Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More Heavy Hitters Sign On to D: Dive Into Media 2013 — HBO’s Kessler, Live Nation’s Rapino Join the Cast

Last month, we announced our second Dive Into Media conference, and you guys told us you liked what you heard. Thanks! Here’s Act Two: We’ll have top executives from HBO and Live Nation joining us in February.

A reminder: Dive Into Media is our one-night-plus-one-day look at the way the media business is grappling with the challenges, and opportunities, that the whirling world of technology presents. That means thoughtful but lively conversations with a stellar cast of movers and shakers, and a chance to learn about new players, as well.

So far, we’ve announced that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, Hearst Magazines President David Carey, Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora and Facebook partnership vice president Dan Rose will be joining us on Feb. 11 and 12 at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, just south of Los Angeles.

And here come two more moguls:

Eric Kessler is HBO’s co-president, and by the time you see him onstage, he’ll be the pay channel’s COO. He’s the guy who has mapped out HBO’s distribution and marketing strategy since 2007, which means he’s the guy behind the company’s much-praised HBO Go service/app. That also means he’s the guy to complain to when you insist that you want to watch “Game of Thrones” on your iPad without subscribing to cable. Kessler can explain why HBO says it has no interest in doing that — for now — even as it experiments with digital distribution outside the U.S.

Michael Rapino is the CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s most powerful events and ticketing company. Live Nation does more than $5 billion a year in revenue — if you sat in a concert hall, stadium or club in the last year, you probably contributed to his take. Even as digital has decimated other industries, live sports and music remain remarkably strong, which is why Rapino has lots of upstarts at his heels. He’s also trying to turn a company with famously creaky technology into a much more nimble player.

Just like our flagship D: All Things Digital conference, D: Dive into Media will give you rare access to deep, smart talks with the people who matter. And we’ll be announcing more of them in the weeks to come. For now, you can find registration information here.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald