NATPE/Content First Names Mark Cuban As Opening Keynote Speaker

Mark Cuban Headshot 2011
Maury Phillips/Getty Images for DIRECTV

The theme for the 50th anniversary edition of TV syndication’s biggest annual market and conference is moving “Beyond Disruption.”

AXS TV chairman and internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban will be the opening keynote speaker for the 50th anniversary edition of NATPE/Content First when it is held in Miami Beach in January 2013, NATPE president and CEO Rod Perth announced Monday.

Cuban’s keynote conversation will be in line with the theme of this year’s market and conference: “Beyond Disruption.” Cuban will headline the Game Changers track, which spotlights leaders from some of the world’s top companies who have challenged mainstream thinking.

“Mark is an innovative businessman whose work has helped to change the face of the media world,” said Perth. “With each step of his career, this entrepreneurial mogul has expanded his interests and influence, fully embodying NATPE'S theme of ‘Beyond Disruption.’  As we dedicate this year’s market to how new business models are being created, we are excited to have his voice set the stage for the game changing conversations among industry leaders at NATPE.”

Cuban launched HDNet in 2001 as the first all-high definition pay TV network. Now known as AXS TV, it features live events, concerts, pop culture, music, fashion and news. Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team, also runs various TV and movie production units, including Magnolia Pictures, as well as owning Landmark Theatres. He is also a regular on ABC’s TV series Shark Tank, as one of the potential investors who listen to pitches from would be entrepreneurs.

Other speakers in the Game Changers track announced by NATPE include Erin McPherson, vp and head of video, Yahoo!; Rhonda Shantz, vp, Global Brand Marketing and PR, Norton; Jamie Byrne, global head of content strategy, Google/YouTube; Chris M. Williams, chief development officer, Maker Studios; David Pakman, partner, Venrock; Richard Greenfield, analyst, BTIG; Betsy Morgan, CEO/president, TheBlaze; Bill O'Dowd, president, Dolphin Entertainment; and David Freeman, co-head of the Brand Coverage Group, Creative Artists Agency.

Stephen Lambert, chief executive of Studio Lambert, will be the international keynote speaker on the third day of the conference to launch the Global Navigators track. Other speakers focused on international content and programming are Alberto Ciurana, president, programming and content, Univision Networks; Jacqueline Hernandez, coo Telemundo Media; Philip Gurin, president, The Gurin Company; Philip Schuman, CEO and co-founder, HighView Media; and Brad Kania, head of content distribution, Samsung Electronics.

Speakers on the Masters of Messaging track will include Steve Hasker, president, Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen; Mike Bloxham, executive director, marketing at the Media Behavior Institute; Dustin Garis, corporate innovator, P&G; Stuart McLean, founder & CEO, Content & Company; Tony Pace, senior vp, global chief marketing officer, Subway Franchise Advertising Fund; and Jamie Widdoes, director of Two and a Half Men.

The Storytellers That Shape Pop Culture session will feature Howard Gordon, executive producer of Showtime’s drama series Homeland; Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of NBC’s Law & Order franchise and head of Wolf Films; Anthony E. Zuiker, creator of the CBS drama series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; and Tim Kring, creator of Touch and Heroes.

In the Technologies That Fuel Multi-Platform Content track, speakers who will explore the explosion of video and broadcast capabilities across all screens include Hardie Tankersley, vp of innovation and social media, FOX Broadcasting; Will Law, principal architect – media engineering, Akamai; Ann Glenn, director of social media marketing, Sony Pictures Interactive; and Sean Besser, executive vp of business development, partnerships and strategy, GetGlue; Eric Thompson, business development manager, custom branded entertainment, XBOX Live Entertainment and Advertising, Microsoft Corp.; Ajay Shah, co-founder and CEO, TV Plus; and Ann Glenn, director of social media marketing, Sony Pictures Interactive.

Participating in the Visionaries series of talks will be Jason Silva, founding producer and host, Current TV; Lance Podell, director and global head, YouTube Next Lab; Marc Scarpa, Simplynew Studios; and Larry Tanz, CEO, Vuguru LLC.

NATPE said other speakers will be announced in coming months.