August 15, 2019
In this week's edition:
• Event Preview: Edinburgh TV Festival
In the news
The long-awaited CBS-Viacom merger is now official, with Bob Bakish to lead the combined company, ViacomCBS Inc., and Shari Redstone appointed chair. Meanwhile, the French Competition Authority has given a green light to Salto, the joint platform project from TF1, M6 and France Télévisions, which is now due to launch in the first quarter of 2020. In other news, World Screen will present Viacom International Media Networks’ Pierluigi Gazzolo with the Premio Ícono TV Latina award at the NATPE Miami Marketplace + Conference in January 2020, honoring the executive for his significant contributions to the Latin American media industry over the course of his career.
Event Preview: Edinburgh TV Festival
By Kristin Brzoznowski
In its 44th year, Edinburgh TV Festival is celebrating creativity, diversity and inspirational talent in the media business—and it is not shying away from addressing some of the major issues facing the industry at present. This year’s event, held from August 21 to 23, is expected to draw around 2,000 delegates from across the spectrum of major networks, production companies and the digital world.
“I personally felt that it was really important to keep the festival as relevant and exciting as ever and to maintain the values that it has always had as being quite irreverent and provocative,” says Lisa Campbell, CEO and festival director. “That’s more important than ever in a climate where politicians are trying to have so much control via the kind of media that they want to speak to and the impact that is having on democracy. We have a really important part to play at the center of some of those debates.” And the event will address it “with our unique Edinburgh spin,” she says, in a “very engaging, entertaining and informative way.”
Campbell says that Edinburgh TV Festival has always tried to “make a difference and push boundaries,” acknowledging that it’s not always easy, as many in the industry are still locked into the traditional ways of doing things. “So, it’s not as straightforward as it might seem to make those changes. But we’re at such a turning point in the industry when it comes to things like trust and transparency, the impact on democracy, diversity and inclusion.”
Michaela Coel made waves with her MacTaggart Lecture at last year’s festival, revealing that she had been sexually assaulted, and she also sent a message about the duty of care the TV industry has toward artists. And the event is keen to push this message forward, says Campbell. “Michaela did such a powerful and moving speech that we wanted to pick up on her key message, which was: how do we fix this house? We’ve taken that as our starting point and looked at how we can use that theme across as many sessions as possible.”
Paul Feig, creator of the hit series Freaks and Geeks and director of the Academy Award-nominated movie Bridesmaids, will deliver the Worldview Address at the festival. “Having a man who is walking the walk as well as talking the talk is so vital,” Campbell says. “He’s got such fantastic views on the roles of women in the industry on camera and behind the scenes, and he was groundbreaking in his approach to female comedy.”
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World Screen Guide 2019
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