Universal Studios Group, All3Media, Banijay Rights, Chicken Soup, RMvistar and Tubi join Content LA line up

Content LA has announced a further 10 speakers to join the line up for its May 18/19 event, taking place at the Fairmont Century Plaza. Built around a robust conference agenda covering Scripted, Unscripted, FAST and International Coproduction, Content LA brings together the US and International business to develop new partnerships.

You can find further details about Content LA, including Earlybird Registration rates by CLICKING HERE.

In a series of one-on-one conversations and panel discussions these top executives will discuss content strategies and future visions across both scripted and unscripted, look to the future of FAST and growing trends and opportunities around international coproduction.

Speaking at Content LA:

Toby Gorman
Universal Television Alternative Studio

Gorman is president of Universal Television Alternative Studio (UTAS), a division of Universal Studio Group. The studio develops and produces game shows, competition programs, true crime, documentaries and docuseries. Gorman has oversight over all aspects of the studio, including development, production, business and creative affairs.

Notable projects under Gorman’s purview include That’s My Jam, hosted by Jimmy Fallon; Baking It, hosted by Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph; The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning produced by Amy Poehler and Scout Productions; and a new true crime docu-series from Dick Wolf Blood & Money. Additionally, the studio creates hit formats that are replicated worldwide, such as Hollywood Game Night which has been remade in 22 territories, The Wall has been sold into 27 territories internationally and That’s My Jam is in over a dozen territories already.

Upcoming series under Gorman’s oversight include The Americas, a 10-part natural history show; Surviving Earth, a documentary series that will recreate critical mass extinctions in Earth’s history; and Dick Wolf’s first unscripted show, LA Fire and Rescue.

Gorman was previously interim CEO of Magical Elves and EVP of alternative programming at FremantleMedia North America.

Kelsey Balance
Senior VP, global scripted series
Universal International Studios

Balance is SVP, scripted programming, Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. In this role, Balance is charged with building on the studio’s track record of creating premium scripted content with global appeal and developing series with emerging and diverse voices. She reports to Beatrice Springborn, president, Universal International Studios.

Balance oversees development of the studio’s expansive slate of scripted programming, which includes International Emmy® Award-winning Safe Harbour, Peabody and BAFTA-winning We Are Lady Parts, The Capture, Stateless, Clickbait, Everything I Know About Love, Dodger, Transplant, The Undeclared War, as well as upcoming series Apples Never Fall, Things I Know to Be True and more. She also covers the studio’s exclusive talent deals with Quoc Dang Tran and Buendía Estudios.

Prior to joining International Studios, Balance was head of programming at NBCUniversal’s comedy streaming venture Seeso, where she had oversight of all originals, acquisitions and co-productions, including the critically acclaimed Flowers, Take My Wife and HarmonQuest. Before NBCUniversal, she was at Participant Media, where she worked on award-winning projects, such as Please Like Me, HitRecord On TV and Fortitude.

Vivian Cannon
Executive VP, drama development
Universal Television

Cannon is EVP, drama development, Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group. In this role, she is responsible for the studio’s drama series development across broadcast, cable, streaming and digital platforms. She reports to Erin Underhill, president, Universal Television.

Cannon has been a driving force behind the development of many critically acclaimed and commercially successful drama series, including Bel-Air, The Equalizer, The Gilded Age, New Amsterdam, La Brea, The Calling, Quantum Leap, The Best Man: The Final Chapters and Vampire Academy.

She first joined Universal Television in 2017 as SVP, drama development. Before that, as a television producer, Cannon produced pilots and series for HBO, Showtime, NBC, ABC and FX, among other platforms. She was an executive producer on the AMC drama Preacher, having developed and produced the pilot. She also executive produced Showtime’s The Big C, which won a highly coveted AFI Award.

Marc Velez
Senior VP, head of development

Velez is SVP, head of development for UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group. In this role, he is responsible for the studio’s series development across all platforms. He reports to Beatrice Springborn, president, UCP.

Velez oversees development of the studio’s premium and award-winning programming, which includes The Umbrella Academy, Candy, Gaslit, Dr. Death, The Girl From Plainville, Queer as Folk, Chucky and Resident Alien. He works closely with the studio’s talent roster, including Sam Esmail, Seth MacFarlane, Tanya Saracho, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Nick Antosca and numerous others.

Prior to joining UCP, Velez was president of Lee Daniels Entertainment, where he developed and executive produced ABC’s Wonder Years, Fox’s Our Kind of People, BET’s The Ms. Pat Show and the Sammy Davis Jr. limited series for Hulu. He also headed the Lee Daniels Inclusion Fund, which supports up-and-coming diverse voices.

Previously, Velez was SVP at Imagine Television, where he developed Lee Daniels’ Empire for Fox and worked on Netflix’s Arrested Development.

Sally Habbershaw
Executive VP Americas
All3Media International

Before being appointed as EVP of sales and co-production for the Americas, Habbershaw was most recently VP of international programming, operations and research at A&E Networks. Here she was responsible for developing strategies for ownership, maximising the exploitation of content across branded and third party platforms, development of original programming and co-productions and driving global channel and SVOD performance.

A graduate of the London School of Economics, Habbershaw worked in programming at NBC Europe and Granada Sky, and was head of programming at Comedy Central in London before becoming VP & GM of VH1 UK in 2002. In 2004 Habbershaw moved to New York to become director of development at VH1, leaving in 2009 to move to Gawker Media and then AMC Networks. At AMC Networks she was VP of acquisitions, scheduling and promotions, Sundance & WE Global where she oversaw the programming strategy and operations across all international channels.

