ASTRA conference program announced

08 February, 2011 by IF

Press release from Tsuki

A selection of thought and industry leaders from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia will gather at the ASTRA 2011 Conference on 29th March at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre for a timely look at the media landscape and what lies ahead.


The 2011 Conference program has been designed to provide attendees with a host of networking avenues; sharing of knowledge and industry best-practice; and the opportunity to hear about future trends forecast by global industry leaders.

This year’s Conference will include two keynote addresses, a programming trends panel discussion and four concurrent sessions.

The ASTRA 2011 Conference will commence with the popular Women in TV breakfast and will conclude with the presentation of the ASTRA Industry Excellence Awards and a drinks-reception.

Keynote addresses

Headlining the speakers will be Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, who oversees over 10,000 employees and was recently named the Most Powerful Woman in Entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter for the second year in a row, and Jeremy Darroch, CEO of British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB), who increased the company’s subscriber base in UK and Ireland to over 10 million in November 2010 (from over 7 million) through a difficult economic period.

In addition to these addresses, FOXTEL Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Kim Williams, and AUSTAR Chief Executive Officer John Porter will discuss the current environment, opportunities and challenges for STV in Australia.

Programming trends panel discussion

In addition to the keynote speakers, this plenary session will include Jana Bennett, President of Worldwide Networks and Global iPlayer, BBC Worldwide, Barbara Wall, Executive Vice President of Television for Lionsgate and Katherine Green, Senior Vice-President of Programming for CNN International.

These international programming leaders will discuss trends in programming from their individual perspectives as experts in documentary, drama and news programming respectively.

Concurrent sessions

This year’s Conference will feature four individual sessions – two concurrent at a time.

Original Australian Production

Winner of over 50 Australian industry awards and Golden Globe Awards® nominee (for an Australian TV show), John Edwards; Primetime Emmy® Awards nominated John Luscombe, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Beyond Productions; and creator of several popular and hit Australian shows, Mark Fennessy, Chief Executive Officer of Shine Productions will share their insights in the original production session.

The session will highlight the great diversity of original Australian content being created and the efforts of independent producers to make compelling, emotive and popular programs. Discussion will range from the diversity of Australian content and trends in production to what is making an impact with Australian audiences.
Moderator: Brian Walsh, Head of Television at FOXTEL.

Connecting with your Audience Beyond the TV Screen

This session will review industry trends including interactivity, social media and activities that create loyalty, to illustrate how channels are generating and maintaining strong connections with audiences. Speakers at the session come from four diverse genres of programming and include Paul Robinson, Founder and Managing Director of global children’s’ channel KidsCo, Rebecca Batties, General Manager of Music Brands at MTV Networks Australia, Karen Goldhawk Marketing Director at The LifeStyle Channel (XYZ Networks) and Mark Jones, Head of Digital at FOX SPORTS (Premier Media Group).
Moderator: Kylie Merritt, Presenter on SKY NEWS Business Channel.

New Breed: Leaders of Tomorrow

This session will discuss the business landscape and role of leadership in Australia today through a moderated discussion with three individuals who are experts in their field. Nicole Sheffield, General Manager, The LifeStyle Channels (XYZ Networks), makes running a family of channels look easy; Tony Abrahams, Chief Executive Officer of Ai Media takes ideas to the next level with innovation at its core; and Travis Conneeley, Creative Director for FOXTEL, uses creativity to engage consumers.
Moderator: Catherine Fox, Deputy Editor at AFR Boss and author.

TV everywhere

This session will include the Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook, a trend analysis through 2014, highlighting the changing landscape and where technology and consumer demand are headed – presented by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Patrick Delany Executive Director, Sales & Product Development for FOXTEL, J-B Rousselot, Executive Director of Voice, Broadband and Media for Telstra and Deanne Weir, Group Director, Corporate Development at AUSTAR will discuss the changing environment including new products and services and their impact on audiences and subscription TV.
Moderator: James Chessell, Senior Media Writer at The Australian.

For more information, or to register go to or contact: