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Vice CEO to keynote Edinburgh TV Festival

Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith will deliver this year’s James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August.

Vice CEO Shane Smith

Vice CEO Shane Smith

The keynote is traditionally a significant event in the UK television calendar, and has been delivered in the past by the likes of Ted Turner, Peter Bazalgette, Rupert Murdoch, Kevin Spacey and, last year, Armando Iannucci.

“This year will be a bloodbath,” said Smith, whose company has been at the forefront of an emerging ecosystem of new media firms challenging the existing framework.

“New media will consolidate or get bought up by old media who will continue to flail about in the froth of de-stratification of the status quo. In the midst of all this chaos new media monoliths will be born. Good times.”

Vice has this year launched its cable channel, Viceland, which is now being distributed around the world. The company’s investors include 21st Century Fox, A+E Networks and The Walt Disney Company.

Besides Smith’s keynote, other global players will feature at this year’s British TV festival.

Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice, and ABC pair Patrick Moran and Keli Lee, who are executive VP of ABC Studios and managing director of international content and talent for ABC Entertainment Group, respectively, will appear in the International Gamechangers strand.

British showrunner Bruno Heller (Gotham and The Mentalist) and Warner Bros. Television executive producer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals).

Other executives and personalities appearing including ITV content chief Kevin Lygo, BBC channels chief Charlotte Moore, Sky 1 director Adam MacDonald, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow, Channel 4 creative head Jay Hunt, Leftbank Pictures chief Andy Harries, Endemol Shine International CEO Cathy Payne, former BBC drama controller and Bad Robot head of television Ben Stephenson, and screenwriter Hans Rosenfeldt (The Bridge, Marcella).

There will also be a VR session, as virtual reality content continues to entice producers, a case study of CBS talk show The Late Late Show, two ‘EdTalks’ sessions, and a debate on the future of public service broadcasting.