2021 Devoncroft Executive Summit

Speakers and Presenters

Matt Azzarto

Director, WarnerMedia Production Solutions

 

Matt currently leads the Production Solutions team, a group engineers developing solutions for Playout and Live Production across all WarnerMedia brands. He has recently deployed Playout channels in AWS for HBO and Cinemax and is leading POC’s in the areas of cloud-based live-linear playout, production and distribution.

Prior to WarnerMedia/HBO, Matt worked at Akamai Technologies, building their OTT Live Linear Services utilized by media companies worldwide for their TV everywhere and direct to consumer products. Matt led the design and build of Akamai’s Broadcast Operations Control Center in Cambridge, MA.

Matt also worked at NBC/Universal, where he held a number of engineering positions servicing their Network Origination Centers in NY and Denver. During his time at NBC he led teams across content prep, on-air and transmission systems.

Mike Berkley

Chief Product Officer

 

Mike Berkley is Chief Product Officer of fuboTV, the sports-first live TV streaming platform that’s redefining the way cord cutters view live sports, news and entertainment. As CPO, Berkeley leads product strategy and development for fuboTV across platforms, including connected and smart TVs, mobile and web.

Berkley has been a technology leader for more than 20 years and has been at the forefront of streaming video and the evolution of TV for the last decade. He has developed new products and businesses for Spotify, Viacom, Comcast and, most recently, Axios, in addition to founding two tech startups.

Prior to joining fuboTV, Berkley spent nearly two years as CPO at Axios, where he led the digital media company’s product development spanning web, mobile, TV, podcasts, newsletters and live video events. Previously, Berkley led product management at Moviepass (2018), Viacom (2015-2017) and Comcast (2010-2012), where he helped launch the company’s flagship Xfinity X1 entertainment platform.

As VP, product management at Spotify (2012-2014), Berkley was tasked with creating a new video-based business. While at the company, Berkley led a cross-functional team that explored “moon-shot” product ideas around live TV streaming.

Also an entrepreneur, Berkley is the founder of several companies, including the tech start-ups SplashCast, which created social video apps for media brands, and QMIND, a SaaS e-learning company.

Chris Brown

VP Operations and Technology

 

Chris Brown is Vice President of Operations and Technology for Turner Sports. In this capacity, he oversees Turner Sports’ linear and digital live productions, including the Bleacher Report video production and technology operations (inclusive of studios in New York and Las Vegas), as well as library and archive operations and all technical crewing.

Previously, Brown served as Senior Director of Technical Operations for Turner Sports. Within that role, Brown was responsible for technical operations and planning for all Turner Sports linear and digital properties including NBA on TNT, NBA Digital, MLB, NCAA, and PGA.com, as well as NBA TV’s studio and remote operations.

Before joining Turner Sports, Brown served as Director of Operations for National Mobile Television, where he supervised all technical functional areas, studio and remote production facilities and crew, vendors, technology providers, and communications for clients such as CBS Sports, Fox Sports, and a variety of other sports and entertainment companies. Earlier in his career, Brown served as the operations systems trainer for CNN Sports Illustrated and assistant manager of broadcast archive operations at Atlanta Olympic Broadcasting covering all live Olympic events during the 1996 Games. Brown began his career in local television news.

Tom Cotney

Chief Executive Officer

 

Tom Cotney is Chief Executive Officer of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Tom has spent more than two decades of his 30-year career partnering with, selling to and competing in the telecommunications and mobile technology industries. His impressive resume includes serving as General Manager of the Communications Sector at IBM Global Services, where he was responsible for nearly 8,500 employees and more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue. He has served twice as Chairman of the annual IBM Employee Charitable Campaign for the United Way, raising more than $3.5 million for their various causes.

Before joining Imagine, Tom was CEO at cloud-based mobile messaging provider Mblox. Through a series of M&A transactions and operational consolidations, Tom was instrumental in restoring the company’s brand and profitability, and by 2015, it was ranked number two in the world. Mblox was acquired the following year by the number one-ranked company in the space, Stockholm-based CLX Communications. Prior to his tenure with Mblox, Tom served as CEO and board member for a number of privately held companies, including Air2Web, a company founded in the Atlanta Technology Development Center by the Carlyle Group. There, Tom delivered a 100% return on equity invested by Carlyle after three years of operation in a sale to a buyer from the European Union in 2011.

