02/19/21: UFC locked in a big deal with TikTok

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Friday February 19, 2021

UFC is now grappling with TikTok courtesy of a groundbreaking multi-year partnership that calls for UFC to produce live content on the social media platform. Deal points will include UFC and TikTok collaborating to program new weekly shows on TikTok, offering live looks at weigh ins and press conferences, athlete interviews, arena tours, fighter training segments, and more. Overall, UFC and TikTok will collaborate to distribute hundreds of pieces of content annually via UFC’s global TikTok channels.
“This partnership with TikTok is a tremendous addition to UFC’s content distribution ecosystem,” said David Shaw, UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content. “We want to be everywhere our fans are consuming content, and TikTok continues to break new ground in reaching a diverse, global audience. This collaboration is a great way to drive awareness to our tent pole live events while delivering compelling content to our fans, 24/7.”

PROGRAMMING

The NBA announced that NBA All-Star 2021 will be held on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, with the league’s annual celebration set to run on one night for the first time, with on-court action beginning at 6:30p on TNT. As part of this year’s events, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced that they will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines. Coverage of the All-Star Game will begin at 8p with AT&T Slam Dunk taking place at halftime.

This weekend sees NBC Sports showcase the NHL Outdoor Games at beautiful Lake Tahoe this weekend on NBC, beginning with the Avalanche/Golden Knights on Saturday at 3p and the Flyers/Bruins on Sunday. Mike Tirico will call both games this weekend alongside Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst). Coverage will include unique production elements headlined by a pair of drone cameras and the absence of crowd noise, “enhancing both the natural sounds on the ice and picturesque outdoor Lake Tahoe setting.”

CBS Sports Network serves up a special analytics-driven presentation of Saturday’s BYU/Loyola Marymount matchup, titled “Beyond the Box Score,” bringing fans inside the world of college basketball analytics. In preparing for the telecast, CBS Sports production teams met with members of both coaching staffs to better understand how their programs utilize advanced stats in their practices, planning and in-game decision making in unique ways. The production will use this information, in conjunction with in-game advanced stats, to show viewers this utilization in action. The production will feature in-game segments, specially crafted graphics and analysis to highlight team and player performances beyond conventional stats as well as how programs are using analytics to better understand their teams strengths and weaknesses to gain an edge. Special guest analyst and current Penn Head Coach Steve Donahue will provide insight throughout the game from his unique perspective as an active coach alongside CBS Sports’ Jason Horowitz and Chris Walker.

Bellator MMA is implementing an official fighter rankings system for each of its weight classes, in addition to a pound-for-pound list for both the men’s and women’s divisions, in the coming weeks. The official Bellator MMA Fighter Rankings will be determined by a 15-person voting panel, comprised exclusively of members of the MMA media. “This is the greatest roster in the history of Bellator,” said Bellator MMA President Scott Coker. “As we continue to sign the top free agents in the sport and see the success of young prospects inside the Bellator cage, we felt that the time was right to introduce official fighter rankings. We are always looking at ways to improve our product and this adds a new and exciting aspect to the organization that will have a significant impact on how fans watch Bellator. Every division is competitive, every matchup is important, and we are set for several potential blockbusters as we begin a new year on Showtime.”

PBR and Snapchat are debuting Life By The Horns, a new docu-series on the platform this Saturday. The 10-episode series follows Ezekiel Mitchell, one of PBR’s biggest and brightest stars, as he tries to become the first Black cowboy to win a PBR title. The new series premiere follows the success of “Get Bucked,” a Snapchat series focused on PBR ride highlights and wrecks, launched on Snapchat on February 10.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

Mars Wrigley and WWE are extending their relationship, locking in a deal to make SNICKERS the presenting partner of WrestleMania for the sixth consecutive year, taking place April 10-11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. The expanded agreement includes multiple pieces of custom video content featuring WWE Superstars with spots that will air in Monday Night Raw on USA Network and Friday Night SmackDown on FOX, as well as during WrestleMania on Peacock. New for 2021, the partnership names SNICKERS the Presenting Partner of the WrestleMania Main Event match, marking the first time the marquee match has ever been sponsored. “After an unpredictable year, we’re excited to bring fans some better moments by returning as the presenting sponsor of WrestleMania,” said Michelle Deignan, Senior Director, SNICKERS. “We know the passionate WWE fan base is hungry for some entertainment, and we look forward to sharing those satisfying moments for the sixth year in a row.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation and BioSteel locked in a multi-year partnership designating the sports drink company a sponsor of U.S. Soccer. The multi-year agreement kicks off with the SheBelieves Cup this week from Exploria Stadium in Orlando. As part of the agreement, executed by Soccer United Marketing BioSteel’s zero sugar sports drink will be available to all of U.S. Soccer’s National Teams, including the Women’s National Team, Men’s National Team, Youth National Teams and Extended National Teams. BioSteel will hydrate U.S. Soccer National Team players with product on the sidelines at matches and practices, in locker rooms and in training camp facilities. BioSteel’s branding will also be featured on towels, squirt bottles, coolers, and cups on sidelines, beginning immediately. BioSteel will receive significant exposure through its in-stadium.

