The Digital Hollywood Experience

"The Conference that Defines the Future of the Industry"


Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Session B: Prague Room A, 3rd Floor

Media and Entertainment Strategies - The Multi-Platform Brand - Video/TV, Magazines. News & Music - The Merger of Traditional Media and New Media

Michael Thornton, Chief Revenue Officer, Starz

Nancy Lane, Senior Executive Producer, CBS News Digital

Monty Sarhan, EVP & Head of Programming, Strategy & Enterprises, EPIX

Ashley Parrish, Executive Producer, Digital, TODAY, NBC Universal

Fabian Birgfeld, founder and partner, W12 Studios (formerly a lead exec at BBC)

Thomas Hjelm, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, New York Public Radio (NYPR)

Terry S. Bienstock, CEO, Mobilactive Media, LLC., Moderator

Nancy Lane, Senior Executive Producer, CBS News Digital: Nancy Lane is the Senior Executive Producer of CBS News Digital. In this role, she oversees all content for CBS News' digital properties, including, the CBS News mobile apps and social media accounts, and CBSN, CBS News' 24/7 digital streaming news network.  Prior to joining, Lane was Senior Vice President of Editorial for CNN/U.S., where she directed newsgathering operations, including rapid response to breaking news and in-depth coverage of ongoing and exclusive stories. She also oversaw affiliate desks, domestic bureau chiefs, guest booking,

and the deployment of CNN's domestic newsgathering resources. Previously, Lane served as Vice President and News Director of CNN/U.S.  Lane joined CNN in 1981 as an intern in its New York City bureau, and subsequently served as an assignment editor, field and line producer, senior political producer, New York executive producer, Washington executive producer and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief. She graduated from City University of New York-Hunter College.  Lane is based at CBS News headquarters in New York.


Ashley Parrish is the Executive Producer of TODAY Digital, the digital extension of the Emmy Award winning TODAY Show. A rare veteran of both the magazine and digital worlds, Mrs. Parrish has a proven track record working across various media formats to increase audience, revenue, and digital offerings to record numbers. Her work has been instrumental in expanding the digital footprint of iconic lifestyle brands across web, mobile, social, and email platforms. As the Chief Digital Officer of DuJour Media, Mrs. Parrish optimized the brand’s digital offerings with a focus on increasing engagement and digital revenue. Prior to that, Mrs. Parrish was the Editor-in-Chief of DailyCandy where she led the editorial voice, vision, and strategy for social, web, email, mobile, and video platforms winning several awards along the way. Earlier in her career, Mrs. Parrish was the Content Director for the Women and Teen Networks at Hearst Digital Media where she directed and managed the digital operations of Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Seventeen magazines. During her tenure at Hearst Digital Media, the Women and Teen Networks enjoyed record traffic highs and received multiple awards and accolades for their website content and style. In her spare time, Mrs. Parrish sits on the board of several companies and non-profits as a content and digital advisor. She is also an adjunct professor at her alma mater, New York University, where she enjoys teaching a variety of classes including Content Creation for the New Digital Attention Span, How to Write and Edit for the Web, and a Blogging Workshop.


Michael Thornton, Chief Revenue Officer, Starz: Based in Englewood at the company's corporate headquarters, Thornton is responsible for programming acquisitions for the seventeen Starz channels as well as its on-demand offerings. In addition, he oversees the strategic direction of business and legal affairs related to the acquisition of programming content as well as business and legal affairs for distribution of the Starz companies' content with online/broadband distributors, transactional VOD/EST, and worldwide syndication of proprietary STARZ Original series and other Starz proprietary/licensed content. Prior to joining Starz in 2011, Thornton served in several senior executive positions with legal and programming responsibilities during his career, and most recently at Disney/ABC Domestic Television as executive vice president, business and legal affairs since 2005. Thornton oversaw multi-platform strategy and negotiations for post-theatrical distribution of The Walt Disney Studios' film output and the post-network distribution of ABC Studios' television product. Prior to that, Thornton was Senior Vice President, Programming Acquisitions for DIRECTV since 1999 where he led programming strategy, including the acquisition of all on-air acquired and original programming and negotiated successfully numerous network, local broadcast station, sports subscription, and one-off event deals. Thornton graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth College with an A.B. degree in Economics, and holds a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law and an MBA in Entertainment Marketing and Finance from the Anderson Graduate School of Management, also at UCLA.