Tom graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and has completed executive programs in Strategic Execution and Negotiation at the Harvard Business and Law schools respectively.

Margaret Craig

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Margaret Craig brings a wealth of industry experience to Signiant’s business and growth strategy, with a successful career spanning executive management roles at leading global media technology, software and managed services companies.

Prior to assuming leadership of Signiant in October 2011, Margaret served as COO of Ascent Media Network Services, a provider of content creation, management and distribution services. There she led the technology transition to file-based infrastructure and oversaw contract negotiations with some of the world’s largest broadcast organizations. Prior to Ascent Media, Margaret was the CEO of publicly-traded Leitch Technology, a global provider of technical infrastructure for television production and transmission; and served as President of Snell & Wilcox, a provider of video image processing software and hardware.

Laura Dames

EVP and GM

Laura Dames is Executive Vice President and General Manager of WarnerMedia Studios. She was elevated to this position with WarnerMedia Studios (previously Tuner Studios) in November 2016. This wide-ranging role includes oversight of all facets of studio operations for the next-generation production division that supports the entire WarnerMedia portfolio – including its leading entertainment networks and multimedia properties.

In her role as EVP and GM of WarnerMedia Studios, Dames – a 28-year company veteran – is responsible for shaping and advancing the infrastructure of WarnerMedia Studios to best meet the needs of a rapidly changing media environment. Under her leadership, WarnerMedia Studios has become an innovative, central hub for the collaboration and coordination of media assets throughout all company divisions. WarnerMedia Studios encompasses a broad range of creative and technical capabilities, including production, post-production, design, live events, emerging media, social media monitoring, and content generation.

Through Dames’ direction, WarnerMedia Studios collaborates with more than 150 partners across over 40 business units throughout all company divisions – including HBO Max, TBS, TNT, truTV, Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, CNN, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and Turner Sports. Overall, more than 500,000 hours are devoted to content and creative production through WarnerMedia Studios each year, covering nearly 2,000 projects.

Ken DeGennaro

SVP, Media Operations and Technology 

Ken DeGennaro serves as Senior Vice President, Media Operations and Technology for the National Basketball Association. DeGennaro joined the NBA in March 1998 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Jurisprudence from Seton Hall Law.

Ben Dolinky

Chief Broadcast and A/V Engineer

As the Chief Broadcast and AV Engineer at Mercedes-Benz Stadium since July 2017, Ben Dolinky was part of the opening of this stadium. Mercedes-Benz Stadium was the first video over IP stadium.

Prior to MBS, Dolinky worked for the San Francisco Giants as the manager of scoreboard and video operations. he has worked multiple Super Bowls, College Football National Championship games, and the World Series.

Mark Harrison

CEO

 

Mark Harrison is the CEO of the DPP. Mark spent many years as a Director, Producer and Executive Producer. He has won numerous awards including from the RTS and BFI, as well as gaining an International Emmy and BAFTA nomination. He has held senior roles within the independent sector and the BBC, including as Managing Director of Soul Purpose Productions, and BBC Head of Arts. He became Controller of Production for BBC North in 2010, and later Director of Transformation in the BBC’s Design and Engineering group. Mark has been Managing Director of the DPP since it became a not-for-profit company in 2015, and left the BBC early in 2017 to devote more time to leading the DPP.

John Honeycutt

Former CTO Discovery, Chair of the IBC Council

 

John Honeycutt is the chair of the International Broadcasting Convention Council. He has spent the past 30 years in senior positions in the television market and has significant international experience across all aspects of the media industry, holding C-suite roles with broadcasters and TV service providers such as Discovery Communications, Fox Cable Networks, Google and Liberty Media. 

