including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder.

Rhimes, widely credited for rescuing the network, has been named MIPCOM’s Personality of the Year and will be on hand to accept the honor.

Participant’s Linde will focus on his company’s efforts to incite social change through film and television, including the Oscar-winning Spotlight, its cable channel Pivot and online network TakePart geared toward conscious consumers.

STX Entertainment, the young company behind the planned Barbra Streisand and Barry Levinson remake of Gypsy, has positioned itself as a new media company and has made a concerted push into both scripted and unscripted TV, as well as major inroads in China. Watts talk will center on “building a 21st century media company from the ground up.”

The varied speeches are part of the conference’s overall approach to addressing what is happening in the world of television that has been upended by new players such as Netflix in the last few years.