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RTS announces Cambridge Convention line-up

The Royal Television Society (RTS) has unveiled the line-up for the RTS Cambridge Convention 2015: Happy Valley or House of Cards?

The Royal Television Society (RTS) has unveiled the line-up for the RTS Cambridge Convention 2015: Happy Valley or House of Cards? Television in 2020 ­ the challenges for content, creativity and business models. The biennial event, which takes place in Cambridge from 16-18 September, will see the senior figures converge to discuss the future of TV content and business.

This year, the BBC is the Convention’s principal sponsor. It will be chaired by BBC director general Tony Hall. He said, “The 2015 Cambridge Convention will see producers, content creators and industry leaders explore how content creation and business models will need to adapt to the ever changing TV landscape. Using research, discussion and lively debate, we have designed a programme which will address the challenges being faced and look at how we can protect and grow the British TV industry.”

In the opening session, Happy Valley or House of Cards? Television in 2020, James Purnell, director, strategy and digital at the BBC, will chair a scene-setter for the convention. Bringing together data-driven insights, with a panel including Emily Bell, Tow Center of Digital Journalism at Columbia University Journalism School; Susanna Dinnage, Discovery Networks UK/Ireland; Stephen Lambert, Studio Lambert and Stephen Nuttall, YouTube EMEA; the session will offer a wide-ranging and challenging debate on the future of the television industry.

Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of Viacom, will then offer a global perspective in his International Keynote, chaired by Kamal Ahmed, business editor, BBC News.

Following the BBC Worldwide Reception, which will feature remarks from Rona Fairhead, chairman, BBC Trust, the Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, will set out the government’s view in the Secretary of State Keynote, chaired by Tony Hall (pictured).

As both consolidation and foreign ownership of the UK production sector accelerates, day two will open with a debate led by Lorraine Heggessey, of the Grierson Trust and Channel 4 Growth Fund.

Delegates on Thursday will get a chance to hear from the men in charge at three international powerhouses. First up is Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president of programming who will talk to Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer. AMC Networks president and CEO, Josh Sapan will then chat with Tim Davie, Chief Executive, BBC Worldwide; and later in the day David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications will be in conversation with Sir Howard Stringer.

In the last session of the morning Jane Tranter will ask two of the industry’s leading writers ­ Hugo Blick and Bryan Elsley, and two rising stars – Regina Moriarty and Tahsin Guner, their views on The Single Voice and the Show Runner. This session will also discuss how new writers get started and build a career in the industry.

In the afternoon, Patrick Younge of Sugar Films, will be joined by Michael Edelstein, , NBCUniversal International Studios; ITV Studios MD, Kevin Lygo; new director of BBC Studios, Peter Salmon and All3Media MD, Jane Turton for Studios Uncovered.

Ofcom chief executive Sharon White will then deliver her keynote, chaired by Stewart Purvis CBE, professor of Television Journalism at City University. The day closes with Tony Hall who will deliver the BBC Keynote, before being interviewed by The Guardian’s head of media, Jane Martinson.

How did broadcasters miss the story of Election 2015? And how could they do better in next year’s referendum? Martha Kearney, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The World At One talks to the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP and Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam for The one that got away, the opening session of day three.

In The rise of the smartphone ­ creating compelling content for the mobile generation, BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly and Philip Harper, Atlantic Productions, present and discuss the latest smartphone technology soon to change the TV industry ­ including 360-degree cameras and virtual reality headsets.

TV without borders: is the digital single market boom of bust for the UK?, explores the European Commission’s ambition to ensure European consumers can access content across borders.

Stuart Murphy, BSkyB, Danielle Lux, CPL Productions and Jonathan Shalit OBE, ROAR Global will explore issues raised by current controversies surrounding talent, in Talent ­ can’t live with em can’t live without em. Jane Lush, Kalooki Pictures, will ask, do they get paid too much? Do they have too much power? How has this situation arisen? And what, if anything, should we do about it?

At the end of three days of debate the final session, Looking Towards 2020, will see senior industry leaders, including David Abraham, Adam Crozier, Tony Hall and Tom Mockridge take to the stage to consider what we have learned about the directions in which television is heading.

In addition to the BBC, the RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 is also sponsored by Accenture, All3Media, BBC Worldwide, Fujitsu, ITN, and ITV. Sir Peter Bazalgette will be Wednesday evening’s after dinner speaker, while the speaker for Thursday night¹s dinner will be announced closer to the time.

The RTS has collaborated with Accenture to develop a bespoke app for iOS and Android devices, allowing delegates to navigate information about each session, read speaker biographies, access social media links, download presentations, vote and comment during sessions, and find out more about getting to/from the Convention in Cambridge.