Larry Kaplan

President and CEO

As an industry leader and serial entrepreneur, Kaplan has an extensive track record of building and running successful businesses in the media and entertainment industry. Prior to founding SDVI in 2013, Kaplan served in the Office of the CEO at Harmonic Inc. following its $307M acquisition of Omneon in 2010, where he was the founding Chief Executive Officer. As Executive Chairman and then Vice Chairman of the Board at Omneon, he successfully guided the company from concept to market leader, and ultimately to successful acquisition by Harmonic Inc. 

Prior to Omneon, Kaplan served as the Senior Vice President of the Sony Broadcast division at Sony Electronics Inc. Before Sony, Kaplan was the Vice President and General Manager of the computer graphics & television group at Tektronix Inc. in addition to the Chairman of the Grass Valley Group, a subsidiary of Tektronix.

Kaplan holds an M.B.A. from Rutgers University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, is a fellow of the Society of Television & Motion Picture Engineers (SMPTE) in addition to being an honorary member of the IABM.

Mike Kralec

VP, Technical Operations and Deputy CTO

 

Mike Kralec is the Vice President, Technical Operations and Deputy CTo. He has worked at Sinclair since 2000, mostly recently as Director, Data Systems Development since 2010. Prior to that and from 2005, he served as Systems Development Manager. From 2000 to 2005 he was a Software Developer. Mr. Kralec received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Towson University and his Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland. He is a veteran of the United States Navy.

John Litster

Managing Director

 

John Litster is the Managing Director at Sky Media. He has worked in advertising sales for 30 years formerly for ITV for the last 22 years at Sky. He joined Sky in 1995 as a Sales Manger moving up to Head of Sales after 10 years and to Sales Director 6 years ago before becoming MD of Sky Media in 2014.

As MD of Sky Media he runs a team of 400 people responsible for selling advertising across 130 channels in the UK. We offer the broadest range of advertising solutions across the media landscape and are the biggest sales house globally in terms of spots sold.
 

Darren Long

Group Content Processing Director

 

Darren Long is the Group Content Processing Director at Sky. He is responsible for all content operations across UK, Italy, Germany and future markets for Sky. During his career at Sky he has been responsible for running Sky Sports Operations for over 16 years and overseeing the technical operational developments and innovations across all of Sky Sports and Sky Sports News. He was also responsible for all Sky Production Services across Studios, Post Production, Content Services and Editorial Compliance for 6 years.

Tonny Márquez

Corporate VP Technical Operations

 

Tonny Márquez is the Corporate VP Technical Operations at VC Medios. He has more than 30 years of experience in broadcast and is an industrial engineer. Tonny was born in Caracas, Venezuela and currently resides in Bogotá, Colombia.

VC Medios is a division at Ole Communications.

Michael McCrackan

SVP, Engineering & Operations

Michael McCrackan is the Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations and Music Choice. He is a senior level executive reporting to the CEO leading a multi-disciplined engineering, testing, IT, and broadcast operations team delivering audio and video streaming content and services over traditional and cloud based infrastructures on a variety of distribution platforms for satellite, cable, IPTV, and OTT systems and applications.

Mike Palmer

Senior Director Media Management

 

Mike Palmer is Senior Director, Advanced Technology/Media Management for Sinclair Broadcast Television Group, which includes 186 local televisions stations and 21 regional sports networks in addition to national media properties.  Palmer joined Sinclair’s Advanced Technology group in 2021 after spending 23 years designing products and technology for The Associated Press as Dir of Design and Integration Strategy, and later as CTO for Masstech. 

Palmer holds a BS in Broadcasting/Journalism from the University of Southern Colorado. Prior to working in the broadcast vendor space, Palmer worked in local news, and later in satellite technology for Hubbard Broadcasting where he was a member of the technical and operations team that first brought satellite broadcasting to the US market.

As a product and technology designer, Palmer applied his earlier hands-on user experience in news and broadcast operations to design products that bridged leading-edge technology, user experience, and business objectives.  Portions of this technology are now integrated into much of the daily broadcast news produced by local stations, networks and state broadcasters around the world. 