Speaking of soccer, Columbus Crew SC announced that the Club has entered into a multi-year partnership with Donatos Pizza. Donatos becomes an official partner ahead of the opening of the Club’s new downtown stadium, set for July of this year, and becomes the Official Pizza of the club.

In addition, Angel City Football Club announced DoorDash as the team’s founding front-of-kit sponsor and exclusive on-demand delivery platform partner, marking the company’s first entry into professional soccer. As the team’s exclusive front-of-kit sponsor, the DoorDash primary logo will grace the mid-center position of ACFC’s official kits and merchandise including home and away jerseys.

Bridgestone has partnered with the NHL Foundation in a move to promote diversity and inclusion through local youth hockey initiatives. To kick off the partnership, Bridgestone has pledged a $200,000 donation which will directly support youth hockey programming in Las Vegas and Nashville.

HyperX named WNBA player Aerial “POWERzSURGE” Powers as its latest brand ambassador. Under the new sponsorship, Powers will use HyperX headsets while streaming and gaming. As the official gaming audio sponsor of Aerial Powers, HyperX marks its first foray into the WNBA. “I am extremely excited to officially join the HyperX family. Anyone who games, knows that hearing an opponent coming before they see you is key to winning. With my HyperX headphones, I have been able to see a big difference in my gameplay and an increase in my number of ‘dubs,’” said Powers. “Rocking HyperX is what will continue to keep me at the top of my game. I am so honored to receive the Heroes treatment and I can’t wait to share with the world the sick creation that we come up with!”

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Bally’s Corporation and the NHL announced the launch of a multiyear strategic partnership designating Bally’s as an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL. This deal represents Bally’s first sports betting partnership with a professional sports league and provides Bally’s with rights to use NHL marks and logos as well as use of the League’s official data across its expanding portfolio of sports betting products. In addition, through its media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, Bally’s will create engaging content for NHL fans and integrate that content into live NHL game coverage spanning 19 regional sports networks.

Fan Controlled Football reports that the league became the most downloaded sports app on the Apple App Store after its inaugural season launch on Feb. 13. The first-ever FCF games drew more than 700,000 total live views on Twitch for its opening weekend, making it one of the most successful live sports programs on Twitch this month.

Satisfi Labs, the conversational AI platform for destinations and experiences, unveiled a new partnership with the LA Galaxy and LA Kings. This multi-year deal, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, will make Satisfi Labs an official partner of the two teams, and offer integration that will provide fans with real-time conversational access to player stats, in-game scores, team standings, and more year-round, and will be integral in answering fan’s questions about safety when they eventually return to the venue for live game days.

On the heels of its Project 2020, Topps unveiled the first cards in Project70, a new series which celebrates the 70th anniversary of the first Topps baseball set in a comprehensive program featuring 51 premier artists and designers from around the world each creating 20 cards of their own player and card year design choice. The set commemorates both the initial year of 1951 and the 70 years that it has produced baseball cards, with three new issues daily, each available for 70 hours. Creators selected to participate comprise a diverse group that includes the likes of rap musician Snoop Dogg, graffiti artist Futura, pop artist Ron English, jeweler Ben Baller, painter Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins, comic and album artist Alex Pardee, sneaker artist The Shoe Surgeon, designer Sophia Chang and more.

ESPORTS

Team Liquid tapped a deal with Bud Light to become the official beer of Team Liquid League of Legends. In addition to team members making appearances on Bud Light League Lounge, the weekly recap show streamed live on Twitch, Bud Light will also host (21 and older) virtual tailgates featuring Liquid talent and casters before matches, as well as live games and giveaways on the Team Liquid Discord channel. Finally, Team Liquid is launching a slate of new shows and content in partnership with the brand that will include Coaching After Dark, a podcast style show and other LCS-related streams throughout the year.

eFuse picked up $6 million in funding from a consortium of esports and gaming influencers and professional athletes. The ‘LinkedIn for gamers’ announced plans to leverage the new capital to fuel product development, user acquisition, and make key hires. “eFuse is redefining how gamers network,” said eFuse CEO Matthew Benson. “Gamers communicate and showcase differently than traditional professionals and need a purpose-driven platform to help them find the right opportunity. At eFuse, we’re committed to helping all gamers get discovered.” Notable investors include Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers, NBA), Denzel Ward (Cleveland Browns, NFL), Ezekiel Elliot (Dallas Cowboys, NFL), and Chase Winovich (New England Patriots, NFL).

OverActive Media‘s Call of Duty League franchise Toronto Ultra is launching exclusive partnership with snack brand Jack Link’s. The deal sees the company become the ‘official meat partner’ of the squad and they will be featured on the franchise’s social media graphics alongside being the named partner of a tournament that will be broadcast on the Ultra’s YouTube channel.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The Professional Fighters League announced the completion of a $65 million financing round, bringing total funding of the company to $175 million. The new investment capital raised in this round from leading firms will accelerate PFL’s momentum, innovation, and growth. The $65 million institutional financing round was led by Ares Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, and Knighthead Capital.

Toldright, an on-demand video production resource for the sports, media and technology industries, announced the official appointments of Patrick McManus, Executive Director; Jason Bernstein, Senior Vice President of Content; Amanda Short, Head of the Neighborhood; and Daniel Shoy, Diversity Executive in Residence. “As we continue to expand and cultivate our company, we couldn’t be more excited to have award winners and industry leaders like Patrick, Jason, Amanda, and Danny on our team,” said Max Heineman, CEO and Co-Founder of toldright. “Their decades of collective expertise across production, multimedia, sports, technology, and inclusion, in addition to their understanding of compelling video content and exciting storytelling, will continue to inspire the iconic brands we work with.”

Excel Sports Management named CJ Simmons as Director of Marketing Solutions. Prior to joining Excel, Simmons was the Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships & Analytics at Monumental Sports & Entertainment. He has also worked in sponsorship sales and partnership marketing roles at the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball, Madison Square Garden and the New York Mets.

The National Basketball Retired Players Association announced the reelection and naming of officers Johnny Davis (Chairman), Dave Cowens (Vice Chairman), Sam Perkins (Treasurer), and Grant Hill (Secretary) to its Board of Directors for 2021. They join Board of Directors members, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler , Shawn Marion , Dave Naves , Sheryl Swoopes and Jerome Williams. Dave Cowens has also been elevated from Director to the position of Vice Chairman.

SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/David J. Halberstam

You’ll enjoy notes and sports broadcast nuggets of interest to all. MLB broadcast changes, college basketball happenings, announcers who changed their names, those who sinned and are suffering career death sentence and more.
Halby’s Morsels: MLB changes; Hoops voices; Nice to see an NHL announcer wear a turban on-air

With the Super Bowl behind us, we asked media members to comment on who the next great network TV analysts are and what advice they would give the, from Drew Brees to Phil Rivers.
NFL analysts: Who are the next great ones on network TV? Media lists names and what it will take

Brian Anderson might very well be the next lead NBA voice beginning next season. Marv Albert’s contract ends after this season.
Turner’s Brian Anderson and Jim Jackson get an A covering the Nets’ comeback win over the Suns

Happy Birthdays:
Phil Esposito, 2/20 Tampa Bay Lightning – radio
Charles Barkley, 2/20 TNT, NBA
Mike Fratello, 2/24 NBA Television
Billy Packer, 2/25 ex-CBS-NCAA analyst
Andrea Kremer, 2/25 NFL Network
Todd Blackledge, 2/25 ESPN, college football
Dawn Davenport, 2/25 ESPN, Various
Sports Broadcast Journal

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On this Day
1928: The second Winter Olympic Games close in Switzerland.