Fabian Birgfeld, founder and partner, W12 Studios: Fabian Birgfeld is founder and partner of W12 Studios. The agency was founded in 2012 in London with a strong focus on media and technology. W12 Studios has developed comprehensive design systems for the big screen, delivering content across the device ecosystem and has helped shape entirely new digital content formats for markets across the globe. W12 Studios' clients include Intel, Microsoft, NOS, Red Bull, Vodafone, BBC, Samsung, WatchWith, Beamly, Shazam, Verizon, and Okko among others.  Beforehand Fabian worked at frog design, Method and the BBC where he led the design teams for iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Sport and 2012 Olympics. Fabian has taught design and theory at Princeton University, Syracuse University and NJIT. His art and designs have been frequently exhibited in the US and Europe and won numerous awards. Born and raised in Germany, Fabian holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and a graduate degree in Architecture from Princeton University.


Monty Sarhan is the Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisitions, Strategy and Enterprises for EPIX, the premium entertainment service that is a joint venture of Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM.  Part of the network’s original launch team, Monty heads up the programming department, oversees acquisitions and scheduling for EPIX’s linear channels and on-demand offerings, and manages the network’s acquisitions, scheduling, operations, and program planning teams. Prior to his current role, Monty was Senior Vice President and Head of Business Affairs and responsible for a wide range of transactions including the network’s distribution and programming deals and key agreements that allowed EPIX to become the first premium network to offer subscribers access on Android devices, Roku, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PLAYSTATION. He also worked on business development and various strategic initiatives. Monty is a graduate of Duke University’s School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University.  He is married and lives with his wife, daughter, and two sons in Manhattan.


Thomas Hjelm is Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at New York Public Radio (NYPR).  He is responsible for setting strategy, cultivating strategic business opportunities that support the organization’s growth across all media platforms and for guiding digital strategy, innovation and operations for its properties. Since joining the organization in February 2011, Hjelm has overseen development of the company’s digital technology, product, user-experience and operations teams and set the vision for extending the reach of NYPR through new products and platforms.  Among the milestones during his tenure are the relaunches of the websites for WQXR, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, Radiolab and other franchises; the release of mobile apps for WNYC, WQXR and Radiolab; and the building of several new product and distribution partnerships.   Hjelm is also an active voice across the public radio system, serving as an advisor to NPR Digital Services and other policy groups. Before joining NYPR, Hjelm was Senior Director of Content Strategy and Business Operations for NBC Local Integrated Media.  In this role, he oversaw operations, content and product strategy and partner management across a network of local news-and-lifestyle websites in 10 major U.S. markets.  In 2008, he co-managed the reorganization of NBC Local’s digital operations and the relaunch of its online services. Prior to this, Hjelm spent three years at AOL, where he was Director of Broadband Services for the AOL for Broadband premium service, Creative Director for major marketing campaigns in support of and the AIM instant-messaging platform, and Strategic Consultant for AOL Television. From 1995 to 2000, Hjelm was Writer, Producer and later Senior Director and Executive Producer of  He led all creative developments and operations for an online network of original content produced in conjunction with such shows as Homicide: Life on the Street, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, The Pretender and Profiler. Hjelm has also played key roles with two venture-backed digital-media startups: Flixer, a Hollywood-based digital film studio and marketing services company, where he was co-founder and Vice President of Product and Strategy; and LivePlanet, a company founded by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to engage young talent and produce cross-platform content, where he was Executive Producer. Prior to his career in digital media, Hjelm was a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Hjelm received a B.A. in English from Swarthmore College and an M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.


Terry S. Bienstock, CEO, Mobilactive Media, LLC.: a New Jersey-based distributor of managed application publishing and secure remote access solutions for business and consumer markets. WorldExtend has revolutionary products to deliver to a business a low cost software-based VPN, and has developed a virtual computer on a TV set to bridge the Digital Divide. He also manages and advises other ventures relating to new media platforms, such as Video-on-Demand, digital video recorders, broadband and mobile services. Prior to this, he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Law and Government Affairs, for Comcast Cable Communications in Philadelphia. In this position, he maintained business responsibility for Comcast's Video on Demand platform, Comcast University and claims management. He was also responsible for overseeing the Law department for the country's leading cable and broadband communications provider, advising senior management on legal and business issues, and for Comcast's state and local government affairs in the 5000 communities and 41 states in which it did business. Prior to joining Comcast, for 23 years Bienstock was in private practice, serving as lead counsel on numerous major communications, First Amendment and property rights cases for most of the top media and cable companies, and lead high visibility cases, from the first fully televised trial in the U.S. to the Noriega tapes case for CNN. He pioneered litigation in the cable television industry for operators, programmers and equipment manufacturers, and successfully prosecuted cases on theft of service, copyright and trademark, premises access, franchising, franchise modifications, transfers, renewals, leased access and other constitutional and Cable Act issues. He has over 100 reported decisions to his name. A graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1975 and the Rutgers-Camden School of Law in 1978, Bienstock has authored several articles in leading legal publications on cable issues such as theft of service, franchising and access to premises. He regularly lectures at numerous national trade associates and legal conferences on various communications, media, regulatory, law department management and litigation topics, and at business conferences on new media topics