For his efforts, he was awarded AP’s Oliver Gramling award in 2004 and recognized by Broadcast and Cable with a Technology Leadership Award in 2006.  Products produced by the design groups in which he was a leader have won numerous awards.  In 2015 he was selected by his peers in The MOS Protocol Group to formally receive a National Technology Emmy awarded to the group, which he led for nearly 15 years.  He and a colleague were awarded a US patent for adaptive and predictive IP data transmission via satellite and other high-latency paths in 2009.  Palmer is a member of both SMPTE and The National Press Club.

One of Palmer’s challenges at Sinclair is to select and integrate components of a new media management system that will serve Sinclair’s diverse business units.  The new system must work across a wide range of technology, production types and unique workflows, and provide a centralized backbone/pipeline on which Sinclair’s transformative businesses can grow.

Del Parks

Chief Technology Officer

 

Delbert R. Parks, III has served as Executive Vice President / Chief Technology Officer since February 2020. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President / Chief Technology Officer of Sinclair Television Group, Inc. from November 2014 to February 2020, as Senior Vice President / Operations and Engineering from December 2013 to November 2014, and as Vice President / Engineering and Operations from 1996 to December 2013. From 1985 to 1996, he was Director of Operations and Engineering for WBFF-TV in Baltimore, Maryland. He has held various operations and engineering positions with us for the last 46 years. He is responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing operational and engineering policies and strategies as they relate to technical infrastructure, media operations, engineering, advertising technology, digital technology and facilities.

Mr. Parks is a SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) Fellow and is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He is on the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Parks is also a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who held various commands during his 26-year reserve career.

Michel Proulx

Retired, Ski Bum, Media Industry Advisor

 

Michel Proulx is a Media Industry technologist and executive with over 35 years of experience working with leading manufacturers and broadcasters in the television industry.

Since retiring as CTO of Miranda technologies at the end of 2012 Michel has split his time between perfecting the art of being a ski bum and consulting for a number of broadcasters and broadcast industry vendors.

Michel’s current focus is helping broadcasters understand and navigate the rapidly evolving OTT distribution landscape and transitioning to IT and IP based infrastructures. 

He is currently involved with a major project at Radio Canada / Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the re-building of the Maison Radio Canada, the Canadian broadcaster’s flagship French Language Production and Playout facility in Montreal. Positioning the broadcaster to be able to adapt to rapidly changing production and distribution needs, the new facility will feature an all IP infrastructure and a combination of fixed function hardware, software defined hardware and virtualized software sub systems.

Michel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Software from the University of Waterloo. Michel is an active member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Alessandro Reitano

Senior Vice President Sports Production

 

Having joined Sky Germany in 2008, Alessandro Reitano is now responsible for the sports production division at the broadcaster as vice president. He looks after all live sports coverage and leads on the development and implementation of new technologies and innovations in the field of sports production.

During this time at Sky, he has been involved with the first stereo 3D work and then, in 2012, with the first UHD test recording. In 2015, he brought the innovative Free-D technology to Germany, which was used in the German Cup Final and UEFA Champions League Final. Alessandro was also responsible for Sky’s first VR live test, which was successfully implemented at the 2016 German Cup Final.

From idea to completion in July 2017, he played a decisive role in the development and implementation of the new Sky Sport HQ broadcast centre at Unterföhring in Munich, which has set new standards in studio technology and efficient and effective production workflows. Since then he has been involved in Sky Germany’s moves to HDR, its recent augmented fan audio breakthrough and a host of other notable introductions.

Alessandro is the chairman of the SVG Europe Advisory Board.

Don Roberts

VP, Sports Engineering and Production Systems

 

Don Roberts is the Vice President, Sports Engineering and Production Systems at Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Doug Rousso

EVP & CITO

 

Douglas Rousso joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., (MGM) as Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Technology Officer in July 2018 overseeing MGM’s information and technology teams worldwide. 

Rousso has more than thirty years of experience in Media and Entertainment and has developed industry leading practices in production, distribution, and consumer facing video delivery solutions.  Rousso is known for creating tremendous enterprise value through technology development; —and delivering digital, OTT and direct to consumer capabilities.  Rousso serves as a guest lecturer, public speaker and board member for various venture firms and startup companies. 