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VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL MANAGER
NEXSTAR INC., KRON4-MYNETWORK
SAN FRANCISCO

Leading broadcast operational teams with sales-driven organizations, developing locally originated content, and commitment to community service. Track record of high performance in developing revenue across multiple platforms. Minimum of five years of general management experience at a commercial broadcast television station with accompanying digital assets required. Full info HERE (3/7)

COUNSEL, BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS >>
MLB NETWORK/SECAUSUS, NJ:
Strong knowledge and understanding of legal and business issues related to media, strong negotiation and drafting skills and a solid understanding of business issues. Draft and/or negotiate a wide variety of agreements and contract summary/tracking/management. A minimum of two years of legal experience in a media and/or entertainment transactional environment either in-house or with a law firm is required. Full info HERE (3/7)

COMMUNITY MANAGER
>>
JUKIN MEDIA/LOS ANGELES:
Set overall community strategy as it relates to supporting brand initiatives, structure implementation of community-facing strategy across FailArmy, communicate on behalf of the brand across multiple channels. Min 3 yrs experience in brand communications, strong expertise in and a passion for current and emerging social and OTT platforms. Full info HERE (3/6)

DIRECTOR, CURRENT PROGRAMMING >>
JUKIN MEDIA/LOS ANGELES:
Responsible for overseeing, guiding and elevating all programming for each of the Streaming TV channels, Works with VP Streaming to establish long-term creative programming strategy to achieve business unit KPIs. Plan and budget to help develop, help commission, and acquire programming for Jukin streaming channels. 7+ years in creative production for digital/streaming/television required. Full info HERE (3/6)

SENIOR MANAGER, NEWS & CONTENT >>
SPECTRUM NETWORKS/NYC:
Actively and consistently support all efforts to simplify and enhance the customer experience, ability to oversee production of Live Newscasts. Drive integration and collaboration with other managers to achieve station goals. Work closely with other managers to determine daily scope of coverage. Full info HERE (3/6)

DIGITAL MANAGING DIRECTOR >>
SPECTRUM NETWORKS/NYC:
Lead the talented and resourceful journalists, manage digital teams in multiple locations and editorial content; encourage innovation and unique story telling techniques. Impeccable integrity and ability to support our writers and editors in making tough journalistic calls in fast-moving news cycles. Full info HERE (3/6)

MANAGER, PROGRAM & CONTENT STRATEGY >>
CNN/NYC OR REMOTE:
Creates schedules/rollout plans for series/films, live news, and special events on CNN & HLN. Manages inventory and evaluates performance to optimize usage. TV Programming exp, 5+ yrs. Can project manage/multi-task. Must know current events. Full info/apply HERE (3/6)

DIRECTOR OF PRIME TIME TELEVISION
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THE JIM HENSON COMPANY/ HOLLYWOOD: Responsible for building out relationships with writers, directors, agents, managers, and talent in the prime-time arena, identifying new projects and talent in both comedy and drama for live-action and animation, and will oversee development of series to pitch A background in prime time television required and demonstrated knowledge of television development and production processes a must. Full info HERE (3/6)

VP of GAMING and ESPORTS >>
GRAVITY ROAD/NYC:
Gravity Road is a creative company bringing together marketing, entertainment, and technology to create things people want to spend time with. We are looking for someone that is a commercially minded gamer, a strategic thinker and a proactive doer to join as our VP Gaming and Esports. Full info HERE (3/6)

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Directs, co-develops/delivers locally prod programs and PSA for nat and inter’l audiences. Also oversees prod crew that produces regular, special and live shows related to various political, historical and other appropriate topics. Min 3 yrs exp in directing Live television news, studio-based programming or similarly related professional media productions. Full info HERE (3/6)

VIDEO ENGINEER & ROBOTIC CAMERA OPERATOR >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Exp in configuring and setting up all broadcast studio cameras both manned and robotic for daily use. Maintains network-level camera blocking and composition. Monitors/adjusts video signals including cameras, monitors, playback sources, color correction equip/incoming feeds. Min 4 yrs exp. Full info HERE (3/6)

FEEDS MANAGER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Resp for managing tech/logistical traffic supporting live news shows. Full knwldge of video and tech workflow throughout all locations. Provide tech guidance to help create better video workflows. Ensure all broadcast feeds are meeting specific tech quality standards. Min 3 yrs tech managing, or equivalent knwldge. 5 yrs in live TV prod. Full info HERE (3/6)

GFX Op >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Must be able to set up and play out all graphic elements which are included in pre-recorded or live programming. Mnge graphic content as it corresponds to live and pre-recorded programs. Satisfy all production req for live and pre-recorded programming under the supervision of the show’s director and technical operations mngmt. Min 3 yrs of exp in graphic and character generation, plus 1yr exp with Ross Xpression. Full info HERE (3/6)