Matt Creasey
Executive VP sales, coproductions and acquisitions
Banijay Rights

Creasey was appointed EVP, sales, co-productions & acquisitions, at Banijay Rights in August 2020.
Based in Los Angeles, Creasey oversees all sales operations and teams for territories outside EMEA. Exploring opportunities across linear, SVOD and AVOD, he also leads on scripted co-productions in the US and rest of the world, alongside sales and acquisitions.
Creasey joined the company following Banijay Rights’ acquisition of Endemol Shine Group, having previously served as EVP, sales and acquisitions for sales arm Endemol Shine International.

Reporting to Banijay Rights CEO Cathy Payne, he is across the company’s extensive multi-genre catalogue of over 150,000 hours of stand-out programming.

With an invaluable client base, cross-platform sales experience, unrivalled knowledge of the catalogue and extensive commercial wisdom, Creasey works closely with Banijay Rights’ leadership team to set the strategy and grow the business across his assigned territories.
He joined Endemol Shine International in 2006 as director of sales, distribution, and has spent his career to date selling and exploiting some of the world’s largest entertainment brands. Prior to his significant stint at Endemol Shine International, Creasey was head of sales at Celador International.

Rose Marie Vega
President and founder

Vega has been widely recognized for working at and with many of the industry’s leading studios and content platforms. Start with her Latina heritage and California roots, mix in experiences she gained from living in New York, Paris, Mexico and Los Angeles and you begin to grasp the multi-cultural flavour that influences the multilingual Vega’s business approach.

This experience led to the purchase by Warner Media of the format rights for Jaque Content’s hit Argentinian crime series La Chica que Limpia and a FOX Network series production of The Cleaning Lady which premiered in January 2022, to the development and co-production agreements with major studios for the U.S. and LatAm platforms.

Laura Florence
Senior VP and general manager of digital
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Florence joined Redbox in 2019 to lead the company’s digital content partnerships & acquisitions team in the launch of FAST Channels and the ad-supported on-demand platform. In 2021, she was promoted to VP content strategy, merchandising and programming handling all content strategy and merchandising for kiosk, transactional, FAST, ad-supported and Redbox Original content, and programming of Redbox Linear Channels.

Florence has been in the entertainment industry for over 15 years, with extensive experience in both the physical and digital categories of content strategy, acquisitions, operations, marketing & distribution. She has partnered with some of the largest retailers in the industry, including Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Vudu, and Apple. Florence has also represented brands such as Millennium Films, PBS (”Downton Abbey”), Dreamworks/Classic Media, and more than 30 independent studios. Before Redbox, Florence was the VP of North American sales and marketing for Gravitas Ventures, running theatrical, TVOD/cable/sat, home entertainment and ad-supported/FAST. Additionally, she worked at Comcast/E! Networks on live events and programming surrounding the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Grammy Awards, shows such as “E! True Hollywood Story” and coverage of Comic-Con and Star Wars 30 for G4.

Rachel Koehler
VP, original content

As VP, original content, Koehler brings a holistic and creative approach to Tubi’s content strategy, leveraging a wide range of industry experience and expertise across programming development, content acquisitions and digital sales. With a keen eye for splashy and breakthrough content, Koehler most recently helped lead Tubi’s debut into original content, playing an active part in developing more than 140 hours of Tubi Originals in 2021 alone.

From script to screen, she has shepherded premium independent-minded titles across the Black cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and Western genres. Recently launched Tubi Original movies include SWIM starring Joey Lawrence, and The Freak Brothers starring Woody Harrelson, Pete Davidson, John Goodman, and Tiffany Haddish, and Corrective Measures starring Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker.

Also an instrumental part of Tubi’s success in content acquisitions, Koehler previously led the indie content acquisitions and partnerships team at Tubi, forming partnerships with major studios and brands including Samuel Goldwyn, LEGO, Mattel, FilmRise and Magnolia, among others. Koehler also spearheaded Tubi’s content deal with STXfilms, securing an exclusive free streaming window to such fan favorites as I Feel Pretty starring Amy Schumer, the critically acclaimed coming-of-age film The Edge of Seventeen, starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson, kids and family movie UglyDolls, Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner, and the action heist thriller Den of Thieves, featuring Gerard Butler and 50 Cent, among many other titles. Also, as part of the relationship with STX, Tubi was the exclusive AVOD home to the adventure documentary Into the Lost Desert.

Koehler also implemented Tubi’s festival strategy, securing the company’s first-ever presence at festivals including Sundance and Berlin (pre-COVID).

Prior to Tubi, Koehler managed content acquisitions at Entertainment Studios, Gravitas Ventures and Cinedigm.

Bryan Mu
Senior VP, research & insights
Universal Studio Group

Mu is SVP, research & insights, Universal Studio Group (USG). In this role, Mu serves as the lead research and analytics executive responsible for global marketplace analysis, strategic planning, and audience insights for Universal Studio Group. He reports to Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman, USG.

Previously, Mu served as SVP, content and cultural insights, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Studios, where he oversaw research for NBCUniversal’s Cable Entertainment content portfolio (USA Network, SYFY, Oxygen, E! and Bravo) and Universal Content Productions (UCP). He was a key contributor to award-winning series, including USA’s Mr. Robot and The Sinner, the critically acclaimed Resident Alien, and The Umbrella Academy for Netflix.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Mu was VP cable research for Sony Pictures Television. He consulted executive producers on ratings performance, competitive positioning and marketing activity for series such as Breaking Bad, Community and Damages.

Register for the Earlybird Rate by CLICKING HERE.

They join other confirmed speakers:

A raft of other speakers and sessions will be announced shortly.

Content LA is moving in alongside LA Screenings Independents at the Fairmont Century Plaza this year, providing enhanced meeting environments. Up to 2000 delegates are expected across the two events.