Prior to MGM, Rousso was the Chief Technology Officer for CBS Corporation in New York since 2011. Rousso’s prior experience includes technology leadership roles in media and entertainment for corporations such as Universal Studios, Dreamworks SKG, NBC, and Warner Bros..  He has also held chief executive positions with two startup firms in the financial and retail segments.

Rousso graduated from the University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in finance and business economics and an MBA in Information Systems Management.  He currently resides in New York with his wife and three children, and is a SCUBA diving instructor and an avid snow- and water-skier.

David Travis

Director of Content, Technology & Platforms

 

Dave Travis is Director of Content, Broadcast & Platforms for Sky. In his role, he leads the product and technology teams across production, news, playout, content supply chain, and distribution for all of the Sky businesses including Sky Sports, Sky News, Now TV, Sky Content, Sky Media, and Sky Creative. Within Dave’s team, he is responsible for Strategy, Design, Implementation, and Support across the on-prem and cloud estates.

Dave is a highly experienced broadcast executive with over 20 years’ experience working at board level for numerous companies with excellent technical and commercial skills. His passion is building platforms that deliver consistent and efficient working practices within technology organisations.

Dave previously was Chief Product & Technology Officer for Red Bee Media which was a broadcast managed services provider serving over 80 customers including companies like the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, BT Sport, TF1, Canal +, and Telia Media Group.

Ben Wickham

Head of Studio Output

 

Ben Wickham leads the Sky News studio team across broadcast and cross platform programming, running a team of directors, studio and gallery crew. Working closely with Sky creative, editorial and technical teams, Ben has overseen Sky News coverage of Harry & Meghan’s wedding in UHD, broadcasts from 200m under the ocean, the UK general election and the recent US election. Throughout the COVID pandemic Sky News has navigated the changing guidelines and rules to remain at the forefront of news delivery, using new and existing technology to continue to inform viewers in extraordinary times.

Previous to working at Sky, Ben was Lead Programme Director at Channel 5 News, and directed Channel 4, ITV News and independent shows for ITN and ITN productions.

Josh Stinehour

Principal Analyst

 

Josh Stinehour is a principal analyst with Devoncroft Partners, a provider of market research and strategic consulting services to a wide range of digital media clients and institutional investors. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and trade shows in the media technology sector.

Prior to joining Devoncroft, Mr. Stinehour was a managing director at Silverwood Partners in the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications group. While at Silverwood, Mr. Stinehour executed a range of transactions including mergers and acquisitions, valuations, and private placements.

Before joining Silverwood, Mr. Stinehour worked in various positions at EMC Corporation including as a software programmer and later as an analyst on integration teams for EMC’s acquisitions of Documentum, Legato, and VMWare.

Josh loves NBA basketball (especially LeBron James) and college football. 

He holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, an MS in computer science from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a BS in computer science from Union College. Mr. Stinehour is a CFA charterholder.

Joe Zaller

Founder

 

Joe is the founder of Devoncroft Partners, a leading provider of market intelligence in the media technology sector.

Devoncroft provides market research and strategic consulting services to a wide range of clients in the media technology sector. The company publishes a variety of syndicated market research reports, including the annual Big Broadcast Survey, the largest and most comprehensive study of the professional audio and video market.  

In addition to syndicated research reports, Devoncroft is frequently retained for custom projects by some of the world’s leading brands including broadcasters and media companies. technology suppliers, large consulting firms, educational establishments, private equity firms, investment banks, and other financial institutions.

Devoncroft also produces a series of executive summits that bring together thought-leading speakers from across the media technology ecosystem.  Since the initial conference in 2012, Devoncroft Executive Summits have grown to be one of the must-attend events in the media technology calendar.

Joe has a BA in Philosophy and a BSc in Business Administration from Villanova University, where he developed a lifelong love of (watching) college basketball, and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Irvine. He also completed various executive courses at Stanford University and the Richard Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.

Joe, his long-suffering wife, and their three daughters live in San Diego, CA.

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