AUDIO TECHNICIAN >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Operate/executes audio mixing/creation for live and taped broadcasts, in the context of orig produced programs and PSAs. Collaborate with News depart and prod crew that produce regular, special and live shows. Generate timely and pertinent broadcast material. Min 2 yrs exp in graphic and character gen in television news, creative services, studio-based prog or related profession. Full info HERE (3/6)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (3/6)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (3/6)

SENIOR LINE PRODUCER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (3/6)

PRODUCER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (3/6)

GENERAL SALES MANAGER >>
NEXSTAR/WPIX-TV/NYC: Proven performance record of revenue and share growth, new business development and innovative solution-based selling. Non-traditional revenue development along with best-in-class client services and unparalleled client relationships a must. Minimum of five years of sales management experience at a commercial broadcast television station with accompanying digital assets required. Full info HERE (2/28)

OTT PLATFORMS EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
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CASTIFY/REMOTE:
Castify.ai, a global leader in CTV content distribution, allows video content owners to publish & monetize their content as a native app or channel, across multiple CTV and OTT platforms, is looking for a well-connected media consultant who can liaise with OTT and CTV distribution partners. The consultant will have the primary responsibility to extend the reach and lead the relationships with our OTT and CTV partners. Full info HERE (2/28)

SENIOR DIRECTOR, CONTENT ACQUISITIONS >>
FILMRISE/NYC or LA:
Develop licensing and distribution partnership opportunities; Oversee company’s existing servicing partnerships business and identify new prospective partners. Minimum 5 to 7 years of experience in an acquisitions, sales, or business development role at a film or television company. Candidate should have existing network of content relationships across the industry. Full info HERE (2/28)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS >>
FILMRISE/NYC: Support our IT team and manage our digital assets. We are looking for someone extremely detail-oriented with strong organizational skills. Previous experience with digital asset coordination is preferred, working knowledge of Premiere Pro required. Full info HERE (2/27)

VP ORIGINAL SERIES DTC
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discovery+/LA:
This D+ Original Content role will serve as a key member of the DTC Content Team, driving original content strategy and execution for discovery+. Must have at least 2 years streaming experience, excellent analytical skills, strong creative judgement, and be a great collaborator. Full info HERE (2/27)

LINE PRODUCER >>
JV PRODUCTIONS/REMOTE:
Experienced PM or Line Producer needed to help command the production process for a new unscripted Reno & Build Series. You’ll manage logistics, balance vision with time & money, and strategize with others to ensure an efficient, fun, safe and high-quality production. Full info HERE (2/27)

SENIOR COUNSEL >>
FILMRISE/NYC or LA:
Looking for New York or California bar member for drafting and negotiating content acquisition and distribution agreements, television contracts, releases, agreements with streaming platforms, software licenses, vendor agreements and NDAs. Must possess solid understanding of digital streaming platforms and contracts, and substantive knowledge of contract law principles. Full info HERE (2/26)

COORDINATOR, SOCIAL MEDIA
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MEDIA CROWN FAMILY NETWORKS/STUDIO CITY CA:
Will support Social Marketing initiatives through creating and gathering compelling content, assets, and graphics for all segments and platforms of our Social Media presence. Responsible for writing post/tweet copy to go with created assets, scheduling content, and making sure all assets are up to date. Liaise with other internal departments and agencies on all trafficking of assets, media buys, and fulfillment of giveaways. 1-2 years of experience in entertainment. Full info HERE (2/26)

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NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP/INDIANAPOLIS:
Development of new business and achievement of revenue goals. Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluation, promotion, and termination of account executives and sales assistants. 3-5 years of television sales management experience is preferred. 5+ years television sales experience mandatory. Full info HERE (2/26)

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
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TEAM WHISTLE/NYC/REMOTE: Win Revenue– prospect, connect with, and secure partnership from agency-led and client-direct branded partners. Educate the media market on the Team Whistle product line and generate revenue via selling video, branded content, and white-label solutions. Experience selling branded content, familiarity within the larger sports/entertainment media landscape, and 5+ years partnering with ad agencies and clients directly required. Full info HERE (2/25)

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Manages all aspects of the News Department (other than Production), plans and manages staffing, training, and performance evaluations for the News Department. Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and work-related experience required. Full info HERE (2/25)

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A+E NETWORKS/NYC:
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SENIOR TALENT BOOKER
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THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA/NYC:
Procure talent – research, invite and secure the highest-level speakers/panelists and moderators; book and produce unique and influential programs. 10+ years of programming experience securing high profile talent for industry, entertainment, sports and media programs and other special events on time and within budget. Full info HERE (2/24)

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